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I think it is wonderful that sites like these exist, great information can be sourced and I am sure most who receive this information are grateful. But, I am not a fan of the need to burst a persons dreams, regardless of how naive you perceive them to be.

Firstly, we are all aware of the terrible unemployment rate that currently exists in Spain, as we are aware of the world wide turmoil that we are all suffering through, not just economical but ethical and social turmoil. This does not mean to say our lives can be put on hold whilst we sit and wait for 'things' to get better. That is putting our life experiences in the hands of others.

Peoples priorities and needs change as social and economics change and are not what they used to be. People may not be wanting to leave the UK and relocate to Spain ( or anywhere else) for the same reasons you do/did. Long gone is the cashing in on your Sterling in emerging countries to live a more materialistically beneficial life. Many people just want and need a change, some want purely an adventure, others have learnt by their life experiences and want to start again, without the same goals as before. I think most just want to be happy.

As the monetary systems of the past 20 years have obviously not worked, things will never return to what they were and thank god for that. Constantly striving for more and taking on more debt as a nation and as individuals has been a horribly shallow decade or two to live in. What will emerge and is emerging are new industries and ways of working that allow more independence.

Many families are making up their mind to sack their current situations and spend more time with their loved ones and live on a lot less. A lot don't have any choice. Many others are becoming independent of the system and travelling successfully, on a shoestring.

Looking at things a bit differently and catching up with the change is key.

An income independent of location is a good start, type in independent location lifestyle into google

Seeing how other families successfully travel/move abroad is also helpful - type in vagabond family into google.

Also exchanging trade for accommodation and food is another great way to move abroad, many offer long term hosting and many take families. There are currently 353 hosts in Spain. type in workaway in google

( I am unable to post links as I am a new poster)

I appreciate that not all will be able to identify with the above links, but at least its offering suggestions on how to possibly get to 'B' and not to stay stuck at 'A'.

And telling people to stay in the UK because of our benefits systems is certainly not the way forward.
 

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I think it is wonderful that sites like these exist, great information can be sourced and I am sure most who receive this information are grateful. But, I am not a fan of the need to burst a persons dreams, regardless of how naive you perceive them to be.

Firstly, we are all aware of the terrible unemployment rate that currently exists in Spain, as we are aware of the world wide turmoil that we are all suffering through, not just economical but ethical and social turmoil. This does not mean to say our lives can be put on hold whilst we sit and wait for 'things' to get better. That is putting our life experiences in the hands of others.

Peoples priorities and needs change as social and economics change and are not what they used to be. People may not be wanting to leave the UK and relocate to Spain ( or anywhere else) for the same reasons you do/did. Long gone is the cashing in on your Sterling in emerging countries to live a more materialistically beneficial life. Many people just want and need a change, some want purely an adventure, others have learnt by their life experiences and want to start again, without the same goals as before. I think most just want to be happy.

As the monetary systems of the past 20 years have obviously not worked, things will never return to what they were and thank god for that. Constantly striving for more and taking on more debt as a nation and as individuals has been a horribly shallow decade or two to live in. What will emerge and is emerging are new industries and ways of working that allow more independence.

Many families are making up their mind to sack their current situations and spend more time with their loved ones and live on a lot less. A lot don't have any choice. Many others are becoming independent of the system and travelling successfully, on a shoestring.

Looking at things a bit differently and catching up with the change is key.

An income independent of location is a good start, type in independent location lifestyle into google

Seeing how other families successfully travel/move abroad is also helpful - type in vagabond family into google.

Also exchanging trade for accommodation and food is another great way to move abroad, many offer long term hosting and many take families. There are currently 353 hosts in Spain. type in workaway in google

( I am unable to post links as I am a new poster)

I appreciate that not all will be able to identify with the above links, but at least its offering suggestions on how to possibly get to 'B' and not to stay stuck at 'A'.

