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I think there has been for hundreds of years an attitude among the British middle class that involves aspiring to be, or at least to ape in small ways, the landed, idle gentry, and that attitude persists, even though the landed, idle gentry barely exists any more. Its probably part of being a society where the royal family, the ultimate idle gentry, sits at the apex. This translates into, among other things, a mild disdain for technical and commercial 'trades', probably less so now than it used to, but still to some degree.

 

On the other side, mathematical subjects are perceived by those who work in 'front line' jobs as being 'too difficult for the likes of us', so they then don't encourage or empower their children to tackle them.

 

And, we have a serious shortage of effective role-modelling or positive-imagery around technical professions, except in the case of software-based.

 

It all adds up to a shortage of engineers, especially in certain branches, a crystal clear example being 'heavy electrical', where a generation of post-war grammar school boys, who attended red brick unis and we're then trained the CEGB, AEBs, big manufacturers etc, have now largely retired.

 

As a nation we badly fluffed Round Two of the Industrial Revolution (c1860 onwards) and continue to fluff many technical matters.

 

Kevin

 

PS: while we are doing CVs, I somewhat vexed my father by leaving school at 16, to become a technician apprentice and study part time to HNC, rather than finishing A levels and going to uni, but then filled the gap by teaching myself to the level where I was accepted as a Chartered Engineer, "by dissertation", then went on to complete an MSc, but sometimes I wish I'd decided to become a lawyer instead!

Edited by Nearholmer
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As George Washington was a Traitor to this country I can hardly call him a gentleman...

 

He came from an English gentry family, he had the education and attributes of a gentleman as they were then understood, he was a commissioned officer (obviously rebel rank has no status, but he held a Royal Governor's commission in the Virginia Provincials, IIRC) and he became a property owner.  In the terms of the day, that made him a gentleman, and you cannot take that from him, whatever he did.

 

This, I think, illustrates quite how entrenched these attitudes were.

 

Or are.

 

Save for the comment about the Royal family, which I think forms a case and a class of its own in contemporary Britain, I find myself very much in agreement with Kevin's analysis.   

Edited by Edwardian
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That must have been an interesting period in history, when the naughty bits of a horse were regarded as obscene, but those of a female human weren't!

 

She wouldn't want to be out on a day like today.

 

I don't think the pre-Raffs did goose-pimples.

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I've been to Coventry (voluntarily, not sent) and, to save anyone wasting the train fare, it is disappointingly unlike that picture.

 

In all respects.

 

Apparently it was an historic mediaeval town until the Luftwaffe found it.

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Back on slavery, it seems to me that it was merely an extension of the serf system which had operated in Britain and many other countries for centuries. Those who were free owned those who were not, and it was very difficult to move from the latter group to the former. And from the king/queen down there were various links in the social structure which were aspects of ownership, particularly where land was concerned.

Jonathan

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I find the views on Slavery rather odd. The Norman invasion ment many Saxons became Serfs a sort of mild slavery but the Saxons were very much at the whim of the Norman Lord of the Manor. The Normans formed the backbone of our new Aristocracy and many of those Landed Gentry of the Georgian period would have been from Norman stock so it was them that owned plantations and slaves. While they may not have dirtied there hands with running the Slave trade they were the ones benefiting. The ordinary UK citizens had little to do with it. 

However the institution of marriage often led to a form of slavery where the wife could not own anything,  had to do her husband bidding and could be beaten by him without society interferring. Even today the news mention a case where the perpetrator of domestic violence was believed rather than the mother resulting in the unecessary deaths of their two sons.

It would seem our race has a natural tendancy for individuals to gain control of others to varying degrees perhaps that is what separates us from the animals.

 

Don

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Apparently it was an historic mediaeval town until the Luftwaffe found it.

 

Very much like Dresden.

 

The painting is a glorious bit of Victorian double-standards - and not just the horse-cloth. The whole point was that the moral population stayed within doors and refrained from looking, with the exception of Peeping Tom - whose place the painter puts us in.

