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Britain’s squalid housing crisis The Tories have betrayed Beveridge's dream

Britain mistook a Ponzi scheme for achievement (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Britain mistook a Ponzi scheme for achievement (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


November 24, 2022   6 mins

The Conservatives are doomed. But it won’t be Brexit that destroys the party in its current form. That’s ultimately a symptom of a far larger problem: a slow but inexorable collision between voters’ desire for ongoing growth, and voters’ desire to conserve, well, anything at all. The flashpoint for this insoluble dilemma is one of Beveridge’s Five Giants: “squalor”. Or, rather, an increasingly despairing sense that modern Britain has betrayed Beveridge’s hope that every citizen would be able to escape “squalor” for decent, healthy, affordable housing.

The “housing crisis” has been with us for at least a decade, and house prices an obsession for the best part of two more. Today, the demand for housing so radically outstrips supply that young people can’t afford to buy. Rough sleeping has increased by 165% since 2010. One in ten British families now lives in overcrowded housing. Already by 2016, four in 10 British houses were reported to be below an acceptable standard. Last year, 2,300 people died while languishing on the waiting list for social housing, which, once you get through the door, is often profoundly grim.

Given the scale and disastrous social consequences of this crisis, then, it should beggar belief that the latest Tory Prime Minister has already balked at addressing it. Rishi Sunak pulled a vote this week on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, after around 50 Tory MPs tabled an amendment scrapping Liz Truss’s compulsory house-building targets.

But Sunak’s central, intractable problem is that the great leap forward in living standards was never going to continue indefinitely — because it was, in fact, a great economic Ponzi scheme, powered by an extractive approach to human populations, that is now running up against multiple structural limits. And the reigning political consensus on how to keep that scam running is itself contributing to the housing crisis, as well as worsening squalor and social conflict at the bottom of the social ladder, while leaving the Tories unable to effect change without also attacking the interests of their core electoral base.

But it’s easy to see how Britain mistook that Ponzi scheme for a permanent achievement, when you consider how radically living conditions improved from the 19th to the 20th centuries. In the 19th century, peasants displaced by the Enclosure Acts flocked to the rapidly-industrialising cities in search of work, living cheek by jowl in crowded, filthy slums, where families jammed in five or seven to a single room with no facilities for cooking or sanitation. This is the grimy, heartless, crime-ridden backdrop to Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1838), a world that soon prompted concern and middle-class efforts at social reform.

Over time, this concern spurred the government to action, and in 1875, the first Bill was passed aimed at slum clearance and redevelopment. By the early 20th century some 80 towns had borrowed £4.5 million (around £432 million in today’s money) to demolish and redevelop slum areas. The American writer Jack London gives a sense of the atmosphere still prevalent in turn-of-the-century Whitechapel in The People of the Abyss (1903). Here, slum-dwellers were still living one family to a room, often sub-letting floor space to a “lodger”: the book recounts fights, pollution, grime, malnutrition and hand-to-mouth life amid a relentless pull down to the condition of degraded underclass hopelessness.

A concerted programme of slum clearances in the run-up to the two World Wars sought to tackle such misery, and replace the slums with cleaner and less crowded accommodation. In the interwar period this provided the impetus for Lloyd George’s “Homes fit for heroes” speech, and again for Beveridge’s famous report in 1942. And, for a while, as living standards continued to rise throughout the mid-century, it seemed as though the battle might be winnable.

But there’s a hitch – and we find a clue to it in Jack London’s description of how cities work. As he describes it, the metropolis is “a huge man-killing machine”, which sucks in healthy rural workers, who are then worked to exhaustion and degradation by the squalor of urban life.

When Jack London was writing, this supply still mostly came from the English countryside. But by the 20th century England’s urbanisation was largely complete and the supply was dwindling. Shortly after, to make matters worse, the two World Wars decimated the nation’s working-age men: 880,000 soldiers died in the First World War: a full 6% of the working-age male population, and a further 384,000 soldiers in the Second World War. This posed a problem for an urban profit machine that depended on new influxes of fresh-faced, ambitious or simply poor people to jostle for opportunities on the bottom rung.

Faced with a choice between halting the engine of growth, or finding a new supply of fodder for the prosperity machine, Britain opted for the latter. After the Second World War, Commonwealth citizens were invited to Britain to rebuild the “mother country”. These new arrivals played the role formerly filled by displaced rural workers: crammed into slum-like conditions, and exploited in menial jobs. In turn, the visible difference between these new workers and those already there added a new and ugly twist to the struggle for survival in the urban meat-grinder: racism. By 1958 tensions between white working-class youth and Caribbean immigrant workers spilled over into vicious race riots in Nottingham; a few weeks later, the violence spread to Notting Hill in London with full-blown riots.

Not long after, legislation sought to put a lid on these simmering tensions. The 1965 Race Relations Act prohibited public discrimination against people on grounds of race, nationality or ethnicity. And along with rightly and justly shielding innocent people from violence and hostility, this political shift had a secondary effect: underwriting the interests of the urban growth machine, by taking a step toward globalising the working class. Now, anyone who questioned the right of immigrants to work in Britain could be condemned as motivated not by resource competition but thuggish racial animus.

Fast-forward a few decades, into a Britain stripped by Thatcher of the factory jobs that sustained a (now ineluctably more multi-ethnic) working class, and the Blairite decision to accelerate growth again via another wave of immigration prompted murmurs of working-class dissent. The New Labour dismissal of this discontent as mere atavistic racism, for example in Gordon Brown’s famous encounter with Gillian Duffy, is well-travelled Brexit territory.

But if part of the motivation for less well-off Brexiters was a desire to reduce resource competition at the bottom of the socioeconomic pile, the Conservative Party is also under pressure to keep the economy growing. And for some decades now, the main way of doing that has been “supply-side reform”, a euphemism for keeping competition at the bottom of the meat-grinder sufficiently brutal that workers don’t get too demanding.

Unsurprisingly then, notwithstanding Brexit, under the Tories immigration is higher than ever. And still it’s not enough for the business lobby: just this week, CBI boss Tony Danker called on PM Rishi Sunak to “solve” Britain’s “labour shortages” (which is usually to say mismatch between the pay and rations on offer and the jobs existing workers can afford to take) by loosening immigration policy still further.

As well as deepening squalor and fomenting often-racialised resource competition on the bottom social rungs, growing the economy by growing the population also runs up against an immovable limit: building land, especially in popular parts of the country. Increasingly, this means that housing pressure can only be eased in these locations by concreting over the still relatively green and pleasant lands currently inhabited by the group that now forms the Tories’ core electoral base: older home-owners.

No wonder, then, that a Commons report earlier this year shows the Tories are nowhere near their own manifesto commitment to build 300,000 new homes every year. And no wonder Sunak has opted to kick the can down the road yet again. The trouble, though, is that both sides are right: the economic liberals are right to point out that in its current form, the “growth” engine structurally requires ever more human bodies. And, the conservatives are also right that over time, if you keep adding people to a smallish island, eventually it will create tensions over how to allocate finite resources – especially in-demand land.

Beveridge’s dream was to abolish squalor, along with the other Giants, by dint of rising prosperity and improved social conditions. But even as this promise was made, post-imperial decline and industrial competition from overseas began to undermine the material underpinnings of that prosperity. And since Beveridge, sustaining a sense of ongoing improvement has been bankrolled by cannibalising the postwar infrastructure created to shield its own citizens from squalor, whether via selling off council houses, breaking the unions, privatising utilities, or financialising everything.

