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English society and values over the last 75 years. - History of England
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English society and values over the last 75 years.

riotsThe past 75 years in England including the London Riots in 2011

A change from a "Great Britain" to a country with a "feral underclass"
Quote from David Cameron, Prime Minister elected May 2010 in a statement after the English Summer Riots August 2011

In this section we look at:

  • The 2011 London Riots
  • The past 75 years in England
  • Issues which may have been significant in causing the many social changes described herein. But make up your own mind
  • The Second World War when significant economic and social changes were forced on the country and have largely remained ever since

Race, religion and Colour

The 2011 riots opened many public debates on the effects of growing minority Races and Religions in an established civilised society. This section of the web site summarises the points made during these debates. There is no intention to offend any section of the nation. Data was mainly collected from BBC and Channel 4 TV debates and the "Economist". The collapse of moral discipline over the last 70 years relates mainly to the established white members of society.

The 2011 London Riots

The riots in England in August 2011 caused Prime Minister David Cameron to describe Britain as a broken society having a feral underclass. A few weeks later he launched a campaign for tourists to visit Great Britain explaining why Britain was "Great" with pictures of the Tudor King Henry 8th who was an unattractive, fat, serial wife killer (five got rid of), and Winston Churchill perhaps the best thought of Prime Minister. Both men are generally studied in English schools and are also described in this web site.

This section of the web site expands on the August riots and the possible reasons for them, to put them in perspective within a "Great Britain".

A few introductory facts.

  • Sources Economist; BBC and Channel 4 TV
  • A feral underclass ?  (Feral = Wild, Untamed, Uncultivated, Brutal)
  • 80% of convicted rioters had at least one previous conviction.
  • 25% of convicted rioters had 10 previous convictions or more.
  • 60% of rioters came from depressed areas.
  • 24  years was the average age of rioters.
  • Tottenham in North London, where the riots started, has the largest % unemployment in London
  • Britain's Justice Minister, old timer Kenneth Clark said, this just pointed out that prison, which is supposed to punish and reform was clearly not working in showing the feral underclass a better way of life.

Were they race riots?

The trigger for the riots was the shooting of a black man by armed police as he, allegedly a crook and also allegedly armed, was allegedly trying to escape in a taxi.

Are black people more of a problem in England than other ethnic groups?

Black people are:

  • 2% of population of England and Wales
  • 10% of those permanently excluded from schools
  • 15% of the prison population
  • 25% of those who gain fewer than 5GCSE's at A---C grade. The 16 year old exam.
  • The police have posted much CCTV footage of the riots in the internet to enable the public to identify the rioters and the proportion of blacks seems to be at least 50%.
  • The majority of these blacks are from the Caribbean rather than African origins but no clear reasons for the feral nature of this group have been published.

THE 2011 SUMMER ENGLISH RIOTS

The riots which started in Tottenham in north London close by Spurs football ground in August were triggered by the shooting of a black man of around 26 years old by police marksmen as he was driving away in a taxi avoiding arrest. Allegedly he was a gangster. There are about 90 (some say nearer 250) well known gangs in London, and allegedly he fired the first shot at the police. There is no evidence to support that he even had a gun but the jury is still out as obviously it might have been quickly disposed of. There is a deep resentment amongst the ethnic black Caribbean community against the police. They feel just being black makes the police immediately suspicious of their activities.

It made matters worse that the police did not contact the shot black man's family to express their condolences for the loss of life. Within 24 hours London streets were full of every variety of ethnic class from traditional white through brown to black, male and female, (black males being the majority), rioting and looting in protest initially against the police for allegedly heavy handed actions and then in the absence of any obvious police reaction, these rioters looted as many desirable youth toys, like laptops, tablets and trainers they could lay their hands on. These looters were soon joined by other groups of youths who wanted to join in and steal anything available.  The British police are still known as one of the few forces in the world not armed unless there is an emergency and then only by a specially trained squad. Latterly the police have not been quick to react for fear of alienating the growing numbers of ethnic minority groups over the past 50 years.

The riots which took place late afternoon and through the night and took 2 days to spread through the majority of the normal London trouble spots which are mainly full of either poor Whites, Blacks, Muslims or Sikhs. (Note Jews and Chinese are no longer in the news as they seem to be finally accepted in British society.)

