When were we best?

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
We are always slagging off Great Britain. All we hear is how things are getting worse. Worse than when?

When were we the best? What era would YOU like to live in?
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Second half of the 19th century.

Johnny Company was extremely strong, the sun never set on our Empire, we could sail into most ports with the protection of the navy and cut deals left, right and centre.

The natives were beholden to us, gin was served at sundown and the mistress wasn't too expensive. The tailor took credit and the club was a welcome respite from the swelter of day-to-day life.

Incidentally, not meaning to subvert this thread, whenever a nation has had a true empire, it's sat back on those laurels for generations and generations. The Greeks still think they're special, the Italians can be nauseatingly arrogant and don't get me started on the Turks but all are dreadful at running their own countries now. So we still hark about the 'Great' in our name...

What next, the Yanks telling us they are a superpower whilst Beijing and Delhi ride in?

Only reassuring fact is that empires are decreasingly rapidly in length so we won't have too long to suffer.
 
#3
1980 to 1997 was pretty good as far as I'm concerned.
 
#5
I'm currently watching an interesting series about the Queens world trip in 1953. Almost to a man they wish we were still in charge, the elite don't of course, it would prevent them getting rich at others expense.
 
#6
1985-89 was mental. I was single and posted to Plymouth. I don't know what state the Empire was in, but I can remember what state I was . It was GREAT.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
Second half of the 19th century.

Johnny Company was extremely strong, the sun never set on our Empire, we could sail into most ports with the protection of the navy and cut deals left, right and centre.

The natives were beholden to us, gin was served at sundown and the mistress wasn't too expensive. The tailor took credit and the club was a welcome respite from the swelter of day-to-day life.

Incidentally, not meaning to subvert this thread, whenever a nation has had a true empire, it's sat back on those laurels for generations and generations. The Greeks still think they're special, the Italians can be nauseatingly arrogant and don't get me started on the Turks but all are dreadful at running their own countries now. So we still hark about the 'Great' in our name...

What next, the Yanks telling us they are a superpower whilst Beijing and Delhi ride in?

Only reassuring fact is that empires are decreasingly rapidly in length so we won't have too long to suffer.
Ha, no it wasn't, lost the China trade Monopoly in '34, lost control of India in the Mutiny of '57/8, dissolved in 1874. Disaster.

Do echo your sentiment regarding your Empire comment though, whilst we were the world's Superpower for nearly a century and a half, those pesky rebels may be lucky if they evn make a century.

Having said that, late Victorian/early Edwardian period - the golden age, Empire beginning to reach her zentih whilst much of the world was being opened up by intrepid explorers - Africa the great unknown just waiting for an eccentric curiously man to go a wander, either that or the 20s before the Great Clash, women newly liberated and getting floozy, the Jazz Age with Scott and Zelda, great cocktails music and elegant travel by sea land and air.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
I'm currently watching an interesting series about the Queens world trip in 1953. Almost to a man they wish we were still in charge, the elite don't of course, it would prevent them getting rich at others expense.
Would that be the Kwame Kwei Armah programme Ord?

If it is the radio phone in on Jamaican Radio was funny with the intelligensia getting a bit embarrassed by the callers saying that life was much better under us.
 
#9
...but was Britain really that great during the so-called "long 19th century"?, yeah we had the empire (which i'm not knocking here),but consider the state of home affairs: nowhere near universal sufferage (not even for men),the humiliating poor laws (which the liberal welfare reforms didnt completely get rid of) and most notably the poor state of health of the average briton, most notably exposed during the Boer War, when the army had to turn away a vast chunk of applicants (can't remeber the exact figure) due to basic medical unfitnness to name but a few...
 
#10
Would that be the Kwame Kwei Armah programme Ord?