The ensuing loss of real, widespread prosperity has been papered over via a synthetic “growth”, largely powered by population increase from elsewhere, and whose benefits have been (to say the least) unevenly distributed: a property boom for some, and for others new forms of squalor. And this fact has been obscured variously by ignoring the plight of Britain’s low-wage peripheries, by ignoring mounting protests from the young, and by mystifying the bums-on-seats growth strategy as “diversity”.

Our political settlement depends on growth, but the policies required for that growth to continue are now chipping away at that political settlement. Something will have to give. And whether that’s social cohesion, living standards, or growth, its political fruit will be bitter.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago

When, in 1942, Beveridge envisaged that “every citizen” should have decent housing, he did not have in mind the situation that we are in today. Each year there is net inward migration of about a quarter of a million and 50,000 new asylum applications to add to the 600,000 illegal immigrants already here. Housebuilding for “every citzen” is only a problem because the government refuses to honour its election pledge to control immigration.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

If you read history of times before William the Conqueror, writers speak of the movements of very large numbers of people. Movements are caused by wars when people are forced out of their homes, or by relative poverty.
When there have been movements there has always been intermarriage. Sometimes the incoming tribe has been stronger than the existing one. Nobody has ever stopped these movements.
In general, the old culture had gone to sleep and people had become diverted from action and dynamism to inaction and laziness. In general, the incoming peoples have had more energy, been willing to work harder for less recompense, been less diverted by games, shows and trivia (like hairstyles, self-beauty, clothes) and have just done the basics – the basics for life.

So what is new today?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Not sure why the downvotes.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Natives are necessarily lazy


Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

No, nor me. Seems a perfectly reasonable line of argument.

Bruce V
Bruce V
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The website needs 4 icons: up/down on whether you agree if the logic and facts presented are correct; and up/down on whether it’s a direction or sentiment you agree with and want society to move towards or resist against. The current binary choice muddles the domains.   

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The original article is about housing and my post was also about housing. So I guess the downvotes are because Chris W did not address the point of my post. Rather, he made the lazy assumption that I am against all immigration (a false assumption, incidentally) so that he could repeat well-aired arguments trotted out by the pro-immigration lobby.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

You can’t know that based on what he wrote. I didn’t take it that way, and I basically agreed with your comment. I didn’t have a problem with either one of them.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

You can’t know that based on what he wrote. I didn’t take it that way, and I basically agreed with your comment. I didn’t have a problem with either one of them.

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Perhaps because in making his corny point about past waves of immigration, invariably wheeled out by its virtue-signalling defenders, Chris W overlooked the fact that each such wave led to century after century of conflict and oppression.

The only long-term benefit of past warfare resulting from mass immigrations was to weld the country into a single unit, just as English warfare with places like Scotland and France did for them over the course of the Middle Ages. But as the nations of the UK are already united entities, further conflict would lack even that dubious benefit and in the short to medium term would more likely do the opposite!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

I downvoted that only for “corny”.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

If you think that we are not at the beginning of a vast wave of immigration, whether we like it or not, then I fear that you and millions of others are in for a rough awakening. That doesn’t mean I like that fact – I certainly do not; I agree with your closing remark – but fact it remains.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phil Rees
Rob J
Rob J
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

There’s definitely been a lot of immigration (X) and a lot of conflict (Y) over the past many centuries. But it’s at least questionable whether this is simple X–>Y, with immigration deserving all the causal (dis)credit. One objection might be that Y–>X — conflict has been probably the biggest mover of people, within and between countries. Another (in my view more potent) objection is that both immigration and conflict are just inevitable features of human society. Waves of immigration were followed by conflict but were also preceded by conflict and so it goes on. The risk is mistaking correlation for causation when the ultimate cause is, erm, human life and interaction.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

I downvoted that only for “corny”.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

If you think that we are not at the beginning of a vast wave of immigration, whether we like it or not, then I fear that you and millions of others are in for a rough awakening. That doesn’t mean I like that fact – I certainly do not; I agree with your closing remark – but fact it remains.

Last edited 1 year ago by Phil Rees
Rob J
Rob J
1 year ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

There’s definitely been a lot of immigration (X) and a lot of conflict (Y) over the past many centuries. But it’s at least questionable whether this is simple X–>Y, with immigration deserving all the causal (dis)credit. One objection might be that Y–>X — conflict has been probably the biggest mover of people, within and between countries. Another (in my view more potent) objection is that both immigration and conflict are just inevitable features of human society. Waves of immigration were followed by conflict but were also preceded by conflict and so it goes on. The risk is mistaking correlation for causation when the ultimate cause is, erm, human life and interaction.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Natives are necessarily lazy


Barry Stokes
Barry Stokes
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

No, nor me. Seems a perfectly reasonable line of argument.

Bruce V
Bruce V
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The website needs 4 icons: up/down on whether you agree if the logic and facts presented are correct; and up/down on whether it’s a direction or sentiment you agree with and want society to move towards or resist against. The current binary choice muddles the domains.   

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The original article is about housing and my post was also about housing. So I guess the downvotes are because Chris W did not address the point of my post. Rather, he made the lazy assumption that I am against all immigration (a false assumption, incidentally) so that he could repeat well-aired arguments trotted out by the pro-immigration lobby.

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Perhaps because in making his corny point about past waves of immigration, invariably wheeled out by its virtue-signalling defenders, Chris W overlooked the fact that each such wave led to century after century of conflict and oppression.

The only long-term benefit of past warfare resulting from mass immigrations was to weld the country into a single unit, just as English warfare with places like Scotland and France did for them over the course of the Middle Ages. But as the nations of the UK are already united entities, further conflict would lack even that dubious benefit and in the short to medium term would more likely do the opposite!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But, at the time of William the Conqueror (or. to give him his original sobriquet William the B*st*rd) that was not all true. England was a vibrant and wealthy country, and, although the Godwinsons had caused trouble, internally it was relatively peaceful. It was external threats, admittedly also involving a losing Godwinson, that was the downfall, that and some bad decisions on the battlefield.

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

2 invasions by different people at the same time indicates that all was not quite as placid as you assert

Michael Davis
Michael Davis
1 year ago

2 invasions by different people at the same time indicates that all was not quite as placid as you assert

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The Romans controlled tribal migration for centuries, until they didn’t. The Western Roman Empire collapsed a few decades later.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Well, it was a little more complicated than that. Why didn’t they control migration at that point? As I recall it had to do with them outsourcing their military operations to the barbarians so they (the upper crust) could concentrate on staying home enjoying their crustiness. They got fat, corrupt and lazy.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Well, it was a little more complicated than that. Why didn’t they control migration at that point? As I recall it had to do with them outsourcing their military operations to the barbarians so they (the upper crust) could concentrate on staying home enjoying their crustiness. They got fat, corrupt and lazy.

