Originally posted by Freeborn
There was no 'golden age'.
Which is why I put in inverted commas. Britain has never had a golden age. Pre-industrialisation had an inhumane feudal system. Industrialisation
created exploitation like nothing ever seen: the prosperity created by it wasn't shared and the human cost was staggering. Even recent 'boom' years
are a myth propped by by easy credit and a warped housing market.
In essence youth today are no different from the youth of yesteryear.
And yet this isn't the line that media and the press continually dole out. As any fule kno, the world's going to hell in a handcart and we've been
saying it since Ancient Greece. Open a newspaper and it's not hard to find a 'todays youth are lazy, and stupid: where did it all go wrong?'
narrative. The suggestion is that it was once right and that yesterday's youth were made of sterner stuff who did the right thing.
Britain was never truly 'great' for the vast majority who didn't have a pot to piss in and whose lives were an endless struggle and an
I agree (see above). My politics is such that I see everything through this lens: inequality and exploitation is written on every page of history.
After the Second World War returning servicemen demanded great improvements in their standard of living and quality of life etc - all of which
are gradually being taken away from us as memories fade and the propoganda continues.
There's an interesting story this weekend. The government want to do more for returning servicemen and those who are struggling to find places to
live. Basically, they are pushing them to the front of housing lists. Fair enough. However, this is happening at a time when not only are the
(non-service) disabled being made homeless, there's no longer any obligation on local councils to house the disabled, or indeed anyone. This
obligation was removed a few months ago with little acknowledgement in the media. We've a government that is now prioritising able-bodied
ex-servicemen over non-serving disabled. It's difficult to not see this in a weird pro-military, pro-nationalism sense where war and war service is
glorified and put above anything else.
It would also help if the government just actually built some houses. Developers are sitting on 7 years worth of housing projects, literally just
waiting for the houses market to get even more desperate/lucrative (and nothing to do with the 'red-tape' lies the government keep spinning). Instead,
the government are happier to throw disabled people out of their homes and hand over the keys to ex- squaddies to appease the Daily Mail, Sun and
The amazing thing is, German, British, American, Japanese etc ex-servicemen who fought against each other now meet in mutual respect and some
true friendships have been forged - yet people who have never been anywhere near war action etc spew out this nonsense at the most inappropriate
The gung-ho nonsense is rife, sadly. One of the reasons I gave up on Facebook &c., is because I've seen too many otherwise rational people become,
frankly, mental when it comes to supporting Help for Heroes &c. If you're not supporting enough
you're obviously against Britain, against 'heroes'*, &c. I see it in nearly every conversation I have or hear that touches on armed forces and
war, even here on ATS.
Again, too true - but those symbols sometimes come to spark recognition of the idea and even represent the idea.
There's something fundamentally wrong with a society that needs a prompt and a nudge in the ribs to remember the war dead. Whether it's special days
or poppies. If society doesn't actually need this prompt and we are actually remembering all year round, doesn't this undermine the idea that we need
special days, special services and symbols like poppies.
*not everyone who joins-up is a hero. I went to a cadet school and a lot of people I went to school with joined-up (it's fairly likely I would have
myself if not for getting a police record) more dickheads than heroes. I've also met a fair few people who've now left service and are some of the
worst excuses for human beings I've ever met.
edit on 12-11-2012 by Merriman Weir because: .