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Does Britain Spend Too Much Time Looking to The Past?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
Do you think Britiain as a country spends too much time looking to the past - for instance looking at this article it appears that some £2 Billion pounds a year of lottery money is spent restoring old buildings, etc.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3161181.stm

Would you rather see the money going on building new things like community centres, etc or restoring old things from the past?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lots of these listed bulidings do get restored and turned in to community centres, or homes for children with special needs. i think that it's a fantastic way of bringing something back from the past and giving it a new lease of life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spend it on the present, we lack the community facilities and are constantly being told that due to lack of funding, the things we need in our communities cannot be provided.

    A member of the aristocracy was recently given millions to stop him selling a painting to an American gallery by the lottery, personally I would rather see more hospitals or schools provided for than a private painting I will never see.

    At the end of the day we have the National Trust and English Heritage in place for old bulidings and deteriorating welfare state.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, I think this country has a very unattractive habit of looking back in time to approximately the Victorian era and the height of Empire. We have a great history but that doesn't mean we should let the past rule the present. I think there are far too many listed buildings, it's only natural as time goes on and we can build better buildings to build them - obviously protect the buildings that get visitors and are valuable to our history as a nation but there are so many that aren't.

    In my old school two of our buildings were listed, one was hideous, lacking in proper catering facilities, had unstable external concrete steps to get to the top floor and had a toilet that was shut most of the time due to the bad smell from the poor sanitation - in all honesty it should be torn down and replaced by a modern building which the school would love to do but because it's a listed building they can't do anything to it and what they can do is really expensive.

    The second building was nice enough to look at but it was originally a family house and so was only converted to a school with some difficulty, it didn't even have a set floor level as in you couldn't say what was the ground floor and first floor because everything was on split levels. To be honest that should have been gutted and had the single glazed windows and poor fittings replaced.

    I never once in seven years there saw someone come and look at these buildings so what's the point of them being listed? That's the kind of negative clinging onto history I dislike, the ironic thing is although as a nation we seek to return to the Victorian ages, the Victorians were actually very forward thinking people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fuck the 'Empire'.

    All it did was to subjugate parts of the world. Is that too PC a statement? I don't believe so.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Look at Hong Kong now, & I'm sure their would be less Indians in Britain without the empire.

    Some old buildings are important, a lot aren't, I don't think much money should be spent on painting and art when their are more important things like hospitals.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    India may not be poor if Britain hadn't colonised it.

    If the UK is ever a colonial possession of another nation, people who mourn the 'loss' of Empire cannot complain. It would be hypocritical for them to do so.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hasnt Blair already essentially subjugated the UK to the control of the US empire?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Clandestine
    Hasnt Blair already essentially subjugated the UK to the control of the US empire?

    No, that was done way before Blair; look at the loan given to the UK at the height of WW2 by the US. That effectively handed over the infrastructure of the crumbling British Empire to the Americans.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tis true, but i was thinking more in reference to the choice between further subjugation to the US or a closer, more cooperative and leading role with EU partners in pushing a common EU foreign and Security policy forward and less in historical terms.

    Sorry i didnt specify that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Clandestine
    Tis true, but i was thinking more in reference to the choice between further subjugation to the US or a closer, more cooperative and leading role with EU partners in pushing a common EU foreign and Security policy forward and less in historical terms.

    Sorry i didnt specify that.

    Britain has always been screwed by the Americans because of a stupid right wing belief that there is a "special relationship" between us and the Americans.

    The US did not, contrary to right wing belief get involved in WWI and WWII to save Britain, in World War One they got involved because of German U-boats sinking the Liusitania (sp?) and in World War Two because the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

    They then screwed us over with expensive loan agreements at our most desperate time which made us economically destitute well into the 1950s while giving our competitors in Japan and Germany assistance to build new factories and other economic help which meant that even today Japan and Germany are ahead of us economically.

    Until Thatcher got in we didn't have anything like the close relationship we did before - Wilson didn't, thank God, send British troops to Vietnam because the Americans asked us to. But since Thatcher took office we've been little more than an American aircraft carrier off France, they refused to help us in the Falklands Conflict but we let them attack Libya in 1986 using us as a base. That kind of "relationship" has only built until you have the British government lying to their own people through dodgy dossiers to get support for a war that their American masters want despite the opposition of the people who put them in power.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No of course i recognise the longer running history of relations, that wasnt what I was getting at. You did of course forget the 1983 US invasion of Grenada (which happens to belong to the UK).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Clandestine
    No of course i recognise the longer running history of relations, that wasnt what I was getting at. You did of course forget the 1983 US invasion of Grenada (which happens to belong to the UK).

    Another example of how the special relationship only runs in one direction (perhaps why it's so "special"?). No I wasn't getting at you Clan, just pointing out that the special relationship does indeed mean further subjugation to Washington.

    Funny really, if it was a European country exterting that pressure on British government policy the Murdoch media would be in uproar but because it's the Americans it's okay. Funny how The Sun rants and raves about the EU taking over our country when they're wilfully ignoring the fact that our foreign policy is decided in Washington.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Grenada was independent when Reagan ordered the invasion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by monocrat
    Grenada was independent when Reagan ordered the invasion.

    Depends, it ruled itself. However, the Queen was its head of state and it had a Governor-General from Britain acting as the Queen's representative, effectively head of state. Also it was a member of the Commonwealth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by kevlar85
    That's the kind of negative clinging onto history I dislike, the ironic thing is although as a nation we seek to return to the Victorian ages, the Victorians were actually very forward thinking people.

    I agree. We do tend to look back at the Victorian age and think "wasn't Britain great back then". But today Britain isn't nearly as great as it was. Where are the Brunels and the Watts of today? Britain should stop being so complacent and so backward-looking. We need to live in the here-and-now. We need to try and get back to where we were in real terms, not simply reminisce and dream about it. I don't mean we should annexe India, but we should certainly try to get back the manufacturing and economic clout we had back then.
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