"This House Believes Britain is Broken"

#1
The inner-city schoolkids at a debating society I mentor have been given the following impossibly, ridiculously broad motion to debate:

"This house believes that Britain is broken."

I figure this is right up ARRSE's street! So, does anyone want to add anything to the list of whinges about Britain? Or is someone going to pipe up for dear Blighty? The floor is yours!

Here's the list so far:

Pros

- Petty street crime - chavs
- Serious crime e.g. child abuse, paedophilia, murders etc
- Political correctness – light sentencing, yooman rights for criminals
- Falling educational and skills standards
- Too much immigration
- People unemployed and living on benefits
- Manufacturing sector collapse
- Bloated, inefficient public services, esp. NHS
- War on Terror
- Class warfare (rich/poor, privilege)
- Popular apathy, media, democracy, EU
- Political corruption and cronyism (expenses scandal, BAE)
- Surveillance and public paranoia
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Obesity/ health
- Sexualisation of children and teen pregnancy, collapse of family
- Urban alienation and isolation
- Treatment of the elderly
- Public attitudes toward of public services and military
- Dumbing down of culture/celebrity worship, media power
- Ghettoisation, no-go areas, extremism

Cons - why Britain is still ok
- Rule of law still works… most of the time
- Still hub of world finance and education
- It’s not that bad... compared to
- Low corruption, even compared with EU countries
- Political/media freedom
- British fair play
- British culture exported around the world
- Contribution to humanitarian missions worldwide + charity
- Land of opportunity
- A pint down the pub
- Social safety net
- Popular social activism and responsibility
- War on Terror
 
#3
Grapevine said:
Cons - why Britain is still ok
- Rule of law still works… most of the time
- Still hub of world finance and education
- It’s not that bad... compared to
- Low corruption, even compared with EU countries
- Political/media freedom
- British fair play
- British culture exported around the world
- Contribution to humanitarian missions worldwide + charity (I though this was supposed to be the "why it's still OK" bit?)
- Land of opportunity
- A pint down the pub (give you that one)
- Social safety net
- Popular social activism and responsibility
- War on Terror
Apart from the bolds, where is this "Britain" that you speak of?
 
#4
ReAs far as the education and culture bits go, I have my concerns about how long that'll last. Both are rapidly being turned into nothing more than money-making ventures, which entirely defeats the point. The points-based visa system is a farce for institutions and an expensive ****-about for students, which is making UK education less desirable all the time.

There are still things to enjoy about the place but the lack of strategic thinking at any level starting with the electorate down is extremely depressing. The world is changing yet we still seem to think it revolves around us. It may be a comfortable slumber, but the longer we delay it the more painful the awakening will be.
 
#5
Britain is undoubtedly broken, however it is not yet a basket case. Given the right leadership it can be turned around. The big question is who and where is that leadership?
 
#6
Re: Aunty Stella: I don't know where this Britain is, but I reckon at least some of the kids will be arguing against so I have to throw them a bone.

oscar1whisky said:
You are Gordon Broon, and I claim my £5. ( Less VAT, PAYE, Tax tax, food allowance etc.)
That's a logical impossibility, if I were GB I'd shoot myself and since I'm still posting I can't be GB!

This is a debate and I have to give points for either side in order to have a remotely balanced discussion. Originally I was going to give them a little bit of info on each topic (statistics, quotes etc) but as the list grew to ridiculous lengths, I decided I had better things to do with my time.

I've written 'At what point is a country broken? What level of muggings, for example, is acceptable?' as one of the 'issues to consider' on the information sheet being handed out in class. It's an example of why the motion is totally retarded.
 
#8
I suppose it depends on how far you see our nation as being intertwined with our place in the world (present and former) we still have the habits of a superpower when the reality is that we're struggling to cling to second rank at best and in a great many things aren't even that.

Our language isn't a Unique Selling Point anymore - quite apart from the other Anglophone nations cutting our grass (Australia has been an incredibly aggressive competitor for ESOL and English-medium education), English has become a true world language and people who speak it as a second tongue have no real cultural connection to Britain by virtue of speaking it. It might as well be Esperanto, for all the 'soft power' it gives us.

Without a clear articulation of what 'Britain' is supposed to be about, it isn't possible to state clearly how an un-broken Britain should look. That the current set-up isn't satisfactory is pretty clearly a widespread feeling, but what exactly would constitute 'satisfactory'; and is that achievable with the resources we have? There isn't any consensus on either point, so far as I can see. Depressing though it is, it seems like we'll all just keep pulling away in our own little directions with no coordination of effort to achieve anything.

