It is shocking and sad to think that a country with such a proud past as our own has been reduced to its current state. It's hard to imagine what previous generations would make of the Britain of today; so alien to the place it was just a few decades ago. What would they think of our social and moral norms? What would they make of our current crop of politicians? What would their reaction be to our radically altered demographics; to British cities where they would find themselves to be a minority?
I speak of a proud past not in a jingoistic sense in reference to Empire or our imperial legacy, about which there are good points and bad; but rather in reference to the sort of society we used to be, and the values it was built upon. The transition to a post-Empire Britain after the Second World War, and the inward-looking focus of our nation-building policies at that time marked something of a high point in terms of social progress and national endeavour. Our old values: traditional, pro-family, patriotic and thoroughly British, sat alongside and indeed made possible the social endeavours of the post-war era that had enormously positive effects upon living standards and society in general, and for the first time corrected the rather chaotic excesses of industrialisation and urbanisation. Politics of the first half of the 20th Century was in many ways a story of finding a new social peace after two centuries of upheaval through those twin forces. The two totalitarian solutions failed: with the defeat of fascism and the entrenchment of communism in the East, we were able to settle into the post-war consensus and a Britain in which there was a sense that life was getting better, that we were resolving things that needed resolved, and we were doing so with a sense of national unity and purpose.
This allowed a generation to grow up in a Britain that was broadly functional. We were a homogenous society, united by common values and cultural references, and for a time yet spared from the chaos of multiculturalism. Society was founded upon the family unit and children grew up overwhelmingly in married, two-parent households; things like divorce and abortion were rare, curtailed as much by social attitudes as by legislation. This family structure was upheld not just by social norms, but by factors such as ample social housing, rent controls, affordable house prices and stable employment in an industrial economy. Our education system was amongst the best in the world; working-class children had opportunities through grammar schools or vocational education, while tuition and maintenance grants were available to the minority who went on to university. Matrons ran hospital wards; police visibly patrolled the streets. Things were practical; though they were not rooted in the modern dogmas of equality and diversity, it was a time of unparalleled social mobility and all-round improvement in quality of life. For a time this Britain, that was recognisably Britain: sovereign, industrial, unitary and traditional, rolled along.
Then along came the revolutionaries, who decided that this Britain had to be replaced with something else; something more 'egalitarian', more 'progressive', more 'modern' and rootless, a Britain that would cast off its past, its traditions and its old way of doing things. A campaign was headed by a cross-party cabal of Oxbridge-educated MPs to usher in a wave of legislation through private members' bills. Thus with no manifesto mandate, they began their transformation of Britain. The cultural revolution of the late 60s swept away the old social landscape through a raft of anti-family legislation, the ruin of the justice system, the dismantlement of the old tripartite school system and the introduction of mass immigration. Then sovereignty and patriotism were deemed backwards and old-fashioned, and so we were hauled into the European project in 1973; technocracy was the spirit of the age. Our unitary nationhood began to be challenged through the devo-referendums of the late 70s; the referendum device itself was another innovation of that period. De-industrialisation followed in the 80s, and we were given a gig economy based on the low-pay, low-skill service sector. Then came Tony Blair's 'New Labour' revolution in the late 90s, and all but the most superficial vestiges of the old Britain were cast off. We entered the era of modern politics which we know all too well: debt and globalisation, unwanted wars, EU integration, devolutionary carve-up of the UK, mass immigration, unparalleled social disintegration and all the other ills which Blair and his fellow snake oil salesmen sold to the British public.
This is the Britain that today's youth have inherited. Gradually, over the past half-century the old functional society which we used to have was squandered and replaced with the modern mess. Today's youth are indoctrinated in a cultural Marxist (for want of a better term) education system from the point they learn to read and write; often as toddlers they are shovelled into nationalised daycare. Too many grow up in broken households; only half of children have married parents by the time they leave primary school. They have been left with an economy based on call centres, chain pubs and McJobs. They must take on thousands of pounds of student debt to attain higher education and enter adult life with that burden. House prices have skyrocketed ever since banks were very irresponsibly given the power to create money uninhibited in 1981. Old safeguards like social housing and rent controls are gone, while immigrants are prioritised for welfare. Today's youth, and particularly British working-class youth are the real casualties of the new order, stripped of any representation and left to their fate in a country with a social and economic landscape that seems increasingly alien and unrecognisable.
It is easy to have a go at today's youth - they spend too much time on Facebook and Netflix and dating apps and various other things that this author finds to be strange and uninteresting. We should never enter into an attitude of grievance and victimhood, or forget that it is ultimately the individual's responsibility to improve their own lot in life. But we should also remember that responsibility works both ways, and that just as an individual should work to be a benefit to society, so we should collectively seek to maintain a social order that nourishes such virtue and helps people to become functional, responsible citizens. A few decades ago we had that balance between individual responsibility and collective endeavour, and it was traded it away for a multicultural, debt-ridden, secularised, de-nationalised, atomised service sector mess. In doing so the political class betrayed our youth and our future as a nation; the time has come for the electorate to punish them for it.
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