Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The End Of Our Democracy As We Knew It?

This post may be consider presumptious and egotistical, but it is one that I feel has to be written, so with those caveats - here goes:

I am of an age that some still have to reach and having reached that age I hope that in those years I have acquired a wisdom that those younger than I still have to attain. In my life I have seen many changes, some for the better but, unfortunately, most not - especially when considering our country and the society in which we live.

Let us go back in time to the late 1950s and early 1960s, an era when compared today is so different as to be unrecognisable. This was an era when Britain was respected by the rest of the world, when a Briton visiting abroad was respected, was held to be a 'gentleman' and someone who believed in 'fair play'. World War II does not enter into this aspect of how we as a country was viewed, what does is the fact that Britain, as the 'Mother of Democracy' was respected and regarded with awe and almost jealousy. Britain, then, was a country where manners were held in high regard, where anyone older than you was treated with respect; where men who were strangers to you were addressed as 'Sir' and ladies as 'Madam'; where men gave up their seats on trains and busses to any women, regardless of her appearance; where as a child you were not only educated but taught etiquette; where parents were respected and where 'family' and family life was important. It was an era when, as a lad of 11/12 years of age I could travel from the countryside, alone, to Lords and the Oval to watch cricket; where on home from boarding school I could do a paper round and then armed with a bucket and sponge go washing cars to earn pocket money without having to ask anyone's permission, other than that of my guardians. It was an age when I did not need to be amused, I made my own amusement which caused no harm to anyone or anyone's property. It was an age when we had politicians of learning, politicians of renown and wisdom, and politicians for whom one had respect. It was an age in which Britain was regarded as an example of how a country and its people should behave. It was an age when law & order existed and where the police were active without being intrusive - and also respected. It was an age in which Britain was, relatively, prosperous and had a manufacturing base. Do not misunderstand me when I write the foregoing - I am not saying that all those customs were ideal or are necessary in today's world. It is, however, on matters of behaviour,  manners and most of all freedom that a country and society must be based, if they are in turn to be respected.

Fast forward to today and what do we find - regrettably, none of the above. Our politicians are reviled and regarded as venal, unprincipled, without apparent morals and yes, even crooks - compounded by a Prime Minister and Party Leaders who deny any knowledge of the misdemeanours that have been uncovered. Our constitution has been trashed by those same politicians who now regard the electorate's vote as something which can be bought by means of promises which they have no intention of keeping and by hiding the truth. We live in an age where children are no longer educated within the meaning of the word 'educated' and have no sense of manners or respect; where our police are no longer upholders of law and order, but are now a service achieving targets; where the people have been conditioned to forego any sense of responsibilty or thought, and therefore have to rely on the state; where there is not one possession we own that has not been touched by the hand of the state in one form or another; where our politicians have subjugated this country to foreign rule, thus negating the loss of lives expended in thwarting just such an occurence from happening in ages past. We live now in an age where politicians have brought Britain to its knees, financially; that have changed - nay engineered - our society so that we now longer recognise, nor remember, our traditions; where pride in country is frowned upon as xenophobic; where opinions, other than those dictated by the state, are considered incorrect.

A few days ago I posted a comment from a widow who lamented the loss of her social life, due to the smoking ban, who had lost the will to live and begged for the courage to join her dead husband. I think I now have some idea of how she feels, in that all that from which she drew comfort, pride and pleasure has been taken from her. One similarity that we do share is that we both lack the same degree of courage.

It is not my position to tell the electorate how they should vote - suffice it to say that I can but hope they will look around them, see the devestation that has occured in our country, decide that enough is enough and vote for something different.

Apologies to all my readers for having 'wittered' for so long and thanks for reading this post, a post that at first reading may seem stupid to some of you.


Captain Ranty said...


I have pinched it. ALL of it, and reposted over at my humble dwelling.

I hope you don't mind.


Anonymous said...

An excellent post, well worth the read and thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. I too feel the same, at school through the war years, wonderful years even though we did get bombed out. I often think of those days and regret their passing. The like will never be seen again, a great loss.


Witterings From Witney said...

CR, Thank you for your comments, you are of course most welcome.

A, thank you too for your comments.

To both of you I would say that I am in utter despair and do weep at what this once great country has become.

Sue said...

I feel like crying. I am British through and through and I feel so helpless :(

will jones said...

As an anglo-australian I look on in sorrow at what the UK has become. A country that was once, as you said, respected, great and a source for inspiration for many. I truly wish that things will change for the better, but I don't hold that much hope.

Worryingly, for me at least, is that despite the example of what your labour has done to the country, we here have our own labor seeing a narrative to copy.

The only glimmer is that our conservatives under Abbot are, for the first time since Howard left office, now leading the polls. If only the leader of your tories were like he.

