Britain Disintegrating Like Spit on a Hot Griddle

On the Mat: Can the Bulldog Pull Through?

Britain Today: A Mad-Hatter's Tea Party

Britain Disintegrating Like Spit on a Hot Griddle

Those who care, weep for this once great nation, now little more than a shadow of its former self.

Almost within living memory, the sun literally never set on part of this huge empire somewhere on the planet. But as the United States had done, as our Commonwealth nations came of age themselves, they threw off the British yoke, one forged by some of the most stupid and mendacious officials it would be possible to comprehend.

But all this is ancient history to one and all today. Britain, after the two Wars, enjoyed a long period of prosperity supplying those nations now going it alone with goods and services while their own fledgling industries grew in place.

Now, there is little they really need from us. Quality in other lands has outstripped that at home; we now import far more consumer goods and basics than we export, as we weakly mumble about Rolls Royce’s and Bentleys. The world’s attention is not on Britain - or most of Europe - any more. The action is in Asia and South America; China and Brazil are the empires of the future.

But in their cases, they have the size to enable their holdings to increase inside their national boundaries. For a while, conquering other lands is not on the menu.

Britain seems to be a nation polarized between a government - and its charismatic leader, David Cameron, who remain upbeat, in public at least. And those who can see what is really happening on the high streets of their towns and cities.

Businesses are folding their tents in droves with the staff taking up unemployment assistance in many cases.

Instead of grocers, butchers, clothing stores, markets and all the rest, like some poisonous swarm of killer bees, pawn shops, betting emporiums and charity shops have moved in to all the high-rent high street shop fronts. (Yes, charity shops are not all sweetness and light, either…just check on what their executives pull down in salaries and where much of the donated stuff goes).

To a large extent, this is down to the proliferation of the super-markets, led by rapacious Tescos‘. But even these giants are hurting now; Tesco publicly declared its unease this week and they may soon be laying off workers never mind increasing.

The poor and marginalized, including three million or so state pensioners, have been forced against the wall by inflation.

Every day 10 senior citizens die from lack of heating (last year). This in one of the world’s once most respected First World countries.

Everywhere you look there is institutional or corporate greed, often to the point of being criminal. Yet these sociopaths are never brought up short by the government.

Now, we have just authorized a high-speed rail service to run from London to Birmingham…the cost? Between 32 and 50 billion pounds, depending on how cynical (realistic) is your thinking. (This amount includes it carrying on further north).

This is a train to do 250 mph just to travel around 200 miles! It will take it 20 miles to get up to speed and another 20 to de-accelerate and that doesn‘t include stops…you work out the math; they will never get it up to speed.

We now have train tickets among the highest in the world, and ten times the lowest in Europe! It means that just to travel 20 miles, from the ‘burbs into Central London, costs close to $150! When you see season tickets from this journey going for about $6000 dollars, you know we’re in the middle of the Mad-Hatter’s tea party!

Our much vaunted Olympic preparations creak along. Tickets are sold and recalled; hardly any of the top events have been available for ordinary British citizens. Betting has raised its ugly head; there are fears over event fixing which is almost impossible to stop. In the last few years, this evil malaise has spread into cricket, soccer and snooker, with players being fined and jailed. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Like drinking during prohibition, governments have Buckley’s chance of stopping it.

Our petrol (gas) and costs of running a car are becoming unaffordable for anyone earning less than $30,000 a year.

My small Suzuki costs $150 per year in road tax; $350 in insurance, $100 mot (roadworthiness certificate…plus any repairs needed). Then our petrol is about $2 PER LITRE as I write, most of this going in tax to Westminster. It will soon be dearer than Scotch!

The government levies a huge fee for students going on to university, another band-aid solution. They do not have to pay the money back (plus interest) until they get a job earning more than 50,000 pounds (about 80,000 dollars) a year. Most do not get jobs like this which means a huge debt is accumulating which the tax-payers (again) will have to cover. Add it to the roughly 1500 dollars each household will be charged for the high speed rail, the amount we are still paying to bail-out banks, the huge sums our overseas military swallow, that we feel obliged to send to India and Africa (the first nation just about to venture into space!). Our local councils have just been restrained from fining householders up to 1000 pounds for making a mistake with their trash collection!…you get the picture.

Britain is like a cancer-ridden bulldog, its sides hollow and heaving for breath; its head nearly touching the ground.

