There is something very rotten in this country of ours. It’s been getting that way for a long time, but what started it? And when? The following list came quickly to my mind, sometimes a little cynical, sometimes humorous. Any more suggestions? Let me know
- Me being born
- Ending of National Service
- The Common Market
- Summer of Love in 1967
- Demise of Bowler hats
- Long hair
- Liberty Organisation
- Mobile phones
- The Internet
- Abolitioning of Caning
- Railway privatisation
- Beer at £1 a pint
- All-day Sunday opening for pubs
- Punk music
- Sunday opening for shops
- European Convention on Human Rights
- Abolishing the dog licence
- The Simpsons
- So-called alternative comedy, i.e. swearing & shouting
- Politically correct nursery rhymes
- Me getting older
- Egg & Spoon races being called too competitive
- The Sun
- Plastic wine corks
- When ‘staff’ became ‘human resources’
- Decline of school uniform
- The demise of the bus queue in favour of a mill-about
- Big Brother and so-called reality TV
- The Young Ones (not the Cliff Richard film!)
A few days after i first added this above list in March 2007 an article “How has Britain changed in the last 10 years?” appeared on the BBC website, whose copyright I fully acknowledge. I include that list here, compiled by BBC site readers, as it would be terrible if it was lost for ever.
1. Coffee is served by the pint and it will cost more than a pint of beer.
2. Once you received your gas from British Gas, your electricity from your local electricity board and your phone service from BT. Now, you will get your gas from your bank, your electricity from British Gas, and your phone service from Tesco.
3. The DFS sale which started 10 years ago will be ending soon.
4. I remember arranging to meet friends at a given location/time many days in advance. If they were late you had to scratch around for 10p to ring from a phone box (and their mum would always tell you they had set off). They would never stand you up, as the cowardly way of cancelling without warning by text just didn't exist then.
5. It's OK to take photos at concerts, so long as you use your phone.
6. Marmite now comes in a squeezy jar.
7. Elaborate descriptions adorn food packaging: "freshly made", "perfectly ripe", "deliciously creamy" or (a recent favourite) a "hand-stretched" pizza.
8. Beach huts used to be for nannas and grandads rather than property speculators.
9. A "C" in the middle of a circle meant "copyright".
10. The M62 and M25 were still motorways rather than car parks.
11. "I was following my Sat Nav" is now the excuse for driving where you shouldn't.
12. Helen Mirren was occasionally called "Ma'am" by junior officers in Prime Suspect, but not by anybody else.
13. "Decking" now refers to something you do to your garden, rather than what one boxer does to another.
14. Swear words are no longer asterisked in a newspaper.
15. Headline puns are no longer the sole property of the tabloids.
16. A wag was something a dog did with its tail.
17. If children carried guns, they squirted water.
18. Policeman are still nominally unarmed but wander around in body armour - even in the Lake District - that makes them look like battle scene extras from Starship Troopers.
19. You can no longer wear a hat or a hooded top inside a shopping centre.
20. A family seaside holiday in Britain is considered chic.
21. Northern Ireland is one of the UK's top tourist destinations.
22. The customer is no longer wrong all the time.
23. The phrase "Big Brother is watching you" should actually be the other way round for many people.
24. Naked bottoms in TV ads!
25. Noel Edmonds is still on telly, but at least his Crinkly Bottom has been banished to oblivion.
26. Daleks were reduced to scraping a living in Kit-Kat adverts 10 years ago. Today they're appearing on a lunchbox, annual, poster, t-shirt, DVD, sticker collection and life-size cardboard cut-out near you.
27. Passwords were for international spies and entry to gang huts a decade ago. Now you can barely buy milk without the need for some secretive alpha-numeric code.
28. People go to hospital to become ill.
29. The UK will be just like Australia except the weather is worse and the coffee isn't as good.
30. And everyone wants to move to Australia.