Witterings From Witney said...

WJ, Thank you also for your comments. At least you apppear to have a Conservative Party - something we do not! As for Cameron, to infer he has a backbone of jelly would be an overstatement.

Woodsy42 said...

By no means is it stupid, I grew up in the 50s and 60s and know exactly what you mean and I agree with you. It's indeed very depressing.

Witterings From Witney said...

Thanks W42 for your comments - greatly appreciated.

13th Spitfire said...

Splendid post Mr. Witney. I can but offer solace from another generation; my generation that one born at the end of the '80s. All is not lost I know this; I look around and I hear around and people are royally sick of all the shambolic left-wing statist bollocks that today passes for a society. No one believes the media today more than they believe in our student newspaper. Grammar schools are held in high regard and at least where I study right of centre if the norm and will most likely be a stronger norm once the gracing shadow of Clegg has passed us by.

A nation is formed by its electorate, its people, and even though disastrous spells of ignominious dust the sun will shine again.

Speaking in metaphors might not seem the best solution to derelection but I am sure you understand what I meant to say.

The left will be gone with this election or the probably second general election coming after this one. They will no return; leadership and strength is what the people want and for once in our bloody lives, to put Britain first.

If Cameron so much as thinks of folding on this second turn at the Lisbon Treaty he will loose all his remaining credibility. Same for Clegg. They have a lot to live up to and the people will not suffer fools easily, not this time.

13th Spitfire said...

I apologise for all the spelling mistakes. I wrote the above in a fit of sensation.

Witterings From Witney said...

Thank you 13th for your comment. Inteeresting that you say right of centre is gaining ground amongst your peers - long may it continue.

Mrs Rigby said...

As you know I've linked to this post, because it's good, because it's sensible, and because it shows a lot of what has been lost - but could be regained, by a brave government.

Whether we'll get one is another matter.

Witterings From Witney said...

Thank you Mrs. R for your kind comments - as with others, much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

WfW, you keep on wittering.

Whether the clever young things know it or not they will be fighting this battle in years to come.

I only hope that there is a Witterings from Witney to show them a way of life that is better than the EU soviet that our evil, so-called leaders will have condemned them to.

God bless.

Witterings From Witney said...

wg, I can but thank you for your kind comments, as I have done to others.

I shall, as you say, keep wittering and unfortunately, if the polls are right, it would seem I shall have even more to justifiably witter about.

Anglichan said...

I think I'm a little younger than the writer of this post. I grew up in the 60s but I can relate to much that has been written.

The thing I never realised when I was a youth was that there would be calamitous changes coming upon Britain because of laws that Parliament was enacting during those years.

The banning of corporal punishment, first in society, later in schools, the abolition of the death penalty, the repeal of homosexual activity crimes, abortion being made legal and divorce being made easier have all contributed to the existence of the unpleasant conditions that exist today in society.

Drug use and abuse began to get a grip in the 60s and immigration was increasing rapidly mainly from the West Indies, India and, perhaps most significantly, Pakistan, where the Islamic religion is dominant.

Also, in 1973, we consolidated our membership of the Common Market, after a Referendum and, though we did not fully understand it then, we signed our own death warrant as an independent nation.

In short, anti-Christian laws, multicultural policies, drug abuse, Islam and the emergence of the EU as a totalitarian body politic have all combined to flower into what we see today in the UK, in terms of mushrooming crime, Islamic terrorism and sharia law and an inability to do very much about it ourselves.

May God have mercy on us all.

Witterings From Witney said...


I must thank you too for taking the time to read my blog - much appreciated.

We may disagree slightly on the relaxation of the law on divorce and homosexuality - and the latter is something I do not personally condone or agree with. I will accept it exists but just don't like it 'thrown in my face'.

The rest of your points such as Islam, mujlticulturalism, anti CofE laws, etc I concur with.

Daniel1979 said...

Briliant post, I am going to drop it a link.

I am a child of the 80's and we knew things weren't great but they seem to me to have got worse still since then.

My parents taught me manners and to be respectful and I was sometimes looked down on by my peers for being polite to teachers or to adults in general. I think these teachings have served me well and will continue observe them.

Witterings From Witney said...

daniel1979, Thank you too for your comment and the link.

My post was not, I hasten to add, damning anyone not brought up in the 50s or 60s as I met many many examples of children born in your era who were.

It is I believe fair to say that the influx of immigrants (any source) and their manners and social attitudes has 'rubbed off' on us, to our detriment generally.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Nothing stupid in that, WfW. Bloody brilliant, I'd say!

Witterings From Witney said...

DP, like all the others, you too are extremely kind by your praise for my efforts.

Richard said...