However there was little inter-ethnic fighting, mainly looting and torching with every man for himself. Various areas were targeted by gangs using Blackberry and other Social Networking gadgets to get large numbers of their gang members into specific areas where looting would be profitable.   The police seemed unable or unwilling to keep up, unable to hack into the Blackberry networks and were afterwards accused of acting too leniently and not being in the right places at any time. The looting was soon accompanied by setting light to cars and more frighteningly large department stores, large warehouses and small, vulnerable, interesting looking shops selling expensive youth desirables.

Neither the police nor the fire services seemed able or willing to get to the trouble spots. Fires burnt out of control, World War Two style, to the satisfaction of the arsonists. A good time was had by all. Indeed a white mother was caught on TV supporting her young son's looting activities. Asked "why don't you stop them" she said it was the only chance they had of getting the shiny goodies like lap tops, smart cell phones and trainers that they had always dreamed of! What has happened to the Christian Bible's Old Testament Ten Commandments?  Small shop owners mainly White, Pakistani or Sikh Indians had their life's work looted or torched, generally uninsured. (They will be compensated by tax payers through an old Victorian riot act law.) However Asian shop owners were observed to bring in their friends to protect their properties in the absence of any visible police protection. One wall of young Asian 'guards' was mown down and killed by a passing car clearly deliberately. This act did more than anything else to eliminate interethnic hatred because the father of one of the dead Asians (probably Pakistani) held an impromptu street meeting asking eloquently and movingly for peace and forgiveness for all.  The listening crowd were in tears and hugged each other. Two months after the event he was receiving love and condolences and admiration from around the world.

One of the most Victorian/Dickensian sights caught on public TV was a small Malaysian boy, in England for the first time, to take his place in a University, covered in blood from a head wound being helped to his feet by some hooded youths. Touching! But soon the scene changed to show the hooded gang was a throw-back to Dickensian' Fagan and Artful Dodger days as they skilfully pick pocketed the small Malaysian boys wallet and passport and other valuables from his rucksack.

Being in mid August all the important politicians were out of the country catching some holiday sunshine. This included Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Teresa May. They hurried back and took charge but the police already had it under control. In England the police can organise the deployment of forces as they wish and draft in support from all over England even though the police are regionally based by county. Nearly tripling the police numbers in London and authorising the use (but not implemented) of water cannons from Northern Ireland and rubber bullets seemed to do the trick. Very few large towns were not affected; the main trouble spots were London, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham. 1600 people had been arrested by the fourth day and the Magistrates courts were kept open all night to charge the arrested perpetrators. England has more CCTV facilities than any country in the world which made the police's job easier as recognisable faces could be easily spotted leaving stores with armfuls of valuable loot or suspicious looking fire starting tools.

The media has been quick to ask and attempt to answer the question "Why did this happen" in a country known for openness, freedom of speech and calm. The conclusion from both the Left and Right of society as noted from the broad sheets and serious TV debates was common. The now total lack of discipline in the family and in schools coupled with the police being hand cuffed by being afraid of alienating the ethnic minorities and poor, if they are seen to be too heavy handed.  The cuts in social welfare forced by the recession were not considered to be the cause as the pending cuts had yet to be implemented but everybody in England today (August 2011) is poorer than 6 months ago because of the rise in food, petrol and home heating prices.  The initial riot started after the police shooting of a black gangster. The apparent hatred of police by black men might have caused the initial violent reaction. This trait amongst black Caribbean youth was not originally reported in the press but became clear from the many TV group discussions when representatives from all the main sections of society were invited in to give their views. Black men clearly could not hold back their anger even on public TV.

Note

The word "community" describing a neighbourhood is relatively new in the English language. It describes an ethnic group rather than a geographical area. In London which is often described as a city of villages or earlier a city of parishes could now be described as a city of communities which could be Bangladeshi, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Jewish, Sikh, Turkish or White. Witnesses interviewed on TV endlessly referred to "protecting" or "supporting" their community.

Change in society and values over the last 75 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron having rushed back from holiday in Italy in August 2011 to deal with riots called England a "broken society". Is it? There has been a huge change in the values in British Society over the past 75 years with people over 75 who have lived through these changes agreeing with David Cameron.

A civilised society is based round a strict hierarchical structure coupled with respect and trust. TV soaps and police programs reflecting today's customs show a breakdown of both. Some people at the top end of the hierarchical pile like MPs are known to cheat on their expenses. Religious leaders who are paedophiles and teachers who dress to look like their pupils have broken the image of respect and trust.