J. Hale
J. Hale
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Well obvious what’s new is the issue of race. When Normans bred with Anglo-Saxons the offspring were white, the same was true for ancient Britons. But now the differences in ethnic groups are visible, and that brings out tribal instincts unsuited for the 21st century.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  J. Hale

This is a very good point. “Tribal” instincts have been good survival instincts, and it is more difficult to ignore these instincts when the “tribes” look different from each other. However, this doesn’t mean that we should not try to over-ride instincts that are not as useful as they once were; it takes effort, but I don’t think that we do too badly in this country. What we don’t need are those who try to ensure that we are divided into “tribes”, thus undoing the good work of the past.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

Exactly. We have to to coexist in state-sized collections of people. Tribes only work up to a hundred or so people.
Jared Diamond describes in GGS how in New Guinea when two strange men meet in the forest they have a lengthy conversation trying to figure out if they have any relatives in common (they – like nearly every tribe the world has ever seen are exogamous) – no matter how distant. Because if they can’t find any relatives in common they have no reason not to try to kill each other. Interviews with women there (by anthropologists) invariably go through a series of husbands they had, where the first one was killed in a raid, the next one killed by so-and-so who desired her, then he was killed by one of so-and-so’s brothers who then took her as his wife, and so on. This is tribal life the world over. We don’t want to go back there. It’s not anything like Rousseau envisioned (or Marx, for that matter).

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

Exactly. We have to to coexist in state-sized collections of people. Tribes only work up to a hundred or so people.
Jared Diamond describes in GGS how in New Guinea when two strange men meet in the forest they have a lengthy conversation trying to figure out if they have any relatives in common (they – like nearly every tribe the world has ever seen are exogamous) – no matter how distant. Because if they can’t find any relatives in common they have no reason not to try to kill each other. Interviews with women there (by anthropologists) invariably go through a series of husbands they had, where the first one was killed in a raid, the next one killed by so-and-so who desired her, then he was killed by one of so-and-so’s brothers who then took her as his wife, and so on. This is tribal life the world over. We don’t want to go back there. It’s not anything like Rousseau envisioned (or Marx, for that matter).

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  J. Hale

Even then they still had to ethnically cleanse the North.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North#The_Harrying

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago

It wasn’t ethnic cleansing, but mostly an unfortunate military necessity to deny the area to the Scots and Vikings while King William was struggling to suppress a revolt in Maine (France), diehard Saxon rebels, the Welsh, and even Irish pirates kidnapping people in the South West to sell into slavery (which King William abolished in England). One can only fight on so many fronts at once.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago

It wasn’t ethnic cleansing, but mostly an unfortunate military necessity to deny the area to the Scots and Vikings while King William was struggling to suppress a revolt in Maine (France), diehard Saxon rebels, the Welsh, and even Irish pirates kidnapping people in the South West to sell into slavery (which King William abolished in England). One can only fight on so many fronts at once.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  J. Hale

This is a very good point. “Tribal” instincts have been good survival instincts, and it is more difficult to ignore these instincts when the “tribes” look different from each other. However, this doesn’t mean that we should not try to over-ride instincts that are not as useful as they once were; it takes effort, but I don’t think that we do too badly in this country. What we don’t need are those who try to ensure that we are divided into “tribes”, thus undoing the good work of the past.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  J. Hale

Even then they still had to ethnically cleanse the North.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North#The_Harrying

odd taff
odd taff
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

What is new today? A welfare state, the obligation of local authorities to house and feed migrates. Your migrating tribes pre conquest didn’t expect to be housed and feed. In a nutshell a welfare state and open borders are incompatible.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  odd taff

Yes, I think Clinton adviser said that.
You can either have European wealthare state or open borders.
You can not have both.
Idea that you can import low IQ savages from 3rd world and maintain European culture and standard of living is nonsense.
What globalisation and mass immigration supporters deny is the basic fact regarding housing: supply and demand.
They don’t care because they want to destroy Western Civilisation.
What most Tory supporters ignore, is the basic fact that people without chance of having capital (in most cases home), will vote for parties which will penalise capital.
When home ownership drops below 50% (20 years on current trends) , there will be huge demand for socialist policies of confiscation of wealth.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  odd taff

You are entirely right. What also tends to be missing from Western Commentators thinking on migration is the simple issue of economic relativism.
If you speak to Black South Africans, Buddhist Mynamars, and White Swiss they all offer the same conversation point. The incomers that take their work, despite the migrator’s deprivations however small or large are far better off and have more opportunities than where they have migrated from. Western commentators seem unable to consider they are not dragged to their destination they seek it. The commentators look at it through the bottom of their Latte.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  odd taff

Yes, I think Clinton adviser said that.
You can either have European wealthare state or open borders.
You can not have both.
Idea that you can import low IQ savages from 3rd world and maintain European culture and standard of living is nonsense.
What globalisation and mass immigration supporters deny is the basic fact regarding housing: supply and demand.
They don’t care because they want to destroy Western Civilisation.
What most Tory supporters ignore, is the basic fact that people without chance of having capital (in most cases home), will vote for parties which will penalise capital.
When home ownership drops below 50% (20 years on current trends) , there will be huge demand for socialist policies of confiscation of wealth.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  odd taff

You are entirely right. What also tends to be missing from Western Commentators thinking on migration is the simple issue of economic relativism.
If you speak to Black South Africans, Buddhist Mynamars, and White Swiss they all offer the same conversation point. The incomers that take their work, despite the migrator’s deprivations however small or large are far better off and have more opportunities than where they have migrated from. Western commentators seem unable to consider they are not dragged to their destination they seek it. The commentators look at it through the bottom of their Latte.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Relief from relative poverty and war in Europe were of no consolation to the Cherokee or Lakota. They should have scapled every white devil when they had the chance.
Where there have been movements of people in history there have always been winners and losers and there has always been violence.
“Laziness and inaction” about our current replacement stems from people like you and your luxury beliefs, mobilising the modern total-state to bring about the conditions where fathers are arrested trying to rescue their captive daughters from sex slavery.
https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/downloads/file/279/independent-inquiry-into-child-sexual-exploitation-in-rotherham
Article 5.9

I can only hope when the money printer runs out and we regress to the historical mean, that what you are so brazenly indifferent to see inflicted on the bottom of our society, is returned to you and yours in kind. Enjoy your cheap labour in Pret while it lasts.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

wrong. Never before has there been a 20% population increase of an extra 10m people in so short a time- thats just since 2000.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The idea that England was a land of mass migration before modern times is almost entirely false, though it is very easy to see why it is inexorably insisted upon by those people who essentially believe in open borders.

A few thousands Normans, Bretons etc. Then, in the 1690s, an admittedly large but one-off influx of Hugenots. There is absolutely nothing to compare with the current phenomenon of record numbers of migrants entering the country year on year.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

People shouldn’t downvote someone’s comment just because they don’t like what it says, IMO. If it is an intellectually honest comment and not being abusive, it should at least be considered and not buried to the bottom of the pile with downvotes. Otherwise these comments just turn into a chorus singing for itself.
The book, “Who We Are, Where We Come From” by David Reich, makes the migratory case of Chris W’s in great detail, all the way back to the beginnings of humanity using DNA evidence. We may not like it, but we’re talking about what are facts. It’s foolish to ignore them.
And there was an article recently – based, again, on DNA evidence – that people who migrate to distant lands have a higher percentage of genes associated with risk-taking, compared to those who stay behind. People have believed this for as long as I’ve been alive and now there’s even DNA evidence to back it up.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I dont think the UK has ever had a 20% population increase in 20 years in years past- it has now.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Why all those downvotes for an excellent insightful comment?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Not sure why the downvotes.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

But, at the time of William the Conqueror (or. to give him his original sobriquet William the B*st*rd) that was not all true. England was a vibrant and wealthy country, and, although the Godwinsons had caused trouble, internally it was relatively peaceful. It was external threats, admittedly also involving a losing Godwinson, that was the downfall, that and some bad decisions on the battlefield.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The Romans controlled tribal migration for centuries, until they didn’t. The Western Roman Empire collapsed a few decades later.

