“I went to school on the train endless strikes waiting on cold platforms for hours. Then returned home to a house with power cuts no heating hot food it was a nightmare for at least 10 years“— who can guess on what the lady I quote was, in a semi-literate fashion, commenting? The Second World War? Surely not: that only lasted for 6 years. The Siege of Leningrad? No, that lasted for a shorter period yet— 2 years, 4 months. What, then? In fact the lady in question was commenting, in the online Daily Mail, on the UK railways and, in the wider sense, on the UK generally in the 1970s.
Well, it certainly sounds like it was awful. The problem with that, though, is that it is in fact not true. The trains in England (where I lived; Wales and Scotland were similar) were not subject to “endless” strikes (though there were certainly far more than is now the case) and the station platforms were no colder than they are now. What about “power cuts”, “no heating [or] hot food”?
The “Three Day Week” only lasted for 3 months (January-March 1974) and only commercial users of electricity were cut off or required to cease using electrical power. Most domestic users were unaffected. Newspaper printing, supermarkets and hospitals were also exempt. In other words, if the lady quoted at top is not simply making up her story of hardship (or failing to remember accurately), the reasons must lie elsewhere. Maybe her parents failed to pay their electricity bill! Only joking…In fact, two years before that, there had been announced (on 16 February 1972) a rolling programme of area outages (including domestic users) but peace broke out 2-3 days later (midday on 19 February 1972) so, again, few domestic users were affected, though a minority had seen limited outages earlier, in early February.
There was, also, the “Winter of Discontent”, which occurred in the winter of 1978-79, but in fact (in its acute phase) was only effective in January and early February 1979. In reality, we are talking about weeks rather than months. Neither domestic nor commercial users of electricity lost power; gas and coal users were likewise unaffected.
So there we have it: the lady commenting on these matters at top seems to be a victim of selective amnesia when she regards a decade of her childhood as having been an awful ten years without rail travel, heating, lighting etc. The “decade” in question turns out to have been affected for about 2-4 months out of 120…
In fact, the amnesiac lady is not alone. Time and again we read about how the UK spent much of the 1970s in the dark, in the cold, without public transport, without food, rubbish uncollected and dead bodies unburied. It’s nonsense, but many really believe it, even those who were there, which is worrying…I should add that I myself was there, having been born in 1956; by the way, those “dead bodies unburied” did exist briefly (for a few days) in the winter of 1978-79, but only in two or three small areas of Liverpool and Manchester. Less noxious rubbish did pile up, but not for very long and not everywhere.
This fake history, that the 1970s were a decade of “socialist” chaos and dislocation, is quite entrenched now. This canard has wings! The various “Conservative” newspapers in the UK repeat it as an article of faith.
Other Fake Memories
No, I am not going to blog, here anyway, about the “holocaust” scammers and delusionals. I want to focus on a few other things. One persistent idea (which I have even seen said and written by journalists and TV talking heads older than me) is that Britain had no decent food until about 20 years ago! It’s just nonsense! Another is that life was harder for people in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s than it now is. More nonsense. In, say, the 1970s, people mostly had secure jobs, which paid enough to live on; there were no such things as foodbanks; social security was far better overall, the disabled and unemployed were not bullied by DWP jobsworths; the mass immigration which is making the UK (especially parts of England) into a human zoo had not really begun to snowball; workers had fixed hours, which included decent lunch breaks of 1 hour (often interpreted generously); there was no such thing (for most employees) as being on call after hours, in the evenings or on weekends and holidays. In addition, it was far easier (for anyone qualified) to access higher education.
There is a wave of unreality around. I have a –perhaps idiosyncratic– theory that the various kinds of lies or lying fake “facts” that people are often now expected to believe (“holocaust” fakery, the idea that races and peoples are all somehow “equal”, the idea that National Socialism was “evil” etc) have affected the general sense of truth in society, so that many cannot detect lies, and indeed often lie to themselves as well as others about recent history and even about their own experiences.