A brief history of post-modern Blighty …

Great Britain has been through some ignominies in its time, such as the strikes in the 70s, where suicidally socialist unions ruled and management was so inept that the entire system was brought virtually to its knees.

Enter people like Rupert Murdoch – the free market knight in shining armour – to right the wrong and redress the imbalance. What did we get as a result? Thatcher! All change – and that eventually means all – as the country adopted ‘free market forces’ and everything was sold off, likened by MacMillan to “selling the family silver”.

Even Labour became ‘new’ Labour, where taking the centre-of-the-right political ground was the new place to be, embracing the new world order of one-world global capitalism that left us with French utility companies that rip us off through our gas and electricity charges and our rail system becoming one of the most expensive in Europe.

We are where we are, but did any of us expect to see what is happening now? Is there a single person in this country that, in an Orwellian  flash of wondrous genius, foresaw the introduction of stamp rationing? Determined hordes of opticians are stockpiling thousands of stamps to try and delay the massive nigh-on thirty percent increase in prices.

Is this just a cheese nightmare or something? No: welcome to Dave Cameron’s Britain, where nothing is thought through to its logical conclusion. Not even our inept government could see the administrators of small businesses with a duty to remind customers of appointments sallying forth to bulk buy two years-worth of stamps to avoid the ridiculous increases now being forced upon us. All this to prepare the Royal Mail for privatisation. So it seems that, whether the price increases come before or after the sell-off of the state concern, privately run businesses cost much more than a well run non-governmental corporation.

What is the price of all of this? Our dignity as a nation, I would say. The stamp fiasco is yet another example of why we are beginning to resemble a desperate nation, rather than the once great one that we were. Britain is a nation of shopkeepers – as we were once described – but now the shopkeepers are all queuing in the Post Office to beat the latest rip-off.

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