Saturday, April 13, 2013

Now it's all making sense

I've been watching the fascinating series Wartime Farm. Though it's not an explicit message in the series, most striking to me was the sense that while WWII-era Britain was fighting for freedom, the country was being run like a totalitarian dictatorship. Now I know why. Daniel Hannan:
Churchill had become prime minister because he was the Conservative politician most acceptable to Labour. In essence, the wartime coalition involved a grand bargain. Churchill was allowed to prosecute the war with all the nation’s resources while Labour was given a free hand to run domestic policy.
 The social-democratic dispensation which was to last, ruinously, for the next four decades – and chunks of which are rusting away even today – was created in an era of ration-books, conscription, expropriations and unprecedented spending. The state education system, the NHS, the Beveridge settlement – all were conceived at a time when it was thought unpatriotic to question an official, and when almost any complaint against the state bureaucracy could be answered with “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”
Oddly enough, the war effort demanded more of some than of others. There were lots of crooks (in and out of government) who got rich while Joe and Mary Farmer and Factory Worker had to scrimp, save and do without. Some things never change. 

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