Tuesday, March 22, 2005

What happened to moral sentiments?

From John Bartholomew's web site: www.thewelfarestatewerein.com (the best site for examples of state failure engendered by the way state administered activities are organised) there is a classic example of what is continuing to happen and worsen in the UK in this week's Blog:

"From Instructions to American Servicemen in Britain, 1942:
The British are tough. Don't be misled by the British tendency to be soft-spoken and polite.
___
They are not given to back-slapping and they are shy about showing their affections. But once they get to like you they make the best friends in the world.
___
The Briton...is... the most lawabiding citizen in the world, because the British system of justice is just about the best there is. There are fewer murders, robberies, and burglaries in the whole of Great Britain in a year than in a single large American city.
___
You will find that English crowds at football or cricket matches are more orderly and polite to the players than American crowds. If a fielder misses a catch at cricket, the crowd will probably take a sympathetic attitude. They will shout 'good try' even if it looks to you like a bad fumble. In America the crowd would probably shout 'take him out'.
___
They are good sportsmen and are quick to recognise good sportsmanship wherever they meet it.
___
It isn't a good idea to say 'bloody' in mixed company in Britain - it is one of their worst swear words.
___
The British dislike bragging and showing off.
___
In peace or war, 'God Save The King' (to the same tune as our 'America') is played at the conclusion of all public gatherings such as theater performances. The British consider it bad form not to stand at attention, even if it means missing the last bus. If you are in a hurry, leave before the national anthem is played. That's considered alright.
___
On the whole, British people... are open and honest. If you are on furlough and puzzled about directions, money, or customs, most people will be anxious to help you as long as you speak first and without bluster. The best authority on all problems is the nearest 'bobby' (policeman) in his steel helmet. British police are proud of being able to answer almost any question under the sun. They're not in a hurry and they'll take plenty of time to talk to you."

For the rest of this alarming, indeed shameful, account of the world we appear to have lost and how far we are drifting from a society as envisaged by Adam Smith's vision in Moral Sentiments and what existed within my lifetime, see www.thewelfarestatewerein.com

The UK has not changed much in ten years, or even thirty years, but it sure has changed since 1942. I defy anybody to argue credibly that the aspects revealed by John Batholemew's quotations are not disturbing.

0 Comments:

Post a comment

<< Home