Columnist David Worboys: Years of decline

Columnist David Worboys: Years of decline. Image: Pixabay

In the last eighty years, human achievement has exceeded the wildest imagination of the post-war era. Pioneers have discovered and developed innovations that offer humanity greater opportunities, conveniences and comforts than ever before. In Europe, we benefit from advances in technology, science, communications and flexible travel. From personal finance to instant news, from organ transplants to digital photography, life is easier and more adventurous. So, with all this progress, why are we currently facing so many problems of utmost gravity?   

 The decline started gradually. The increasing use of drugs in the sixties, rising crime in the noughties, abuse of social media in the teens.

In recent years, along with climate change, the decline has accelerated alarmingly. In 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU. In 2017, Trump became US President. In 2018, Bolsonaro stepped up the destruction of the rain forests and hence the planet. In 2019, China suppressed Hongkong. In 2020 the world was hit by Covid, and 2021 saw a rapid increase in cyberattacks. But, in 2022, everything has come together. Russia invaded Ukraine, precipitating universal energy, food and distribution crises. China threatens Taiwan. World economies are hit by rampant inflation. Unprecedented heatwaves and floods cause environmental havoc and human tragedy.

In Spain, as in other countries, decline in standards is accelerating. Limited resources and lack of pride in one´s job result in trying to get by with minimum care and effort. Response from public services, utility companies and even health authorities, already slow, is getting worse. Incompetence, corruption and errors everywhere have increased with nobody held accountable.

We have declining quality of goods in shops, ranging from sub-standard food (both fresh and packaged) to poor packaging, lacklustre clothing and unreliable appliances. The service in many shops and bars in Axarquia is almost hostile. A general failure to keep appointments, often with no warning or apology, is utterly selfish.

In the UK, waiting times for ambulances reached levels ranging from unacceptable to unbelievable. There are crucial delays in urgent medical and dental treatment, police reaction, passport and driving test applications, response to telephone calls; in airport departures and access to the port of Dover; in the payment of benefits, compensation and tax refunds. There also are strikes in numerous sectors. It is frightening to see people struggling for financial survival and heart-breaking to imagine the hopeless predicament and suffering of people in the absence of a reliable health service.

Such setbacks have always gone in cycles but, after considerable human inconvenience and suffering, the old order has eventually returned.

It has always been the same with nature – but, no longer. Owing to human interference, the blazing forest fires, the loss of flora and fauna, the barren plantations, dried up rivers and reservoirs all over Europe are symptomatic of a permanent, irreversible danger, that will almost certainly lead to the demise of our planet.

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Written by

David Worboys

Offering a unique insight into everything from politics to food to sport, David is one of the Euro Weekly News´ most popular columnists.


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