Has Britain gone to the dogs?


photo by Arthur Guy via PhotoRee

It would seem so wouldn’t?

Riots, the economy, the state of our armed forces that are being cut regularly, political scandals and more. The UK hasn’t had good press the last few years has it? Unemployment levels are at a record high, the housing market is in a state and British weather, lets face it, is rubbish!

Is it time to pack up and leave for more prosperous and possibly warmer climates? Some have already decided to leave the UK and start again elsewhere.

Would I consider emigrating and starting fresh? Absolutely not and here is why. Britain is struggling a bit but she’s ours and I’m proud, despite recent and well documented events, to be called a Brit. We have some great things here that get forgotten in the presence of not-so happy times. The NHS for one. Yes they are understaffed and the system isn’t perfect, but who else can boast that they have access to free and quality healthcare 24hrs a day? The NHS has been a godsend for me and my family on several occasions.

Our armed Forces, police service, firefighters and other emergency services do an absolutely stellar job. The Riots were a terrible time for all but were a shining example of how our boys and girls in blue can really pull it together.

The community spirit you see on a daily basis, not just the publicised times such as, again, the riots or during floods, can be heart-warming. Down at the core we have what is important.

The riots, so fresh in my mind are an easy example, and the opinions that our youth is damned, they they are “all” less than they should be saddened me. The majority of Britain’s youths were not involved in rioting, we have not got a damaged generation that will bring our country to it’s knees in a few years. There are shining examples everywhere of fantastic undertakings from our younger society members. Don’t write them off just yet!

Are we irreparably damaged? No, I don’t think so. Despite our troubles we are much better off than many countries and if you look back at history we’ve risen and fallen over time but have always picked ourselves up as a country, dusted ourselves down and soldiered on. Yes change needs to happen, and little by little it will, although possibly not as quickly as we’d like, but we’ll get there again. We don’t have a great empire anymore, we don’t own half our natural resources anymore but we do have something very special that no-one can sell on, our pride.

It’s called Great Britain for a start folks and I for one am proud to call myself a Brit.


Wrapped in humour it’s still intolerance!

Yesterday when queueing in the bank I came across a local man I know called R, who I affectionately describe an an oddball. I’ve known him and his wife for many years and they have a child at Kieran’s school. R is completely harmless, and extremely intelligent in his own way. I’m not 100% sure of the history but I believe R does have some mental health issues.

Anyway, in the bank…. R was ahead of me in the queue. He turned and asked me if I’d ever kept ferrets. “No, I can’t say as I have R” I smiled, “Well it’s something you need to do before you die” he replied, “Well, I’ll put it on my list R” and on it went, harmless banter. When it was his turn, he went to the window and quoted a proverb to the girl behind the desk, he was there not 20 seconds and I doubt it’s the first time he’s done this. He smiled, wished the girl a fantastic day and went on his way.

Not the most “usual” banking experience, but no harm done. It’s what happened after that made me so angry. As soon as he left, everyone started laughing, poking fun at him, questioning the girl behind the desk who was now dealing with my query… you get the picture. I could feel my neck then my cheeks getting red. “Ha ha, did you see….“, “Seriously, what is he doing?“, “What was the point in that hahaha”.

I lost my temper a little. “He isn’t doing anyone any harm!!!” accompanied with scowls all around. It went quiet for a moment. I finished my transactions and left, the door hadn’t quite shut when I heard it start again.

For two pins I could have gone back in and really let rip, but I didn’t. I imagine if I had gone back in and accused them all of being intolerant, discriminatory, picking on someone with a disability they would have been aghast, and protested fiercely. You see, prejudice, intolerance, discrimination, and bullying are all dirty words and no-one takes part in any of that, not at all, never, what a thought! But you know they do, by laughing, by poking fun, by being generally unkind. Isn’t it the same thing? Perhaps I am over-thinking this, after all – he didn’t hear them laughing at him so what is the harm?

Personally I think it boils down to how society works nowadays. Discrimination is not acceptable so it rarely happens openly, but frequently occurs behind closed doors, under breaths, wrapped up in laughter. It’s still the same ugliness, just with different packaging.

Do you see this “behaviour” in your everyday life? Has it become so veiled or worse, normal, that you barely notice it anymore? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

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