Below lists many of the changes without trying to assess the main causes. Changes for women are certainly the greatest but it should be remembered however that these benefits for women started 100 years ago after the conservative Victorian period. The mood was expressed in the words of one of Cole Porter's many hit songs written more than 70 years ago "Anything goes" and sung beautifully by the then greats perhaps even the celebrities of yesterday the Italian American Frank Sinatra and the Black female American Ella Fitzgerald. "A glimpse of stocking was something shocking, so anything goes". The words imply that once little cracks appear in a moral code, there is trouble ahead. The implication is possibly, that once women let their morals slip men will be quick to follow.

Pre 1940 World War Two

1931 Great British Empire under threat.

The "Great" British started this period ruling over ¼ of the whole world with an Empire envied and coveted by the Japanese for its space and raw materials. The British remembered how 100 years previously the British Navy was larger than all other world Navies put together and how Britain made more steel than the rest of the world put together. Britain had been "The" super power and arrogantly still thought it was.

World War 2 saw the Japanese trying to take much of Britain's Empire in the East and almost simultaneously the Germans trying to invade England.

Britain won the war against both the Germans and the Japanese but only with the help of the world's actual super power the Americans together with the whole of the British Empire, the Russians and the Chinese. After the war Britain was bankrupt having borrowed so much money from the Americans for arms and food, paying it back was a crippling burden.

The British then knew they were no longer a Superpower but many still exhibited the arrogance of superiority. At least Brits still tried to set an example by "playing a straight bat" never cheating at cards and never having a mistress (at least keeping it quiet). The Englishman's word was still his bond and the world respected him for it. Children respected their parents and often feared their fathers as they did their teachers and the police.

There was to be a huge change.

A quick history, more details later and elsewhere.

Japan invades China (Manchuria). This is the first move by over populated Japan to gain new land and access to resources. The Japanese are particularly interested in the British Empire's territories of Malaya (Malaysia and Singapore) for their rubber for car tyres and the Naval port of Singapore and oil in Burma. At that time the US supplied 80% of all Japanese oil needs and the US also needed the rubber from these Brit territories.

1936 Germany invades France (Rhineland) then Austria and Czechoslovakia.

The Germans thought these were German territories with some justification.

1939 Hitler announces he is going to invade Poland to recover the original heartland of Germany (East Prussia) lost in the First World War. Great Britain says if you do, we will declare war. The English do not want another war as they are still recovering from the First World War which had only finished 20 years previously.

The German's in the mean time had secretly developed new tanks and aeroplanes and their new concept of Blitzkrieg where tanks and aircraft work in parallel for the first time. So they confidently invaded Poland.

Hence:

1940-50

Recapping from above; Great Britain went to war against the Germans in Europe and the Japanese in the Far East with the support of its Empire including Canada, Australia and India and won.

However the British Allies would not have won without the massive support from America. Those huge countries which the English ruled noticed how America was now the world powerhouse not England. Particularly the English had a huge Naval presence in Singapore to protect the Empire which the Japanese overran without firing a shot. Obviously the British Navy could no longer defend its far flung Empire and they wanted independence.

By 1945 England and her Allies had won the war but lost her empire. Britain was no longer Great and was also bankrupt and starving. But no Englishman was going to accept this particularly those who had been brought up in the Victorian or later Edwardian periods.

Britain had indeed lost its Victorian claim in having a Navy as powerful as all others put together 30 years previously when the German Navy drew level. German tanks were better than the British equivalents by the Second World War. German fighter aircraft could fly upside down due to their development of fuel injection and British Spitfires couldn't as they still had old fashioned "carbs". It was the Americans who dropped the first Atomic Bomb not the British.

But the British still claimed a moral high ground quite justifiably.

  • You could still trust an Englishman's word particularly if he was a Parson, Lawyer, Doctor or School Master but also if he was a business man and particularly a stock broker whose motto was my word is my bond. 85% of stock brokers did not know this motto in the year 2000
  • We did not murder 6 million Jews in cold blood. Indeed Jews lived happily in England which was not the case in mainland Europe.
  • The moral health of the nation was still bound by the rules of Christianity, the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes and St Paul. Thieving by kids was severely punished by parents which might include a sound beating with a cane. Sex outside marriage was very rare and if it resulted in a baby, mother and child were ostracised by society and would probably have to move out of the area.

In 1945 by today's standards, the nation was very old fashioned, poorly dressed but morally aware God fearing people, going to Church on a regular basis.

