By Gillian •
Updated: 08 Jun 2023 • 12:14
Copyright : Shutterstock
WHY IS GREAT BRITAIN NO LONGER GREAT?
In a parallel universe, I write about the state of Britain week after week — just this, nothing else — until everybody’s bored rigid with the mind-numbing monotony of it. Finally it’s just me in an empty room, repeatedly questioning what’s gone wrong until the end of time. Fortunately for everybody’s sanity, you only have to read me ranting on about it all just this once. Now. I promise!
We Brits are good at boasting we’ve got the best in the world: NHS, BBC, police, football, parliamentary democracy, army etc. You name it we’ve got it. But rather than admit that the British army, say, doesn’t have the same resources as its American counterparts, we’ll retort: “OK! But the SAS are the best special forces in the world.” Maybe it’s a coping mechanism for being an ex-global power?
Let’s examine a few of these institutions. First off, the NHS. Its sacred cow status has caused its service and efficiency to decline even further with bureaucrats who are unaccountable and have more commitment to keeping their jobs and the unwieldy bureaucracy than to improving the patient’s lot. We’ve all heard wonderful stories of people saved by the NHS that can’t be denied. Likewise we’ve heard truly shocking, dreadful stories of hopeless, abusive, incorrect, lazy care, leading to suffering and death.
As for the BBC, I’m increasingly finding its news broadcasts unwatchable for its gushing presenters with their silly, false hand gestures, simpering pieces to camera, ghastly “name-checks”, and delivery as if to a retarded 3-year-old. Even more work, then, for my mute/fast-forward button.
And, finally, the police. The recent scathing Casey Review of the Metropolitan Police reminds us yet again of the institutional racism at its core. Commissioned in response to the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer Wayne Couzens, Baroness Casey’s report reconfirms that the Met remains institutionally racist, but goes even further. It also accuses Britain’s biggest police force of being institutionally sexist, misogynistic AND homophobic.
What a sad indictment of these depressing times. But time to get used to the fact Britain is rapidly changing. Uncontrolled immigration. Incompetent politicians (some of whom lie – yes, you, Boris). Incompetent police officers. The BBC run by obscenely-overpaid supremos. A health service on life support despite huge increases in ‘managers’ who couldn’t run a village fête, let alone vital NHS Trusts. Medical staff on strike who prioritise their needs over those they’re supposed to care for such as the gravely ill resulting from lack of treatment during the pandemic. Overpaid, over-pensioned public-sector bosses who couldn’t organise a you-know-what. Where’s it all going to end?
And isn’t this year’s Chelsea Flower Show but a reflection of the current UK? An analogy. Wild, overgrown, out of control, choked with weed, forlorn, a shadow of its former self, impenetrable. Weedkiller, anyone? A general election perhaps?
And a final word on the UK honours system. Tainted by unfairness, cronyism and corruption, it must be made fit for those truly deserving of national recognition. Honours are for courage, selflessness and going above and beyond. Not for back-scratching, time-serving and bungs.
So, why is Great Britain no longer great? Answers on a postcard please.
Nora Johnson’s 12 critically acclaimed psychological suspense crime thrillers (www.nora-johnson.net) all available online including eBooks (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, audiobooks, paperbacks at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.
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