The U.K. Is Done. The U.K. Is Also The Canary In The Coal Mine

Reasonable men have been able to agree for some while now that the ruins of Empire have left little other than hordes of benefit-taking binge-drinking fans of a game played by floppy-haired pixies in tight nylon shorts. On that, I trust, there will be little debate.

But the news stories that keep churning out reveal two worrisome trends. First, the impossible-to-satirize tales of the Nanny State show a definite tendency toward accelerating, to the point where even the alleged wards of the benign administrators don’t understand what’s going on. For instance, see Mr. Khan’s comments below:

Then you get this, where I would be shocked if even the promulgators of the rule could articulate the “offense” that was imagined to be caused to non-Christians by the ringing of bells:

The problem is, though, that this sort of stuff is not confined to their goofy little island. The second worrisome trend is that what happens in the U.K. shows a tendency to crop up in the (previously) grown-up world a few years later.

I remember laughing out loud (thinking ruefully of the Battle of Waterloo having been won on the playing fields of Eton) when Tony Blair addressed with deep concern the national focus on ending “bullying” and its even-more-deadly cousin “cyberbullying.” What a bunch of pansies, and idiots too, thinking that 10,000 years of human/child history could (or even should) be legislated away. But, lo and behold, it’s not just limited to the limp-wristed Poms any more:

I get it, weakness and decadence and obsession with the trivial are all interwoven. I guess I just didn’t know the rest of us were almost as far along the path to emasculated irrelevance as the Brits.

This Limp Wristed weakling Born on the Goofy Island is not sure what to make of this thread.

I struggled with which forum it went in, so I’ll apologize for that much, if it is more of a MPSIMS. I haven’t done a lot of Pit threads and since my attitude here is more like “Game over, man,” rather than foaming at the mouth outrage, that might be more fitting, if a mod agrees.

Time for another Crusade!

Well if you want to believe in the shite that is published by right wing rags whose stock in trade is bigotry, patriotism and mysogyny then knock yourself out.

I note that in the first link, the housing assiociation stated that it was not their policy to ban christmas lights - so of course the very responsible publisher menions this in small letters right at the very end and fails fo point out that this was the result of one persons deluded interpretation of the association rules.

I also notice that in the second link, fromt the Daily Dead Diana Mail that there is no quote whatsover from any person representing any official body working for the local council.

You’ll have to do much better for RO on such poor evidence, these publications, along with the Daily Torygraph are well known for their right wing leanings, lax adherance to the facts, and an inability o find actual statements from people who are directly responsible for the policies that they are claiming to write about.

Only thing I would believe from these rags is the date - which I would check first just in case - and the price.

That island of England breeds very valiant creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.

The Salvation Army story, for one, is suspiciously short on facts and primary evidence.

Honestly, I would not think it wise to base a view of the UK on the Express and Mail.

Aside of that, what exactly does “limp-wristed” mean in this context? I’ve only heard it as a disparagement of gay people, and I don’t want to assume that of the OP without getting an explanation for it.

But isn’t one of the complaints about what critics conceive of as the Nanny State that an atmosphere of regulation, hectoring oversight, and everyone wanting to be the boss of everyone else has been generated, in which some self-important neighborhood association panjandrum would feel that naturally it was his/her right/duty/obligation to adjudicate and sniff out “offensive” behavior where none existed?

Don’t I remember the likes of the Spectator bemoaning the “quangoization” of GB, whereby just such nebulous bodies as “neighborhood associations” felt free to tell everyone how to live their lives?

Just weak and lacking resolution.

This binge-drinking benefit-taking pixie fan thanks you for your explanation. :wink:


Probably best not to start talking about limp wrists and forwarding what ever drivel you read in the Mail and Express, when you’ve got an 88 in your name :dubious:

If such associations exist in the UK, and I’ve certainly never heard of them, then they’re almost certainly an American import. The number of threads posted on the SDMB about HOA and their bizarre restrictions is uncountable. These sorts of associations are virtually unheard of in the UK, whereas I’m under the impression that they’re quite common in America.

You’ve got that wrong. The Express is the Diana rag, the Mail’s the ‘Will Illegal Immigrant Rapists Lower House Prices?’ one.

Native English-English speaker chiming in: Here, also, it has no homophobic connotations.

Unless you believe that the writers just flat-out made this stuff up, I am not sure what attacking the source accomplishes or proves. I’ve discussed the Genetic Fallacy elsewhere.

But let’s not get sidetracked. You can call my bluff – tell me a couple of publications that you would consider non “right wing rags,” and I’ll see if I can’t substantiate my thesis (such as it is) by sourcing to them.

Well, perhaps, but when the “complaints” are lodged by vague and unidentified sources and can only be supported by citations to stories, the facts of which directly contradict the message, then I think we can dismiss these complaints as having the same weight, (and often the same sources), as the trumped up claims for a “War on Christmas.”

Reading between the lines in the Salvation Army story, it appears that the U.K. had laws on the books to discourage panhandling for many years–possibly dating back to the nineteenth century. It would seem that someone in the Salvation Army headquarters happened to read one of the laws and decided to set out a pre-emptive rule within the S.A. to prevent any future hassles.
Nothing in the story indicated any official action to prevent the S.A. from offending anyone, only speculation by ignorant people making guesses.

In the housing association story, it was clearly the action of one officious person–and officious persons trying to hype their authority have a long tradition in society, regardless of any “PC” characteristics.

In the final story, we have a pretty typical reaction to a tragic event–a lot of calls to “pass a law” to prevent a recurrence of a single instance of something bad happening. Now that the laws have been passed, we are seeing people actually examine the laws and noting that they were rather dumb, certainly in execution, possibly in intent. (Sort of like laws outlawing communism or similar idiocies.)

So I am glad that this is in the Pit where we can dismiss it as the mad ranting of a person or persons with too much bile and too few facts.

The town I grew up in had rules about charity collections - only one group would have permission to operate in the town centre at any one time, and no tin-rattling. This dates back at least to the early 1990s, and was nothing to do with offending people but simply a recognition that too much pestering of the public is really annoying, and contrary to the charities’ best interests.

Another perennial classic is the ‘Red Cross bans Christmas’ story. Here’s examples from 2008, 2002 and 1999.

Completely making shit up is not unheard of for the UK mass-circulation newspapers - bear in mind that most of the ones not owned by Murdoch are owned by a porn-magazine magnate, and all of them are more interested in printing what their buyers want to read, rather than what happened. The only papers which have any real regard for accuracy and balanced journalism are very much niche products.
Take a look at the circulation figures - of the top eight, the only ones which have any worth beyond lining litter trays are the Daily Record (which lets Scots identify one another easily) and the Financial Times (which lets corporate drones signal to their boss that they REALLY want to move up to middle management).
The bottom two serve to provide middle-class liberals with dinner-party talking points.

It may or may not be worth pointing out that the top three always have pictures of girls showing their tits on Page 3, whereas the Mail & Express are usually of the opinion that people should be arrested for being naked under their clothes.

I read the Daily Mail not for News, but for Entertainment.