Tentando entender a Inglaterra – Trying to understand England


English: Popular vote by party in UK in genera...

English: Popular vote by party in UK in general elections, 1832-2005. ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Stemmer gitt til partier i Storbritannia i parlamentsvalg, 1832-2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Conservative Party propaganda

Conservative Party propaganda (Photo credit: PabloBM)

Conservative helicopter

Conservative helicopter (Photo credit: Cardiff Central Watch Photos)

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingd...

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1997-2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Margaret Thatcher, former UK PM. Fran...

English: Margaret Thatcher, former UK PM. Français : Margaret Thatcher 日本語: 「鉄の女」サッチャー英首相 Nederlands: Margaret Thatcher Svenska: Margaret Thatcher som oppositionsledare 1975 Русский: Маргарет Тэтчер, бывшая премьер-министр Великобритании (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plaque recording the location of the formation...

Plaque recording the location of the formation of the British Labour Party in 1900. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ramsay Macdonald

Ramsay Macdonald (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Labour logo.

Labour logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • first thing I’d like to ask if you know: is the name “Jennings” an Irish name? Or Scottish? Or Welsh? Or is it a fairly common name that could mean that person is from anywhere in the UK?

    Jennings…it’s an english name derived in Lancashire…northern england

  • second thing I’d like to ask: was there anything relevant happening in the UK in November 1932? I know it was the peak of the crisis…millions unemployed. But politically…was anyone being elected or something like that?

there was a coalition government imposed by Ramsay Macdonald because of the depression….he was a Labour party Guy but had to form a government with mostly conservatives……the equivalent of a democrat forming a government with republicans

  • macdonald was scottish, right? so, this means he was a guy who wanted reform but couldn’t do it because the conservatives didn’t want change, is that it?

3rd question is broader: are class distinctions still strong in England? If not, when did that change? Did it change mostly because of both world wars? Is it true you can tell what person came from where (geographically and socially) just through their accent?

as for the class question in Britain: in the movie I’m studying you can see the conflicts very clearly, but at the same time you see the upper servants, the seniors, pretty much holding on to traditions and an ideology that is EXACTLY the same as the one the upstairs people have…but why would that be? Why would people who are exploited that blatantly DEFEND interests that are opposed to theirs? is it because they identify themselves with the upstairs people, they aspire to it even if they know they can never be one of those? And want to dettach themselves from the “lowly” ones?

Well i can answer 3 very easily….class distinctions have been attacked from the top down..in that those in the upper classes chose to use class as aform of discrimmination against THEM! previously class had only been a lower class issue…those higher did not care because they were of course priveledged. This happened circa 2009 as the conservatives (mostly rich and like republicans) sought re election after a 13 year absence. Many people say the real erosin of class came circa 1979 when Margaret Thatcher…a conservative told people there was no such thing as society…this lead to the pursuit of wealth instead of class war and blurred the lines between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ because EVERYONE had the same aim…make more money not fight for better conditions or fairness in the work place…of course during the 1980’s there was a massive struggle between the working (lower) class and the upper/middle classes with the miners strikes etc…..but the seed was sown…it did not help that the person who told the working classes that they were not came froma background of a father who was a grocer…she said it proved that ANYONE could make it if thay tried so how could the class divide really exist…of course she had had a priveledged education and so could not count as strictly working class…I think this addresses your question about why they would defend this ideology..

  • wow!! that’s complex…so…let me try to understand something: there were two factions, the Conservatives and the Liberals. Then at some point came Labour. And ever since there has been these two parties, Conservatives X Labour, is that it?

  • hmmm, so Thatcher pretty much borrowed the american concept of the self-made man…that no matter what, you can make your way up with effort.

  • …or did the american concept of self-made man come from England?? 

  • that’s another thing I’m trying to understand…the US was colonized by Britain, and yet they set themselves apart…even if they have so much in common, including a bi-partisan political system…

    sort of there are three main parties…Conservatives…labour and the liberal democrats…the fabienne society was the first and they were socialists like The Labour Party but had little influence…more a focus group…then there was conservative…the liberals arose as a response to the hideous uncaring of the conservatives towards the poor and as the liberals helped establish better conditions for the working man this lead to a party…the labour party who would stand up for the guy providing labour

    yes thatcher was very close to Reagan and was keen to use the republican model of self advancement to erode the class action of the unions…so yes she stole the model from the US

    • but did the distinctions between the parties remain, or along the years they pretty much came to mean the same thing? When Labour is in power, do they really do things more socialist-like or not really anymore? 

    • yeah I hate Thatcher  lol I heard she tried privatizing things in the UK and started defending that model of “flexibilization” in the workplace…which pretty much meant longer hours, less pay, losing the benefits that had been conquered by welfare-state policies…

      the American civil war made sure that they set themselves apart… the US was determined to self govern and did not want to be a part of the british empire…I think the bi-partisan system is simply a reflection of accountability because of course the Uk used to have a tri-partite system with the monarch that the US despised

      • hmmm…ok, they would despise monarchy and a tri-partite system, but…why not a 4 or 5-party system? Why keep the binary opposition?

      • (sure, there are other parties in the US, such as the green party, the blablabla party, etc, but it’s always been pretty much democrats VS republicans)

        yes you are right the distinctions became very blurred because of the pursuit of wealth and the labour party began to suck up to those they used to protect the poor from….but there is a crucial distinction….the Labour party(wrongly i believe) sucked up in order to try and make gains for the working man…wealth creation =welfare provision etc…the conservatives believe a man should create his own wealth…in this way little has really changed…the labour party simply lost in the morality stakes because of course the conservatives had never claimed that

        well no its not really efficient to have more than a lower house or chamber and an upper…to be sure perhaps they got that from us but other systems like Iran also have this bi-partite system

        let me see if I understand then…not much changed until Thatcher came into power? There were the haves and the have-nots, and there were frequent struggles, unions striking, etc?

        yes…you are right……there were many strikes and a 3 day week in effect before thatcher came to power…rubbish piled up in the streets as the bin men went on strike…thatcher preyed on the common person who struggled woth the conditions of the country without understanding why the working man was going on strike to get better conditions and pay…the strikes continued after 1979 but she used the police in a militia type way which had never been done before and like i said told everyone there was no collective only individuals…trying to break the hold of the unions

        • ooohhhh, evil woman!!!!!!

        • and there was no uprising to go against that type of policy??

        • that’s another thing about England I never understood…it was the first country to suffer the industrial revolution, and therefore the horrid conditions in the factories…therefore it should have a strong working-class that rebelled fully! why did no revolution happen?

          the miners fought back very hard..Arthur Scargill was the main guy but ultimately as she made laws which outlawed many of the accepted practises of the unions…there was nothing to be done…the police behaved like security guards and instead of (as previously) standing by and protecting either side…moved in to attack the protesters…it has got MUCH worse since

          i think the class system made sure of no revolution…those who have give the illusion you can get it…even though you cant …why fight when u can aspire…!!!

          I see…that’s so sad!!! 

          its the same idea with barack obama…if he can anyone can…even though people know theres more to it than that they believe..

          have i helped at all ?

          • yes, you have!!  Thank you very much and soooo sorry about this annoyance of mine!! 

          • oh, one last thing…

          • if you had to recommend a book that helps someone understand england and its history better…which one would you recommend?

          • (well, one or two :P)

          • I mean, to understand England in the 20th century…

            A Radical History Of Britain: Visionaries, Rebels and Revolutionaries – the men and women who fought for our freedoms by Edward Vallance

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