The 30s, I write, You Compare

Life and Standards

I have always believed that until 1939. when Hitler mucked up the world and in Britain it has never been the same, the period from ’35 to ’39, when our economy was steadily improving and we had emerged from the austerity of WW1, was the most equable and relaxed time in our history. It wasn’t Utopia, but nowhere ever will be. We had the iniquitous class structure, but as we knew nothing else – so what? From my experience of education and industry over the years, people in the 30′ were less ambitious, their goals were modest and achievable, a job was mostly for life, your pension like the job was inviolate, and promotion was dead man’s shoes. WW2 changed all that, 1946 brought back a work force which had been replaced in its jobs and there was a period of re assessment – shuffle and re-deal which lasted right into the 70’s and 80’s.

Since the 50’s standards gradually accelerated in every sphere, industry, leisure, communication, and then, in the 60’s, when we had reached a pinnacle of some sort, the wheels came off and it has been down hill ever since. Chaos seems the order of the day, standards in most spheres have dropped – education, business probity, morals, mores, thrift, and above all, trust, have all suffered. Am I right? Can we rise yet again? Do we want to?

We sat round the Christmas luncheon table on Christmas day, with the cat’s whisker adjusted, the 2 volt, lead/acid battery powering a crystal wireless set, and a pair of headphones talking to us with the King’s voice, and those memorable words – ‘London Calling !’ all from the bottom of a baking bowl in the centre of the table. We never thought that one day we would communicate instantly with pictures, words and music, in every sphere. Now, unlike then, censorship, voluntary and enforced, is more relaxed, we¬† are presented almost daily with scenes of alleged sexual orgasm, speech incrusted with our letter words, guns that fire unlimited bullets so inaccurately, the recipient of the onslaught walks away unscathed. We are told we can switch off if we don’t like what we see or hear, but is that not infringing our right to be entertained that we have contracted for, should the squeamish not be totally catered for as well as the unshockable? The latter, after all, have a section of the ether referred to as ‘Adult’ – a misnomer?

Categorized as General

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