Decrease in morality globally paints a bleak future
4 months ago, 17 Mar 20:47
If an older person ventures to suggest that things ain’t what they used to be in dear old England, or that “we’re all going to hell in a handbasket”, as my elderly neighbour frequently declares, the reaction from the younger generation is invariably a patronising smile which says, “The doom-mongers are at it again”. Well, this tiny island nation may be only a minuscule part of the world picture, but thinking Britons cannot escape the feeling that over recent years it has become a nastier place to live. Our leaders lack inspiration, people are greedier, violence is increasing and so is vandalism, the streets are dirty and compassion is in short supply. Consider some recent trends: Flinging acid into the faces of innocent people has become an accepted method of stealing motorbikes (or expressing personal hatred); spitting is no longer a disgusting no-no, as witness a former footballer who spat in the face of a 14-year-old girl because he had been taunted about his old team; police in several towns have discovered grooming networks where adult men have enticed schoolgirls into sex by means of drink or drugs; fraudsters frequently con old people into believing their roof needs tiling or their driveway paving, charge them a large sum, then disappear. BREXIT Revelations about the treatment of women by powerful bosses in Hollywood have led to the unmasking of many offenders here, too. And a newspaper investigation found that Oxfam and other aid workers made use of their status in disaster areas to secure sexual favours. On a wider scale, the Brits made one of the crassest political errors of all time by voting us out of Europe, but then the Americans chose the awful, self-obsessed Donald Trump to be their president, while continental European nations edge ever closer to intolerant right-wing governance. Voters and parties may deny it, but I will eat my hat if anti-immigrant sentiments did not influence these decisions. And don’t look to the world’s fastest growing country for relief because Chinese legislators just voted 2,964 to two to make President Xi Jinping dictator for life. RUSSIAN EX-SPY Finally, strangest and scariest of all, a Russian who spied for Britain years ago, Sergei Skripal, and his adult daughter, Julia, were found slumped unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Police said they had been poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent made only in Russia known as Novichok. Cue a major row between scandalised Britain, claiming “unlawful use of force” on its territory, and a stonewalling Russia saying, “Nothing to do with us”. What was that about a handbasket to hell? * * * Blizzards and snowstorms at the end of February brought thousands of cars to a halt, closed schools, reduced rail traffic, grounded airplanes and looked like cancelling the wedding of Rebecca McKenzie and Daniel Hodgson. But (the previous item notwithstanding) people in the rural areas are good neighbours. Rebecca and Daniel were scheduled to marry at St Cuthbert’s church in the village of Benfieldside, ...
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