Broken Britain has beem a common cry from the Conservatives party. Before 1997, Labour claimed much the same thing. Perhaps the rhetoric of decline hits the right notes if politicians want to come to power, yet I can’t help but agree with their diagnosis. Broadly speaking, there is something wrong with British society.
I doubt the sense of Britain being broken is particularly new. I have a feeling that things have been bad at least since the end of WWII. But even here, the argument of decline is a tough sell. After all, George Orwell’s journalism points only too starkly to the rotten life for many in the 19th century. Yet even in the squalor there is a sense of society and community. There should be no correlation between the rise in living standards and the withering of the ties that bind communities that seems to have taken place since.
I would hesitantly pinpoint the problem on the increase and centralization of government powers gained as a result of WWI and WWII, and Britain’s decline as a world power that these allocations of resources required. This is not a comment on the validity of these wars, but it is beyond doubt that the state ballooned and Britain declined as a direct result of them.
It is vital that the new government frees the people. I would go as far as to suggest that infantilism has become the new ‘British Disease’. Due to the limited knowledge amongst so many of the political class, I have very modest hopes for Britain being ‘fixed’ any time soon. Perhaps politicians can’t yet win elections by offering freedom in this country, but if they really want to fix Britain, I think they are going to have to roll back the state, trust people to take up the slack and not interfere with the discovery process that the remaking of society requires.