Fifty Years in the Making

It’s been over a week now since I turned fifty and a long, long while since I added anything here.  However, now feels like the time to rollover my personal private reviews into something public.

I knew 1971 was an important year and in recent years I’d begun to realise the effects it had on the unborn, the new born and the older me.  Let’s look at some at the major ones to put it into perspective of the era and the ripples that have persisted or turned into latent tsunamis as of 2021 :-

World Economic Forum – founded January, 1971

Decimalisation in the UK – February, 1971

Closure of the Gold window and introduction of the Petrodollar monetary system – August, 1971

Now it becomes clearer why I am so influenced by things that have led me to writing Gold, Silver and Freedom : The Greatest Theft Never Known.  My Mother tells me how the family would discuss at the time the collective robbery from the British people of pricing things at one pence before and after decimalisation, even though there were now only one hundred of them in a pound instead of the 240 there had been before.  I guess I absorbed some of it, along with the stresses of 1970s stagflation – officially a period when prices rise despite the economy struggling, joining the Eu in 1973 and lurching into a near-GDP par with Albania by 1978.  From my side, a young me certainly remembers how my favourite comic, Warlord, leapfrogged through 6p, 7p and 8p per issue in record time and how Tudor crisps drove effortlessly through the 7p and 8p barriers on their way to the memorable 10p high, when us kids lamented their unaffordability.

That young me also experienced Gresham’s Law for the first time, the general theory that bad money forces out good.  Learning that pre-1947 shillings, representing the new 5 pence coin, actually contained some silver, I spent the time scanning my change for any of these desirable coins, knowing their metal content exceeded the 5 pence nominal value place upon them.  Ah, had I only taken the same view with Gold Sovereigns in 1999.  No matter, the younger me was very influenced by monetary systems and history, without even necessarily realising it.

Now to the gist – something else happened that I only became only of yesterday during a music quiz with the family.  Ignoring that the brilliant Our Song was released that year, it seems Imagine, by John Lennon was too.  Those lyrics may have seemed positive, promising and downright fluffy back in 1971, but by 2021 they take on a more fearsome and negative tone.  Imagine no possessions?  Hold on a sec, I am sure I heard that somewhere else recently via the World Economic Forum as Welcome to 2030 : You will own nothing and you will be Happy.  Then, Imagine no Religion?   Fast forward to 2021 and yes, I can scarily enough, especially if someone found a way to remove the human soul and spirit.  That could never happen though, could it?

It’s about now that I realise the best Beatle was the incredibly underrated George Harrison.  The other two, the main ones we’re expected to remember and who are constantly rammed in our faces are the fakes, clever musicians, but whose souls may well have been bought.  Instead, I’ll go listen to this, also from 1971, the year of my birth, then another of my absolute personal favourites.  Which it actually turns out are from the very same album that is not even available any longer via the narrow CD-selling channels.

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