Saturday, 26 January 2019

40 Years On?

Notice that there has been nothing, absolutely nothing at all, to mark the fortieth anniversary of "the Winter of Discontent".

Half the population was born after it, and much of the rest will have been too young to have had any political consciousness. But ask the rest about it. 

Specifically, ask them about anything horrible that happened, either to them personally, or to anyone whom they knew personally. Then wait, either for the pronounced evasiveness, or for the deafening silence.

Yet that is supposed to have been the culmination of decades of "post-War decline". Decades of what? Was the general population worse off on the eve of the 1979 Election than it had been 40 years earlier, on the eve of the Second World War?

No, the problem was that the general population was no longer so much poorer than the people who set the terms of debate. To those people, things had been seemlier in the 1930s.

Why, with the economic autonomy that is not sufficient, but is nevertheless necessary, for political participation, the common people were even starting to set some of the terms of debate. For themselves. Such "decline" could not be permitted to carry on.

And it was not permitted to carry on. But the world turns. Notice that there has been nothing, absolutely nothing at all, to mark the fortieth anniversary of "the Winter of Discontent".

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