There have been several stories recently in the British news that have shocked me, and really made me question how society seems to be changing. The stories themselves reflect different aspects of the crumbling values visible in Britain today. As the country, and the world, struggles to survive the economic turmoil that is impacting every household, these moments in time captured in the press really made me think whether a bigger change was needed? Whether society really needs more of a shake up?
So in no particular order:
What can you say to this story? If that doesn’t depress you enough read this wonderful commentary in The Sun. The daughter blames the father, the mother blames the state for not educating him better. Where is the personal responsibility? Where is the mention of criminal charges for underage sex? the investigation for child neglect against the girl’s parents for letting so many boys “sleep over”? Where is the public outcry over yet another example of social stupidity that will be payed for by those working and paying their taxes. Blogger Inspector Gadget calls them the criminal underclass customers (see his thoughts in the post “The customer is always right“) and in this politically correct world how else could you refer to people with no sense of responsibility, who will expect society to solve all their problems. Alfie Patten’s celebrity will be short lived but as Gadget states, the social services, the police, and in the end the British tax payer will be picking up the pieces and the bills for this idiocy for years to come. It leaves me disgusted, at the parents and the children, to say that nobody knew what they were doing is just an excuse to cover up for their lack of restraint. Updated: The case for parental neglect gets even stronger with the latest claims that there are “Doubts over schoolboy father Alfie Patten as eight others claim paternity” – Telegraph
After 12 years of having New Labour in power the price of a line of cocaine ends up being considerably cheaper than a pint of real ale! What does that say about the promise by Tony Blair of “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”? What does it say about the impact on an already struggling industry when pubs are closing at a rate of roughly 39 per week, and yet the government plans to increase taxation on alcohol (Axe the Beer Tax). When cheap lager deals fill supermarket shelves in the city center but the local pub serving local beer is forced to close in the rural town, is it any surprise that society seems to be on the skids? I being a young boy sat in a smokey, privately owned pub called “The 3 Horseshoes”, listening to my Dad talk to local farmers whilst sipping on lemonade, or a half of bitter shandy if I was lucky. I learned to listen to old stories, and how to play darts. The only rowdy drunks would be tourists. As I grew older my wife and I made a pub in a distant village our “local” and were slowly accepted by the staff and the regulars. Off the beaten track as it was there was rarely an ill word or drunken curse spoken, and the only time the walls shook was when the local domino competition with the neighbouring village was in town! As we fail to sentance criminals in any meaningful way, and fail to stop the flow of cheap drugs into the hands of the ignorant youth, it makes one wonder just what needs to change to stop the steady decline. Is Britain just destined to become a themepark land of its former self, where chain pubs and drug addicts fill the village greens? (Even the UN states things will get worse.)
I remember in 2000, when I still lived in England, driving from Stratford to visit my grandmother in Solihul the day after Tony Blair and New Labour had forced the sale of Rover’s new Mini to BMW for a nominal fee. The obvious foul taste of that deal had severly impacted the local car making industry around Birmingham and I drove by 3 BMW dealerships with smashed windows and paint daubed cars. Now 9 years later we see that nothing has changed in their dealings, or in the British governments protection of British workers. Staff were called into a conference room 1 hour before their shift ended, and were told this was their last day. The insult was then compounded by them being told that they would recieve only 1 weeks pay as redundancy compensation. Labour ministers claim that the labor laws that allowed BMW to act this way were in place to make Britain competitive, but these laws do not exist in Germany or France. Is it competition, or just greed at the expense of the work force?
Okay, so to remind myself it isn’t all bad in my homeland, I’ll leave you with Show of Hands, and the video for Roots. Nothing like a bit of folk to remind you of your history and give you hope for the future!