“This is England” Review


Elizabeth drove up to the house about midnight last night. With her were the two youngest boys – Henry, back from a summer job in Ireland, and Edward back from summer camp in Scotland. We were watching a movie when she drove up – one that was almost suicidally depressing. This is England, it was called, about a paki-bashing group of skinheads from Liverpool during the ’80s.

“I can’t understand what they are saying,” said Sophie.

“You’re lucky,” Maria replied. “But neither can we, actually. This film needs subtitles. They’re speaking of dialect of English that must be unintelligible – even to most English people.”

The only word we all understood began with an ‘f’ and was almost always used in the present participle-functioning-as-an-adjective-or-adverb form of the verb. Since that word was at least half the dialog, we didn’t miss much.

Until tomorrow,

Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.


  1. Perhaps there is some time this summer for Bonner to catch up with some Dickens. A dose of Hard Times might draw some empathy. I haven’t seen the film yet but I remember meeting young and despairing Brits in the 80’s. The Brits split into groups of hooligans, romantics or flappers just like the Berliners of the 20’s.

    An illustrative chance meeting was that with a teenage couple, romantic in the vein of Sid and Nancy, wandering Portugal or anywhere cheap enough to feed themselves using the welfare benefits sent through by friends come to mind. As do the words “there is no future”.

    It may have been more down to 1960’s & 70’s Labour policies than to Thatcher but there was none of the raw American optimism of that prospective buck on every horizon that Reagan could tap in to.

  2. Ross,

    The 80’s were a decade of contradictions. For those that profitted from the conversion to capitalism that the British economy moved towards it was fantastic, for those however displaced by the economy it was a time of great strife, sufficient for some to kill (I recall chunks of concrete from Motorway bridges during the miners strike).
    The definition of Yuppie was the all important excuse for rampant Executive greed. By fiscally elevating a class beneath them gave them the justification to increase their own wealth at ever increasing rates.

    From a social perspective you can see how polarising this time was for the U.K and how this has continued. At the moment the general population is being milked by the economy to pay for economic failures. 45% increase in Gas utility bills on top of massive increases over the last 2 years. Government too was not slow to get on the band wagon, local rates have increased at a staggering rate over the last 10 years, with general government taxation on an ever increasing sliding scale against earnings. Yet, it seems that our good old Executive class is still content to remunerate itself at a faster pace than before, all this dispite the clear monetary failings of their management over recent years hitting the companies bottom lines.

    As a social experiment, it may turn out to prove that there really is no alternative to a quasi social-capital society and that neither on their own can provide the government of life.

    As for Bill, how can he not possibly understand his mother language in all its’ forms ?

  3. Cheers Joe,

    The institutions must regain trust by becoming far more activist in representing their shareholder’s long term interests.

    Executive-director class patronage, conflicted non executive directors (signing off on short term performance strategies back ending risks beyond the life of the executive), and executive compensation rates determined by delusional measures of value creation have by equal measure eroded market performance and broken the social compact.

  4. What a sloppy post … referring to the institutions I said “representing their shareholders” and I meant “investors”.

    It is people’s retirement savings that have ultimately been shredded by short term incentivated corporate executives & their boards as much as by the supposed regulators of the Reserve Boards, Treasury Secretaries , and SEC/ASIC’s.


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