Thursday, August 31, 2006

The End is Nigh?

Mrs Paine and I had a great holiday. We talked and talked and, for once, came to some conclusions. Unless there are serious changes in Britain (unlikely, with the Conservative Party on its current tack) we want out.

France tipped the balance. It is just so civilised. People are polite. The streets are clean. There are enough roads for the peoples' needs. Official notices make suggestions, they don't give orders. There is no need for signs warning against "verbal assault" on public servants.

I am a gentle enough man, but I am often in the presence of British public employees I could cheerfully kick, so triumphant are they in their hour of victory over a private sector cowed into meek submission.

Our daughter needed medical help there. We had a full set of tests and a diagnosis within 48 hours. Had we been French, we could have claimed the costs back from the State, but the State did not own the clinic or employ the doctor and all the staff treated us with the same courtesy (I do not exaggerate) as the staff in the expensive shop where I bought my wife's anniversary present.

We know it's no paradise. France has her problems too - e.g. an even greater population than England's of Muslims hostile to native values. Yet, time after time, we asked ourselves "Why can't England be like this?" We can accept that the English don't care about food. That's their choice. We can live on poor fare ourselves when we need to, much as we enjoy French cuisine. We know that the French are theoretically more Socialist than the Brits. But that doesn't deter us from wanting to move there. The English talk Capitalism but act Socialist. The French talk Socialism but act Capitalist. In the end, handsome is as handsome does.

Much as I hate Socialism, I have finally realised that it is not really the main problem in Britain. Puritanism is. It is the Puritanism of the British that elevates good ideas like "let's save energy by recycling" or "let's encourage people to give up the dangerous habit of smoking" into quasi-religious fanaticism. It's Puritanism that turns people with different viewpoints into dangerous heretics whose thought-crimes must be punished. It's Puritanism that is turning the cradle of freedom into a police state, day by day.

I don't smoke. I would rather have one glass of really great wine than a case of plonk, so I drink in moderation. It was no hardship to be on a driving holiday because I can forego even the fine wine for the pleasure of driving my car. By French standards, perhaps I am a Puritan. But I enjoyed being in a country where I was not constantly badgered and nagged by know-it-all goody-two shoes trying to invoke the powers of the State to tell me how to live.

I got angry once in over two weeks away. That was over a personal matter. But in England I was in a sustained state of fury for my first seven hours as I laboured from traffic jam to traffic jam on roads deliberately neglected for allegedly "green" reasons. When not fuming in stationary traffic, I was in fear of losing my licence to a speed camera if I took a rare chance to make up some time stolen from me by the Ministry of Transport's incompetence.

France was not so much another country as another world. A calmer, politer, frankly more civilised world. In the name of equality, tolerance and multiculturalism, Britain is descending into the barbarism of which the French have always accused it. I would have fought for my country's good name against such accusations in the past. I have found great relief in simply accepting them. I can no longer defend the indefensible. Britain was great, but is no more. Labour and its fellow travellers have destroyed everything I held dear and the only way is out.

I love my country. I am sad beyond belief to feel this way. But enough is enough.

Mrs Paine says I should "let go". She thinks I waste too much time and spiritual energy worrying about the future of a country that has only a past. She says that she has already put the place behind her and accepted that it has passed the point of no return. It will decline, in her view, until it hits bottom. It will be rebuilt, she thinks, perhaps as an Islamic Republic but certainly as nothing to which she could feel any loyalty.

I fear she is right. If so, this blog makes no sense. It is making no difference to anything and there is no hope - if Mrs P is right - that it could ever do so. I shall have to think about that.

10 comments:

Serf said...

Alternatively, the enemies within could be in their last death throes. There is at least some evidence pointing in that direction.

Toque said...

I'm with Tom. I've only been back in the UK for six months and I'm already seriously considering moving back to Canada.

I feel that my country has been ruined, and that it is continuing to move in the wrong direction from where I want it to be.

It doesn't stand for any of the ideals or principles that made it great.

Umbongo said...

Tom

I remember feeling much as you now do in the late 1970s. The difference, of course, was that we then had a Parliamentary Opposition worthy of the name and the prospect of deliverance was at hand. The really depressing aspect of all the woes that you describe is that the alternative presently on offer is not an alternative at all - just an echo. So - unfortunately and sadly - it looks as though you won't be alone in drawing your pension abroad.

ContraTory said...

I'm with Serf on this.

If Alfred had taken your view when he was hiding at Athelney or George Washington before he crossed the Delaware, where would we all be?

If we can beat the Danes, Scots, Vikings, French, Spanish, French, Scots, French, French, Russians, Germans and Germans (and outbreed the Normans along the way) we can certainly beat the current bunch of lefty cissies.

DV said...

Tom,

I have great sympathy with what you write. But I won't let the bastards wear me down.

John East said...

Tom,
I think that your identification of Puritanism a one of our main problems was insightful, but as for deserting the sinking ship, this is something I don’t plan to do unless I have to. By all means do what is best for you, and I would agree that France is an excellent option, but the mass exodus of the very people who might save Britain is worrying for those of us not inclined (or not brave enough) to follow.

