It’s raining, it’s grey, it’s Monday. But my heart skipped a beat and my brain perked up when I read the following this morning:
‘If a culture wants to survive, it can do so despite apparently daunting odds. After all, the licentious and dissolute 18th century turned into the re-moralised Victorian era.’
It’s from Melanie Phillips, and comes at the end of a piece in today’s Mail which, while giving a cautious welcome to David Cameron’s recent remarks about social recession, argues that it will take far more than a few tax breaks to save us from social anarchy.
The phrase gave me a rush of hope; I hadn’t thought of that comparison before. But then I thought – surely it’s more complicated than that? Britain was, after all, on an upward economic trajectory throughout both centuries, growing in global power and status. That must have made a difference, and it certainly isn’t the case now.
Then I realised the problem; it’s all in the ‘If’. ‘If a culture wants to survive…’ I want us to survive; all of my friends want us to survive. There is a part of the country out there, kept under lock and key mostly, which I believe wants us to survive. But is it enough?
The blues returned when I considered that maybe so much cultural confusion had been sown that now, the overriding emotion felt by huge numbers of people in our society was one of sheer indifference. Do you think it is indeed just the rain? Or am I right?