Back to the 80s? Current UK political climate

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fenton484
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Back to the 80s? Britain is once again in despair

It might not have occurred to everyone, but there is something vaguely familiar about the past 6 months or so. Especially in the last two. Something that we have seen before.

History often repeats itself. Evidence of this in 2020 was of that of Coronavirus - after all, it was just over a hundred years earlier when the Spanish Flu ravaged the world. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Whilst we still don’t know the exact origins of COVID-19, like the Spanish Flu, these events, pandemics, occur more or less naturally every one hundred or so years. Experts like to say we can prevent pandemics, but that’s simply not true. A pandemic will always arrive eventually, regardless of how prepared we are for it - it’s just our level of preparation that will determine the severity of it.

Britain is quite possibly undergoing some of the most radical social change in years. Social change can occur naturally, and it does - but the speed of it has not been seen in some time. This social change has been accelerated by the current political climate, because the government seems intent on pushing a counter-culture agenda, one against so-called “wokery”, a word that has entered almost daily political and right-wing lexicon. This social change is a culmination of years of reckoning as we are as a nation.

I allude to the 1980s as a comparison, because the start of the 2020s, like the 1980s, have proven to be a time of great despair. The 2020s and 1980s both started off with new governments, of which both were Conservative, and of which both won landslide majorities; the opposition in both were led by hard, left-wing men who held ideas that were considered unfashionable by many - even in the late seventies. And within a year or so of both governments taking charge, a major crisis occurred. Admittedly, coronavirus has proven to be a far greater challenge that anything in the 1980s, but both governments have had to deal with huge economic turmoil. Unemployment in the early 80s was massive, even more than we had now. Thankfully, so far we seem to have averted doomsday predictions of unemployment worse than that seen in the Great Depression, probably largely to more optimistic developments with the vaccine, and the government’s furlough scheme. Alas, that is of little consolation to those who remain unemployed, and out of pocket.

Under Thatcher, the north-south divide accelerated, and under COVID, the divide between north and south, which has become almost ubiquitous with rich and poor, has also accelerated. Some would argue it's only highlighted the disparities, which is true to an extent. The north is dominated by service sector workers, and the remaining manual workers that are left in this country, who are more vulnerable to coronavirus, and have jobs that can’t be done at home; so they either get ill, or get laid of. The south’s economy which is now largely based on finance, is resilient, and in the 21st century, a lot of that work can be done from home.

2020 was a year of massive social change, but personally, I believe that will pale in comparison in to what we will face in 2021. Again, there are parallels with the 1980s; the 1980s saw counter-cultures emerge in response to dissatisfaction and resentment at the Thatcher regime. The acid-house scene of the late 80s, with massive raves, bares strikingly similar to the summer of 2020, in which massive raves were shut down by police. Indeed, public order, or rather disorder, have both been rather prominent in both periods. In the eighties, the police had to deal with the Brixton Riots, the Miners Strike, and basically every kind of riot or strike that occurred under Thatcher (too many to count). Whilst both Thatcher and Johnson claim to be influenced by the libertarian school of thought, rather ironically, both have only increased the authoritarian nature of the state. Thatcher took the reigns of the economy, but she only tightened them when it came to policing. The 1986 Public Order Act, and 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (the basis of Stop and Search powers in the UK) were both introduced under Thatcher. In 2021, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill looks set to be passed, whilst the so called “Spy Cops” Bill has been passed already.