And telling people to stay in the UK because of our benefits systems is certainly not the way forward.
:welcome:

sadly many many people who first post here have absolutely no idea of the unemployment rates in Spain - often their question here is their first step in the journey - just 2 new posters yesterday had no clue until we told them - & were glad to be told

we don't just 'burst bubbles' willy nilly - if you look at our replies we lay out the facts, & then depending on the circumstances we tailor our advice to individual posters - which is all we can do - advise based on our experiences & their circumstances - it's then up to the poster if they follow it


I don't think any of us could live with ourselves if we said 'go for it' to someone with 3 kids to support, no savings & little real chance of employment here if they then came over & ended up on the streets - because that is where they would be if they didn't get work - they might be one of the lucky few - but I for one wouldn't take a chance in those circumstances - especially those with older kids who would have no chance of coping with the Spanish school system so would need to find money for the added expense of private education

I can't imagine that you would recommend that either


if a family has a good job, or are even living on benefits in the UK, then they are better off staying there for now, surely & planning a bit better/longer for when things improve?

if however someone is footloose & fancy free they might just want to take a chance


btw - we have the workaway link & a few others in our useful links sticky thread above ;)
 

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Welcome Amanda. :)

I think it is wonderful that sites like these exist, great information can be sourced and I am sure most who receive this information are grateful. But, I am not a fan of the need to burst a persons dreams, regardless of how naive you perceive them to be.
Nor am I Amanda.
But....

Firstly, we are all aware of the terrible unemployment rate that currently exists in Spain,
I don't think everyone is aware of the situation, judging from some of the questions asked here.

This does not mean to say our lives can be put on hold whilst we sit and wait for 'things' to get better. That is putting our life experiences in the hands of others.
Agreed... to a degree! I know your argument is more from a political perspective, but from a personal perspective, no one is an island. Unless we are totally single, with no responsibilities to others, we always have to consider those close to us.

Peoples priorities and needs change as social and economics change and are not what they used to be. People may not be wanting to leave the UK and relocate to Spain ( or anywhere else) for the same reasons you do/did. Long gone is the cashing in on your Sterling in emerging countries to live a more materialistically beneficial life. Many people just want and need a change, some want purely an adventure, others have learnt by their life experiences and want to start again, without the same goals as before. I think most just want to be happy.
I agree. But sometimes what we want isn't what we get.
When people on this forum tell others about the situation here, they are not trying to deprive others of their goals or their happiness, just trying to help them achieve them in a realistic manner.

As the monetary systems of the past 20 years have obviously not worked, things will never return to what they were and thank god for that. Constantly striving for more and taking on more debt as a nation and as individuals has been a horribly shallow decade or two to live in.
I agree. And they have been responsible, not only for the economic plight we are all in, but also for the attitude of 'I want this, so I can achieve it'.
That attitude was shallow and based on an economic philosophy doomed to failure in the long term. It never worked well for most people and is entirely obsolete now.

Many families are making up their mind to sack their current situations and spend more time with their loved ones and live on a lot less.
But for those moving to Spain to live and work long hours for low pay, that is unlikely to be the reality.

Looking at things a bit differently and catching up with the change is key....
Your suggestions are helpful. Dont get me wrong.
And believe it or not, I do understand where you are coming from. I am by nature an optimist and a go getter. I think you are too.

But people do need to be made aware (or reminded) of the economic situation here, especially those with young families and homes already established in the UK.
It would be wrong if posters here failed to do that.

And telling people to stay in the UK because of our benefits systems is certainly not the way forward.
Perhaps not. But for many, it is the reality.
 

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Welcome Amanda. :)


Nor am I Amanda.
But....


I don't think everyone is aware of the situation, judging from some of the questions asked here.


Agreed... to a degree! I know your argument is more from a political perspective, but from a personal perspective, no one is an island. Unless we are totally single, with no responsibilities to others, we always have to consider those close to us.


I agree. But sometimes what we want isn't what we get.
When people on this forum tell others about the situation here, they are not trying to deprive others of their goals or their happiness, just trying to help them achieve them in a realistic manner.