We are not like the United States: that huge nation still has resources to carry it through its own bad times (as does Canada and Australia)… It is still strong and will not be bullied. Britain is more like the cur who shows its teeth, then slinks away, tail between its legs and hides behind the strength of its friends. We have lost the empire; we have lost our power; we have lost the respect once accorded to all things British; much of our businesses, utilities and other infrastructure is foreign owned. What is worse, we have lost of belief in our institutions to get us through these times.

We can’t make up our minds whether we want to be part of Europe or not; we have abandoned them (the Euro block) in their fight to avoid disintegration. We trumpet about how wise we were not to join the Euro; it was really only a matter of luck. Our erstwhile friends are contemptuous of us: France, Germany, Holland. All nations whom, although in trouble too, have a solid manufacturing base to turn to, and exports to supply the rising stars of China and Brazil, etc., if they can only help the lame dogs - like Greece, Portugal and Eire (Ireland) get through this recession.

Many say Britain is still in recession; they say the fact that we still retain the Standard and Poor’s triple-star credit rating is a political scam, aided and abetted by the US. France, (which was downgraded this week), is absolutely furious, saying with excellent reason, it is far more stable than “The Rosbiffs!”

The answer will be, I’m afraid, more warfare as a desperate world eyes the oil reserves and draconian limits placed by the Middle East producers.

By then we shall be lucky to have a few rusty old rifles!…and the ‘States may decline to bail us out again, unless it is politically expedient to do so.

There is more…much, much more, but I hope you at least have damp eyes by now.

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Comments 21 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Things are not as rosy here in the states as you seem to think either. Nothing is ever said about the thousands of homeless people all across this country created by the bank heist of 2008. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were talking about the U.S., except here there is no welfare for the vast majority of people experiencing hard times.


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Very interesting- voted up. But, while Britain's fate is dire-- I have to agree with Au fait. Your petrol prices are terrible compared to the States, but the U.S. problems are otherwise just as bad or worse and the middle class here have very few recourses. Lose your job here? You've also lost your health care. Talk about university costs? Our young people start their working careers with $50,000 - $150,000 debt. Any hint of increasing safety nets is met with cries of "socialism" which, over here in the minds of many, equates to "communism". Whether it can afford the high-speed rail or not, at least you're investing in the future. In Iowa alone there are thousands of bridges in need of repair. Our governor, in this election year, will not even allow a $0.10 increase in the tax on a gallon of gas to fund infrastructure so it will be up to the homeowners to pay it with increased property taxes-- although the governor is pushing to reduce property taxes on corporations. Corporations are everything in this great land-- everything is about next quarter's profits. They don't care that, without a middle class, their profits will fall in the future.

Still, I really enjoyed your article-- misery loves company? I think, though, we can agree that the ordinary citizen in both countries is pretty much screwed.


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

I totally gave you an AWESOME for this one, Bob. Yes, how the might have fallen. My heart bleeds. I loved the old British culture - of gentlemen and ladies, of fair play and honest intellectual inquiry. All gone. It was a victim of its own success. As is the United States. When I left the UK in 2003 for the US, it was because I had worked out that the US would fall, but it would fall later than the UK. Unhappily, I didn't realize how close to falling the US was. It's closer than you think. With half (and climbing) of its people in poverty, no manufacturing, and a very divided nation, things are not good. No, we don't have the yob culture, and our pavements are not filled with spittle and gum, but no doubt, in its own way, another decade will make things look very different here. What was that about Mexico?


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Au fait: Yes, I know the problems are bad in the US as well; but the welfare you talk about cannot be sustained and is being cut all the time. You just can't run an economy for ever on smoke and mirrors. Just look at the population difference though...what do you have, 10 people per square mile? Britain has 700 people per square mile! It's the basic resources that will finish us Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Unamed Harald. Same as my answer to Au fait. Yes, we are used to free health care, but it cannot continue like this much longer. And it is slowly edging into being private again with free care just for the really poor. Like your own service really. But it is remarkable just how similar our woes are, except we are the mouse that squealed; I suppose you are the lion with a thorn in its paw. Thanks for visit Bob


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 4 years ago

Oh say it isn't so, Bob. The United States is that formerly beautiful, aging debutante whose plastic surgery is starting to give... Word is the US Gov't is beginning to lease government property. The toilet itself is worth more than the US dollars being flushed everyday ;-).

