In Britain there is a strong thread of cynicism, an ability to laugh at the absurdities of Britain and particularly poke fun at politicians. Which is much needed relief from the continuing decline and increasing inefficiency of life in Britain. Standards of living in Britain are relatively high, but living in a state in decline is in some senses, worse than living in a developing state.
These ideas have been rammed home to me as I now live in South East England. This area I understand has one of the highest population densities in the world, it feels like it. It should be a great place to live, as everything should be concentrated and easy to access.
Except it isn’t. The cuddly British way of doing things has been to cobble together a clever solution at the last minute and leave it up to individuals to find a way of making it work. Britain is a nation that evolved gradually, solutions to problems caused by increased population were generally too late, or fiddled with. For example, tearing up the railway network in the 1960s, without foreseeing what would happen if everyone needed a car to get to work.
S.E. England should have an amazing public transport system, but it doesn’t. Instead the car is more seemingly paradoxically more vital here than in the rural areas I have lived in. Furthermore the road network is poor, leading to congestion, increased journey times and greater costs.
This is coupled with the housing crisis. Not enough homes leading to high housing costs, this leads to higher wages, coupled with higher space costs for businesses. All this leads to inefficient workers, because they spend so much time travelling and coping with living in confined spaces. Sometimes I wonder why I’m staying here.
This is getting worse all the time. Britain politically, culturally and economically is based around Britain’s only huge city, London. The government run the economy to benefit the finance and service industries which base themselves here, for the connections to Europe and London.. Hence people continue to be drawn here to look for work, whilst the rest of Britain, suffers from brain drain and enterprises unable to grow due to the constraints imposed by London.
This is so inefficient, this has been foreseen throughout my time as an adult and no-one in political power has done anything about it. People were happy as they perceived they were getting better off, which was largely an illusion. It has created a Britain where the cost of living in South East England is double that of the rest of the country, wages are higher to compensate. The economy works of instead of trying to produce things more efficiently, energy is instead spent on manipulating the system and persuading people to buy inferior products at a higher price. This is not true market economics. This bubble is going to burst sometime soon.
British people ignore this, because they are fed up with politicians not doing anything about this. I’ve herald people talk about this problem all my life, but you never hear it from the politicians. Living in the South East in gets me down everyday, because the local people don’t seem to want to sort it out.
For example, driving. This area has the rudest, most impatient drivers I have ever known. They will do selfishly do whatever they can to gain a few yards, when as so many behave exactly the same way without thinking it through, actually causes everyones, including their own, journey times to be even longer. People criticise my driving for being too laid back, but why should I become aggressive, it doesn’t do me any good.
The politicians don’t do anything because of the divisive, outdated, semi two-party electoral system. The ruling party knows it could count on it’s natural support. so needs to persuade a minority of less politically aware floating voters. Furthermore, due to the country being divided into two economies, it only has to persuade those living in the South East of England to gain a majority in parliament, hence all party promises are based on makeshift solutions to that seem to make things a little better for this minority group, to gain support of these floating voters to get the upper hand in the South East, by helping them live nearer transport hubs, which are more important as everything is getting further and further apart.
Anyway, probably time to be less cynical and try to use this blog more creatively. To escape this madness. Flowers are lovely aren’t they?