It is surely beyond question that Britain today faces formidable difficulties. At the forefront of public concern is the unprecedented level of unemployment, which is particularly acute among young people. Compounding this are regional imbalances that manifest the problem of worklessness, but which also extend far beyond this as ‘industrialisation’ takes its toll. Coal, steel, shipbuilding and manufacture continue their remorseless decline and with these industries goes a whole way of life. Underlying these trends is a deep-seated international recession which is having the effect of tightening competitive pressures, to which Britain does not seem able to adequately respond. The upshot is an apparently inexorable economic collapse, still further unemployment and bleak prospects for the future. On top of this, such is the internationalisation and integration of economic affairs mediated by gigantic transnational corporations and inter-state agencies, that people commonly sense their destinies — and that of their own nation — as being beyond their control.
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