Brilliant post, well done. Born in 1953, I remember the world you are talking about very well. It is Housman's 'Land of lost content'. Sure there were things about it that needed changing (it wasn't very tolerant of different lifestyles, for one thing), but we seem to have lost the lot.

One thing that always makes me wonder: when I was young, all the senior positions (business leaders, bank managers and so on) were older men within 10 years of retirement. Now, those positions are taken by people in their thirties, and the only older men you see are stacking shelves in Tesco. So the decision makers are no longer mature people with life experience: they are young and energetic, but perhaps lack the wisdom to see beyond the next round of bonuses.

Good post. Thank you.

Witterings From Witney said...

Richard, As to others I can but repeat my thanks for your kind comment.

On the age of managers bit - funny was thinking the same thing myself just now and then your comment arrived.......

Thanks again

Anglichan said...

I promise, Mr.W that this shall be my last posting on this subject as I don't want to overstay my welcome.

I read your previous correspondent and I couldn't help but think on the general theme of my last posting.

Another effect of anti-God laws by a nation is that God judges that nation. Interestingly, one of those judgments is found in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 3 and verses 4 and 5.

4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. 5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

I thought those verses fit the observations of both you and your previous commenter quite well.

Thank you for your indulgence. There is no need to trouble yourself in responding, unless,of course, you wish to.

Witterings From Witney said...

Anglichan (just noticed the earlier typo so apols)

Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they wish.

Point taken re this comment of yours.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, WfW.

You probably echo the thoughts of everyone old enough and lucky enough to have remembered the '50s.

Youngsters have no knowledge of how great this country was - hell, they aren't even taught history any more. What they get from state education is propaganda - of no value to society.

It's people like you who most of us want to be represented by in Parliament.

Please don't apologise for having passion and integrity and wanting Britain to regain its glory.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely first class and spot on. I was born in 1950 and I too enjoyed the childhood you described. Politics then was an honourable profession, with men and women of all three parties at Westminster for PUBLIC service - not SELF service.
Then Wilson arrived in 1964 and it's been downhill since, helped by Heath (& the 'Common Market')& Callaghan in the 70s, slowed bot not reversed in Maggie & Major in the 80s & 90s, through to this lot of ------s now.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post - I'm sure Britain can be Great again, but will take guts and determination.

Marx's manifesto was required reading for a trainee teacher in 76 and the way to subdue a people was/is to cut off the tranfer of values and faith from one generation to the next. We are sinking fast.

Here's hoping (and praying) tomorrow the tide will turn.

The Creator said...

Let me add one point to your admirable post: that this lamentable state of affairs has arisen precisely because a well-meaning, left-leaning 'progressive' consensus has been allowed a free-run for 40-plus years (despite the best efforts of the Blessed Margaret).

It has proved wholly corrosive and wholly destructive.

Sackerson said...

Share your sentiments; yet Edward Heath became an MP in 1950. The treachery and deceit began a long time ago.

banned said...

Powerful stuff WfW. I think I'm about a decade younger than you but I do remember the sixties as being just as you describe and when travelling abroad as a teenager in the seventies that was how an Englishman, or boy, was expected to behave.
My, how we used to snigger at the outlandish behaviour of Italian politicians in particular but look at us now.

It is encouraging to read younger posters suggesting a return to right thinking values but I fear that the attitude of most of them is the same as for education, wotevr.

Witterings From Witney said...

Fausty,Anon, Anon,TC, and b,

Thank you all for your comments. You are all extremely kind - thank you very much.

BabaMzungu said...

A post that has brought back so many memories of a time past. At age 11, I travelled alone by bus, train and tube to and from school in the East End, sometimes quite late at night. never a problem.
Now? If I can't travel by car after dark, I don't travel.
I am English (am I allowed to say that?)and travel extensively in Kenya where I often feel safer than in my homeland.
I too will be pinching this post - let's hope it goes viral.

Gary said...

Thank God I am not alone in what I feel about my ex-homeland. I live in Spain, an ex-fascist state, previously I was based in Croatia, an ex communist country. Neither of those places, despite their history, makes you feel like you are existing in an open air prison.

Great post by you......

Shlomo said...

Rousing...stirring...and evocative of what once was... Thank you very much indeed!


I too have stolen you elequence and accuracy re this post. I too existed in this era and life was good - although not perfect. But it was damn near perfect! I do not quite know how to link yet, being a new blogger. But I will learn!

You are my role model. So many thanks!

Witterings From Witney said...

S, B, G, S & DE,

Thank you very much for your comments, these are greatly appreciated and also thanks for visiting my blog.

Best regards to you all.

Witterings From Witney said...

S, B, G, S & DE,

Thank you very much for your comments, these are greatly appreciated and also thanks for visiting my blog.

Best regards to you all.