The UK is suffering from a social meltdown. The problem is spiralling and if something is not done soon, the morally-destitute youth of today will become the parent’s of tomorrow. Parents are unwilling to take the responsibility of controlling and disciplining their children. They no longer understand, or have been taught, the meaning of respect. The media does nothing to help the situation and schools have become the last place where any degree of social responsibility is being taught, and even then, it is almost impossible for them to do so effectively. I generalise, but as this becomes the norm, and the majority of our youth become unproductive and problematic in society we are left with a country that will not be able to compete in a world that has recently seen 3 billion people added to the capitalist economy.
So what can we do to stop the rot? How can we turn this around? Are we doomed to a country where it is no longer a pleasure to live?
I propose that the government needs to enforce a program of social responsibility. It needs to be done through a mandatory program of combined social and military service. It needs to be well thought out, widely supported and effective. The young people placed within the program need to feel that they are achieving something, and earning the respect of their peers. It should not be a waste of their time. Both military and social service should be undertaken abroad and not in the UK. This will teach them the value of life, and what the UK still has to offer compared to abroad in poorer and more troubling areas of the world. Military or civil service should be mandatory for both sexes.
There should be certain exceptions. The vast majority of my German friends have stated that in certain cases a blanket approach is not the way forward. The system in Germany forces all men to take part in either military service, or if you have a valid reason not to military service, you have to do civil service at school leaving age. For students who will undertake long periods of study afterwards, such as doctors, this is simply a break in their studies they do not need, and provides them with no long term benefit.
Therefore, students studying certain professions can do their civil service as part of their studies. Doctors for example could do their civil service after their first few years on study, and as a practical part of their studies give their services abroad in countries where their expertise, even though their studies are uncompleted, will be valuable and welcomed.
The government needs to evaluate the higher education system, plan for which professions will provide our country with the most beneficial professionals in the medium to long term. These people should not have to take part in the civil or military service program. They should have as many resources available for them to improve and deliver in the community around them. If we want to compete on the world stage, against highly technically skilled Indian students and Chinese labour, we need to consider where the UK will fit in the global marketplace.
We forget that the UK is a very small country. We forget that our place in the world stage is 50 years in the making, and from our position at the end of the last world war. We forget that our economy is built on the adventurers, explorers and entrepreneurs (and imperialism) of the past. This power is quickly starting to wane. Our position on the world stage during the past decades is leveraged with our affiliation to the United States. Although the US is not going anywhere soon, its power is in recession. The US has happily outsourced its manufacturing and services, and now in recent years its technological research and development abroad. It only brands goods and services, and that, it not something you should rely on. The new economies of India and China, are starting to become more aware that they don’t need to US, and our connection with the United States becomes less and less beneficial, from an economic point of view, if not a militaristic one.
We do not want to end up with a country that is full of young people with no work, no work ethic, and a stagnating economy. I don’t believe that any of the British political parties have the forethought to consider our long term survival on the world stage. It will take a definitive plan, hard work, and a drive to succeed to achieve this goal. Other countries are aware of this, and if we don’t do something soon, we are doomed to become a second rate nation.