Changes in UK in some of our lifetimes

  john bunyan 16:55 14 Jun 2012

Some people have said threads are uninteresting. I was talking to one of my teenage grand children and began to think of just a few changes in the UK in my lifetime. Here are a very few, and I wonder which are for the better or worse. Most are better, I think.

1 Military: From a “hot” war to a cold war to fewer wars. From National Service to a smaller professional defence force. 2 Legal: From male homosexuality being punishable by (up to ) life imprisonment to it being quite commonplace and “normal”. Death penalty abolished. Corporal punishment as a legal sanction and in schools abolished. Lower age for many allowed activities – marriage etc. 3.Demographic and cultural: A huge increase in “Multiculturalism. Television for all. Car ownership almost universal. Computers. Mobile phones. More use of “recreational” drugs and less tobacco but more alcohol. Rise of “EU”.NHS for all. Long trousers for boys. Plus many more!

  Blackhat 17:23 14 Jun 2012

Based on most talked about at the time and anticipated, what I recall most is decimalisation and the changes in drinking hours.

  Flak999 17:48 14 Jun 2012

Most are better, I think.

Definitely, a matter of opinion there! Looking at your list I would say six of those changes have been for the worst!

But perhaps that is because I am in my 50's, I think the older you get the less likely you are to adapt to change, and the changes that do seem to occur always seem negative.

Still, we just have to live with the changes that are foisted upon us, I am resigned to them I suppose, even if I don't agree with them all.

  john bunyan 18:18 14 Jun 2012


You are a young lad! I am (just) mid 70's!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:19 14 Jun 2012

Smoking ban in public buildings have destroyed many a public house but overall I think a change for the better.

Fall of the railway and public transport in general -- rise of the car -- re-rise of the tram.

  Forum Editor 18:26 14 Jun 2012

There are really two main drivers of change - technology and education (and not necessarily in that order).

Technological advances have been changing the way that societies function for hundreds, if not thousands of years. When someone invented the Shaduf, that stunningly simple device for raising water into and between Egyptian irrigation channels it transformed simple agriculture almost overnight. Opinions about when it first appeared vary between 3000 and 1600 years ago, but that simple apparatus enabled huge increases in food production.

The last half of the 20th century saw computer technology blossom and come of age, and now there are almost as many computers on the planet as phones - the PC has transformed our lives in too many ways to list.

The one thing that is absolutely quaranteed is that technological change will continue at an ever-increasing rate. It is undoubtedly a force for good, but if not handled properly it can be divisive, creating a society with a widening gulf between the haves and the have nots.

As colleague's mother is fond of saying 'still,never mind, it'll all come out in the wash'. I think she knows it irritates me.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:01 14 Jun 2012

The one thing that is absolutely quaranteed is that technological change will continue at an ever-increasing rate

I'm curious to know on what basis you made that statement , FE. Human history has not been one of uninterrupted rise. Civilisations have collapsed in the past, and I don't think it entirely impossible that the same couldn't happen again. Certainly the trend is a rising one, but to suppose an ever increasing one is at best optimistic.


  Aitchbee 21:16 14 Jun 2012

40 years ago, if you walked into a bookmakers, there would be a boardman/boardwoman marking up the betting odds with a felt-tip pen and only a sound commentary would come over the 'blower' when you walk into a bookies it's wall-to-wall TV screens...I counted 35 in a newly opened shop in southside Glasgow, yesterday.

  Aitchbee 21:39 14 Jun 2012

40 years ago, there were no survellance cameras. Now we are all being watched.

  woody 00:00 15 Jun 2012

Military - Nat service was a good thing but in those days people generally accepted instruction - totally different group to what we have today and would the professionals want a cross section of today's public forced on them? Death penalty abolished - not really.We have seen the police are allowed to kill without first confirming the subject is guilty and in recent times (my definition 5yr/10yr) we have seen Joe Blogs (clarified circumstances) allowed to kill intruders.

Multiculturalism has failed - as stated by Quote - feb 2011 State multiculturalism has failed, says David Cameron "We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values."

In the past we did absorb people from a number of countries but that was a comparatively small num over ,say,1950yrs. A bit of light reading if you want some facts. 'The Economic Impact of Immigration'. The reports' findings showed that net immigration was of little or no benefit to the UK economy, and that population increase on this scale is unsustainable. For the last year I can find figs for we received 590,000 people in one year - impossible to absorb .

We have seen a dumb down of too much & too many of our services Quote " The BBC reported on Sep 2011 quote "Police called 'barely literate' by lawyers" and "Police Federation - that standards were lowered to attract more " end quote. Another quote -"The world education rankings from the OECD . The UK is slipping down in maths, reading and science" end quote.

NHS - we have seen first hand some of the finest treatment available - you could not buy better.BUT we have also seen treatment that I would not allow a dog to receive.Certainly, overall, my VET gives a better service than the NHS.On one occasion the ambulance, taking us to hospital, was told it could not park to unload its patient - the driver told the jobs worth where to go.

Summing up - those of us that graphically recall the war knew,as far as we could know, that if we worked hard we could improve our lot.It was a "sin" to ask for Gov hand outs/to admit you were not working - that was wrong.Now people laugh if you are not getting every penny you can claim.Abuse of the system is rife.Why work when you can get if for free - is nearer today's thinking. We see people who are working and paying tax rec less in their pay packet than those that have never worked. The country improved from the war years till circa 1990 - then we started to stagnate or go down hill.I fear the young ,under 30yr,have very little to look forward to.Out side of a few big cities - look at the jobs that are available - not vacancies - the actual jobs.They are mainly base plus a few pence and as the young are not learning work ethic - they will find it hard if not impossible to find jobs.

That big city we call the "smoke" vehicle speed 1904 12MPH - speed 1996 10MPH - ! Last year we were afraid to use "Water Cannon" - this year "War ship,helicopter gun ship,13,500 service personnel on active service in London and surface to air missiles.Total security staff ,London ,circa 23,000". Service personel deployed to Afghanistan 10,000.

  Bingalau 12:51 15 Jun 2012

I can remember when we used to run out to watch an "Areo" fly over the area we lived in (1936 ish). It happened maybe once a month. Children could play games in their own neighbourhood without being afraid of being run over by a car. Cars were few and far between. In our area we used to look after bikes for a tanner a time, whilst the owners went to the football match at Goodison or Anfield. Back yards were full to overflowing with bikes and it was a nice little earner. Football crowds were generally in the region of 60,000 to 70,000 and people got there without the use of cars. In fact some of the footballers used the tram to get to the ground. (Can't see today's players doing that). So I think Transport has changed dramatically, with millions of cars moving on the roads and almost as many stationary. Planes fly at heights undreamed of in those days, in fact undreamed of during the war years when pilots would have loved to be that high and out of reach of anti-aircraft weapons. I think Winston Churchill would be mortified at the way our armed forces have been dumbed down. Money must be getting wasted elsewhere warrant this happening. Maybe we should not be sending so much abroad in aid to other nations. Communication is a big thing in this changed World. Years ago we wouldn't have known what was going on in the middle east until it was over and done with and the dust had settled. We didn't know about famines in Somalia etc., until months later. You now know the same day about things happening anywhere in the World. In the early fifties when I served aboard a ship, I communicated with my wife by letter which could take up to a month to arrive, there was no other method available. Now people talk to their families by mobile phones and Skype vision (whatever it's called) in real time. Brilliant! I'm all for change and can't understand these people who object to new technology. I suppose they can blame the chap who invented the wheel or sliced bread, or the bloke who rubbed the flints and made a spark to start a fire.

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