My exodus was far more modest. I resigned from the rat race down south four years ago and now keep as low a profile as possible as far as the authorities are concerned in N. Lincolnshire. So far, so good, but things will have to get a lot worse before I dust off my passport.

The grass may appear greener abroad, but I believe that many people are taking a huge risk by settling in cheap areas such as various East European states. Following a world crisis or a deep recession they might find the locals aren’t the friendly yokels they appear to be today.

And let’s not forget that things are often not as bad as they seem. The large number of immigrants imported to vote labour in perpetuity may yet turn around and bite back. Asians who often display good entrepreneurial skills, and have strong family ties and strong religious beliefs, together with East Europeans who have probably had their fill of socialism could form the core of a future capitalist enclave off the coast of the European socialist paradise. Maybe this isn’t likely, but who knows, it could happen.

Tom Paine said...

Umbongo, I remember the late 70's too. I got off my rear, canvassing and campaigning for the Tories. I had planned to retire early to England (I am in Russian currently) and perhaps work as a volunteer for the Party full-time. I will be financially independent. I could afford to do it. What is so infuriating now is that there would be no point.

Labour has created one crime per day throughout the Blair regime. The Tories will repeal none of them and will create more. Labour has added 800,000 drones to the State payroll. The Tories will fire none of them. Labour has destroyed the British Constitution and set brother against brother. The Tories will not put the Celts to the choice of "Make up your miserable whingeing minds! In or out?" Rather, Cameron will persist in the devolutionary tinkering which has brought us to this mess. Labour has driven house prices to ludicrous levels and turned the planning system into Soviet direction of the use of land. They can comandeer our vacant properties if they want and lease them for us, regardless of our wishes. At least the Communists had the decency to provide the capital for the houses to live in. Labour (by restricting supply) makes us pay for them - more than anyone in Europe - and then tells us exactly what to do with them as if we lived in a council house. We can't even change a window frame now without State permission. People bought council houses under Margaret to escape that kind of petty control. Now we all have it.

Labour has reduced us to the state where a man can be charged, acquitted and be subjected to house arrest anyway. What the **** kind of society is that? Whatever happened to "Be you never so high, the law is above you?" We have a system of house arrest in common with Myanmar, Cuba and North Korea. I am sick with shame.

Worst of all, Labour has subverted our Parliamentary system. MP's are supposed to be in charge. The Executive is supposed to execute the legislature's policies and enforce their laws. Will any of the optimists here tell us that's what happens now? Yet that's what a parliamentary democracy means. Instead, Labour has hand-picked only third-rate, suck-up losers who will take orders from the party leadership. There is now scarcely an MP I would employ to run our stationery store. What is Cameron's response? To copy the tactic.

I would run for Parliament myself, on a "put up or shut up" basis. But do you think the Conservative Party would select a middle-aged white male of independent means and mind? Would it ****. It's humiliating to rant about problems that I have no way to solve. I would do my bit. I really would. Can any of the brave young optimists here tell me how?

JohnM said...

The fundamental problem is that the Socialists control the terms (or more accurately the language) of the debate. I would not put any hope in any political party changing the status quo until this situation changes. It seems to me the blogosphere has had some success in refusing to debate within those terms, particularly in America. I would suggest that in your own small way, you are doing a lot to fight these forces.

A lot of politics works by consensus - these hold for a long time but then fall apart very rapidly. eg. Keynesian economics or Nationalising Key Industries.

Many of Labour's current policies, particular with regard to education and multiculturalism date back to the eighties or even earlier, when Tory ministers either cooperated with the implementation or else were too stupid to understand them. Today, the results are plainly failing and no excuses remain. The consensus on these issues is visibly dissolving - it can only be a matter of time before change comes.

Rob said...

Some months ago, I commented on your blog that I had had it with the Conservative party and that henceforth I would be joining the increasing body within the electorate who either can't be bothered to vote or, like me, can no longer find a party to represent them. You rebuked me quite forcefully and advised me to join the Conservative Party and help to change it from within.
I understood your rationale, but but have little appetite or energy to attempt to reverse the direction of a party whose leadership seems intent upon recreating New Labour with a blue rosette. Like you, I despair at what is happening to our country and not a day passes when I don't think about escaping abroad somewhere, but, having four children of school age and an engineering business to run considerably limits my freedom of action. So, I read the blogs and find some comfort in the knowledge that there are like minded poeple such as yourself out there who care as much as I do. Of all the blogs I read, no other comes as close to articulating my thoughts as yours does. It is always beautifully written and well argued that it deserves to be read by a much larger audience; which is why I for one, would be deeply saddened if your voice fell silent. Anyway, whatever you decide to do, I wish you well and hope that if you do decide to leave, you and your wife find some corner of a foreign field that will be forever England.... And that you keep on blogging.

Tom Paine said...

Rob, I can only apologise. Months ago, I still had hope that after a campaign of distancing himself and the Party from its "nasty" image, Cameron would prove to be a genuine Conservative. Now that it is apparent that he is a devout member of the reactionary Green religion, for example, I can't sustain that hope.

Thanks for your kind comments. I shall study deserving.