Thursday, April 03, 2008

Novelty worn off

I'm going through a phase of Tim Blair style titles, I notice.

So how come Rod Stewart was singing backup vocals for Long John Baldry? Because Baldry discovered Rod Stewart when he saw him singing at Twickenham railway station. Busking, I assume. Rod's tribute follows below the fold, or lower down the page if your screen is in better condition than mine.

Interesting, though, innit: what a very confident generation. Today's teenagers and twenty-somethings seem cowed and indoctrinated by hectoring people... from that very same confident generation.

They are Children of War - literally. The older ones, twenty-odd in 1960, were of school age when the bombs were falling; the younger ones were born later, starting nine months after the whistle blew.

And we live in a miasma of wartime measures we have become so used to we just don't even see them any more. Before 1939 the government didn't hector people about things like their diet. But when the war began an industry developed, producing pamphlets like Make Do And Mend, and Digging For Victory. When the war ended they kept on publishing or, if units were disbanded they - and I'm not making this up - went to work for the B.B.C.

But we have been living under wartime measures for too long. The novelty has worn off. It's time for the State to step back, to the sort of relationship - minimal - that it has held with the individual for most of human history.

Here's Rod:

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