J. Hale
J. Hale
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Well obvious what’s new is the issue of race. When Normans bred with Anglo-Saxons the offspring were white, the same was true for ancient Britons. But now the differences in ethnic groups are visible, and that brings out tribal instincts unsuited for the 21st century.

odd taff
odd taff
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

What is new today? A welfare state, the obligation of local authorities to house and feed migrates. Your migrating tribes pre conquest didn’t expect to be housed and feed. In a nutshell a welfare state and open borders are incompatible.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Relief from relative poverty and war in Europe were of no consolation to the Cherokee or Lakota. They should have scapled every white devil when they had the chance.
Where there have been movements of people in history there have always been winners and losers and there has always been violence.
“Laziness and inaction” about our current replacement stems from people like you and your luxury beliefs, mobilising the modern total-state to bring about the conditions where fathers are arrested trying to rescue their captive daughters from sex slavery.
https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/downloads/file/279/independent-inquiry-into-child-sexual-exploitation-in-rotherham
Article 5.9

I can only hope when the money printer runs out and we regress to the historical mean, that what you are so brazenly indifferent to see inflicted on the bottom of our society, is returned to you and yours in kind. Enjoy your cheap labour in Pret while it lasts.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

wrong. Never before has there been a 20% population increase of an extra 10m people in so short a time- thats just since 2000.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

The idea that England was a land of mass migration before modern times is almost entirely false, though it is very easy to see why it is inexorably insisted upon by those people who essentially believe in open borders.

A few thousands Normans, Bretons etc. Then, in the 1690s, an admittedly large but one-off influx of Hugenots. There is absolutely nothing to compare with the current phenomenon of record numbers of migrants entering the country year on year.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

People shouldn’t downvote someone’s comment just because they don’t like what it says, IMO. If it is an intellectually honest comment and not being abusive, it should at least be considered and not buried to the bottom of the pile with downvotes. Otherwise these comments just turn into a chorus singing for itself.
The book, “Who We Are, Where We Come From” by David Reich, makes the migratory case of Chris W’s in great detail, all the way back to the beginnings of humanity using DNA evidence. We may not like it, but we’re talking about what are facts. It’s foolish to ignore them.
And there was an article recently – based, again, on DNA evidence – that people who migrate to distant lands have a higher percentage of genes associated with risk-taking, compared to those who stay behind. People have believed this for as long as I’ve been alive and now there’s even DNA evidence to back it up.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

I dont think the UK has ever had a 20% population increase in 20 years in years past- it has now.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris W

Why all those downvotes for an excellent insightful comment?

Victor Whisky
Victor Whisky
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

there’s always plenty of money for war.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

It is more than that, it is the unaffordability of houses, and in the cities the building of shoebox size flat with no outlook. Houses have become unaffordable because low interest rates and borrowing in relation to income increasing to unacceptable levels. The recent BBC programme featured one woman with an interest repayment only loan. What was the point of that? She had just been handing her money over to the bank for years and ended up with nothing to show for it. The bankers are as irresponsible as the government.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

But the interest rates are low because of the central bank acting in concert with the government. Without the “cheap” money, the consumer economy would collapse and the mega-rollover recssion (depression) we’ve been kicking down the road for 25 years would ensue. And no government would survive such a fall in standards of lving.
We as a people, and as shaped by our media masters, we refuse to take our medicine and the longer we leave it, the worse it will be.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Housing has become a gambling focus the world over which inevitably leads to overvaluing – and no govts have had the gonads to stop this – because they were making a fortune themselves and would be voted in by the haves . Look at what happened in france when the bread ran out – maybe it just needs someone to say ‘let them eat cake ‘ for the mayhem to start ?? Lots of murder and mayhem starting in good old NZ even.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

That is only partially true.
If you build 200k houses a year but you allow 500k immigrants in, you will have housing shortage, thus increasing prices, regardless of level of interest rates.
Problem is that people owning houses benefit from the system, regardless of long term consequences.

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Net migration has never been 500,000 until 2021/2. It has been unprecedentedly large in the last 2 decades.
59 million in 2001 to 68 million in 2021/2.
Around 50-100,000 more born than die each year, as well, usually, recently
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/impactofbirthsanddeathsonukpopulationchange/2020.

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Net migration has never been 500,000 until 2021/2. It has been unprecedentedly large in the last 2 decades.
59 million in 2001 to 68 million in 2021/2.
Around 50-100,000 more born than die each year, as well, usually, recently
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/impactofbirthsanddeathsonukpopulationchange/2020.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

But the interest rates are low because of the central bank acting in concert with the government. Without the “cheap” money, the consumer economy would collapse and the mega-rollover recssion (depression) we’ve been kicking down the road for 25 years would ensue. And no government would survive such a fall in standards of lving.
We as a people, and as shaped by our media masters, we refuse to take our medicine and the longer we leave it, the worse it will be.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Housing has become a gambling focus the world over which inevitably leads to overvaluing – and no govts have had the gonads to stop this – because they were making a fortune themselves and would be voted in by the haves . Look at what happened in france when the bread ran out – maybe it just needs someone to say ‘let them eat cake ‘ for the mayhem to start ?? Lots of murder and mayhem starting in good old NZ even.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

That is only partially true.
If you build 200k houses a year but you allow 500k immigrants in, you will have housing shortage, thus increasing prices, regardless of level of interest rates.
Problem is that people owning houses benefit from the system, regardless of long term consequences.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

Stop blaming immigrants…There are plenty empty houses in the UK. I worked with homeless people for over 20 years during the 80s, 90s and noughties. There are many reasons for people being homeless but with careful management of the housing stock in this country and a moratorium on building houses to buy, only the very vulnerable would be left without a home of their own and could be homed in supported accommodation. But no government will make that decision because that is a socialist notion, which “the people” won’t want and we have not had a socialist government no matter what colour the party in power.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I am not blaming immigrants. I am blaming the government.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Heck why all the downvotes – tis only common sense !

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

You are a moron.
I was born in your communist paradise and most people waited 20 years for council flat (one bedroom for family of 4), unless you were communist party functionary or security service employee.
Why do not you emigrate to Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Thanks for dealing with the useless idiot.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Thanks for dealing with the useless idiot.

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Depends what you mean by plenty. Estimates vary but 650,000 is perhaps about right.
Not trivial, but not enough to rectify 40 years of not building enough to match population growth (and more recent interest rate reduction).

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I am not blaming immigrants. I am blaming the government.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Heck why all the downvotes – tis only common sense !

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

You are a moron.
I was born in your communist paradise and most people waited 20 years for council flat (one bedroom for family of 4), unless you were communist party functionary or security service employee.
Why do not you emigrate to Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Depends what you mean by plenty. Estimates vary but 650,000 is perhaps about right.
Not trivial, but not enough to rectify 40 years of not building enough to match population growth (and more recent interest rate reduction).

