There is no getting around it, the British really love to moan. In fact they are famous for it, as the old Australian joke goes:
-How can you tell when the plane from London has just landed in Sydney?
-Because when they switch the engines off, the whining still continues.
Just recently, though the political negativity has reached almost unbearable proportions. The sense of gloom, pessimism and defeat about almost any subject is practically tangible.
Yet, come on! Those who live on this island enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world, we are amongst the most competitive economies in the world. We need to protect our freedoms, but we are (mostly) a free country. We are respected, even admired, by our European allies and across the world.
However, to listen to our political leaders, we live in a "broken" society, where things are little better than anarchy- where the majority of children are growing up illiterate and feral, and usually drug crazed or drunk.
However, as P.J. O'Rourke notes, it is in the interests of politicians to create a sense of crisis:
"A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty - their power and privilege - to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by ... politicians."
Meanwhile, in our nervous and negative mood, we fail to notice that our political leaders are amongst the least accountable in the democratic world.
The sense of defeat that too many people feel in the UK is directly attributable to the sense of powerlessness that they feel when confronted with daily life. The dependency that our system has created is undermining our sense of self-worth and our morale.
Nevertheless, the unrelenting negativity in the press and in politics is beginning to make me quite angry- it is time for a sense of proportion, and this sense of victimhood is paralysing thought and undermining much that is genuinely positive.
Apart from anything else- it is a very boring country that is so self-obsessed.