Has Britain gone bad?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by meiktilaman, Nov 23, 2006.

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  1. Has our great country gone to the dogs?


    It certainly doesnt look good but then are they highlighting the bad for the sake of journalism or is it this bad!!

    I watch the news and see our boys and girls sent to places far from home and think is this what they are fighting and dying to defend!
  2. Hmmmm

    So, there was no problem with alchohol in the 19th century, and a large proportion of the population weren't suffering from malnutrition then??? There was no problem with thieves of various colours - most of which would think nothng of putting a knive in your ribs??? And most British soldiers weren't recruited by bribing them with a pint of rum a day.

    Good thread mate
  3. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I am so pleased that in the good old days it was much better. My grandparents really preferred the communal outdoor toilet and losing two children to Diptheria. Oh, they also started work at age 14.
  4. If things are generally much better now, when most of us have a refridgerator/freezer/better housing conditions/transportation/ telephone etc., and access to other modern technology, then why are the so many people living below the poverty line? Silly me, the line has shifted of course. Agreed that when I was a child, polio, diptheria and other diseases were a bane but drug taking, aids and other blights are taking their toll on today's society. IMHO part of the problem is the moral vacuum now prevalent.
  5. Hmmmm

    AIDS kills more than diptheria used to??? More drug addicts than drinkers???
  6. Luxury! My parents would beat me to sleep with a broken....

    We've got the society we 'invested in', or not, from the 50s and 60s, and earlier, not least the selling our soul to the workhouse and factory owner at the price of communities' cohesion. People don't stick needles in themselves when they feel valued.
  7. What do you mean it was like this in the 19th century? We are 6 years into the 21st and we still face the same problems. Surely thats what the problem is...

    T C
  8. Britain had a scoursge of gin drinking in the 1700's society was on the verge of collapse, in Victorian England, a man had once seen a curvy table leg, again society was collapsing, apparently our society is always collapsing, thats why we have the worlds 4th largest economy, and punch way above our height politically.....

    America with all of its problems is the worlds biggest economy.

    The truth is that all of these problems only affect a small minority of the population, it means we have an annoying and slightly higher tax burden than we should have, but we arent in terminal decline, perhaps Tom Reed is a disgruntled foreign person....

  9. We could and should have been the 2nd largest if we hadn't gifted our ideas, markets and industries to the current incumbents of second and third places.

    The disappointment has to be measured against what Britain could have become if it had reinvented itself post-Empire.

    How much also does that uber wealth find itself in the hands of the new underclasses in the UK who grow up in communities that are socially bankrupt despite the ooodles of govt initiatives and programmes aimed at them.
  10. BSL - You are right of course, we should have been #2, but your talking about the 'then', and stuff that happened outside the UK, the article is about the now and what happens inside the UK.

    Our decline from #2 after WW2, to #6 in the 1970's, and going up to #4 has little to do with the underclass, teenage pregnancies and drug use. For 90% of the british population these issues are just not relevant, apart from, as you rightly point out, some adverse taxation/financial effects, but yes it annoys me the number of economically inactive people who wont get off their backsides, to the point that 500,000 east europeans have to come here to do essential work....

  11. Regarding material wealth, six months full-time work in a hostel for homeless teens in my idealistic youth convinced me that absolute poverty these days (and its consequent homelessness) is generally down to issues that are not economic e.g. mental illness, substance abuse.

    The welfare net, I found, was pretty comprehensive e.g social services paying for hobbies. I knew one feckless teen who had 10 weeks of gym sessions paid for, for him and his sessional worker. Note that a working teen paying rent wouldn't get that. This lad, dyselxic and idle, refused the only job proffered that he was capable of (stable lad) as beneath him...besides, he liked his lie-ins before the gym. Anyway, if he got off benefits he'd have to move on and he had his own room.

    As pointed out, we have had public order and social problems in centuries past. As also pointed out, we are living in a moral vaccum. This is where I think the crux of today's problems lies.

    Thus, in the past the gin-sodden work-shy were regarded by government and society (probably including themselves...) as 'bad' and treated accordingly. What seems different now is a post-modern condition where sections of government and society, judging by their behaviour, just don't seem to know if certain things are 'bad'...

    An example: today's Daily Mail reports a trial whereby 400 hard-core heroin addicts are being given 15K of it a year. Yes, this is to see if it stops them stealing etc but all of that shows that we increasingly approach problems from a 'technical' angle rather than a moral one i.e. how can we fix this problem.

    The old judgmental approach of the past had its excesses (like the workhouse, obviously: 'it's your fault you're poor and you will be treated harshly to make you want to work') but the technical approach of the present has its failings too ('it's not your fault' or, probably more commonly,'Let's not waste time wondering if it's your fault, let's try and help').

    A bit more moral courage might see a clearer distinction between what people are held responsible for (and not helped with) and what they are, conversely, not held responsible for (and therefore helped with). A value-judgment has to be made.

    I would argue that it is not your fault if you are old but that it is your fault if you are a smack addict. The Mail points out that the cash currently being used to help junkies 400 inject themselves could help 6600 Alzhiemers' sufferers receive medication currently denied them on the NHS.

    The decision to spend money on one group and not the other is not just a technical policy decision but a deeply moral one. Not being afraid to see the world through a moral lens might lead to better decision-making and a moral society that helps shape individual choices better e.g. telling teens who work for their first year that this is a good thing and that they can all get a reward instead of just a lazy druggy.

    Just because moral judgments in the past have been bad surely doesn't mean therefore that all moral judgments must be? That seems the sort of bleedin' heart liberal wishy-washy stuff that has probably helped lots of people without a strong moral sense of their own lose their way and thus contribute to aggregate social problems today.

    Oh yes, bring back the birch too......
  12. Lankypullthroigh,
    The children of 'wishy washy liberals' don't get drug problems.
    In the middle class, it is kids from right wing families that f'uck up.
    Liberal minded people then suggest a little 'wishy washy' treatment by which time its to late.
    As for morality, what is moral about attacking countries that constituted no threat to Britain then?
    It was the Christian morals brigade that supported Bush and now all of them are being revealed as crooks and hypocrites.

    I heard about a cancer hostpital now run as a trust. Patients have to travel miles for treatment. the iller you are the longer your treatment and the heftier your parking fee becomes.
    Where is the morality in that?
    That scam to charge parking fees to patients in a car park built years ago for the free use wasn't drawn up by a chav on smack.
    That plan was drawn up by
    'cookie cutter men with empty heads and black hearts' and they all wore suits and had nice clean finger nails.
    Morality, Smorality.

  13. The problem is these initiatives are invariably ill-thought-out underfunded sops with little or no meaning, of cynical intent and done purely to keep the scapegoated poor in their place, receiving the blame for the ills of society. Culpability lies with Thatcher, Major, Blair and soon Brown, not to mention the gutter press. If these initiatives ever begin to work, then Brown's position will be undermined, and that's not going to happen is it? The poor serve their purpose, unfortunately, which is to divert our attention.
  14. ?????

    I wasn't saying things were moral but that they should be more often. I was arguing that a morally-ordered society would help some of the morally lost re-orientate themselves and value judgments were necessary for this.

    Don't know about middle class drug use to be honest. My brief foray into the drugs sub-culture through work with the homeless was in a different strata.