The sad decline of The North

It angers and saddens me a great deal to read the many obituries of once proud working and mining towns like Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Sunderland etc on this site. These were all places I was familiar with as a very young man back in the late 1970s and places I loved to visit and have a pint or six. The locals were a tough breed back then, but friendly and welcoming, even to poncy southerners like me.

Sure, there was the odd town centre punch up, but it was just a few lads letting off steam…nothing vicious. But above all else I remember vibrant places with no pound shops, op shops, instant loan shops and no scum. But you see, the chav scum that abounds in the places mentioned are symptomatic of a layer of society that has been wilfully and systematically sent to the wall by the real scum that rules this land.

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What are working people without any work to do? What else is there for them to do but watch mindless TV or take drugs when their lives have no purpose? It seems to me that a decision was taken back in late 1979 to declare war on the British working class and this was carried through with ruthless efficiency by the most disgusting piece of filth ever to call itself prime minister.

Whole communities were smashed, and now the children of those defeated workers shoot up in the ruins of the factories that gave their parents a living. This country is a shell of its former self, and the blame lies not with those chavs living in squalor at the bottom, but the pin-striped gangsters at the top.

  • Al

    Very interesting response from HarleyRider. It reflects my background. Firstly, no group in society is wholly good or bad, so let’s refrain from unintelligent condemnation of entire swathes of society.
    My dad was a window cleaner who went out to feed his family come hail or shine. He taught my siblings and I to show respect for people and work hard. If you told him life wasn’t fair he’d laugh and ask if you’d only just found that out.
    My experience of working class life was one of honesty, good manners and good humour. What I recollect vividly is two streets nearby were occupied by a few n’er do wells who we were told not to mix with. Largish families whose dads spent it in the pub and betting shop. Nobody has ever despised the lumpen proletariat more than the working class. Since the ’70’s the underclass has been portrayed as working class, they are not.
    What has been lost sight of is the true philosophy of socialism, ie the provision of equal opportunities – but when you have that equality it’s up to you to maximise it. Interestingly, I’ve just finished reading an extensive history of the Victorian Age. When, towards the end of it, the first inklings of a welfare state emerged the socialists of that period were adamant that welfare should not be given carte blanche and be open ended. They recognised, and feared, the danger of dependency.
    As to the unpleasant reference in the original article about Thatcher. NO FAN OF THE LADY AM I. Having lived through it all I don’t condemn her for her economic strategy. We were in a dreadful state, and forgive me if I’m not accurate to the year, but for approx fourteen years before she came to power only three were Conservative government. Let’s not forget, the working class bought their council houses with alacrity when Thatcher made them available, and at knock down prices. My condemnation of Thatcher is a moral one – she unleashed greed at all levels of society.
    Then, of course, we had ‘things can only get better’. Blair, an even better soap opera actor than Thatcher. Atypical of those great ‘socialists’ LORDS Hattersley and Prescott, Baroness Shirley Williams, and of course LORD and LADY Kinnock – soon to be questioned over the great gravy train robbery. All of them on £300 a day attendance money, plus subsidised bars and restaurants. CANTING HYPOCRITES.
    Sat in the Commons gallery a few weeks ago, and listened to debate. Came away with greater respect for all MP’s. A terrible and impossible task trying to satisfy 60+ millions. Not sold on Cameron, but my goodness rather him than that Jacobite 70’s polytechnic lecturer Corbyn.

    Bottom line – every child in Britain has a free education available up to 18. Kids in the Third World would kill for the opportunity. About time the White working/underclass stopped bellyaching and prized education, like the various immigrant communities who constantly outstrip them in achievement.
    Support that minority who, for various reasons, can’t help themselves, but don’t degrade those poor people by admitting the ‘couldn’t be bovvered’ brigade into their ranks.