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

I just read the newly-released immigration figures. The new statistic is double the net inward migration figure given in my original post.

Chris W
Chris W
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

If you read history of times before William the Conqueror, writers speak of the movements of very large numbers of people. Movements are caused by wars when people are forced out of their homes, or by relative poverty.
When there have been movements there has always been intermarriage. Sometimes the incoming tribe has been stronger than the existing one. Nobody has ever stopped these movements.
In general, the old culture had gone to sleep and people had become diverted from action and dynamism to inaction and laziness. In general, the incoming peoples have had more energy, been willing to work harder for less recompense, been less diverted by games, shows and trivia (like hairstyles, self-beauty, clothes) and have just done the basics – the basics for life.

So what is new today?

Victor Whisky
Victor Whisky
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

there’s always plenty of money for war.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

It is more than that, it is the unaffordability of houses, and in the cities the building of shoebox size flat with no outlook. Houses have become unaffordable because low interest rates and borrowing in relation to income increasing to unacceptable levels. The recent BBC programme featured one woman with an interest repayment only loan. What was the point of that? She had just been handing her money over to the bank for years and ended up with nothing to show for it. The bankers are as irresponsible as the government.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

Stop blaming immigrants…There are plenty empty houses in the UK. I worked with homeless people for over 20 years during the 80s, 90s and noughties. There are many reasons for people being homeless but with careful management of the housing stock in this country and a moratorium on building houses to buy, only the very vulnerable would be left without a home of their own and could be homed in supported accommodation. But no government will make that decision because that is a socialist notion, which “the people” won’t want and we have not had a socialist government no matter what colour the party in power.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Francis

I just read the newly-released immigration figures. The new statistic is double the net inward migration figure given in my original post.

Peter Francis
Peter Francis
1 year ago

When, in 1942, Beveridge envisaged that “every citizen” should have decent housing, he did not have in mind the situation that we are in today. Each year there is net inward migration of about a quarter of a million and 50,000 new asylum applications to add to the 600,000 illegal immigrants already here. Housebuilding for “every citzen” is only a problem because the government refuses to honour its election pledge to control immigration.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago

If you double the population of Britain, but increase housing supply by say, 50%, the price of housing will increase drastically. The businesses seeking cheaper labor neglect the other side of the coin – where their “cheaper labor” will live.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Correct. The unsustainable 2 decade era of the urban metro propertocracy is about to end. Millions of Londoners living in 300k home in 95 saw it turn into a 1.5m asset a decade later – all unearned all untaxed – because of a near criminally rigged scam. Allow 600000 new people to enter UK every year (stop talking net!!!) but do not build any houses for them!!! The magic formula to make bricks earn 100k a year!! An economic revolution which puts the French aristocracy to shame has taken place. This new wealth (boosted by QE) saw this asset rich class turn their backs on the underclass and native welfarism and turn vicious in defence of their property heroin in the Brexit Wars. Well Lockdown has blown it all up. The fruits will be far more than bitter. But our entire Establishment – venal corrupt – have been complicit in this pop/prop game since the 90s. So there is no force which can stop the Reckoning.

Debbie Willmot
Debbie Willmot
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I’m sure there are many people who would be happy for their house to fall in value. Those that live in them that is. The answer has always been for house prices to fall but there are other factors that affect houses going up in value. Namely second home ownership, Air BnBs, Buy to let mortgages etc. All housing in my daughter’s village in N Wales is snapped up for Air BnBs before locals can bid. Imagine the squealing from the people who have a vastly inflated asset but are still paying a mortgage. In the 80s the problem was temporarily addressed by much higher mortgage interest rates and repossessions. Can you see that being repeated? Otherwise the solution must be to build more council housing (social housing) to house those on council waiting lists which are usually very long, thereby freeing up private property for sale. We do, however, need to address the issue of food security and building on Grade 1 farmland. Currently a big issue in Faversham in Kent due to the building proposed by the Duchy of Cornwall. Is it right to remove tenant farmers on productive land to build even more detached housing for commuters?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

There were greater macro econ forces
engineered to propel the housing bubble up and up. The biggest was QE. 975bn and the Zero interest regime. As with the refusal to sort out planning restrictions and the monstrous decision to stop councils building homes – these were nakedly political decisions designed to inflate prices and enrich their metro class. See today – the Treasury Orthodoxy are rubbing knees gleefully as over one million people come to the Haus-frei UK!! Thats a percentage point on growth!! The fact that the entire public infrastructure has totally buckled under the weight of this unplanned movement of people will never be discussed by the London media..all merry on 2million capital gains to ehich they feel entitled. There are so many noses in the trough.

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The snag is there are more like 20 million “noses in the trough”, because if the whole ponzi scheme were to collapse then wouldn’t pension funds, among other things, also plunge in value and international investors forsake sterling?

I’m no expert, but it seems to me it is harder than one thinks to glibly point at a small minority of supposed troughers when everything is interlinked so in the end most of us are one way or another.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

bring on the guillotine – as long as it is finely focussed …………

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The snag is there are more like 20 million “noses in the trough”, because if the whole ponzi scheme were to collapse then wouldn’t pension funds, among other things, also plunge in value and international investors forsake sterling?

I’m no expert, but it seems to me it is harder than one thinks to glibly point at a small minority of supposed troughers when everything is interlinked so in the end most of us are one way or another.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

bring on the guillotine – as long as it is finely focussed …………

Hugh R
Hugh R
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

Oh, no – but I agree there are many bourgeoisie Leftish-leaning sorts who SAY “they would be happy for their house to fall in value.”
But that is merely the ‘shy Tory’ sindrome

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

There were greater macro econ forces
engineered to propel the housing bubble up and up. The biggest was QE. 975bn and the Zero interest regime. As with the refusal to sort out planning restrictions and the monstrous decision to stop councils building homes – these were nakedly political decisions designed to inflate prices and enrich their metro class. See today – the Treasury Orthodoxy are rubbing knees gleefully as over one million people come to the Haus-frei UK!! Thats a percentage point on growth!! The fact that the entire public infrastructure has totally buckled under the weight of this unplanned movement of people will never be discussed by the London media..all merry on 2million capital gains to ehich they feel entitled. There are so many noses in the trough.

Hugh R
Hugh R
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

Oh, no – but I agree there are many bourgeoisie Leftish-leaning sorts who SAY “they would be happy for their house to fall in value.”
But that is merely the ‘shy Tory’ sindrome

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“Millions of Londoners living in 300k home in 95 saw it turn into a 1.5m asset a decade later”
Around where I live, that ÂŁ300k has turned into ÂŁ3-4 million. Otherwise you’re spot on. The entire thrust of economic policy for more than twenty years has been to buy middle class votes by pushing immigration and printing money in order to create house price inflation.
Brexit was just the beginning of the blow back.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well put, I particularly liked your allusion to 1789, though one can imagine how much more “vibrant” the Committee of Public Safety will be with ethnic sectarianism added to the mix…

Steve Brown
Steve Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Venally incompetent more like!

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Many great points.
But why do you say that lockdown has blown the housing racket up?