I agree. And they have been responsible, not only for the economic plight we are all in, but also for the attitude of 'I want this, so I can achieve it'.
That attitude was shallow and based on an economic philosophy doomed to failure in the long term. It never worked well for most people and is entirely obsolete now.


But for those moving to Spain to live and work long hours for low pay, that is unlikely to be the reality.



Your suggestions are helpful. Dont get me wrong.
And believe it or not, I do understand where you are coming from. I am by nature an optimist and a go getter. I think you are too.

But people do need to be made aware (or reminded) of the economic situation here, especially those with young families and homes already established in the UK.
It would be wrong if posters here failed to do that.


Perhaps not. But for many, it is the reality.
fantastic post - I wish I could 'double' like it!
 

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Hi there,

And thanks for the welcome. I completely agree with all of the posts that the entire truth of the situation has to be told, covering up the facts will not help anyone and is not the right thing to do. But people will make up their own minds on the information provided and some will take the leap if they are fully prepared or not and for many different reasons. I just feel in this respect it is better to also lay out as many options as possible rather than to just say don't do it.

Yes I am an optimist and feel even in such unsettling times we have to look for new ways of living and finding happiness rather than sitting down and taking a good kicking!

Amanda
 

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Hi there,

And thanks for the welcome. I completely agree with all of the posts that the entire truth of the situation has to be told, covering up the facts will not help anyone and is not the right thing to do. But people will make up their own minds on the information provided and some will take the leap if they are fully prepared or not and for many different reasons. I just feel in this respect it is better to also lay out as many options as possible rather than to just say don't do it.

Yes I am an optimist and feel even in such unsettling times we have to look for new ways of living and finding happiness rather than sitting down and taking a good kicking!

Amanda
There is nothing we can do if people decide to ignore the reality of the current situation in Spain. All I can say is that no sensible, prudent person would decide to up sticks and bring a family to Spain if they a) speak no Spanish b) have no skill or profession in demand here (which is sadly nearly all apart from a few highly-skilled professional occupations) c) have no job offer secured and d) have children who may need to be educated in state schools here.

Telling the truth isn't about bursting bubbles and in any case bubbles aren't 'real'....they burst anyway.:)

I've been thinking for quite a while as what other options I would lay out before a person with no skills, no Spanish and children of school age who is thinking of 'taking a leap'..As I live in an area where over one out of every three people is looking for a job, where charitable organisations are running soup kitchens, where when we advertised for someone to sweep **** at our dog rescue centre we were inundated with applications from highly skilled people, where unemployment has led to rising crime levels and where in our village anti-immigrant graffiti appears regularly....what 'options' are there for such people?

It's not easy for children to adjust to a new school with tuition in a new language. I know..I was Head of a school in the UK with a laerge number of immigrant children and we had support services from the local authority to help such families.

So...as I can lay out no other sensible and realistic options: I am left with no choice but to say 'Don't do it'.

But I have always said if you are young and single, you have nothing to lose so try your luck. But if you have a family, surely their welfare comes before your 'bubbles' and dreams??
 

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I think it is wonderful that sites like these exist, great information can be sourced and I am sure most who receive this information are grateful. But, I am not a fan of the need to burst a persons dreams, regardless of how naive you perceive them to be.

Firstly, we are all aware of the terrible unemployment rate that currently exists in Spain, as we are aware of the world wide turmoil that we are all suffering through, not just economical but ethical and social turmoil. This does not mean to say our lives can be put on hold whilst we sit and wait for 'things' to get better. That is putting our life experiences in the hands of others.

Peoples priorities and needs change as social and economics change and are not what they used to be. People may not be wanting to leave the UK and relocate to Spain ( or anywhere else) for the same reasons you do/did. Long gone is the cashing in on your Sterling in emerging countries to live a more materialistically beneficial life. Many people just want and need a change, some want purely an adventure, others have learnt by their life experiences and want to start again, without the same goals as before. I think most just want to be happy.