Christ, I need a drink.
 
#9
Grapevine - "Cons - A pint down the pub"

Brilliant, promote alcohol to children as a positive and expected aspect of society
Why not add 'passing round the ready rubbed'?

They're children, i.e. they know bugger all and need to be taught, instructed. Why not get an A&E medic along to talk about how, regularly, up to 70% of admissions are alcohol related?

No.9
 
#10
Not broken beyond repair, but certainly confused and lacking direction.

We've lost our sense of identity. Scotland and Wales have their national identity, but the English don't because it's widely discouraged by national and local government, and certain sections of the media - all of which has the completely opposite effect to what they hope to achieve by spurring extremism. The diversity industry appears to champion minority groups and frown upon the rest. Our inner city schools struggle to contend with different languages and cultures. It's all a bit of a clusterfcuk with room for error or ommision at every turn and no-one bold enough to stand up and say it's all bollocks. All that is required to pull everyone together is for schools to take their lead from the Scouts and Guides. Display the Union flag and have the kids sing the National anthem. No exceptions or arguement. Everyone's equal. Job done.

Equally the loss of manufacturing has also meant the loss of apprenticeships and social clubs where older generations set standards for younger ones. Single parent families have also increased the loss of opportunity for kids to be inspired and guided by parents and grand parents. Health and Safety, Insurance and CRB checks with all of the associated costs have detered adult involvement in youth organizations, thus resulting in a further bleed of inspiration and example. Then you have the internet and 24 hour TV to further chain young minds to a surreal world instead of encouraging social interaction.

Loss of inspiration, example and opportunity, coupled with less social interaction has encouraged idleness and self pity. "I don't want to do that! I know my rights!" Hence, it is not the generous income that keeps many young people on benefits, but a complete lack of imagination and motivation- and an aversion to hard work.
 
#11
Re: accusations about alcohol. I wrote "pint down the pub", not "several bottles of White Lightning cider in a disused bus stop." In addition I included "drug and alcohol abuse" in the pro list. These are 16-year-olds, you can hardly deny the existence of alcohol any more than the colour of the sky, and 'pint down the pub' evokes community as well as drinking. Given the maturity level of the kids - all of whom voluntarily attend this after-school club - I don't believe they will come away with a false understanding of something which, for many people, better or worse, IS a major social activity in this country. Probably best qualified by "but this is only for adults, guys" but I don't think I was contributing to a social ill.

telecaster said:
I thought "Pro" was "for", and "Con" "against".
The motion is a negative - so if you're 'pro', you DO believe Britain is broken.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
Jesus. Ask any of the little Muppets to take a look at Britain any time before WW2, then come back and tell me its 'Broken'.

Which, if you wish to educate the spoiled little brats, is the Conservative & Unionist Party's worst mistake in the election run-up.

We're broken? Thanks Posh Gits. We'd be a little less Broken if your 'Lord' Ashcroft had bunged a few quid into the kitty instead of trying to Spaz elections from his fastness in, er, Belize.

We're far from perfect, but at least we have stopped burning Catholics at the stake. A mistake in the view of many of us, but it seems burning them infringes their Human Rights in some way I do not pretend to undertand.

Tell the children to take a Gap Year in the Horn of Africa then come back to the Island and tell me its 'Broken'.

I'll punch them in the mouth, but it will contribute 6 CPD points to their CV, yah?
 
#13
:policeflat: Prison service after the Andrew. Last post before retirement,Young Offenders and remand H.M.P. Brinsford Nr Wolverhampton West MIdlands. :evil: The place held the most trash bag ,toe rag scum that would make the chav morons on Jeremy Kyle look like mensa candidates. The parents who visited them may have had a collective I.Q. of minus 7. On nights in the control room it was quite usual to receive a telephone call at midnight to the theme of" Our Johnny went to court this morning and he aint come home yet , have you got him? :? Britain is smashed beyond repair . :x
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#14
jesse said:
:policeflat: Prison service after the Andrew. Last post before retirement,Young Offenders and remand H.M.P. Brinsford Nr Wolverhampton West MIdlands. :evil: The place held the most trash bag ,toe rag scum that would make the chav morons on Jeremy Kyle look like mensa candidates. The parents who visited them may have had a collective I.Q. of minus 7. On nights in the control room it was quite usual to receive a telephone call at midnight to the theme of" Our Johnny went to court this morning and he aint come home yet , have you got him? :? Britain is smashed beyond repair . :x
Hi Rozzer. Do a Google on The Border Reivers, then bleat on. A few years ago we'd have done Johnny, raped his Mum and his Dad then sold the lot to the Scots for their haggis.