Debbie Willmot
Debbie Willmot
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I’m sure there are many people who would be happy for their house to fall in value. Those that live in them that is. The answer has always been for house prices to fall but there are other factors that affect houses going up in value. Namely second home ownership, Air BnBs, Buy to let mortgages etc. All housing in my daughter’s village in N Wales is snapped up for Air BnBs before locals can bid. Imagine the squealing from the people who have a vastly inflated asset but are still paying a mortgage. In the 80s the problem was temporarily addressed by much higher mortgage interest rates and repossessions. Can you see that being repeated? Otherwise the solution must be to build more council housing (social housing) to house those on council waiting lists which are usually very long, thereby freeing up private property for sale. We do, however, need to address the issue of food security and building on Grade 1 farmland. Currently a big issue in Faversham in Kent due to the building proposed by the Duchy of Cornwall. Is it right to remove tenant farmers on productive land to build even more detached housing for commuters?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“Millions of Londoners living in 300k home in 95 saw it turn into a 1.5m asset a decade later”
Around where I live, that ÂŁ300k has turned into ÂŁ3-4 million. Otherwise you’re spot on. The entire thrust of economic policy for more than twenty years has been to buy middle class votes by pushing immigration and printing money in order to create house price inflation.
Brexit was just the beginning of the blow back.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well put, I particularly liked your allusion to 1789, though one can imagine how much more “vibrant” the Committee of Public Safety will be with ethnic sectarianism added to the mix…

Steve Brown
Steve Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Venally incompetent more like!

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Many great points.
But why do you say that lockdown has blown the housing racket up?

JOHN BINGHAM
JOHN BINGHAM
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

We have a huge pool of labour or we would have if people had not been infantilised and marginalised via the benefits system. To not work is a terrible punishment even if it does not feel like that in the moment. The economic costs are huge the social costs are incalculable.
To seek to fix this with unskilled labour from abroad is another Ponzi scheme. What is added is not remotely sufficient to justify the housing or the other services it demands. And foreign labour (which will seek to recreate its own culture) will also become increasingly dependent on the state (why work for little more than benefits).
Huge pro-natal polices (centering mothers) via tax breaks for the employed and especially for people who already have one or two children within stable family settings.  
No benefits for anyone who is able to work but elects not to so where work is available. 

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

We don’t need to encourage people to have children. We just need to insist that those who do (women as well as men) work for a living and are paid properly. Most of the children of the current underclass would be far better in professional childcare, with healthy food and outdoor play, and their mothers, after weight loss and appropriate training, could be used to solve the staff shortage in care homes.
Two problems solved.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown
1 year ago

Your approach is controversial perhaps, but something, somewhere, is going to have to give. The status quo ante, whatever it is/was, is simply not available. However sceptical one might be, the increasing number of people with proper jobs, yet who need to use food banks, says that something in the system is wrong, deeply corrupt and needs changing.

Steve Brown
Steve Brown
1 year ago

Your approach is controversial perhaps, but something, somewhere, is going to have to give. The status quo ante, whatever it is/was, is simply not available. However sceptical one might be, the increasing number of people with proper jobs, yet who need to use food banks, says that something in the system is wrong, deeply corrupt and needs changing.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Yes the one ‘Great Evil’ that Beveridge identified, and the one that never gets mentioned, was ‘idleness’. The dependency culture which the welfare ‘cradle to the grave’ state spawned, throwing responsibility, self-disciple, and the work ethic out of the window, is at the root of much, if not most, societal disfunction. Ms Harrington can’t blame Thatcher for that, though.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Don’t forget the “education” system as well the benefits.
The problem is; “No benefits for anyone who is able to work but elects not to so where work is available.” isn’t this the line the Tories ran so sucessfully with from 1997 to 2010? The whole “nasty party” sitch-up.
This line goes nowhere in an infantilised, media-run, liberal democracy. The electorate aren’t going to come their senses until it’s too late.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Problem is your ideas will never be acted on because all the usual suspects (charities, human rights scumbags (sorry lawyers and activist judges), useful “Lenin” idiots, etc) will fight against it.
They will use ECJ, UN etc to scare our useless politicians into doing nothing.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

We don’t need to encourage people to have children. We just need to insist that those who do (women as well as men) work for a living and are paid properly. Most of the children of the current underclass would be far better in professional childcare, with healthy food and outdoor play, and their mothers, after weight loss and appropriate training, could be used to solve the staff shortage in care homes.
Two problems solved.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Yes the one ‘Great Evil’ that Beveridge identified, and the one that never gets mentioned, was ‘idleness’. The dependency culture which the welfare ‘cradle to the grave’ state spawned, throwing responsibility, self-disciple, and the work ethic out of the window, is at the root of much, if not most, societal disfunction. Ms Harrington can’t blame Thatcher for that, though.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Don’t forget the “education” system as well the benefits.
The problem is; “No benefits for anyone who is able to work but elects not to so where work is available.” isn’t this the line the Tories ran so sucessfully with from 1997 to 2010? The whole “nasty party” sitch-up.
This line goes nowhere in an infantilised, media-run, liberal democracy. The electorate aren’t going to come their senses until it’s too late.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  JOHN BINGHAM

Problem is your ideas will never be acted on because all the usual suspects (charities, human rights scumbags (sorry lawyers and activist judges), useful “Lenin” idiots, etc) will fight against it.
They will use ECJ, UN etc to scare our useless politicians into doing nothing.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Correct. The unsustainable 2 decade era of the urban metro propertocracy is about to end. Millions of Londoners living in 300k home in 95 saw it turn into a 1.5m asset a decade later – all unearned all untaxed – because of a near criminally rigged scam. Allow 600000 new people to enter UK every year (stop talking net!!!) but do not build any houses for them!!! The magic formula to make bricks earn 100k a year!! An economic revolution which puts the French aristocracy to shame has taken place. This new wealth (boosted by QE) saw this asset rich class turn their backs on the underclass and native welfarism and turn vicious in defence of their property heroin in the Brexit Wars. Well Lockdown has blown it all up. The fruits will be far more than bitter. But our entire Establishment – venal corrupt – have been complicit in this pop/prop game since the 90s. So there is no force which can stop the Reckoning.

JOHN BINGHAM
JOHN BINGHAM
1 year ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

We have a huge pool of labour or we would have if people had not been infantilised and marginalised via the benefits system. To not work is a terrible punishment even if it does not feel like that in the moment. The economic costs are huge the social costs are incalculable.
To seek to fix this with unskilled labour from abroad is another Ponzi scheme. What is added is not remotely sufficient to justify the housing or the other services it demands. And foreign labour (which will seek to recreate its own culture) will also become increasingly dependent on the state (why work for little more than benefits).
Huge pro-natal polices (centering mothers) via tax breaks for the employed and especially for people who already have one or two children within stable family settings.  
No benefits for anyone who is able to work but elects not to so where work is available. 

