Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's German For "Schadenfreude" Again ?

Rowan Williams complaining about people not liking Britain is like Schopenhauer moaning about pessimists.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told shoppers yesterday that Britain was a country that was “unhappy” and “didn’t seem to like itself”.

Speaking in a city centre pub in Cardiff, Dr Rowan Williams told his informal congregation after a presentation on social problems that the nation seemed ill at ease with itself and was in urgent need of some help.

“What we saw was a picture of a country and society that doesn’t seem to like itself very much,” he said. “We are not very happy, we look around for people to blame . . . When society is that unhappy then society has a problem.

I can't understand it. After all, apart from a few surviving traces of sexism, racism and homophobia, Roy Jenkins' "Civilised Society" is pretty much with us today. That bad old Britain of the 1950s, when innocent murderers were hung, innocent criminals and innocent homosexuals were sent to prison, and the streets ran red with the blood of the victims of domestic violence and back street abortion (the victims of the latter being the mothers, of course, not the babies), classrooms rang to the screams of the victims of corporal punishment - and worst of all to the Archbish, the Church of England was a strong supporting pillar of such evil - is now history.

Only a few elderly bigots cling to the hideous morality of our wicked past - and they'll soon be dealt with.

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