It is hard to imagine two more unsuitable candidates for Prime Minister than Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss. Both were members of the last government which instead of governing the economy with judicious rises in interest rates sat back and oversaw the biggest money printing splurge in our history. True, neither could have foreseen Covid or the Ukraine war, but had we set responsible interest rates before, the pound would not be facing a catastrophic fall and we would be in a much better position to weather the coming storm, one which could bring trouble on our streets.
To pay off this Everest of a debt, the winner, Truss, wants us to get into even more debt, and is doing so. While Sunak, the loser, who as Chancellor of the Exchequer threw money around like confetti, talked during his campaign about a ‘responsible’ fiscal policy of holding interest rates and taxes where they are.
Low inflation followed by high inflation, we are seeing the latter now, has been deliberately built into our system for the last twenty years. Ever since Blair, and then by Cameron, both Labour and Conservative governments have embarked on a reckless policy of uncounted population expansion. Thus, our cheap (virtually free) money policy to pay for it. The idea was to bring in as many people from abroad as possible to stoke the economy and provide a new younger generation to replace a falling white population.
So fixed has this idea become in the media that Sky News viewers were shown a typical ‘British’ victim of inflation. Not as you might think a poor white granny unable to pay her fuel bills but a white Englishwoman in her twenties dressed in a hijab worrying about the rent, nursing a baby of Middle Eastern origin, all part of the ‘normalisation’ of immigration. On the same day another 650 illegal migrants, nearly all young men, were towed out of French territorial waters by the French Navy, to be picked up by UK Border Force and the Royal Navy and brought ashore here. More will be here tomorrow.
Has either candidate made more than a mention of this or resorted to anything more than cliches about how to stop it? No, because at the next election whoever is prime minster will need the votes of this replacement population to win.
How serious is this problem? In 1950 the population of the UK was 50 million. It is now 75 million, some say 80. While the average population density in Europe is 34 people/sq km, in England it is 426 people /sq km. There are not enough trees, flowers, wildlife, grass or moorland that can sustain such a vast population squeezed on such a small island. As a result, Britain is one of the most biologically depleted countries on the planet with an average 40 per cent loss in animals and plants.
There is no health service in the world that can pay for all these people, no road or rail system that can carry them all, no national agricultural system that can feed them all. To serve such an increase an extra 750,000 school places will be needed by 2025, plus 300,000 new houses a year. We now import a large proportion of our food and fuel from abroad, all at ever increasing prices, prices that will double and then treble this winter.
Raising interest rates or cutting taxes will not solve this problem. On the other hand, sending a signal that we intend to stabilise our borders and no longer play host to other nations’ unemployed and surplus populations will show we have come to our economic senses and will go a long way to boost confidence in Britain among overseas investors.
Ordering the Royal Navy and the Border Force to tow immigrants and their dinghies back to France is a priority. Making it obligatory to show a letter or form from the Inland Revenue to show you are a contributor or at least in touch with our tax system before getting treatment on the NHS is another. Denying legal aid for immigration appeals after the first one is unsuccessful and capping those fees is another. Pressing on with the Rwanda scheme is essential.
True, we will never get back to a population of 40 million, that idyllic English world of tradition and history, of small villages, quiet lanes and comprehensible cities. But if we go on as we are, we face extinction as an economy, a people and culture.
Editorial The Salisbury Review — Autumn 2022. Published before the Queen’s Death