The Rise of the Real Midwich Cuckoos

Jenni Russell has an eye-opening article in The Guardian about the erosion of adults’ powers to deal with children. The example she gives of a school dinner lady, Carol Hill, being sacked as a result is appalling. If it is indeed indicative of what is happening in UK society, then I agree with Russell – it completely undermines the importance of a community, and the importance of social pressure and shame.
 
It is truly ironical that it turns out to be a Labour government that seems to be intent on fulfilling Margaret Thatcher’s dictum: "There’s no such thing as society".

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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4 Responses to The Rise of the Real Midwich Cuckoos

  1. Robert says:

    Disturbing, but I cannot agree with your conclusion. Surely, the implication of this story is that there is only "society" – all interactions must be mediated through societal structures, not through individual responsibility; this arises out of the 19th century German vision of the total state (which is where the term "totalitarianism" comes from, after all), which inspired not only the philosophy of the welfare state, but also the rather nastier aspects of the 20th century. By contrast, Thatcher’s universally misquoted point was that there was no such thing as "society" (as in "the total state must do this or that"), but that individuals and families taking individual responsibility should be the principle actors – which is traditional Burkean conservatism.I remember Richard Attenborough getting a tumultuous ovation on "Parkinson" when telling the story of his parents taking in refugees from the "Kindertransport", saying ‘they believed that there is something called "society"’. Well, perhaps. But what they did was precisely what the Thatcher speech actually describes, which was individuals working together for good when "society" fails. But it is, after all, always easier to think evil of those we don’t like ;)Best wishes,R.

  2. Geoff says:

    Hi Robert. Yes, I know that Thatcher is always misquoted on this point, but the misquoting has, almost from its utterance, taken on a life and meaning of its own, and it was this that I (rather lazily, I admit), wanted to refer to. "Evil" is a strong adjective, and I didn’t actually use it, but I do rather think that some of the consequences of her actions have a whiff of it about them…Cheers.

  3. elle says:

    Is there a REAL Midwich Elementary school in Centralia, or did they just made it up, that’s my question. It keeps on bothering me about Centralia’s history,weather is true or not.
    I need a straight answer please

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