For those of you who weren't there: In 1970, World War Two was only 25 years in the past, and its veterans were numerous, middle aged, and active in politics and the workforce. Much of the UK was still incredibly worn out and knackered from the War and the preceding years of depression. Other bits were suffering from well intentioned but badly thought out and executed postwar urban planning.
No fucker had much stuff. One telly, usually still monochrome, with three channels. One phone in the hall. A fridge but no microwave, no dishwasher, no tumble dryer etc. To have a freezer was to be posh. A non automatic washing machine. The office might have one computer taking up a whole floor of the building, with less processing power than the key fob of a modern Ford, but probably didn't have one at all. Maybe one car and that probably not a very good one. Olive oil was sold in chemists, never in supermarkets. Middle class people didn't go to the football very much.
Big Government, with lots of board of this and corporation of that doing stuff, and lots of bossy public information films and notices. Europe beyond northern France mostly still exotic, and anywhere beyond Europe where the hell is that. Sexism and racism and homophobia as standard. Also, however, stirrings of the counter culture, cool sounds, cool threads, expansion of new universities, and Bobby Moore vs Pele in the heat of Mexico.
Well, I find there's loads of sexism and racism today, it's just changed its nature, become less in yer face, more subtle but just as insidious. Worst of all, it's the sheep who always follow fashion who are the most anti-racist, anti-sexist lot - the politically correct lot - who really get up my nose.
Government is 10 times more intrusive today than even 20 years ago. Sell a car in the 90s and it was simple. No threatening of law-abiding citizens who cocked up the paperwork with court action and the threat of no mortgage da-de-dah, no massive fine imposition unless you really took the piss and so on. Add Europe to the bloated monstrosity half of Whitehall has become and we're living in proper BIG gov'mint today, where every department is run like a private enterprise and needs to show financial profit.
If you went to university back then it meant something other than indebting yourself, acquiring a qualification actually guaranteed a properly good job. You could enjoy much British technology at an airshow in your spare time, which was far better than a weekend in Prague, really.
"No fucker had much stuff". Which is perhaps why people were more content with their lives and appeared happier, unless you were Derek Red Robbo Robinson or Arthur Scargill. But there were decent, reliable jobs with proper contracts for those who weren't too lazy. Shops back in the 70s, as I remember, were much better than today's ramshackle bunch of pound stores, charity shops, chainstores and restaurant after restaurant. Go to Germany today, where the management and unions didn't kill off most bigger products and shops are still decent, in many towns and cities.
Not sure how middle class people not going to football much is somehow a good or a bad thing - it's just a thing, bit like Tony Bliar altering his accent to suit his audience.
Yes, there was a generation of ex-servicemen running companies, the non-American way. Not sure which was better, really. I can't really accept that today's generation of business sorts are any better - much worse if you're an employee in many ways - it's just very different now. No security, no nothing. Social security is apparently understood only by those who work the system, it's so complex and determined not to help someone just out of work, thanks to the professional scroungers.
I don't have a dishwasher (as much work in my opinion), microwave (kills good stuff in food - doesn't matter if you're reheating ready-made shite I suppose) and the tumble-dryer bit of the washing machine is something used in emergencies, perhaps three times a year. So it's just more to go expensively wrong.
I agree, urban planning was a disaster with whole swaiths of mediaeval England replaced with concrete (mainly in the sixties) but not sure the out of town shopping mall is so much better - now the town centres are dying and can be semi-ghost towns in evenings.
So with one phone in the hall, no internet and just three channels on telly - which were at their peak of qual in the 70s and early 80s, I reckon - there were REAL things to do. Like enjoy cars, bikes and women no doubt. Women possibly still had some resemblance of feminity and were treated with a lot more respect from how I see things now, and weren't almost universally gobby, overweight/stcik-diet thin and dressed to enhance their worst bits.
Shops still offered individual service, olive oil was for sale in better ones and supermarkets hadn't rampaged their way through almost every sector of the high street. Interesting that towns which still resemble 1970s ones have very high property prices today.
Houses were affordable, either to rent or to buy. Yuppies hadn't been invented and Audis were strange, metal and plastic, unfashionable machines. Sports cars required adjusting after every trip, but provided more fun than several rides on the dodgems. Everyday items had character, politicians argued honestly for very different ways of running the country and the American street culture wasn't in much evidence. Money was something which wasn't talked about, to have too much was damned rude.
Bad bits in my mind? Educationalists were beginning to reduce the chances of bright kids from poorer backgrounds from being 'socially mobile' as it's termed today - ie getting on and earning some money and stature, architecture was almost all crap, traffic jams were bad in towns on roads to holiday destinations at peak times, we were spewing out highly radioactive nuclear waste pollution into the seas and air as if it was harmless, the French appeared to have all the fun, Italy was too far to drive in a day, the Iron Curtain was tightly drawn and America and Russia were playing 'who's got the biggest' with weapons which could have rendered us all to dust.
Would I want to go back? Of course not - impossible. The internet is a huge democratising force, which more than makes up for a lot of what has gone. Everything's different now, which is what the human brain needs.