The former has resulted in mass protests across the UK, with scenes in Bristol being the most violent in years. The precursor to this, of course, was the tragic case of Sarah Everrard. A lone, 30 something year women who was abducted by a serving police officer as she walked home in south London, before turning up in woodland in Kent, her body so badly damaged, it had to be identified with dental records. I feel like a recurring theme over the past few years is that each year has tackled a different injustice. In 2019, people, predominantly young, marched for action on climate change. In 2020, people marched for an end to police brutality and society’s prejudices against black people. In 2021, people have, and will march for women's rights - like never before. We have already seen this. The case of Sarah Everrard has unleashed a tsunami of pain - and problems (for the government). Coming to light, is one of the biggest scandals that has rocked the UK in years; sex abuse in schools. Not by teachers or staff, but by pupils, particularly in private institutions. Thousands upon thousands of women have given testimony to the abuse they have experienced, some as young as nine years old. I’m of the belief that this movement will have a much more significant impact than the protests of 2020 or 2019. To be brutally honest, most people in this country won’t be alive to see the worst-case scenarios of climate change unfold, and those that are simply don’t have the capacity to care, when their immediate focus is getting to the end of the week and having food on the table. As for black people and systemic racism, most people in the UK do not understand black people and the racism they face because, to put it simply, black people make up less than 3% of the UK population, and therefore not everyone knows a black person. Everyone knows a woman. Women can be black, white, anything - their shared identity is that of a woman. Over 97% of women aged 18-24 in the UK have experienced some form of sexual harassment. That is an astonishly large number, and is far, far larger than the number of black people who have reported discrimination on racial grounds against them.

Women exist in every single institution in society, and so every single institution in society will face the reckoning, the wrath of this movement. I talked earlier about the government’s “war on woke”, part of a larger culture war that involves excessive flag-flying, nationalistic tendencies, and pandering to right-wing thought. The crux of breakfast television debate is now how many flags a government minister has behind them, or how big their flag is. To be frank with the government, no state has ever won a war that it has declared on an ideology. The so called War on Terror continues to this day, and the War on Drugs is also another colossal failure. Culture wars are nothing more than a distraction from the true issue of the day. The government of the 1980s tried the exact same thing, with regards to homosexuality. It didn’t work. If anything, all the government did was make society even more liberal, because naturally, the human species are defiant to any change that comes from an authority figure. Thatcher’s government was out of touch, socially - from a different era. Thatcher was the first female prime minister, but she was no feminist. This is in the same way that many black and Asian ministers under Johnson are actively against “critical race theory” and other leftist concepts. The “war on woke” has so far yet to evolve into actual policy change, rather than a new stature that declares Union flags must be flown on every government building every day of the year. Something, that in my opinion, is rather obscure, in that we didn’t do it in the first place, given it happens in basically every other country. The only real legal implications of the “war on woke” are those around protest - already mentioned, which has it's origins in the government trying to crack down on Extinction Rebellion. COVID-19 has provided the perfect cover for the government to tackle protest - in the name of “public health”, despite the fact that no outbreak of coronavirus has actually been linked to a protest. Most people support the right to protest peacefully. By restricting the amount of noise and disruption a protest can cause, the government is essentially making the act of protest nothing more than a social gathering. That should scare us. Protest is meant to instil change, and get people’s attention. I think most people in the UK have their concerns over this bill - that’s my opinion anyway.

So, with this in mind, have we witnessed a return to the 80s? It remains to be fully seen, but the foundations for a time of social change and turmoil are in place. We are already witnessing their affects. Major crises like pandemics and recessions are almost always a springboard for social change. After the depression after WW1, the “roaring 20s” saw immense social change in the US for women - they got the right to vote, and society became more liberal. After WW2, a major crisis in itself, not to mention the economic chaos that ensued, Britain went from being a nation of small government, to one where the welfare state was present in almost all aspects of life. After the 1980s, after Thatcher, did we witness any immense social change? No, but a) the challenges in the Thatcher regime are miniscule in comparison to that of now, and b) the UK did still change forever, eg, the entire political spectrum shifted to the right.

