The wrath of the awakening Saxon

150px-Sutton_hoo_helmet_room_1_no_flashbrightness_ajustedWhen Churchill said that democracy was the worst form of government – except for all the others – he was making an astute comment. He began his political career when the UK electorate was about 7 million, all men, and all property-owners of one sort of another. In 1918 that system was blown apart after the Great War, and the electorate went up to 21 million, some of them – gasp – female, Fortunately they didn’t let young women vote – you had to be 30. By then, so the thought went, you’d be married and have a man who could tell you what to do. In 1928 they gave in, and the ‘flappers’ – women between 21 and 30, were added to the franchise.

The job of Government in the UK back then was still close to what it had been for a long time – keep law and order and the peace, and make sure the Royal Mail worked. But with the advent of real democracy in terms of numbers, it became increasingly impossible for politicians to tell their electors that problems like unemployment and poverty were nothing to do with the Government; people wanted help and they expected action. After the Second World War, the UK Government did the obvious thing and brought in a Welfare State. The thought then was that we would have a health service which would, once it cleared the back log of ill health, would be cheap; they got that wrong – as it soon began to eat up huge amounts of money and still does. Governments also said they’d deliver education, and did, and now that costs a fortune too. You see the pattern? Governments took on much that used to be done (sometimes not very well) by private bodies. The problem with this dream of utopia was that it cost money. The Democracy was receptive to ideas about money could be redistributed more fairly; it forgot, if it ever knew, that someone needed to create wealth. You can’t redistribute what you don’t have – that’s called robbery.

But in the great modern boom, Governments found they could borrow and print money and promise their citizens the sky. With material prosperity came moral laxity – it always does – look at old Rome. Bread and Circuses kept the plebs (us) happy. But then the casino went bust and the music stopped, and now we are beginning to see the confidence trick,  We handed over freedom for prosperity – and we seem to have less of both now.

Because politics seemed so complicated, it got dominated not by the old elites, but a new one. The old elites were patrician enough – no one ever accused FDR or Churchill of slumming it, but they had that paternalism of an aristocracy born to rule. Neither man enriched himself in office, and they knew that they had a responsibility to those they ruled. The new elite was different. It knew it was smart. It got to office because it was smart, and it rather despised those who weren’t. There was no humility there because these men (and a few women) had got there by their own efforts and despised those who hadn’t.

It was a twist of fate to combine the ascendancy of this class with the end of gravy-train. The bread to keep us quiet was not so plentiful as it had been, and whilst the circuses were glitzy and full of ‘celebs’, they somehow failed to shut us up or to disguise from us what was happening.

In the UK and the USA the old parties seem irrelevant – vehicles for career politicians who don’t care which team they drive for as long as it is the winning one. And out here, beyond the Thunderdome, we’re beginning to see that whoever else wins, we lose. We don’t much like it. But we are slow to anger – and yet our rulers should heed Kipling’s words, put into the mouth of a Norman noble on his death bed, talking to his son:

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

Our rulers should beware the phenomenon described in ‘The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon”

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

Well, we know this isn’t ‘fair dealing’ – so they should beware.

About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, survivor, grateful.

6 Responses to The wrath of the awakening Saxon

  1. Pingback: A somewhat Balanced Article at the Daily Pest? | danmillerinpanama

  2. Jack Curtis says:

    Perhaps there may linger some Saxons, stout men who once ruled in the land…
    But how many will rise to the klaxons? Fat men you can count on one hand.
    Their descendants have now taken over, and remade the land to their wish,,
    And watching, we smiled and moreover, we deserve to dine of that dish!


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