When were we best?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Legs, Oct 24, 2010.

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  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?
     
  2. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    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.
     
  4. Between 1815 till about 1918 Britain was THE superpower. After 1941 Britain was just playing at being Great.
     
  5. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    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.
     
  7. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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.
     
  8. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    The very same, I'm only into episode 2 so don't ruin it for me.
     
  11. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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.
     
  12. What's the name of the programme so I can look it up?
     
  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. Beijing? Dehli? Empire First Timers? Shum mishtake surely?
     
  15. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    "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.