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Sunday, 3 April 2016
Following on from my rather long post earlier in the week.
After the second world war there were many ex service personel returned to their civilian lives. The demobilisation of these men was handled, if not well, then at least better than is done today.
Society, and by this I mean Government, realised that there was a whole generation of men who had fought for their country and way of life, now comming home to a country almost bankrupted by the war. The Empire had for all intents and purposes, Gone. The cities were Bombed to unrecognisable states. Industry, which had geared up for war, now had to retool and find a way to survive in a post war era.
So these men were, in most cases, Handed their wage, any back pay due, A Suit of admitedly Questionable taste, (the Demob suit), and sent home to make a go of it.
Many firms took back these returning workers, Unfortunately they laid off the women who had been doing their job, and finding a bit of independance.
Councils started the long drawn out process of Clearing the rubble, building back the city centers, Constructing Council houses, Even if they were the basic "prefabs". Unions started to press for a more equatable share of the profit for their labour. Society worked, to build a better life out of the ruin.
I am not saying it was a paradise, there were many social and political wrongs, but on the whole things improved. A worker who knows his job will pay, and his family can be looked after, will produce with pride, thus the industry he works in will prosper.
But the signs were there, Big industry was looking at decline, Ship building, steel, mining, agriculture. all had competition from abroad.
One of the Major failings successive Governments made, was to allow subsidised foreign industries to compete on unfair terms with ours. So called Market forces, slanted towards produce and services subsidised by foreign governments also trying to redevelop their countries economy slowly destroyed our ability to compete. Of course this was not helped by the Unions of the time becoming more and more demanding of wages for less and less work. Whole industries, and governments (heath), were brought to their kneees by over zelous militancy.
Our Merchant Navy, who fought with the main forces, who kept the country fed, fueled, and brough in the raw materiel needed to keep the country in the fight. Well that went in to decline in the 60s/70s and never recovered. Now there are more "british" tickets given to foreign nationals than British nationals. The ABs and ordinary seamen have little chance of a job with companies allowed to fly the flag of any nation, and employ the nationality that demands the least pay. The Coal industry, destroyed as a political endevour to Destroy unions, because Thatcher never forgave them for the humiliation of the Heath government toppling after the three day week, and the winter of discontent. The Steel industry, a victim of unfair foregn subsidies, and neglegent Government oversite. The Cotton, wool, Manufacturing, and car industies, where are they now?
For too long the scales have been tilting towards the better off. The people in power, our governments, have systematicaly sold of their main responsibilities, Things such as Rail, Water, Electricity, Gas, Social care, Health care, Land management, Public building management, Even security for major National events, all have been farmed out to Buisness. Leaving us with the question.
If Successive governments have Sold off all this, reduced their responsibility for all this, and Upped their remuneration above what they were willing to do for others. Why do they still have a job? Why should we listen to them? At what stage will there come a time when the common man says " ENOUGH!"