As the monetary systems of the past 20 years have obviously not worked, things will never return to what they were and thank god for that. Constantly striving for more and taking on more debt as a nation and as individuals has been a horribly shallow decade or two to live in. What will emerge and is emerging are new industries and ways of working that allow more independence.

Many families are making up their mind to sack their current situations and spend more time with their loved ones and live on a lot less. A lot don't have any choice. Many others are becoming independent of the system and travelling successfully, on a shoestring.

Looking at things a bit differently and catching up with the change is key.

An income independent of location is a good start, type in independent location lifestyle into google

Seeing how other families successfully travel/move abroad is also helpful - type in vagabond family into google.

Also exchanging trade for accommodation and food is another great way to move abroad, many offer long term hosting and many take families. There are currently 353 hosts in Spain. type in workaway in google

( I am unable to post links as I am a new poster)

I appreciate that not all will be able to identify with the above links, but at least its offering suggestions on how to possibly get to 'B' and not to stay stuck at 'A'.

And telling people to stay in the UK because of our benefits systems is certainly not the way forward.
Hi Amanda,
links to the ways of "looking differently" of moving to Spain have been given regularly over the last couple of years. Alcalaina, xabiachica and myself have given links to Workaway, Help Exchange and volunteer work more than once and probably other people too. One guy Mr. Pinks, briefly posted about coming to Spain that way. You could Google it or use the search engine here. One example is post 6 in the sticky useful links. All you have to do is look throughly and you'll find the info there.

As far as bursting people's bubbles I would advise you to think for a moment about that. Why do you imagine we would do that? What possible interest could a (large) group of foreigners have for putting off other foreigners? There might be one weird, twisted old git on here who has a ulterior motive behind advising immigrants to stay at home, but so many of us??? People of all ages, economic backgrounds, politics. From completely different work profiles, areas of the UK and even musical tastes?? Just why would we do that?? To many it would be advantageous to have more Brits here. More people to install satellite dishes for, to do their gardening for and to serve beer to.

Finally, many who are thinking of coming to Spain are doing it to find work. Now why in the world would you come from a country of 8.4% unemployment to a country of over 20% unemployment with in most cases no or rudimentary Spanish, unrecognised or no qualifications and expect to find a job ?. You say that people know about the unemployment in Spain and I would again say read the posts. Many, not some, many people are genuinely surprised to find that unemployment is higher in Spain, that they will not have health care until they've paid in to the system, that the Spanish, qualified and unqualified, are going to the UK for work etc. Another shocker is that there are several languages in Spain! Many many people who are in the first stages of making a move frankly have no idea about Spain at all, so don't judge the posts by what you know. Think about the original poster.

Travelling on a shoestring is an adventure and it's great when you're any age, but it's not what a lot of the people wanting to make the move want. It's not so fun when you've got elderly people in tow or kids of school age. You'll find that many young single people have been told what the situation is like here, but encouraged to come and see for themselves. But a lot of people are desperately looking for better opportunities, a better life, a better future for themselves and their families. How many would make it in today's Spain?

Yes, this is negative. I live here and have lived here for a very long time. I'm worried about my future with a health service that's shrinking, education cuts and businesses closing down left right and centre, and if people ask I will keep telling them the same, as it happens to be the truth.
 

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Unusually serious post from me.....but it's straight from the heart.

Being in business here since 2005, I could write a book on what I've seen and experienced.
I came here under no illusions of sun, sea, and sangria....I knew it was going to be hard. I also knew it was going to be the biggest challenge of my life......and I was taking it on at 51.
But what I didn't realise at the time is that I was literally entering into a battlefield that has turned out to be a graveyard for British businesses, a breaker of marriages, and the catalyst for people losing their lives.

If you're the sort of person that is used to having the support of your family....or the support of your community.....don't come here. Cos your apron strings are going to be cut. You'll be on your own and everybody will want a piece of you.
If you're not the type of person who refuses to be beaten, or not the type of person who is proactive and can make things happen.....don't come here.

