The End of Democracy As We Know It?
This post may be considered 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 me 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.
I posted this essay by WFW because it sums up just how I feel, but do not have the mental agility to put it to paper – or blog.