The New Year has already started and with it a new decade. I wonder if it is just me, but this fact does make me reflect on the past 10 years, half of which I lived away from my homeland. It was a pretty turbulent decade, I must say and not just on personal level but in the in the international arena too.
Here are a few of the events, gadgets, , institutions, people, etc. in the UK that I will always associate this first decade of the 21st century with:
1. 2004 Poland and other countries from the Central and Eastern Europe entered the EU:
One of the many results of this event was that a visa-free movement became a reality for Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, etc. AND doors for legal employment were opened in the UK, not surprisingly to a great delight of hundreds of thousands of migrants tired of poverty. I had always wanted to live in the UK as you may remember from the introductory posts of my blog, and so I too welcomed the whole EU thing and all that it meant for its new members.
2. Terrorism threats coming closer and closer.
I can’t say I feel totally comfortable in the tube whenever I visit London…. Also, I wasn’t at all happy for our family to be searched when travelling to Poland on a few occasions after the 7/7 bombings. Baby food jars being opened in search of suspicious substances, nappies being opened, the buggy being carefully scanned…. all accompanied by a cry of two tots not knowing what’s going on…. such a total nuisance. I just wish the customs officers used some common sense in applying all the security measures… but hey, it’s a bit better now, so I shall stop moaning about it now. The terrorists, however, did achieve their goal in a way – many freedoms of common citizens have been limited due to all these threats..
3. Year by year Britain was (and still is) becoming a real ‘nanny state’.
It can be very very annoying and just makes one wonder what the modern definitions of democracy and freedom of speech or expression are. Only a few weeks ago during a nativity play in my son’s school I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of him as I might also capture the other children in them and I might just be one of those sickos who publish photos of kids on various wend sites :-O Where’s the common sense? I will ask again. We will get a DVD from the performance which was made by the school and it looks like the authorities of the school forgot such a DVD too can be abused or misused just like pretty much anything in life… I can’t stop myself from buying a nice gadget, for example, only because it may be stolen…. and such logic seems to be behind many ‘nanny-like’ decisions made by the British government. Here are more examples: The New UK Census.
4. Reality shows dominate the British TV.
– Big Brother
– I’m a celebrity get me out of here
– Britain’s got talent
– Strictly come dancing
…. that’s to name just a few shows that are broadcast here pretty much every year, simply because they are popular. I am not going to attempt concluding why they are popular – they just are and I watch some myself.
5. Recssion = filthy rich bankers + filthy rich MPs taking a LOT of money from what really belongs to the public. Shall I comment on that one? Nah, you’re right. No explanation necessary! 😉
6. iPhone – it’s probably THE gadget I will associate with the past decade. I still remember the day they were introducing it in the British market. Hundreds of people were queuing for hours to get one and, as you probably know, it wasn’t exactly the cheapest electronic toy then (still isn’t really).
- pure beauty, isn’t it?
7. Slumdon Millionaire is my favourite British film of the 00’s, though the list of others that I should mention is longer.
8. Christians being mocked and Muslims feared – it’s probably one of the signs of times. Inasmuch as Britain is still a country where there’s a freedom of speech and expression, it does seem that Islam is a lot more privileged than Christianity or at least I see it this way.
9. ‘Snow disaster’ paralysing Britain in winter 😉 I’ve never seen a few inches of snow causing so much havoc all around the country…. Btw. the global warming was (and is) one of the hottest subjects discussed by the politicians in the past 10 years BUT winters in the UK get colder and colder…..
10. Tony Blair was probably a person most spoken of here in the 00’s, especially that he made at least a few controversial, and costly for Britain, decisions
There were much much more people, events, items, media productions, etc. that shaped the last decade in Britain. I just mentioned a few.
Let me round off by saying, what I should have said last week really:
HAPPY NEW DECADE!!!