Britain currently faces three main crises. 1) National Identity. 2) Economic turmoil. 3) Social unrest. The first one is closely linked to Scottish independence, which threatens to end the United Kingdom as we know it. 2), Economic - coronavirus won’t last forever, but the economic affects of it, as stated for Boris Johnson, will last for the rest of many middle aged people’s lives. It may even go beyond that. People’s expectations of the government and the economy have changed, and there’s no reason as to why these expectations - the expectation of the state to spend vast sums of money to prevent unemployment - should change. The third crisis is that of Social Unrest. This is linked to ethnicity, gender, and more. Institutions like the police are under more scrutiny than ever. Most people in Britain remain supportive of the police. But the availability of camera phones, and the domination of young, pseudo-Marxists on platforms like Twitter mean that a disproportionate amount of the internet is dedicated to discrediting the police and calling for their abolition. The Black Lives Matter movement has advocated for the defunding of the police, something that may bare relevance in the United States where police forces are grossly overfunded at the expense of local communities, but in the UK, the concept is all but foreign. The opposition have campaigned for the exact opposite for years. The latest crisis engulfing that of sexual harassment meant that women are likely to become radicalised by feminists, who are no doubt in delight at the latest developments. I don’t mean they take light of a woman being murdered. But feminists have long been confined to the fringes of political debate in today’s western society, with debate confined to pointless, idiotic dogma, like gender neutrality, and whether we should replace the “a” in “woman” with “woman” for “womxn”. Now, they have a golden opportunity to shed light on the real issue that women face - actual, sexism that manifests itself as a result of a culture that has tolerated male supremacy and misogyny. The government have a very real challenge on their hands. Millions of women, empowered by the testimony of thousands of their own, are now quite rightfully demanding action on what appears to be a systemic problem.

The challenges of the 2020s may well mirror those of the 1980s. But you’d be foolish to think they will resolve themselves as quickly as they did then. The economy was restored and then grown within a few years of monetarism being abandoned in 1981. It will take considerable time for the economy to grow beyond that of 2019. And it will take far, far longer for these social divisions that have blighted our nation for so long, yet have only been highlighted in the past year, to heal. And with a government at the helm that is hell bent on relentlessly pursuing ideology, as opposed to pragmatism, there will be no resolution in the near future.
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Quady
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Nope.
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L i b
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Nah.

And the 80s were actually a pretty great time for most people. Pretty nice economic boom, big mobile phones, decent music and the last properly successful war we've had.
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barnet1471
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Margaret Thatcher had morals. Like them or not (and I would not have done), capable cabinet ministers.

Not something you can say about Boris Johnson and the current cabinet.
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Starship Trooper
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TLDR

But in any case good, things are improving. Thatcher was awesome.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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The only return to the 80s we are witnessing is an inevitable creep forward to George Orwell's 1984 dystopian nightmare.

The Sheeple are snoozing nicely away entranced by the false propaganda peddled on mainstream media and have no idea they are sleepwalking into Orwell's nightmare which will soon enough rear its ugly head in the form of a police state.

The proposed amendments to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill you highlight are indeed far reaching and worrying and most certainly do effectively stop proper protests from occurring, a constitutional right being removed from us.

Also despite making numerous promises not to do it, in about 5 days time Hancock and Co are going to announce their first steps towards mandated vaccinations for all to further take away our liberties and to usher in a new Pharma controlled era where people can no longer control their own health. It's going to begin in a week's time with mandating vaccinations for care home workers but it will steadily spread from there step by stealthy step until it embraces the entire public. This policy has no rooting in science or virology. Vaccination won't stop those workers carrying and spreading the virus and many of them will already have natural immunity from having had Covid and so will have all the same (if not more) benefits than vaccination. But this doesn't matter to Hancock. He has a vaccination agenda to mete out and is just going to blatantly discriminate against people with natural immunity and refuse to give them equal status to the vaccinated.

I feel for all those care home workers, 41% of which said in polls that they would not take the vaccines. They need to protest and either go on strike or just walk out and go and find another career. If this Orwellian nonsense isn't opposed immediately and firmly then it will spread to all our lives in no time at all.

10 years ago we had Swine Flu and NHS staff were heavily pressured into taking rushed out Swine Flu vaccines that Pharma and government assured us were safe.

Lots of staff were stricken with life changing conditions of Narcolepsy and eventually the manufacturer GSK conceded that there was a problem, paid £millions in compensation to victims and the vaccine Pandemrix no longer has approval for use in Europe. Even the CDC now recognise the problem.

But at the time it was all "Oh no, nothing to see here, it's all perfectly safe, vaccines are great, get the shots and if you don't get them you're a poor excuse of a human being"

We have clearly not learned a single thing from such episodes.

