Millions must now say good-bye to their hopes of a better life and a secure future in Britain.
When Britain optimistically embarked on its Thatcherite reforms nearly 30 years ago, it had high hopes of becoming a successful developed economy but now that these hopes appear to have been shattered in the most brutal fashion imaginable — what does this mean for Britain’s sorry citizens?
More than half a century ago Winston Churchill famously declared that foreigners would never be able to understand how Britain worked, who ruled it and what kept it afloat.
It is an old cliche but not without truth. To this day, outsiders still find Britain messy and very confusing.
In the odd 30 years since the Thatcherite times, Britain has changed greatly.
British Leyland’s oil leaking wheeled contraptions had been replaced on the roads with automotive imports from all over the world, including places like China and India.
Huge advertising hoardings had shrouded the old grimy gray-stone buildings in the center of London.
The London hub had sprouted enormous American-style shopping malls but also — stretching out into what passes for countryside in Britain — narrow strips of allotments, usually the size of a large handkerchief where British people try to grow some vegetables or fruit to augment their unhealthy diets and to get which they have to spend 15 years or more on the council waiting lists.
Yes, yes, Britain is still a baffling and forbidding place for a stranger.
The end of Thatcherite capitalism
Some in Britain even hoped for a British miracle then. They were promised the North Sea oil — just then discovered — would make them rich, that Britain would become another Saudi Arabia or even Qatar.
Then in the early 1990 — when the Thatcherites were at their strongest — Britain had its first ever American-style consumer boom which unleashed a wave of euphoria in the battered old country which looked positively invigorated, albeit for a very short time.
At that time British politicians proclaimed to the world that Britain had changed and later (not so long ago) even claimed that there would be “no more boom and bust”.
They promised it would embrace universal values and even join Europe, they claimed.
Well they were wrong.
None of it happened — instead Britain has remained sullen and hostile to the European Union, and re-embraced its old anti-European rhetoric but still has seen its economic hopes all but collapsed.
It is only now that people begin to understand that so many of their assumptions about their future in Britain are wrong.
The recent times of relative plenty (brought about on the back of centuries of Imperial looting and thievery) look soon to be succeeded by the times of absolute dire need for most British people, many of whom will undoubtedly be — and are in fact being — plunged into poverty, unemployment and misery, as unbridled capitalism finally found its match in the shape of the 2008 financial crisis which was unleashed on an unprepared populace.
The trauma of 2008 is still deeply felt.
With the British economy still uncertain of its survival, let alone future growth, many people have had a rude awakening.
People really have no hope — that’s why so many in Britain are turning to drugs. London has become the official cocaine capital of the world (disclaimer: other drugs are also used and abused there in record quantities).
In another reminder of how hard the times are about to get, many British people, young and old, are turning to prostitution as their main profession.
Young females and males sell their bodies to get themselves through university or just because there is no other work or even simply because they like it and find it pleasurable.
British women have always had a particular predisposition to prostitution. Even those who are quite well-off often do it and proudly write books about their exploits in the oldest British profession and publish their “prostitution diaries”, sometimes even under their own names, which quickly become the nation’s bestsellers and are duly screened, with Britain’s leading actresses vying to play the main parts, and are brought without delay to the tv and cinemas.
There are many things both wonderful and terrifying about Britain but one conclusion that begs to be made is that, for millions of British people, capitalism seems to have failed.
It looks like their future will be all about a hard and bitter struggle to survive in a progressively yobbish, lawless society, where few (one, two or three) will have a lot and where most will have very little, while Britain’s international standing (what little of it is still left) is by no means assured.
Given that, it is not surprising that some choose oblivion in the snort of British talcum — cocaine — or in the puff of a funny cigarette while others trade their beauty and youth (or indeed ugliness and old age) in for a couple of banknotes.
But what can they do? — It seems, the people of Britain will only have Thatcherite Capitalism’s corrupt legacy to live with for all of their future — whatever future they will be able to have.