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Very much like Dresden.

 

The painting is a glorious bit of Victorian double-standards - and not just the horse-cloth. The whole point was that the moral population stayed within doors and refrained from looking, with the exception of Peeping Tom - whose place the painter puts us in.

 

We should not forget the terrific loss of life resulting from bombing - and we had repaid Germany with interest before the end - but it is legitimate to grieve also for the art and culture lost. Dresden was a fine baroque capital.

 

Dresden and Coventry

post-25673-0-95694900-1512754814_thumb.jpg

post-25673-0-10316800-1512754847.jpg

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One thing that Coventry does do well (sorry, I don’t know much about slavery) is Spon Street, dedicated for the few surviving old houses, which were rebuilt here. It’s an idea other places could copy, I think. Away from there it does get pretty dire, what with Luftwaffe and town planners. You might even find a nice bit of housing for CA on Spon St.

The few old shots of the LNWR station in early days look tempting. What about a cake box with Mr. Dombey and Major Bagstock detraining from the L&B Euston train to proceed on to Leamington, while fireman Toodle watches from his Bury single driver?

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Don't get the wrong idea about the Luftwaffe.  They did cause a lot of damage but not as much as the town planners and developers of the 1960's.

 

Recent re-development work appears to have improved things but it is starting from a low base so I still can't see why anyone would go there.

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One thing that Coventry does do well (sorry, I don’t know much about slavery) is Spon Street, dedicated for the few surviving old houses, which were rebuilt here. It’s an idea other places could copy, I think. Away from there it does get pretty dire, what with Luftwaffe and town planners. You might even find a nice bit of housing for CA on Spon St.

The few old shots of the LNWR station in early days look tempting. What about a cake box with Mr. Dombey and Major Bagstock detraining from the L&B Euston train to proceed on to Leamington, while fireman Toodle watches from his Bury single driver?

 

Would now be a good time to mention The Specials?

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Serfdom died out gradually (the process beginning possibly as early as the 13th Century) because it was economically inefficient. Particularly after the Black Death, nobles increasingly opted out of direct involvement in agriculture and leased their demesne land to farmers. (The original concept of a "farm" was paying a fixed cash sum in lieu of feudal duties - hence "farm" of the City of Chester was a cash sum paid annually to the King.)

Many of the farmers (especially in areas of good pasture) found it more profitable to turn off the (sub) tenants and run sheep. This was the foundation of many rising "gentry" families, who eventually were rich enough to buy heraldry and fancy titles. 

 

I suspect some lords clung to their serfs simply because they were economic conservatives who couldn't grasp the world was changing. Hence the process was slow. Gradually the tenure of land held by serfs was changed to "copyhold" which was still extant in the 19th Century, and may still be for all I know. The main difference was actually that cash rent replaced service.

 

Oddly enough, the Peasants Revolt of 1381 was conducted mainly by people from Kent who were not serfs (because that type of feudal tenure was unknown in those parts) and were in fact relatively well off.

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Well, The Specials got a mention in the Radio 4 item about the topic, so they're not entirely forgotten outside Coventry and Edwardianshire.

 

F-k! There's a Radio 4 item about this topic?!? 

 

I knew this would all get out of hand!

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I abor the loss of life at Dresden but it seems to be forgotten that after suffering the blitz the Germans were still bombing but using V1 and later V2 bombs when the tide of war was turning. while gassing those in occupied lands who they considered lesser humans. There was also the loss of life as our soldiers many conscripts trying to free the rest of europe. So I can understand why they did it although it may not have been our finest hour.

 

Don

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F-k! There's a Radio 4 item about this topic?!? 

 

I knew this would all get out of hand!

 

I'm just waiting for questions to be asked in the House......    "Is the honourable member for West Norfolk aware that the proposed station building at Castle Aching is generating controversy and what steps is he taking to ensure in matches the local vernacular"

 

 

Don

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