I hope care home workers take to the streets in their 10,000s and if there's any opportunity I will stand right alongside them in support.


1984 is here. Time for us all to wake up sharpish.
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Quady
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
The Sheeple are snoozing nicely away entranced by the false propaganda peddled on mainstream media and have no idea they are sleepwalking into Orwell's nightmare which will soon enough rear its ugly head in the form of a police state.
Perhaps you should WAKE UP!

https://www.alpha.org/
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by fenton484)
Back to the 80s? Britain is once again in despair



I allude to the 1980s as a comparison, because the start of the 2020s, like the 1980s, have proven to be a time of great despair.
I heard an academic (not an economist) speaking in about 1986.This was the middle of the Lawson Boom; the Loadsamoney period.

She said "In the present recession..." There hadn't been a recession for 5 years. We were in the middle of an economic boom. However, as far as I could tell, to her "recession" was a synonym for "Conservative Government".

I am afraid I think you are doing the same.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by fenton484)
--snip--
The 1986 Public Order Act, and 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (the basis of Stop and Search powers in the UK) were both introduced under Thatcher. In 2021, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill looks set to be passed, whilst the so called “Spy Cops” Bill has been passed already.
--snip--
You might not like the current stop and search powers of the police but I think most people who were around at the time would tell you the situation was worse before PACE. I think it'd be fair to say It was quite widely believed in the early 80s that police were abusing the 'Sus law' to harass youth (especially black youth) with unrecorded searches.

The Thatcher years were pretty kind to the Police tbh... otoh Theresa May dished out some savage cuts and they're looking pretty weak these days
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Contested Claim
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(Original post by L i b)
the last properly successful war we've had.
Are British people still desperately clinging to the nostalgia of a small war that was fought 40 years ago? That is actually really pathetic.
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L i b
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(Original post by Contested Claim)
Are British people still desperately clinging to the nostalgia of a small war that was fought 40 years ago? That is actually really pathetic.
No, I can't say it much occurs day to day. But it was a fairly significant thing in the 1980s - which is the time period we're discussing.
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L i b
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
The proposed amendments to the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill you highlight are indeed far reaching and worrying and most certainly do effectively stop proper protests from occurring, a constitutional right being removed from us.
Even if it did, which it doesn't, I can't say I really care. Standing around making a nuisance of yourself on the streets doesn't - and shouldn't - change government policy. Perhaps if it was broadly representative of the population, that would be different - but we're talking about a very small minority of people, most of whom are on the rather bonkers end of the political spectrum, turning up again and again.

Also despite making numerous promises not to do it, in about 5 days time Hancock and Co are going to announce their first steps towards mandated vaccinations for all
And you have this inside scoop how?

Vaccination won't stop those workers carrying and spreading the virus
Yes it will. And it'll stop them catching it too.

10 years ago we had Swine Flu and NHS staff were heavily pressured into taking rushed out Swine Flu vaccines that Pharma and government assured us were safe.

Lots of staff were stricken with life changing conditions of Narcolepsy and eventually the manufacturer GSK conceded that there was a problem, paid £millions in compensation to victims and the vaccine Pandemrix no longer has approval for use in Europe. Even the CDC now recognise the problem.
I'm not sure what this tells us other than that some medicines have side effects in some people. I think we all know that. Luckily we've already administered the Covid-19 vaccine to millions upon millions of people with minimal side effects noted.

We have clearly not learned a single thing from such episodes.
If what you've learned from that is to become an anti-vaxxer, then you're just out of your mind.
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Starship Trooper
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(Original post by L i b)
Yes it will. And it'll stop them catching it too.
No. It will reduce the risk but not eliminate it completely and people in clinical settings will still need masks and ppe but even that will not completely eliminate the risk completely.

..

Personally I think the 'bonkers' people are the ones who want to shut down the economy and turn into a weird police state all because of a flu that hasn't even killed 1% of the population.

If the government was that concerned about our health it would shut down fast food joints and unhealthy foods which do far more harm.
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