Think back to when you were working the hardest in your job in the UK! Well multiply that by TEN........and that's the basic minimum you're going to have to do just to keep your head above water.
If you're thinking of reinventing yourself as something else.....don't do it! Because you'll be heading for the Spanish departure lounges of Easyjet and RyanAir before you know it. You better be bringing something to the table.....and that something has to be better than anybody else can deliver.

I've seen hundreds go down the pan over the years.......some were clients.....some were friends.
And in virtually every case it went the same way.....In Like Lions.......and Out Like Lambs! And somewhere in between those two points in time they lost the shirts off their backs.....and in some cases their lives.

Would I do it all over again? Yes I would in a heartbeat! But that's me.....it's not you!
If like me, you were brought up in a stinking inner city in South Wales where just getting to school in the 60's involved raging street battles every day, where you always had to live on your wits without a proper family or community support, and eventually ended up living rough in street doorways at 17, then you're maybe in with a shout here. Simply because you'll know how to dig deep!

If all that sounds like you.....then bring it on! If it doesn't.....you'll be making the biggest mistake of your life.

To quote a big fat dead guy in a Paris bathtub......."No One Here Gets Out Alive".
 

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This is a first.
I have liked a post by Xtreme.
Either I'm losing it, or he's said smth that makes sense...

Xtreme, this is something you should do more often.

As far as the post goes - a little dramatic, but this is what he's witnessed so you can't argue with it.
 

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This is a first.
I have liked a post by Xtreme.
Either I'm losing it, or he's said smth that makes sense...

Xtreme, this is something you should do more often.

As far as the post goes - a little dramatic, but this is what he's witnessed so you can't argue with it.
Bear in mind that I can only talk about where I live and my experiences. I suppose experiences will differ depending on environment, and how involved you are in the business world which brings you into contact with a lot of different people.....some good, some bad.

Plus if you come here with a lot of dosh with no need to work then your experiences will differ again.
The seedier side of Brit life does exist here.....but like in Britain you may well not come across it. But it doesn't mean that it isn't there.
 

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All I'm gonna say is that if anyone thinks they can do it, if they have read about how things are in Spain, visited and can safely see a way of living there, then they should try it! Just dont burn your bridges and dont think it will be as you think it will. Moving to Spain isnt a cheap, easy or a relaxing option unless you have an independent money source. Spain is a wonderful country, but its also a very harsh country

Jo xxx
 

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Bear in mind that I can only talk about where I live and my experiences. I suppose experiences will differ depending on environment, and how involved you are in the business world which brings you into contact with a lot of different people.....some good, some bad.

Plus if you come here with a lot of dosh with no need to work then your experiences will differ again.
The seedier side of Brit life does exist here.....but like in Britain you may well not come across it. But it doesn't mean that it isn't there.

Sometimes I think you need to 'dramatise' for two main reasons: firstly, because in our entertainment and reality-as-entertainment society, we have become spiritually deadened to what, for lack of a better more precise term, I can only describe as 'human hurt' and hope you will understand what I mean. As I used to tell my students, on tv shows dead people get up when the cameras stop rolling. In real life, they don't. So you have to paint in extreme colours and hope - just hope - that someone somewhere will start thinking and questioning.

Secondly, for far too many people, life is just like that: hard, tragic, a story of avoidable mistakes. We've all made them but for most of us lost ground has been recoverable. Not so for those less cushioned from the sharp side of life because they lack money, skills , judgment, experience or even something as intangible as good fortune.

In our society the past fifty years or so has been ruled by the philosophy of the paramount importance of self-realisation and free choice. Duty, obligation, the needs of others...all come second to our wants. When the 'me' philosophy of the 1960s met the greed is good culture of the 1980s all hell broke loose. Social cohesion gave way to fragmentation, family breakdown, personal relationships as ego fulfilment...