The man was the main wage earner, and his wife, if middle class not needing to work and employing a house cleaner. (Mrs Mop)

The Working classes

A clearly defined working, not under-class, existed who generally had no wish to improve their lot. They certainly did not have a car or washing machine or TV but a few had a telephone, a radio called a wireless and some even a vacuum cleaner probably a Hoover. The majority did not even have a bath with hot and cold running water. He and his wife would generally go out to work in the locality probably getting there by walking, push bike or bus. Women's work might be part-time with granny, who almost certainly lived within walking distance, helping to look after the kids. This family had probably lived in the area for generations and neither the man nor woman would generally have ventured more than 5 miles from their home. Working class, more often than not, meant doing unskilled work in the local factory. Jobs in factories were open to both men and women with distinctive differences between male and female work.

There was plenty of manual apprentice based work in the building trades in all towns, many having been flattened by the German bombs in World War Two. There was no underclass because in the factory there was work for the totally illiterate and hence no worries about leaving school not having learnt reading, writing and arithmetic.

Unmarried girls never cohabited with men or even went into a pub unaccompanied by a man unless they were a prostitute. By today's standards she would dress very modestly and wash infrequently. Indeed nearly all "dailies" (women cleaning middle class homes) and factory workers would suffer from serious BO (body odour). Women with these occupations (working class) would never think of shaving off underarm hair and with sleeveless overalls to keep them cool would not be embarrassed to reveal these hairy tufts. Hair do's were generally DIY and working class women were normally seen with an almost Muslim looking head scarf to hide their curlers. Some women with very elaborate hair styles might keep them in place for weeks never daring to wash their creations away. Working class women could generally afford a pair of stockings but to ensure they were undamaged while working would unhook them from their suspenders and roll them down to ankle height. Particularly unattractive.

Middle class girls washed but would bath only once or occasionally twice a week (less than 50% of homes even had a bath and post war households were supposed to limit water depths to 4 inches as coal for heating was so short ) and would not be seen dead outside the house in curlers. Head scarves were de rigeur, always worn while walking, riding their bikes or horses and going to church where a head/hair cover was almost mandatory. When they did wash their hair they used regular bars of soap as shampoo had not been invented.

Middle class girls did everything to hide the sexy bits of their bodies like bare shoulders, breasts, bums and legs above the knee. This required at least half sleeved blouses so if you raised your arm no unshaved underarm hair would ever be visible. The same blouses were always buttoned up to the neck to hide any suspicion of cleavage or shape of bosom. Bums were dealt with equally harshly by enclosing them in elasticised "roll ons" so individual bum cheeks could never catch the eye of any interested male. Remember the Cole Porter song "a glimpse of stocking is something shocking".

Young men had no idea what a nude girl actually looked like. There was only one source of pictures of female nudity generally available, the black and white magazine "Health and Efficiency" allegedly showing girls who were interested in healthy Nudist Clubs. Pubic hair was, by law, airbrushed away. But of course boys and young men spent many hours trying to get a glimpse of some part of the forbidden areas. As the majority of the population could not afford to go to the sea to swim these feminine mysteries were maintained often until marriage. Indeed sex before marriage was almost non existent so couples married much earlier in order to satisfy their sexual urges, quickly having babies thus cutting short any blossoming career for girls. Indeed very few girls ever thought about a career.

Academic standards in schools were higher than in the present day for the middle classes in core subjects based on the five subject "School Certificate". Maths particularly would include simultaneous quadratics and integral calculus for 15 years olds and even 13 year old boys in private schools. Generally first year university was no more advanced than a good 6th form. Latin was still studied widely as would be Scripture which was the title given for the study of the Bible. Hence a clear moral code based on the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes were drummed into everybody. (Thou shalt not steal or commit adultery and one must love thy neighbour as thyself). It was taught that God was always up there in heaven, not only looking after you, so you prayed when frightened, but also checking on any misdemeanour which he/she might immediately punish for, example, causing you to miss the bus or starting a rain shower or worse your girl/boy friend going off you. Potential God punishments were endless. And indeed anything that went wrong was probably due to God seeing you stepping off the straight and narrow. This was a huge incentive to keep to the bible moral codes of practice. This concept of God's power would be taught by one,s parents, teachers and of course the Vicar in his weekly sermon.