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 year ago

If you double the population of Britain, but increase housing supply by say, 50%, the price of housing will increase drastically. The businesses seeking cheaper labor neglect the other side of the coin – where their “cheaper labor” will live.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago

Britain will not automate to modern standards until cheap immigrant labour stops. It’s cheaper and easier to employ workers with suppressed wages than to install capital intensive automation, in many sectors. Net migration needs to stop in our overcrowded and overstretched island and policy needs to move towards supporting efficient products and services.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

That is the problem, but automation does not create jobs. In Britain we also have the problem of expensive and what will be increasingly unreliable energy which makes us uncompetitive.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Simple then, we just have to break the fashionable eco managerial consensus. We’d only have to deal with the BBC, the guardian and the Times, shut down all the universities, reeducate all teachers, Operation Yewtree Stephen Fry and declare David Attenborough damnatio memoriae.
We’re screwed…

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Simple then, we just have to break the fashionable eco managerial consensus. We’d only have to deal with the BBC, the guardian and the Times, shut down all the universities, reeducate all teachers, Operation Yewtree Stephen Fry and declare David Attenborough damnatio memoriae.
We’re screwed…

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

That is the problem, but automation does not create jobs. In Britain we also have the problem of expensive and what will be increasingly unreliable energy which makes us uncompetitive.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
1 year ago

Britain will not automate to modern standards until cheap immigrant labour stops. It’s cheaper and easier to employ workers with suppressed wages than to install capital intensive automation, in many sectors. Net migration needs to stop in our overcrowded and overstretched island and policy needs to move towards supporting efficient products and services.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I hire lots of software developers and used to bring them to London on work visas. Now everyone expects to work from home so we hire them to work in their home location.

All jobs that take place in front of a computer – which are probably the bulk of the “growth” jobs – can be done remotely and require no inward migration to occur. So immigrants are needed for the manual jobs that must happen here – and those like emptying dustbins or caring for old people – don’t create growth (at least not directly).

When we eventually bring immigration down to a number that our infrastructure can cope with, it will be the non-growth sectors that suffer – care homes, nurseries, cleaners etc. These are also hard to automate away.

The solution I think is a return to traditional family life. Mothers take years off work to care for their own babies and toddlers; elderly parents move in with their grown up kids when they are frail; people clean their own houses and walk their own damned dogs (or else pay wages that will attract a British person to do it).

The trade off for these inconveniences is that you will be able to afford a house to do it in, see a doctor in good time when you are sick and get your kids into the local school.

It might also strengthen marriages, families, neighbourhoods and save the entire nation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

People don’t have enough kids, early enough, nowadays for “return to traditional family life” to even be remotely possible.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

If you fix the economic situation, they will have children.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I don’t see why we need more kids in order to give women longer maternity leave allowances. Nor for elderly parents to move in with their children.

I think we should work out what a good life looks like – stable marriages, few divorces, mothers spending the formative years with their young children, young married couples buying houses with a garden, primary schools in walking distance, and so on – and then make sure policy incentivises these things (or at least doesn’t disincentivise them).

At the moment the good life we are incentivising seems to be: come one, come all, do what you want, be who you want, ask the government to pay. Hardly conducive to building a stable nation.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

If you fix the economic situation, they will have children.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I don’t see why we need more kids in order to give women longer maternity leave allowances. Nor for elderly parents to move in with their children.

I think we should work out what a good life looks like – stable marriages, few divorces, mothers spending the formative years with their young children, young married couples buying houses with a garden, primary schools in walking distance, and so on – and then make sure policy incentivises these things (or at least doesn’t disincentivise them).

At the moment the good life we are incentivising seems to be: come one, come all, do what you want, be who you want, ask the government to pay. Hardly conducive to building a stable nation.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I agree with a lot of what you say and would add that there are way too many dogs.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Josie Bowen

That made me laugh

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Josie Bowen

That made me laugh

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Or turn it on its head and women give birth and look after child for first 6 months to a year until weaned, then father stays at home while mother goes out to work. There is no need for the majority of workers to be men any more as there is little heavy industry, so more work that women can do as well if not better than men. There would be less violence against women simply because men would be far too knackered looking after child and home tobe lifting their fists and wouldn’t have all that testosterone of the workplace driving psychological abuse. And get rid of “marriage”, people would have a civil partnership tmwith no history of patriarchy and tradition. Society might actually become more equal and the UK a better place for everyone to live. Fancy that!

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I can’t tell whether or not you are joking.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

As a woman that has worked on building sites (electrician), more often than not as the ONLY woman on site, on and off since I was 14, now 32, (dad had an accident needed help, then made sense to carry on), I have to interject here because what you just said is complete shit. I know what it’s like to work in a male dominated industry and I’m a mother and I’m about to wipe the floor with you.
First, I have never EVER worked on a site where I have been discriminated against, abused or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable, no ‘testosterone fuelled abuse’ quite the opposite in fact, there is absolutely nothing stopping women from working in these male dominated industries already. I’ve been there, got the t shirt. Met a few other ladies happily rubbing along, usually because it’s their family business.
Second, you will find that the industries still dominated by men are dominated for a reason, you go to a site, watch a steel erector, or scaffolder, or groundworker, lady groundworkers are like unicorns I’ve only ever met one, she was hardcore, she wouldn’t take any abuse, from anyone, never seen a lady scaffolder, it’s such a hard physical job it’s very difficult for a woman to physically keep up. Or even lift a full 3m scaffold pole. Trust me, I’ve occasionally played with scaffolding. There’s no danger of these guys going home full of testosterone fuelled abuse, they normally creak on the sofa in the evening.
Third, I had a very traditional upbringing, mum in charge of children, house and helped with admin, dad goes out to work and runs the business. They ran a contracting business from home. We do the same. This division of jobs works, they are both equally important. Mens and womens brains are wired differently, when a woman has a child her whole brain changes, science fact, women are biologically wired to care for children, men are not. When we had our daughter, I beleived very firmly in staying home to care for her, I do not believe in farming children out to childcare, in fact I think this is causing problems, especially for something as vain as ‘your career’, if you have children they should be central to your world not an abstract part of it. Raising your own child as a woman should be a joy, I was happy to stay home and care for her. Mothering wasn’t harder, honestly. It was fantastic. She started school last year and I’ve been back out on site on and off (still facing no discrimination), interestingly her and the only other child that didn’t go to nursery are ahead of all the others, by a fair stretch with reading. Honestly, the child that causes the most trouble belongs to the woman that runs the nursery, her child spent most of her time there.
So, thank you feminist warrior but no thanks. Us mothers in the male dominated world, don’t need you trumpeting our cause thanks. Its not scary or beset with testosterone fueled abuse. I want to raise my child. In the world you propose, you are forcing men into a duty they are not biologically equipped to deal with. Damaging children and women by erasing the importance of motherhood and ignoring basic biology. You come under my ‘nutter’ category.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Good comment B Emery.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thanks for dealing with the lefty moron.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Good comment B Emery.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thanks for dealing with the lefty moron.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I can’t tell whether or not you are joking.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

