Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I wonder how much of Brexit enthusiasm is due to media coverage of the 1960s and 70s through rose colored glasses.

There's lots of romanticism of stuff like The Beatles, James Bond, Austin Powers, Carnaby Street, hippies, etc. might distract people from the 1970 reality: cold, damp, tiny flats, interminable bus rides, lousy pay, synthetic fabric clothing, holidays in Skegness, narrow roads jammed with little Minis and Cortinas with "L" plates...

What might change some minds would be widespread reminders/education about what it was actually like in Britain from, say, 1967 to 1976. For example, if every time you turned on the TV there was a show about the reality of housing, employment, social welfare, etc. during that time. With a reminder: "Brexit, taking us back to 1965. Have some tinned peas with your meat paste!"

by asdf on Sun Nov 24th, 2019 at 08:12:08 PM EST
Were you, perchance, in the UK between 1965 and 1976?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2019 at 05:18:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf was on holiday in Skegness.

(Which, for having experienced it, I admit is pretty soul-destroying).

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2019 at 07:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland was pretty dire as well and the occasional visit to London or working in a pea canning factory in Spalding didn't add much to the experience!

But poverty is relative: "we didn't know we were poor until the social worker told us". When a night out was take-away chips, and if you were feeling wealthy, fish AND chips you didn't miss the fact that some people, not in your social circle, ate out in one of the few fancy restaurants of the time.

More recently charity workers have been drawing the poverty line at 45 inch TV's - they report that charity recipients won't accept anything less, and broadband will soon become a human right. It is the growth of inequality that is the most pernicious together with rationed access to essential healthcare and educational services. Overcrowding on public transport is the new norm and public housing a rarity.

In the 1950's JK Galbraith invented the phrase Private opulence and public squalor" to describe this growing disparity, and for a time - up to the Reagan Thatcher era - serious efforts were made to to reduce it. It's been downhill ever since.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 25th, 2019 at 10:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The New Industrial State (1968) covers much of the same ground as Galbraith's 1958 work, The Affluent Society, but substantially expands and extends those ideas.

The Predator State: how conservatives abandoned the free market and why liberals should too is a book by economist James K. Galbraith, first published in 2008. The title refers to how in US society, as Galbraith sees it, public institutions have been subverted to serve private profit: the "predators" being corporate elites. He argues that these corporate interests run the state "not for any ideological project--but simply in a way that would bring to them, individually and as a group, the most money."

The European Union as a servant to private business by demanding competition in public utilities and transport. Did Brussels take it too far?

Capitalism has invaded democracy - supercapitalism by Robert Reich in 2008
Economics Is Too Important to Be Left to Economists
Individual and Institutional Corruption in European and US Healthcare: Overview and Link of Various Corruption Typologies

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon Nov 25th, 2019 at 06:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by asdf on Tue Dec 3rd, 2019 at 04:49:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dire as it was, that period also offered affordable housing, decent free education, and adequate health care.

Some of the music wasn't bad either.

Brexit is more likely to take the country back to the 1870s, when things weren't quite so rosy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 25th, 2019 at 09:32:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series