Strap up and get on with it Britain: where’s your backbone?


Ok Monday was great fun, an unexpected gift of a snow day, families had fun together, strangers struck up conversations, everywhere was buzzing and a great time was had by all.

By Tuesday it was all a distant memory as we got bike on our bikes (or bus, train, tube) and went back to work. Well we did, but it seems some people were still mysteriously snowed in. Do they live in a different universe form the rest of us or did they simply turn on the TV, tune into the media hysteria and think 'great another excuse for another day off work.' My daughter didn’t actually go back to school until Thursday. It seems teachers in North London commute from the Outer Hebrides every day.

Ok the snow was heavier than we have seen for 18 years and in London we simply don’t have the resources to deal with it, and why should we, it would be a complete waste of money. What should the councils do, buy up lots of snow ploughs at enormous cost and then leave them in a garage somewhere for the next 18 years? But turn on the TV and as usual the media were trying to find someone to blame. Whenever something goes wrong, be it a terrorist attack or a freak of nature, there has to be someone to blame. 

Maybe the UK media are actually the ones to blame for the doom and gloom we all feel. Perhaps we should blame them for making us afraid of teenagers, going back to work when our children are little, being too fat, too thin, spending too much, having our jobs taken by foreign workers etc etc. Maybe they were the ones scared us into a recession, perhaps they helped falling house prices by constantly telling us how much our houses were no longer worth. Hang on a minute, didn’t they make us greedy in the first place by creating a celebrity culture unattainable for most ordinary people, didn’t they constantly encourage us to move up the Property Ladder, Think location location location, build a Grand Design, find Cash in the Attic, A place in the sun and Escape to the Country!

Why does everything have to be a huge drama. Does it make us want to watch more TV, buy more newspapers, I’m not sure it does. It just succeeds in creating a fear culture where we are afraid to trust our judgment and take risks. We have come to reply on the media to tell us how to live our lives and when it goes wrong, they tell us who to blame.

Wouldn’t it be great if on Tuesday morning we had turned on the TV or radio and heard, 'Today it may take you a bit longer to get to work and the transport services may be a little delayed, but put on your boots, wrap up warmly and give it a go.' Instead what message do we get?  Don't go out unless its absolutely necessary as it may be dangerous. May, now that’s the key word, what happened to not giving in, rising to a challenge and taking personal responsibility for ones actions.

Oh poor old Britain, you might get cold (Well put on an extra jumper) you might not be able to get on a bus (well walk) and it might mean you have to make a bit more effort than normal (well tough) What message does it give to our children? They are already in danger of becoming the 'I cant be bothered' generation and now they think its acceptable to take a day off if the weathers bad.

The final straw for me was when a repair man couldn’t come out from Watford to London on Friday because of the sleet. Oh for pity sake, where is our British sense of pride, our make do and mend mentality, our work ethic, our fighting spirit. I know I am in danger of sounding like an old bag from the WI  in the Home Counties but quite frankly we think it's time to shape up, get on with it and show our children we are not afraid of a challenge.

What do you think?

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