Girls did not go to university unless they were very very bright, (called Blue Stockings) only some 2% of the university population in fact. (Now over 50%). Middle class girls worked in offices, very often as secretaries, or in the typing pool, took shorthand and typed endless letters or became teachers but got married between the ages of 20 and 25. A girl still unmarried at 30 was considered "on the shelf". Many of this middling class of girl could afford a car probably an old banger maintained at home by their boy friend and then husband. (There being no MOT, rust buckets held together with fibre glass were very affordable and did not go fast enough to be lethal.) Young middle class wives soon produced kids as contraceptives were unreliable.

Middle class mothers would think it their duty before school age to teach their little darlings to read and write a few letters, dress themselves, and do what they were told without argument. Working class and Catholic girls were often married with kids before they were 20. Kids who got into trouble were beaten either by mum or dad or sent to their bedroom and forfeited their pocket money. Bedrooms would never have a TV or even a radio. Also at school boys were beaten. Indeed most masters (Male teachers were called masters then) were often seen prowling the class room with a weapon (like a ruler) to chastise bad behaviour before it got out of hand. Time for teaching in class would be better than 90% whereas today it can be less than 20% due to continuous chat and disruption.

Sport in private boarding schools was king. A keen boy at boarding school might do 5 sports three afternoons a week, viz: Athletics, some field event, rowing in an eight, swimming, boxing and tennis! Colours for team events like rowing or rugby would be presented by the relevant captain to the individual in front of the whole school after morning prayers. The whole school applauded but this enthusiasm did not extend to academic achievement. Boxing was still taken seriously, no head protection was worn but the boxing master who was probably ex army would stop a fight if somebody landed a heavy well timed head punch. Boxing would commence with 11 year olds right through to 18 and the skills in marshal arts which might also include jujitsu (a violent judo) were handy against bullies and street aggressors. Boys at private schools played rugby and in state schools they played what posh boys called soccer and others called football.

At this time there was a huge difference between what was considered suitable sport for girls compared with boys. In the 1948 Olympics in London women did not run any distances longer than 800 meters and certainly not marathons. Pole vaulting then dominated by the Americans was considered impossible for females who would not have been thought to have the gymnastic ability nor upper arm strength. However the writing was on the wall when one, 30 year old Dutch mother of two, Fanny Blankers-Koen, won 4 gold medals and did not compete in the two events she held the world records (High Jump and Long Jump). Up to this time winning your event would be your aim both at school level and afterwards. Coming second or worse was a failure.

Hierarchical structures were respected even though the head of a section or group might be considered suspect or weak or even an idiot.  In England the Queen and the Prime Minister sat on top of the hierarchical pile and before 1960 were almost beyond reproach as were vicars, doctors, teachers and in many families, parents. If a Member of Parliament, vicar or member of the royal family had a mistress it would not be reported in the papers. There was a code of silence to protect the reputation of those in power. (Very dangerous as has been discovered recently with abusive Catholic paedophile Priests). Very few people had cars so did not travel far nor did they have TV and hence did not see how the better off lived. And vice versa.  

Certainly TV then was only in the minority of homes as they were as expensive as cars. There was no TV advertising and viewers were therefore not subject to powerful messages telling them to buy things they could not afford. Credit cards also did not exist and therefore there was no temptation to borrow money for those inviting consumer items you could see in a shop window. The culture was "save for a rainy day". Buying what you had not saved for was almost non existent (exception a house).

Finally the British population was almost 100% white. In 1950 a game played by middle class families passing through London by car might be counting black men. Travelling east west through South London, keen eyed kids might count up to a maximum of 3 black people. There were ethnic minority areas notable for Jews and a few Chinese but these people are white and hence don't stand out. Jews by that time had generally changed their names to sound more English as did the smaller grouping of Poles whose surnames were otherwise unpronounceable to the English.

1950-60

This social and economic state of affairs largely lasted through to 1960. The exception being with popular music, which had often originated in America and had been very tuneful, slowish and romantic until the mid '50s with the introduction of "rock and roll", e.g. famously the first was Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel. Dancing to music changed from strict ballroom dancing where the dominant male who always initiated an invitation to dance, lead the demure girl round the dance floor to the beat from a 3 to 6 piece band, (piano, base, saxophone, violin etc) holding her to maintain contact face on and belly to belly, (the only intimate physical contact a girl and boy might ever have.) This changed to jive dancing (initially introduced to England by American forces during the war) where it was quite possible for the girl to get on the dance floor and do her own thing.