What has this got to do with people wanting to emigrate to Spain, you may well ask? In my view this: instead of making the best of where we happen to be, of being satisfied with what is achievable, however meagre it may seem, people are encouraged by false expectations, principally in the media, become dissatisfied with their lives as they are and begin to dream of a better life under the sun...a life which rarely works out as hoped for because so many of the necessary ingredients are lacking.

Global free trade and movement of labour has made this rootlessness seem desireable, inevitable almost. In many ways it's a good thing, although getting to know other peoples and cultures hasn't made us less likely to want to kill them when their interests conflict with ours.

Risky behaviour used to be considered reprehensible. Concern for stability and continuity used to be of supreme importance especially where family responsibilities are concerned. Nowadays it seems it's encouraged as some kind of personal fulfilment to which you have a 'right', an entitlement.

Taking your children around the world in a camper van may be the fulfilment of your dream of 'freedom' and experience. The long-term effects on how your children will perceive the 'good' life may be totally at odds with your personal wants.

I think your post was excellent, not really very Xtreme or extreme but profound.
 

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I think your post was excellent, not really very Xtreme or extreme but profound.
Thanks Mary....and I expect you picked up on the origins of the final footnote that I placed in there as a thought-provoking call to action.

As you rightly point out, we live in a very superficial world. Where happiness and fulfilment seem to be measured by the quantity of material possessions that you have. And respect is accorded by others on the basis of who you are....not what you are.
And if you've got a point to make, you have to make it in a Crash TV style or nobody's listening. So if any of you see some dramatics in my post.....don't blame the player....blame the game.

We live in a rural backwater virtually alienated from the mainstream....in a place where people can be content with very little! Their family and friends are important to them, and the fact they don't have a swimming pool, a flash car, and all the latest "street cred" techno gadgets doesn't even register on the radar.
It's certainly made me do a "double take" on the way I look at life, because somewhere along the way I think we as Brits have lost sight of some of these values.

As someone who also rejected the values of previous generations in the 60's and 70's thinking we were going to be part of a "Brave New World", it's certainly a disappointment to see that life in general isn't any better.....in fact it's far worse. And in retrospect, our parents' generation got a lot of things right.....whereas we didn't.

The clues were there at the time, but we didn't pick up on it. Look at "The Prisoner".....if that wasn't a prophecy for life in Britain in the future I don't know what was.
Check the lyrics to The Who's "Won't get fooled again" from 1971.....cos that's what has happened to us.
And you've got to feel sorry for poor old Barry McGuire.....now in his late 70's and still singing "Eve of Destruction".....again very prophetic, and just as valid today as it was in 1965.


But hell.....what do I know? I'm just a simple man from the Welsh Valleys.....and one of Thatch's expendables!
 

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You know a lot....and you are clearly someone who thinks beneath the surface.

I think the curse of our age is the view that human life is somehow 'perfectable' and that we are 'entitled' to fulfil our desires and fantasies at whatever the social cost. Whatever we want we must have...NOW.

Since coming to Spain I've come across people -I hesittate to call them 'families' - who have 'followed the dream' and brought their children to Spain to live the ideal life. Two in particular stand out...a mother of a ten-year-old daughter, no current regular partner, she calls herself a teacher but has no qualifications, who has no work, moves from place to place and who is now squatting in a studio apartment in a mainly holiday urb. She has few possessions and the daughter has never known a life in one place for longer than a year at most.

The other is a woman with an older daughter who also moves from place to place, has a succession of partners and does a succession of casual jobs, mainly bar work. She relies on her current partner to provide a home. When the relationship breaks up, it's moving time again.

I knjow of two men, one in his fifties, who moved to Spain in search of work. One is a skilled carpenter who gets by by working on the black. At times he is destitute and gets food from supermarket dustbins. He lives in a shack in the campo.

The other is young, no skills, living rough. He intended to move here, find a job, bring his family. No job...family break-up.

