A lot has been said on the demise of the British Empire. Are they history? No I do not think so. London is still one of the greatest cities in the world. It is the financial capital of the world. As for England, you cannot stop admiring that they once ruled half the world. There are just too many many legacies you inherit.
My formal education is diproportionately British or English. For that I am thankful but that do not make an anglophille out of me. I did 6 years of national educaton compared to 11 years of English education. This book that I have the cradle of the empire tells how the English school system churned out explorers, planters, colonialists, you name it. They did it right.
Along the way they messed it up. During the second world war the tide started changing. The working class was empowered. Did they mess it up? Yes, I am of the opinion that the working class contributed significantly to the decay. They were not fit to rule the empire. For that I am sure the Gandhis and nakrumah and nasser were grateful. The second world war and the Industrial revolution did the reengineering of British societies..
The empire aside, The Trade Unions were just getting too powerful. The labour governments post war were more like a communist party then. Thatcher tried to recapture the loss capitalism and the power of the Lords, nobles and the upper crust.
British inventions, stopped in the early 70s. Instead the best brains did music, workong class music or pop. They started losing on the technology front. Even if you consider that pop music is a working class culture, see what the British working class has contributed to world music. It is but amazing.
Blair in his NEW labour was more Thatcherite. Michael Foot, the labour socialist firebrand would be cursing Blair in his grave.
The empire was primarily the upper class initiatives. Now with finance and capitalism, if they do it right, there is no reason why England cannot be great, but then London or Sandbanks are gross misrepresentation. Bradford, Southall, Brixton and the inner cities of liverpool are real.