New Puritans (social movement)

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The terms New Puritans and Neo-Cromwellians were coined by Jim Murphy, associate director of the Future Foundation, to describe a perceived trend in British society. (Note: The term "New Puritans" appears in Barbara Jordan's 1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, thus preceding Murphy's application of the term.) The term, which has been adopted by a number of mainstream newspapers and other media, refers to the increasing tendency for the young middle classes to accept increasing regulation and self-control of their life curtailing the "consumption culture". Examples, identified by the BBC Radio 4 discussion program Start the Week include a tendency not to drive large high fuel consumption cars in city centers, support for the banning of chocolate vending machines in hospitals and the idea that the police should issue cautions to pregnant women caught smoking in public.[1] The Observer suggests a further example: at the point of sale in a major High Street store the assistant states "I'm duty bound to ask you if you want to open a store card with a preposterously uncompetitive interest rate". The reporter declines. "Good," he said, "I never push them, sometimes I don't even mention them, because they just encourage people to get into debt. Personally, I'd ban store cards." Clearly such suggestions have implications for many aspects of the economy (which is the cause of the Future Foundation's interest).[2]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ See the Future Foundation July 2005 web newsletter: "Archived Newsletters". Future Foundation. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2005-10-07.
  2. ^ BBC Radio 4 show broadcast on 7-11-2005. Start the Week website, accessed 7-11-2005.
  3. ^ Siegle, Lucy (October 23, 2005). "Just Say 'No'". The Observer. London. Retrieved May 20, 2010.