Now please don't think I'm saying that these experiences are common in Spain, they're not.
By they are by no means unusual. Spain is unlike the UK in that the safety net of the Welfare State, which we often deplore as 'nanny-like' but run to when in need, is simply not an option.

Friends substitute for family support in many cases of immigrants here but it's hard to have a network of reliable friends if you are living on fresh air and hope.

I often dreamed of living abroad when I was young. Going to other countries for someone of my background was highly unusual..unless you were male and given a gun and uniform. But I'm a cautious soul and as a woman with a partner and child stability was more important than following a 'dream'.

Decades of work and I had the freedom and means to do what I'd wanted for so long. The waiting made it so much more enjoyable.

But as the original Barclaycard ad in the 1960s said'Why not take the waiting out of wanting?'

Therein lies some of the seeds of our present malaise, methinks.
 

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By the way, Xtreme...the one politician with whom I feel the most affinity is Neil Kinnock...mocked for his humble origins and lack of sophistication but a man who for all his limitations -he wasn't PM material - knew about working people and knew the importance of social values and social cohesion.

A thoroughly decent man and it's interesting how his successful career and affluence has roused the ire of Daily Mail readers.
 

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By the way, Xtreme...the one politician with whom I feel the most affinity is Neil Kinnock...mocked for his humble origins and lack of sophistication but a man who for all his limitations -he wasn't PM material - knew about working people and knew the importance of social values and social cohesion.

A thoroughly decent man and it's interesting how his successful career and affluence has roused the ire of Daily Mail readers.
Neil Kinnock was a very decent man.....but suffered the handicap of his accent and his visual appearance. Unfortunately people hear it and immediately think of stupid people who go everywhere with a rugby ball under their arm while singing loudly. And whose only interest involves sodomising farmyard animals on the way to Chapel!
Consequently he was completely unelectable because middle England was never going to buy into that package.

Instead the sleazy Blair came along and singlehandedly accomplished what Thatch never could.....destroying Socialism solely to further his own ends.
Look at what we're left with now......the great Aneurin Bevan must be turning in his grave.
 

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In our society the past fifty years or so has been ruled by the philosophy of the paramount importance of self-realisation and free choice. Duty, obligation, the needs of others...all come second to our wants. When the 'me' philosophy of the 1960s met the greed is good culture of the 1980s all hell broke loose. Social cohesion gave way to fragmentation, family breakdown, personal relationships as ego fulfilment...
It is easy to blame the 60's generation and philosophy for all of our problems today.
And I agree that the 'me philosophy', combined with the 80's 'greed philosophy', has not only changed our attitudes to life, it has changed Western society profoundly, and not for the better.

However....
That same 60's generation (enabled, I admit, by economic circumstances) were at least partly responsible for political changes which benefit us all today.
Workers Rights, Womens Rights, Gay Rights, Education Reforms, Racial and Culteral integration... there is a long list.
Some of those rights and reforms were lost (or at least eroded) in the 80's, but others remain. Others still have been altered under the covert guise of social control.

One could say that if more members of the 60's generation had actually bothered to read Das Kapital, rather than citing its philosophy second hand, they may have been forewarned.
But blaming them, without giving them credence for their achievements, is a rather one-sided exercise.
 

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Back in 1962 Dylan (the songwriter, not my Donkey) wrote "A Hard Rains Gonna Fall"......again, worth revisiting today with it's imagery of injustice, suffering, pollution and warfare.

Particularly prophetic is "the pellets of poison are flooding the waters" representing the lies and deliberate misrepresentation that people are force fed via the mass media. And nearly 50 years before Wikileaks!

In recent years that control has been breaking down due to the power of the Internet. People now have the ability to search for the truth.....if they can find it under the smokescreen of ludicrous conspiracy theories that exist.

So now the "powers that be" are trying to enforce restrictions on what we see and what we read. All under the auspices of saving us from computer piracy of course.
Can't happen here?.....it's been in place for years as in The Great Firewall of China!

