Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Last Summer

"There will never be a summer like the summer of 1976 because when it ended something ended in Britain. The notion that you could live well as a working class person, in a society that tried to share its resources fairly, and in which you did not have to bust a ball to earn a buttie, has gone from the popular memory. People may tell their children about how you could change jobs on a whim - they do - but the memory of everything else that we enjoyed has gone. We need to bring that memory back and make it a political demand."

Until that happens, we will never have another summer and the winter that has now lasted for 30 years will remain."


The above is an extract from The Exile's excellent post about the summer of 1976.
As he points out, when that summer ended, so did a lot of other things: the Callaghan government signed up to the IMF's package, which helped pave the way for Thatcherism and all the social and economic devastation that was to follow.
The sun shined on Britain throughout the summer of 1976. It most definitely is not shining on us now.

2 comments:

Wackford Squeers said...

The sun shined on Britain throughout the summer of 1976. It most definitely is not shining on us now.

Indeed, and if you want further evidence of Britain's precipitate decline, even professional writers these days don't seem to have the first clue about how to render simple verbs like "to shine" in the past tense.

It makes one despair, it really does.

Neil Clark said...

You can actually use both 'shined' and 'shone' for the past tense of 'to shine', Wackford.
What was the preferred form in the 19th century, seeing as you were there?