Leeds as it is today, a long way from the dour dark days of the '70s, credit Wikipedia.
If the 60s were “swinging,” the '70s was a dark, depressing decade on both sides of the Atlantic and in many ways the beginning of the end for Anglo-American domination around the world. As a Brit living in Leeds, a drab grey concrete, and red-bricked sprawling industrial city in a very dull, rain-soaked Northern England. My memories of the 70s are a depressing nightmare of general strikes, incompetent governments, riots, and social uprising, all washed down with warm beer and super-strong mugs of Yorkshire Tea, the biggest empire the world had ever seen was just a distant memory as militant Union bosses dragged the country to its knees; A three-day working week was introduced in the UK in 1974 because for two working days a week the country had to go without electricity to conserve coal, the National Coal Workers were striking for better pay and conditions.
The country as a whole was being battered by national strikes. Rat infested rubbish-filled city streets piled high with rotting waste as striking council workers refused to collect refuse on many occasions. Thugs, Football hooligans, and punks owned the streets. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombs targeted and terrorized drinkers and shoppers alike as pubs and town centres became the target of the IRA's bombing campaign, many Brits were murdered. The dire mood of the nation was captured by anti-establishment youth culture and a labour force that knew only how to strike. Anarchy ruled the UK. If you didn’t own a big chip on your shoulder there was something wrong with you!
The ‘70s was malignant cancer that began the “American decline,” or the diminishing power of the US, geopolitically, militarily, financially, economically, socially, and in health and the environment. They lost the Vietnam War, fleeing Saigon in 1975 after invading Cambodia. The Watergate scandal saw the resignation of President Nixon. The ‘73 oil crisis shook the world and the decline of American industrial towns and cities, such as Detroit, began. Tension with Iran exploded and the civil rights riots continued. Some experts have claimed the 70s was the worst decade in history for the West.
According to Nicholas Kristof, since the end of the 1970s, something has gone profoundly wrong in America. Inequality has soared. Educational progress slowed. Incarceration rates quintupled. Family breakdown accelerated. Median household income stagnated.
Let's jump forward to Sept 2021, the UK is witnessing a new breakdown of social and civil order which is causing the government and its country's population to look over their shoulders nervously back to the '70s.
This weekend, long lines of cars and trucks are queuing at gas stations for petrol which isn't there. Ugly fights have erupted between customers across garage forecourts across the country as frustration and anger reach fever-pitch. Empty shelves are greeting shoppers at supermarkets, gas and electric prices are climbing exponentially causing energy firms to collapse overnight, and that great unstoppable "behemoth," inflation has taken on a frightening run.
After 18 months of a pandemic lockdown, Britons have awakened to a different world, a world of rising prices and shortages. A massive labour hole has opened due to the UK walking away from Europe. Brexit has caused a shortfall of more than two million foreign workers. Foreign workers who did work the British themselves do not like doing: Driving trucks, factory, and agricultural work.
Worse still, energy prices have just gone ballistic, causing seven major energy firms to go bust just this week in the UK. It's not just in the UK but the whole of Europe. The poor will suffer the most, of course, they always do.
Now Boris Johnson will have to raise wages to tempt key workers to fill the void which will drive up the inflation rate even more which is now at its highest since 2017, in 1975 the inflation rate hit almost 25% in the UK. All things considered, this could be another winter of discontent for the nervous British Government.
The situation is not much better in the US. On July 8, 2021, President Joe Biden stated that: "The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country was highly unlikely.
Last month the US military left Afghanistan sneaking away in the middle of the night leaving thousands of Afghanistan helpers stranded at Kabul Airport with scenes replicating the escape from Saigon in 1975, with Joe Biden washing his hands of the Afghanistan people in one of the worst cowardly acts I can remember.