It's a worrying thought that we may soon be restricted from reading Jo's legendary contributions such as "Well I don't know anything about that.....but somebody will be along soon that does".....and not forgetting the classic....."Well I don't know the way to Seville.....but I have seen a road sign pointing there". :)

She's gonna kill me now! :(
 

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.

Instead the sleazy Blair came along and singlehandedly accomplished what Thatch never could.....destroying Socialism solely to further his own ends.
Look at what we're left with now......the great Aneurin Bevan must be turning in his grave.
Socialism deserved to die, though. As a creed it's well-meaning but vacuous, in practice it has failed in every society in which it has been imposed. Cuba and Venezuala havehad to resort to market solutions to revive their inefficient bankrupt centrally-planned economies. In the twentyfirst century state ownership and centrally planned economies exist only in the minds of dreamers.

Thatcher did achieve something very noteworthy but rarely remarked on: she destroyed British Conservatism with her equally vaccuous and toxic brand of neo-liberralism. That has left a dangerous hole in British political life.

Neil Kinnock, like 99% of Labour Party mermbers in the thirty plus years I was a member, was never a socialist. He was a social democrat. That's why the Livingstone hard left hated him and constantly plotted against him. Like the rest of us, he viewed 'socialism' like some Catholics view transsubstantiation.
 

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It is easy to blame the 60's generation and philosophy for all of our problems today.
And I agree that the 'me philosophy', combined with the 80's 'greed philosophy', has not only changed our attitudes to life, it has changed Western society profoundly, and not for the better.

However....
That same 60's generation (enabled, I admit, by economic circumstances) were at least partly responsible for political changes which benefit us all today.
Workers Rights, Womens Rights, Gay Rights, Education Reforms, Racial and Culteral integration... there is a long list.
Some of those rights and reforms were lost (or at least eroded) in the 80's, but others remain. Others still have been altered under the covert guise of social control.

The reforms you cite were either largely achieved or well under way before the 1960s though. I would also dispute that the education reforms were in any way a benefit to society. Education was made an experiment of social engineering and it has failed the very youngsters it was intended to help. Women's rights...well, equal pay has not yet been achieved but such laws as we have arose from trades union agitation that predated the 60s. I doubt whether David Steel was much influenced by the Zeitgeist when he introduced his Abortion Reform Bill and neither was Roy Jenkins when he introduced divorce law reform and decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting males - incidentally, the Wolfenden Report which instigated this reform was the work of a Conservative administration, if I remember rightly.

As for racial and cultural integration.....a most desirable aim still awaiting implementation. Our current obsession with multi-culti has led to a lack of social cohesion and social fragmentation which in turn has led to dangerous alienation amongst many sections of our divided society. A multi-racial society with some elements of common culture works and is desirable. Multi-culturalism is an offshoot of the neo-liberal agenda...the culture of 'rights' with the justice system taking over from our elected representatives in deciding what is socially and c ulturally acceptable.. We are in danger of importing the U.S. culture of rights into our society, a culture that leads inevitably to low-scale civil war.

I was a very active member of the Labour Party in that period and in no way did the 60s culture influence our thinking which remained traditional and small 'c' conservative
.

One could say that if more members of the 60's generation had actually bothered to read Das Kapital, rather than citing its philosophy second hand, they may have been forewarned.
But blaming them, without giving them credence for their achievements, is a rather one-sided exercise.

There is a school of thought which describes the whole 60s 'counter-culture' as a manufactured product of business and advertising. There is a very interesting book, 'The Conquest of Cool' by Thomas Frank which shows clearly the links between capitalism and manufactured but ultimately safe 'rebellion'.

Such reforms as we have are entirely the result of political pressure through unions and political parties of left, right and centre. We often forget that before Thatcher the Conservative Party was a party of cautious reform, a supporter of state intervention ....no way the ideological cause celebre into which she fashioned it after her second election victory.

Someone should have taken the wings off her plane so she could never have made that fateful visit to the U.S.
 
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