This was a revolution. Girls were obviously better at wiggling their hips to the faster beat music than boys and enjoyed showing off as much of their bodies as they dared. This was generally limited to their upper thighs as they spun to let their skirts fly as high as possible. This of course required the removal of bottom concealing roll-ons but did not encourage any lowering of the neckline where the sight of a cleavage was still vulgar.

By this time the rationing of food and clothing was history (ended 1954) so girls got slightly more curvaceous and their dresses, probably still home made, could be made more colourful and flattering.

1960-80

The watershed.

Over this period it seemed life was turned upside down. ("The world has gone mad today, blacks white today"; Cole Porter again).

Some of the main causes were:

Factories in London and later most other large southern cities almost disappeared. There were suddenly very few factories to employ the masses of unskilled and poorly educated workers. (Today's underclass) This was not immediately apparent as London had full employment in the '60s. Those made redundant were soon re-employed by another factory. This removal of factories was due to serious unemployment in the north of England, particularly round old coal mining areas which were shutting.

The Government of the time bribed (paid cash grants) to large manufacturers to move from London to the Newcastle area for example.Some redundant female factory workers moved into offices. Large offices were being created where unskilled girls from factories could get a job in the copying department for example, (as copiers had just been invented) if they washed, wore a nice dress, did not wear a headscarf and shaved their underarm hair. Many of these girls were very pretty and were quickly being dated by wealthier middle class males in spite of their marked incomprehensible Cockney accents.

These girls were quick to try out the new riskier fashion of the day, the mini skirt. From office skirts normally below knee length to a mini skirt designed to reveal the whole of a girl's thigh was a revelation. Men could not believe their luck and office productivity fell. Some offices banned them. But girls revelling in the increased attention broke the bans. Stockings could not be worn as the skirts revealed both the top of the stocking and the bottom of the suspender. Thus the product called tights was invented. (At much the same time the bikini was invented in France. It's most famous wearer was the French actress Brigitte Bardot who was happy to expose most of her perfectly proportioned petite body.)

Education.

Nobody noticed that with the demise of the factory the needs for education had changed. It was now mandatory to be able to read and comprehend, write reports, understand numbers and speak clearly so people from different classes and regions could understand each other. (In a factory there was generally so much noise that talking might be a waste of time.) Schools did change at this time from Grammar for bright kids and Secondary Modern for the less bright to Comprehensive, a one for all solution. Unfortunately neither Secondary Modern nor Comprehensives taught those from working class backgrounds the skills for office work or business or technical creative skills like the new requirement for computers. Courses for technical skills with exams like HNDs were very good but looked down on in a class ridden society because they were studied at night school.

There should have been an easy route for more apprenticeships in science and engineering and new practical courses in numeracy, writing and communication skills for the less intelligent.The move to larger and generally high rise smarter offices were often needed to house new very large computers run on thermionic valves which might take up a whole floor. Those who wrote the software for these monsters certainly got nothing from school to help them. Clever men generally figured it out for themselves. The majority of these software engineers were either accountants who are often good at maths or mathematicians from university. The pay was very good. However many staff became redundant in payroll and sales invoicing departments which was where the computers were first used.

100 girls might be replaced by 10 men in the computer room.(The hardest hit were often female and the elderly who had spent a lifetime in the comptometer department using mechanical machines for endless calculations.)

At this time the transistor was invented in the US (New York Bell Labs). The solid state transistor and then the integrated circuit enabled the digital revolution. The first product to hit the stores was the American Zenith radio, the first pocket sized gadget for the mass consumer. Portable, noisy pocket entertainment for everybody. Actually they were expensive, two would buy a second hand car. The next was the pocket calculator. The first digital toy for adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing. For those making little portable batteries profits rocketed.

The teaching of maths now needed an overhaul as the vital discipline of simple arithmetic which was the core of numeracy now seemed redundant. Before calculators adding and subtracting long lists of numbers in ones head was the norm as were endless percentage calculations which created the feel for numbers so lacking today. Without the invention of the transistor we would not have laptops, tablets and smart phones or even the internet.TV; the 60s saw the almost universal deployment of colour TV. Also the introduction of additional commercial channels to the BBC financed by advertising. (The first Ad was for Gibbs SR tooth paste.)

