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Via @glynbeddau

Unsurprisingly Theresa May has been mocked for unveiling plans to repeat the 1950s Festival of Britain to mark the start of Brexit.

However it is a worrying indication of the sort of Britain we are going to face, after we face the predicted economic disaster after we we leave the European Union

A scenario in which even the government whilst calling out “Project Fear ” by making A ministerial appointment to oversee the protection of food supplies through the Brexit period which has prompted alarm over shortages, and claims of how “catastrophic” the withdrawal process has become.

I don’t see the government introducing Ration card’s to meet such shortages.

But that may be that those with the money will not see the shortages, only those already suffering under Brexit,  will face the empty supermarket shelves.

The Mirror reports that


Usually the opening day of the Conservative Party Conference is a time to make a big promise to the nation about the issues that matter.
But instead, while 4million children live in poverty, Mrs May trumped plans for a £120million festival “echoing” the days of Queen Victoria.The new festival will have an Olympic-style “delivery body” and be held in early 2022, months after Brexit begins in earnest, and optimistic Tory chiefs claim it would generate “billions” of pounds for the economy.It follows on from the famous 1951 Festival of Britain, which was itself held to mark 100 years since the Great Exhibition.Mrs May boasted: “Almost 70 years ago the Festival of Britain stood as a symbol of change. Britain once again stands on the cusp of a new future as an outward facing global trading nation


It does seem similar Britain was still experecing some rationing and facing post-war asturity Labour cabinet member Herbert Morrison was the prime mover; in 1947 he started with the original plan to celebrate the centennial of the Great Exhibition of 1851. However it was not to be another World Fair, for international themes were absent, as was the British Commonwealth. Instead the 1951 festival focused entirely on Britain and its achievements; it was funded chiefly by the government, with a budget of £12 million. The Labour government was losing support and so the implicit goal of the festival was to give the people a feeling of successful recovery from the war’s devastation  as well as promoting British science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts.

Welsh Historian Kenneth O. Morgan says the Festival was a “triumphant success” as people:
flocked to the South Bank site, to wander around the Dome of Discovery, gaze at the Skylon, and generally enjoy a festival of national celebration. Up and down the land, lesser festivals enlisted much civic and voluntary enthusiasm. A people curbed by years of total war and half-crushed by austerity and gloom, showed that it had not lost the capacity for enjoying itself….Above all, the Festival made a spectacular setting as a showpiece for the inventiveness and genius of British scientists and technologists.

 Some prominent members of the Labour government considered the Festival to be a Labour undertaking which would contribute to their future electoral success, and Clement Attlee, the Labour Leader, wrote to Morrison saying that an election in autumn 1951 would enable the Labour Party to benefit from its popularity. In the event, Labour lost the autumn election. Churchill’s contempt for the Festival led him to make his first act as Prime Minister in October 1951 an instruction to clear the South Bank site.

Mrs May’s “Festival” will be however a total expression of naked British Nationalism as Prime Minister Theresa May said the festival will strengthen what she describes as “our precious union”.

Throughout History Dictators faced with economy problems  and  rising political dissent which the Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century AD refered to as  Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latin: panem et circenses)  a figure of speech, specifically referring to a superficial means of appeasement. As a metonymic, the phrase is Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century AD â€” and is used commonly in cultural, particularly political, contexts.

I doubt if we see Boris Johnson William Rees Mogg  so fond of their Latin quotes recalling this one.

In a political context, the phrase means to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace[1] â€” by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses).
Though after  Brexit and the possible food shortages which has seen the necessity of  an appointment o fa War Time  food minister, it seems we are going to have   Bread and circuses” but unfortunately  without the bread.