If it is the radio phone in on Jamaican Radio was funny with the intelligensia getting a bit embarrassed by the callers saying that life was much better under us.
The very same, I'm only into episode 2 so don't ruin it for me.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#11
The very same, I'm only into episode 2 so don't ruin it for me.
Enjoy it, the whole series was excellent and riposte to the Empire was intrinsically rascist and evil brigade, though it isn't afraid to point out it's failings.
 
#13
I can´t understand why everybody shouts about how great the Empire was,It might have been for the rich but for everybody else it was nearly a death sentance,soldiers and their families died like flies on postings to India or the West Indies and the slightest wound turned gangrenous,that´s if tetanus and typhoid didn´t get you firs.The Empire´s demise has led to our own slow destruction with the influx of their offspring thinking that Britain owes them something.
The best time is probably after the discovery of penicillin,at least you have a fair chance of seeing some of the benefits!
 
#14
Incidentally, not meaning to subvert this thread, whenever a nation has had a true empire, it's sat back on those laurels for generations and generations. The Greeks still think they're special, the Italians can be nauseatingly arrogant and don't get me started on the Turks but all are dreadful at running their own countries now. So we still hark about the 'Great' in our name...

What next, the Yanks telling us they are a superpower whilst Beijing and Delhi ride in?
Beijing? Dehli? Empire First Timers? Shum mishtake surely?
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
What's the name of the programme so I can look it up?
"On Tour with the Queen" made for Channel 4, written and presented by Kwame Kwei Armah, no longer available on 4oD though so you will have to source it elsewhere - if you do find a good download, post it here because it is a show that many will enjoy.
 
#16
#17
Germany was best in the 1970s or 80s I think. Unemployment was still lowish, loving was still freeish, retirement was still safish and we didn't have to spend insane amounts of money on fixing the Ex-Commies. Plus we didn't muck about outside our borders, which has never amounted to anything but trouble for us, unlike the British ventures abroad I guess. It all went to shit in 1870, we were doing ok all split up, had a bit of a reputation for poetry and science and all that cuddly stuff, a small war every now and then but nothing out of the ordinary, then unification and bam, picking fights with everyone and nothing to show for it. Now the same, unification and bam, Afghanistan and fighting pirates and whatnot. I blame it on you guys, you shoulda broken us up into more parts in '45. No way the Bavarians would've rejoined if you had split em off, same with some of the other guys.
 
#18
My parents reckoned the late `50s through to the mid `70s was a good time. Work was plentiful, new social housing was readily available and cheap, as was fuel. Things like education and the NHS actually worked well.
As regards Britain being Great then I`d say late 18th to early 19th century, things probably started to slowly slip mid 19th and generally tailed off over the next 50 years.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
Germany was best in the 1970s or 80s I think. Unemployment was still lowish, loving was still freeish, retirement was still safish and we didn't have to spend insane amounts of money on fixing the Ex-Commies. Plus we didn't muck about outside our borders, which has never amounted to anything but trouble for us, unlike the British ventures abroad I guess. It all went to shit in 1870, we were doing ok all split up, had a bit of a reputation for poetry and science and all that cuddly stuff, a small war every now and then but nothing out of the ordinary, then unification and bam, picking fights with everyone and nothing to show for it. Now the same, unification and bam, Afghanistan and fighting pirates and whatnot. I blame it on you guys, you shoulda broken us up into more parts in '45. No way the Bavarians would've rejoined if you had split em off, same with some of the other guys.
Well that's your fault for having silly inheritance laws, honestly if you had let our Vicky take the throne of Hanover, there would have been none of this unification silliness and Otto would have been put firmly back in the box. Jeesh you beat the French and then think you can conquer the world, you could have had the sense to practice on a decent opposition.
 
#20
I recall we were still pretty good in the 1980's: 4 heavy metal divisions in BAOR, a brigade in Berlin and 3 more in NI, and still enough spare to send 2 brigades to retake the Falklands, man Belize, Cyprus, HongKong etc etc.

Not too shabby for a small group of islands in the North Sea.
 

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