Interesting post on Looking For A Voice:
What was the seventies like ? a question posed by my sixteen year old. Well a time of political and industrial turmoil, but at least the political classes were turning their fire on each other Left against Right, Trades Unions against big business, and we were relatively free. Once the Trades Unions were defeated by Thatcher, by the late eighties/early nineties the State started directing its fire against the people, until as my son said 'The Man is on everybodies back'.
Other benefits of the Seventies...
Hmm. "Political and industrial turmoil" - surely that was far more prevalent in the 1980s? As for "benefits" of the 1970s... well, Bowie began his chart career in 1969 and was clearly going places then, so I don't see any. There were left-over 1960s fashions. Rampant inflation. Power cuts. A sense of grey trudging. Punk reflecting the anger and hopelessness of the era. Retro 1950s fashions... retro 1930s fashions, like platform shoes... 50s and 60s music revivals - and a ragbag of 60s hippie leftovers infesting our record player turntables.
The Unions and the bosses had gone too far - the Unions no longer seemed to be about the dignity of the workers. It was battle for battle's sake in the 1970s. I remember cases of workers striking because they couldn't keep cats on the premises as staff pets! I felt that the workers really wanted to be like the bosses. I hated that.
And it was very much State against the people. According to my reckoning the referendum on the EU (or "Common Market" as it was called then) was not handled honestly. In fact, the whole of our entry into the EEC, with Ted Heath reassuring the electorate that entry would mean no loss of sovereignty (he admitted in more recent years that he knew it would) would have done credit to today's politicians. Our entry into the Common Market was something that was a genuine 1970s innovation. But I won't celebrate it.
The election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 was, of course, in retrospect, highly important. But if Ronald Reagan hadn't been elected American President in 1980, I don't think she would have survived beyond the "Falklands Factor" of 1982/1983.
I don't think Looking For A Voice and I lived through the same 1970s.
As for sixteen year old posing questions like "what were the 70s like?" that worries me. A lot of it seems to come from pure hyping of the decade - like the BBC's "I Love..." series, which poured 60s and 80s pop culture into the 70s, and basically did an awful lot of bullshitting. There are far more interesting decades to enquire about, surely?
Mind you, I collect newspapers from the 1970s. They put me off rewriting it as too important - or indeed that memorable. Now, if you're talking about the 1960s or the 1980s - that's different. The 70s were simply a sore foot shambles between the two.