Jealousy and envy amongst the poor became rife as they were exposed to the apparently vital needs for a luxury life very persuasively. Suddenly a car, a holiday in Spain, a refrigerator and a washing machine which the majority did not have became a must have; but how to pay for it? The credit society did not yet exist.The government saw the need to change what and how kids learnt in school. Education changed from disciplined rote learning with a teacher standing in front of the class wearing smart clothes to show he or she was different, should be respected and in charge, to a teacher who wanted to be friends with the pupils to ensure they were creative by being no longer intimidated. This started the trend for teachers to wear casual cloths, perhaps no longer a tie.

The hierarchical signals for discipline were to be abandoned at huge cost. Homework previously a norm and which allowed parents to check if the kids were working was now only occasionally ask for. Similarly competitive sport was discouraged as it was thought that those who lost would lose their enthusiasm to try hard in class. Boys who thrived on sport and who saw (tough) men's work like digging coal from mines and making steel or cars disappear, lost their interest in doing anything other than being disruptive. Education standards collapsed and have not yet recovered. It is interesting to note that possibly as a result, but at about this time, for the first time boys were seen to cry if they lost or were hurt. It was so frequent that the phrase "cry baby" was dropped.

The credit fuelled society commenced. This ended the discipline of spending less than you earn and of saving for big expenses like family holidays.

Credit cards.

These enabled, even encouraged people to buy what they could not afford. They were not the first method of easy borrowing , savings clubs were first but credit cards with their penal borrowing rates took over and the market got out of control.The Pill. The first reliable form of contraception for women. This enabled women to plan their life around work and making money rather than having kids and removed the stigma of employing women in key jobs because they were sure to leave to have a baby. This hugely increased the income of a couple who now could cohabit without getting married, and enabled families to buy many more of the desirables advertised on TV. House mortgage companies were to move to allowing both the husband and wife's income to be taken into account when buying a house. This initially eased house purchase but unfortunately fuelled house inflation.

The Pill virtually eliminated the deterrent of having a baby out of wedlock and allowed men and women the freedom to have sex at any time with any passing fancy. A lasting life long marriage would become almost a thing of the past. It also encouraged wide scale teenage sex as the horror of teenage pregnancy was all but eliminated.House value inflation. After 1960 the price of a house which had been fairly static for 50 years or more commenced to rise steadily and occupiers found it easy to persuade banks to lend them an increased mortgage on the apparent extra wealth in their houses. This put cash in the house owners hand which was on top of his earnings.

The (immoral?) credit fuelled society had arrived.

1980-today

This 30 year period simply followed on from the freedoms generated by the pill, the credit fuelled society, and the changes in schooling procedures, all of which originated in and around the '60s. Britain never got back to being Great, had lost it's manufacturing base and many of it's manufacturing entrepreneurs. Indeed sciences and engineering are still unpopular subjects in schools and universities.

A summary

Here we look at the cornerstones of a Great civilised society to summarise what has changed mainly since the '60s

Hierarchical structures;  a corner stone of civilisation.

A general respect of hierarchical structures both at home and in the work place has weakened and in some places has disappeared all together. The best example of where it has to work is in the army and now following the end of National Military Service in the '50s there is no model for all males to experience. A teenager's respect for his elders, parents or teachers is by '50s standards non existent and hence a disciplined or orderly society is difficult.

Trust

It is very important in life and in business to know who you can trust. Who you can  trust to do what they are told and even perhaps achieve more than you expect. Can you trust what your parents, boss, teacher, priest is saying? Can you agree a business deal  without a lawyer to check every paragraph? The expression "an Englishman's word is his bond" is no longer used or even valid. Currently you can no longer trust your priest, MP, some newspapers or even the BBC. You are lucky if you can trust your boss and even your husband or wife, not to mention the audited accounts of public limited companies. This makes for an uncomfortable worrying world. The change was most marked in the 1990s and afterwards with the dotcom boom and bust and the newspaper hacking scandals.

Modesty, humility and courtesy.

Great men and women are greater when they exhibit these characteristics. Jesus was probably the best example, and those brought up in the Christian faith were taught to be likewise. Men exhibited these characteristics when dealing with women and vice versa. This all changed in the '60s and onwards. More and more men behaved like louts and teenage girls were worse perhaps because they thought being equal they needed to beat boys at their own game.

Many girls stopped being modest particularly in their dress. The mini dress has been mentioned before but this was soon to be followed by the plunging neckline. In the '80s it would still be expected of women to dress modestly in the office. A neckline should still not reveal any cleavage. Now anything goes. In the '50s breasts were only displayed to husbands unless you were a whore.

 


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