Your experience doesn't mean Britain is broken. Its not Britain's fault you couldnt get a decent job.

As for the rest? If you think Britain is broken, fuck off to Greece. Its the Land of Opportunity I hear?
 
#15
Fcuk me, what a question.

No I don't believe Britain is broken, BUT if the social engineering train isn't stopped soon it will smash into the buffers.
The "English" part of the UK needs to be allowed to celebrate its heritage and history without feeling dirty, why can't we have a BH for St. Georges day. If we did have the said holiday we must not let it be hijacked by the EDL, BNP and any other "right-wing" party. At the sametime I don't like what my country is becoming; dirty, self-centered, lazy, me,me,me orientated. I have 2 kids one of 17 the other 7 and I do wonder what they will inherit.
ALL immigrants should be made to learn english, no more translations, let people keep their religions but Christianity is the religion of the country and if you don't like it, ship out.

Somehow we need to snap the country out of its apathy, we are sleep-walking into a federal europe and OUR leaders are doing it and "WE" seem to not care about it.

Talking of "our" leaders we need to remind them that they serve us and not the other way round, this goes to all leaders from parish councils upwards. We could start with a constitution and the opening line could be

"WE THE PEOPLE.........................................yada yada."

C_G
 
#16
Grapevine - "These are 16-year-olds, you can hardly deny the existence of alcohol any more than the colour of the sky, and 'pint down the pub' evokes community as well as drinking.”

Oh well, excusez moi,’16 year olds’, say no more. Fully fledged adults, pillars of the community, been everywhere, done everything, know it all. No I can’t deny the existence of alcohol no more than the existence of cocaine, lysergic acid diethylamide, self loading Labradors or syphilis, but then I’ve never had anything to do with any of these so arguably am not entitled to an opinion – plus I’m not 16.

You want to play on semantics and rhetoric? - OK, I can do that. You stated:”In addition I included "drug and alcohol abuse" in the pro list”, as indeed you stated, ”and 'pint down the pub' evokes community as well as drinking”. So, it’s not that at 16 these children legally can’t go ‘down the pub’ to go ‘sur le p1ss’, and/or acquire ‘certain substances’ in the bog (at any age – or is it methadone?), but it’s only naughty if they ‘abuse’ their consumption and flout some recognised standards of ‘recreation, social or community’ use?

” Given the maturity level of the kids - all of whom voluntarily attend this after-school club”

Can’t help feeling this statement is missing the qualification that the ‘volunteers’ comprised only those who bothered to attend school in the first place, and then of those, those who actually understood the invitation – or was it expressed in 27 languages (which may or may not have included English)?

No.9

ps "not 'several bottles of White Lightning cider in a disused bus stop.' no not several bottles of White Lightning cider unless mixed with several bottles of Special Brew, unless you are in my area where it’s mixed with several bottles of Lidl’s cheapest ;)
 
#17
I think Iron Duke is on the right track...however bad some people make it out to be, it's far better than it was.
Social clubs and apprentices may have had some good points, but most were in areas that relied upon single, large employers, eg mining, shipbuilding, nuclear industry etc.
As soon as Johnny Foreigner could do the same job cheaper/quicker/better those single industries were dead, as were their suppliers.
Now, at least, the brighter kids realise they don't have a "job for life" waiting in their home territory, and they look farther afield. Slag off the EU if you will, but kids with the attitude and skills now have the legal right to live and work anywhere in the EU, and they use it.
The intelligent ones know this, much like bright kids elsewhere, and use it to their benefit.
The dullards end up on YTS/Modern apprentice/whatever it's called this week schemes, as guaranteed by Gordon himself: "Every school leaver in work or training etc" My bold, because we all know the "work" will be some poorly paid existence with no long term prospects.
So the clever and well connected do well, as they always have and will, while the others have a drone-like life of semi servitude or unemployment, as they always have done.
At least now they don't starve on the streets.

Perhaps the OP might ask why the non attenders aren't there at the debate?
 

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