How are the mighty fallen
I was born in the late 1940s in the greatest county in the world. We had, for the second time in thirty years, won a World War, having been the only nation to fight both wars from beginning to end, preventing despots from imposing their will on Europe, and the world.
The fight which the British people, together with her allies, had won against the evil racists of Germany, Italy and Japan, meant that we had saved the world for decent people everywhere. Most people followed, at least in general behaviour, the Christian religion, while being committed to the principles which we had evolved over centuries concerning the manner in which we were governed by democratic means, and we never allowed the kind of disgusting anti semitic attitudes which had disfigured much of Europe to take hold here. Although we undertook commitments to international groups such as the UN in 1945, and NATO in 1949, no foreign body took part in the governance of the UK, but as we know, thanks to the Heathites, we endured over forty years of subservience to Brussels, and we are not yet free from their interference, thanks to the failure of our politicians to make a clean break with the EU.
In 1948 the NHS was created, and provided free health care for everyone for the first time. However years of bureaucratic creep has now caused it to become a managerial nightmare, where vast sums are wasted on useless pen pushers. I was raised to regard the police force as the friend and protector of the law abiding, but now it is well on the way to becoming a Thought Police, more concerned with checking opinion, than with action.
Not everything was good for everyone but, at all times, and all over the world, nothing ever is perfect. We still had, and to a certain extent still have, a class system, although the advent of Attlee's socialist government made this less rigid. The Royal family was loved because of the way they behaved during the war, and the actions of the whinging, and childish, Duke and Duchess of woke would have seemed unthinkable in those days. In the field of education the implementation of the Education Act in August 1944 not merely guaranteed free secondary education for all children, but also set up the grammar school system, giving intelligent working class pupils the chance to advance by merit to university, and good careers. The idea that everyone must have prizes did not exist, so universities were still centres of excellence, which students only accessed if they genuinely deserved so, unlike now, when it seems that everyone is expected to attend, however unsuited to academia they may be.
Much remained to be done with repairing the damage caused by German bombing, and many cities needed slum clearance projects, but a start was being made on both. Clearly with a lower overall population, and one which was more rural than now, country villages were places with, at their best, a village green, a church, a post office, and at least one inn. Youngsters were usually members of groups such as the scouts, guides or cadet forces. This may not have been nirvana, but looking back it was better than what exists now, in villages bereft of most of these features, and with the opportunities to move freely being constantly reduced by the fanatics of the anti car, green lobbies.
Television was in its infancy, but the BBC was still admired for the way in which it has acted during the Second World War, and did not broadcast the kind of biased programmes it now does. We may have lacked the technology that is now so all pervasive, but I am not sure that the internet, social media, and the ability for companies to hide behind websites has been a universally good thing.
Obviously there are many conveniences we have now that we did not have then. Although surprisingly we did actually have a nine inch television from 1949, we remained in rationing until 1954, my family did not have a car until my brother bought one in 1968, we did not have a telephone until about 1970, I never having used one until I went to work in 1963, while my wife grew up in a house with only an outside toilet. Of course we were used to these things, and never felt deprived, which makes the whining of today's younger generation seem ridiculous.
Internationally we still had an Empire, although clearly its days were numbered, but we remained one of the most significant countries in the world. I recall, even in the early 1950s, it being said that only five areas of the world possessed the industrial strength to sustain a major conventional war, Britain being one, while the largest merchant fleet in the world still sailed under our flag.
Industrially our car industry was among the best in the world, we had a truly world beating airplane manufacturing sector and, contrary to claims being made today about being about to join the space race we, as detailed below, were as advanced as any nation to succeed in this field.
So what went wrong? It was the political and bureaucratic elite who threw away so much. The people making the decisions lacked the technical and marketing skills to appreciate what they had, and our industrial choices were made by those who may well have had a double first in Classics from Oxford, but technically could barely wire a three pin plug.
There is no doubt that it is the Conservatives who are mainly to blame. Much as I admire the greatest ever Englishman, Churchill, by the time he came back to power in the 1950s he was tired out from winning the war, and the party he led contained too many who knew the cost of everything, and the value of nothing, and this attitude has prevailed almost ever since.
Useless business managers, militant unions and self interested MPs were responsible for destroying so much of what we had after the war, economically stretched as we were, and thanks to the short sighted decisions taken over the next decades we have shrunk to a nation which invented so much, but failed to benefit as it should. A report released in Japan at the turn of the century stated that over forty per cent of major discoveries during the past fifty years came from the UK. Over the years we developed Concorde, opened the first nuclear power station in the world in 1956 and, as mentioned above produced a British rocket and a satellite, which still circles above us.
If one goes to the Needles on the Isle of Wight one can visit the museum dedicated to Britain's independent satellite launch program, launched by the British Black Arrow rocket, but now we are the only country in the world to have developed a successful satellite launch capability, and then abandoned it. Concorde was cancelled, so today there is no supersonic air travel, the nuclear power industry has been run down, so that France is the European country which holds the lead, while we allow green fanatics to prevent us from following suit.
The North Sea gas bonanza was never exploited properly, and is still capable of proving many years of energy, but again we let Greta Thunberg and her acolytes stand in the way. We could follow the USA in taking full advantage of fracking, but instead let the eco terrorists have their way. We ignore tidal power and, although we now hold a leading position in the race to develop fusion power, once again we fail to take full advantage.We know that the Greens, and the Liberal Democrats will lead campaigns against the latter, and that there will be thousands of ignoramuses on social media shouting about it, but it is the lack of resolution by the Conservatives which will really doom it.
It is tragic that a once great nation should have degenerated so far from what it was, and that it has been largely self inflicted by useless elites. David's lament over Saul and Jonathan "How are the mighty fallen" can be applied to us now.