Got a friend from Wales who might (or might not) like seeing this article. Thanks!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

It's my cave in Baja...no central heating (or cooling) plenty of arachnids (delicious), raw fish for lunch, no smog, crowds, stink, you can see the stars (hole in roof) cleaning done by cockroaches. I could go on...interested! Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi A hostage...Well, it's so, and worse (here). Scotland is trying to break from England, I expect Wales will be next. There not good at much: exporting singers (Tom Jones) and seducing sheep!

"Dickydiebobee!" Say that to him or her Bob


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

No damp eyes here Mr. Diogenes. We lay our own beds ...

Great article though! I suppose we need "problems" in life in order to learn lessons. Let's see if there were any lessons learned lol

Thanks for putting this together. Raising awareness is probably the most important thing now, since many people are misinformed.

All the best!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Superb article, Bob, and one that does sadden me. I also see certain parallels to the states -- in more ways than one. I think of the plight you write about, and foresee the same fate for the US – sooner than many think. I also agree with your assessment of the Middle East; why foreign nations are there to begin with. Foresight is not a word that the leaders of today –or of the past – are very familiar with.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Bob, seems you are seeing the enemy the states will see them much the same way, your out of resources, We are being screwed by the obama machine with holding resources in easy reach to help your world and jump start our own, they ain't giving in until they run old Dixie down and folks bend for bread and bologna, I ain't bending,

All the best,

dusty


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Hi Bob ... pretty depressing thoughts about the UK but only because we are a small island and are sinking under the weight of our population. There will be no winners from this financial Armageddon, Bob. Not even the newly emerging nations will be able to prosper for long as the industrial westernised societies will become too poor to be able to buy the goods they export.

We have all just lived too high on the hog for too long ... such constant consumerism, the constant exhortation to buy our way out of fiscal crises was unsustainable in the long term. God knows where we all go from here ...

Even the most erudite economists are beginning to think we should all get back to growing our own veg. - and when the oil runs out we will all need to be able to walk to whatever work we can find.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

Well, one thing to be grateful for, is that England isn't being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Interesting reading, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

It seems like the entire world of governments is becoming a mess. Like dominoes, one topples and they all start to fall. I gained a lot of insight with your hubs, like this one. Learning about your corner of the world is always enlightening. Keep up the good work! Like it very much.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Looks like trouble is all around, lots of complaining here in the US as well. Many folks, like Dusty up there (hi, Dusty), seem to blame OBama, when corporations run/own the country, money is made by borrowing on a large scale, then laying off workers so the top people can grab huge bonuses, hike up the stock. When the debt comes up, trash the business and run. Back in the 50's, the taxes on the wealthy were much higher than now. The top earners scream that taxing them more will kill jobs, but they pay less tax now than since 1929, and we all know how that went. It's a big mess all around. At least the internet gives us the opportunity to commiserate.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi to the followig kind enough to comment. I have had computer troubles and have just been notified of you visits, so please excuse not replying individually as I usually do

Mr Happy

Genna East

Dusty

Angie

Tipoague

Bobbi R

Dolores.

I have read all your comments with interest

Bob


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Bob, interesting hub. I live in North East England, once a great mining and shipbuilding region, now we have nothing except Nissan in Sunderland. My town has an architectural gem of a town hall, grand in every sense and people must look at it and look at our main street with its Poundland and charity shops and wonder what went wrong. It was built in 1901 when we still were a prosperous town but I totally agree with you - we have disintegrated to this - so sad.


The Writers Dog 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this, Bob. Not everyone in the Commonwealth has turned their back on Britain. I am extremely proud of the British part of my heritage, and am also saddened by what is happening across Britain. As the song says, "There'll always be an England."


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Jools and Writer's Dog: I have read your comments with interest and I thank you for them

Bob


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

Great article, Bob! I think it helps to have a bit of age to completely appreciate this article. Many do not remember how different it once was before both Britain and the US began to be raped and plundered by The-Powers-That-Be.

Where has all of the money gone which once was used by the common folk to have a bit of security in their lives? Extorted out of the economy, of course, and it will only get worse, I fear! I remember.....

SSSSS


diogenes 4 years ago

I see a bad moon rising, Randy...thanks for visit

Bob

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