Editorial Summer 2014

Eighty million passengers pass through Heathrow each year. Planes take off and land on average every 91 seconds, 18 hours a day. They get bigger and faster. A super jumbo can now transport the population of a medieval town half way around the globe in 24 hours. In 25 years if you want speed and have the money a hypersonic jet (well advanced on the drawing boards of Boeing and Sud) will fly you and 199 other passengers to Australia in 4 hours. The only thing to have outstripped the growth of air travel is the Internet. Soon it will be possible to text ‘New York – Friday Cheapest’ on your mobile phone and have a seat booked and paid for in 45 seconds. Not so far off it might be only necessary to think your order and whisper a confirmatory number and the wireless chip in your contact lenses will book it. With the exception of North Korea, and Japan, which relies on active racialism to stop immigration, jet travel and the internet have killed the nation state. All that remains are antiquated border controls at airports. Officials still go through the rituals of banging stamps on passports, asking people where they come from and how long they intend to stay, but it is a sham. The technology we invented by virtue of free scientific enquiry, often denied by the cultures now rushing to live here, has stoked that failure. The laws we created to define who could live here, mainly those with centuries of settlement, have been turned against us. The majority of the 80 million who come and go at Heathrow are aboriginal British, but a large number are legal migrants or their descendants, many of whom are now in the majority in our cities. The same is true of wealth. Economic growth has trumped any notion of nationhood. In the past, money, like people, had to live here or bear some firm relationship to Britain to be counted as British. Once represented by specie or cash held in government vaults, it now surges in invisible electronic tides about the world at the speed of light, its ownership often changing at the flash of an electronic chip. Chancellors no longer await the shipment of gold or bank notes to back a decision, all they have to do (on the advice of a banker sweetened by a suitably large helping of your savings) is to press a sequence of computer keys. The market then moves as if by magic to their command. It is an illusion. Open borders and the free movement of capital are incompatible with the provision of adequate shelter and health for all residents, aboriginal and recent. The NHS, designed for a stable population of 45 million, now reels under the demands of 65 million, a number growing by 212,000 a year. The housing market, glutted with foreign capital, is beginning to show signs of what it might be like in the future if people with a perfect right to come here – the more that settle the more of their relatives get that right – continue to pour in. To solve the housing crisis we need to build 250,000 homes a year entirely for perfectly legal newcomers. The aboriginal birth rate stopped rising years back. Blind to this and in thrall to the 1948 national delusion of a free health service, governments have declared the NHS even more ‘free’ than ever. More doctors working more hours will meet the demand, even though it will fuel endless demand. Meanwhile Labour’s plans for a rent act and a tax on properties belonging to the rich betrays the party’s squatter mentality. Miliband, the child of a radical Marxist who despised the nation state, believes that state-directed seizure and redistribution of property is the key to the housing shortage. It isn’t. The housing shortage and the crisis in the NHS will not be solved until we close our borders. This cannot be done physically, the Jumbo Jet will always get through. We need a new definition of what it is to be British. We should give the right to settle to anybody who is here now but that has to be the end of it. Visitors yes, temporary workers yes, but absolutely no more settlement; not family or friends, not sons or daughters of empire, not refugees, not tho

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