Monday, 29 November 2010


When I was a lad we knew that we could always rely on our public services. The trains ran on time and were affordable; bus services were regular; our milk was left on our doorstep at the crack of dawn everyday and the postman delivered our mail at the same time every day - usually as we ate breakfast. I also delivered newspapers and had two rounds; one in the morning, the other during the evening and people could rely on me to deliver their papers so they could read them at the breakfast table or while they are tea.

But oh how things have changed. You now need a mortgage to travel long distance on the railways at at time that suits you; the bus services seldom keep to schedules (if they run at all) and after our milkman decided not to deliver a couple of days every week we gave him the elbow. We get three different free newspapers through our door - most weeks. Sometimes we got none at all. We don't mind that because they only go in the recycling bin because they contain nothing worth reading.

Then there is the post! This started to go downhill 20 years ago; at least it did where I live and it has just got steadily worse. Just as we had got used to one postman he was replaced on the walk and another appeared for the next few weeks. Then he was changed and so on. With the coming of each different postman the service declined. Deliveries have got later and now we are lucky to receive our delivery by midday. Some days, usually a Wednesday, there is often no delivery at all. But, I have become tired of complaining; nobody takes any notice and anyway - if you try telephoning the sorting office the phone never gets answered.

Our national services are falling apart and good, old-fashioned customer service is a thing of the past. I have had issues with my Broadband for the last few months but they simply refuse to accept that it simply does not work properly. But no matter how many complaining letters I write nothing ever gets resolved. I am sick of trying to converse with call centres in India - they may well be very pleasant people but they have lack being able to converse in basic English - and I am tired of receiving template letters from companies I spend money with.

This is only one very small part of how Britain has become broken. Please tell me your experiences.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


‘Broken Britain’ is a description Conservative leader David Cameron  regularly used during his term in opposition to describe a nation that has been brought to its knees by a Labour government that could not stop wasting public funds or interfering with our lives in almost every conceivable way. The term had originally been coined by the Centre for Social Justice a think tank conceived by the former conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith with Tim Montgomerie and Philippa Stroud but since then it has fallen into everyday parlance.
While they went on their massive spending spree Labour failed to do anything, other than talk, about what it proposed to do to halt the serious social decline that has been seriously undermining   our country. Views may differ and you may or may not agree that Britain is broken; although the evidence overwhelmingly should convince even the staunchest disbelievers that Britain can no longer proudly proclaim to be the Great nation it once was. Opinions will depend largely on   individual circumstances but a point of view is more likely to be influenced by a person’s ethnicity and socio-economic position. The financially secure will, in the main, be cosseted from the worst effects of civil depravation but an increasing number are falling into poverty and are coming into regular contact with the fragmented and less savoury aspects of a society that is failing their needs.  Unless you have already been a victim of violent crime; your house has been broken into or you have voluntarily chosen to enter the world of the vulnerable poor, you are unlikely to understand the   lifestyles they are forced to endure. Those struggling at the lower end of society will always suffer from the ineptitude, neglect and darker sides a society that is embarrassed by poverty. As a nation we are a people that generously will donate millions of pounds to natural disasters across the globe but we largely choose to ignore our own poor and walk past a homeless person as if they were not there.  Charity should begin at home but although the government donates considerable sums of money in overseas aid they fail to meet the daily needs of so many in our own country. I am not suggesting we should cease giving aid to poorer nations, just that matters should be considered in perspective.