As a woman that has worked on building sites (electrician), more often than not as the ONLY woman on site, on and off since I was 14, now 32, (dad had an accident needed help, then made sense to carry on), I have to interject here because what you just said is complete shit. I know what it’s like to work in a male dominated industry and I’m a mother and I’m about to wipe the floor with you.
First, I have never EVER worked on a site where I have been discriminated against, abused or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable, no ‘testosterone fuelled abuse’ quite the opposite in fact, there is absolutely nothing stopping women from working in these male dominated industries already. I’ve been there, got the t shirt. Met a few other ladies happily rubbing along, usually because it’s their family business.
Second, you will find that the industries still dominated by men are dominated for a reason, you go to a site, watch a steel erector, or scaffolder, or groundworker, lady groundworkers are like unicorns I’ve only ever met one, she was hardcore, she wouldn’t take any abuse, from anyone, never seen a lady scaffolder, it’s such a hard physical job it’s very difficult for a woman to physically keep up. Or even lift a full 3m scaffold pole. Trust me, I’ve occasionally played with scaffolding. There’s no danger of these guys going home full of testosterone fuelled abuse, they normally creak on the sofa in the evening.
Third, I had a very traditional upbringing, mum in charge of children, house and helped with admin, dad goes out to work and runs the business. They ran a contracting business from home. We do the same. This division of jobs works, they are both equally important. Mens and womens brains are wired differently, when a woman has a child her whole brain changes, science fact, women are biologically wired to care for children, men are not. When we had our daughter, I beleived very firmly in staying home to care for her, I do not believe in farming children out to childcare, in fact I think this is causing problems, especially for something as vain as ‘your career’, if you have children they should be central to your world not an abstract part of it. Raising your own child as a woman should be a joy, I was happy to stay home and care for her. Mothering wasn’t harder, honestly. It was fantastic. She started school last year and I’ve been back out on site on and off (still facing no discrimination), interestingly her and the only other child that didn’t go to nursery are ahead of all the others, by a fair stretch with reading. Honestly, the child that causes the most trouble belongs to the woman that runs the nursery, her child spent most of her time there.
So, thank you feminist warrior but no thanks. Us mothers in the male dominated world, don’t need you trumpeting our cause thanks. Its not scary or beset with testosterone fueled abuse. I want to raise my child. In the world you propose, you are forcing men into a duty they are not biologically equipped to deal with. Damaging children and women by erasing the importance of motherhood and ignoring basic biology. You come under my ‘nutter’ category.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

You got many up votes, but I think you are part of the problem.
I used to work for international IT company and trained people supposed to replace uk workers.
Problem is that unless you have, let say, Indian cost of living, UK workers will struggle to compete.
Most of my “trainees” were in jobs paying about 40k in uk wages 12 years ago.
But they had domestic staff and were surprised I walked to work 10 min from underground station in London (they would use taxis or rickshaw).
Globalisation was a disaster for 90% of people in the West and the sooner it ends the better.
Btw, I accept that I was part of the problem as well…

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Very fair point Andrew – I am definitely culpable in this mess.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Very fair point Andrew – I am definitely culpable in this mess.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

People don’t have enough kids, early enough, nowadays for “return to traditional family life” to even be remotely possible.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I agree with a lot of what you say and would add that there are way too many dogs.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Or turn it on its head and women give birth and look after child for first 6 months to a year until weaned, then father stays at home while mother goes out to work. There is no need for the majority of workers to be men any more as there is little heavy industry, so more work that women can do as well if not better than men. There would be less violence against women simply because men would be far too knackered looking after child and home tobe lifting their fists and wouldn’t have all that testosterone of the workplace driving psychological abuse. And get rid of “marriage”, people would have a civil partnership tmwith no history of patriarchy and tradition. Society might actually become more equal and the UK a better place for everyone to live. Fancy that!

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

You got many up votes, but I think you are part of the problem.
I used to work for international IT company and trained people supposed to replace uk workers.
Problem is that unless you have, let say, Indian cost of living, UK workers will struggle to compete.
Most of my “trainees” were in jobs paying about 40k in uk wages 12 years ago.
But they had domestic staff and were surprised I walked to work 10 min from underground station in London (they would use taxis or rickshaw).
Globalisation was a disaster for 90% of people in the West and the sooner it ends the better.
Btw, I accept that I was part of the problem as well…

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I hire lots of software developers and used to bring them to London on work visas. Now everyone expects to work from home so we hire them to work in their home location.

All jobs that take place in front of a computer – which are probably the bulk of the “growth” jobs – can be done remotely and require no inward migration to occur. So immigrants are needed for the manual jobs that must happen here – and those like emptying dustbins or caring for old people – don’t create growth (at least not directly).

When we eventually bring immigration down to a number that our infrastructure can cope with, it will be the non-growth sectors that suffer – care homes, nurseries, cleaners etc. These are also hard to automate away.

The solution I think is a return to traditional family life. Mothers take years off work to care for their own babies and toddlers; elderly parents move in with their grown up kids when they are frail; people clean their own houses and walk their own damned dogs (or else pay wages that will attract a British person to do it).

The trade off for these inconveniences is that you will be able to afford a house to do it in, see a doctor in good time when you are sick and get your kids into the local school.

It might also strengthen marriages, families, neighbourhoods and save the entire nation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

“And for some decades now, the main way of doing that has been “supply-side reform”, a euphemism for keeping competition at the bottom of the meat-grinder sufficiently brutal that workers don’t get too demanding.”

I agree with certain points made – the Tories are doomed, that Brexit is a symptom of much larger forces etc – but this analysis is also filled with fallacies. The worst one is the assertion that I’ve quoted here: supply side reform is emphatically nothing of the sort. Supply side reform is simply a process by which resources continue to be allocated in the best way possible, and for vested interests not to be permitted to take over resource allocation decisions, which when it happens causes unjust enrichment of the few and indefensible impoverishment of the many.

On occasion that does involve stopping the unions from raising workers entitlements beyond what the market can afford, true, but these days it is much more about preventing middle-class vested interests from wrecking economic growth, whether it’s planning reform to increase housebuilding or public sector reform to prevent increasing amounts of tax revenue to pour ceaselessly into paying the salaries and pensions of bureaucrats whose main job is to create work for each other while front-line public services collapse.

We are not presently doing either those two examples I mention, or the vast array of other reforms that are presently needed to prevent socioeconomic decline. And it is that failure, alone, which explains the mess Britain is now in. The article is therefore wrong on the implied point that decline is inevitable and the solutions to it lie outside the power of governments to address: the solutions are simple.

A country can survive big government for a while, and it can survive bad government for a while, but it cannot cope with government that is both big and bad at the same time. That is what we presently have: a political system that creates the problems it then promises but fails to resolve, but is adept at fooling enough of us at election time that more money and bigger government is the answer.

The lessons taught by Thatcher and Reagan have to be relearned. There is no alternative: government is the problem, not the solution, and as long as voters think that voting for other people’s money can actually solve problems, we will simply have bigger and more expensive problems.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Your comment reminded me of this view of Murray N Rothbard made in1982: “We have gotten to the point where everything the government does is counterproductive, the conclusion, of course, is that the government should do nothing at all, that is, should retire quickly from the monetary and economic scene and allow freedom and free markets to work.” Forty years later we still have government failure.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Some years ago I saw this article in I think it was Reason Magazine that argued based on GDP data that there was a strong inverse-correlation between the quantity of legislation that was passed in the U.S. and GDP. In other words, when Congress was most productive, the economy wasn’t and vice versa. There was a lag involved, of course, I think GDP changes trailed by eight or nine months. Ever since then whenever the media has been bemoaning our legislative bodies being tied up one way or another and not getting anything done I’ve thought of this article.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Some years ago I saw this article in I think it was Reason Magazine that argued based on GDP data that there was a strong inverse-correlation between the quantity of legislation that was passed in the U.S. and GDP. In other words, when Congress was most productive, the economy wasn’t and vice versa. There was a lag involved, of course, I think GDP changes trailed by eight or nine months. Ever since then whenever the media has been bemoaning our legislative bodies being tied up one way or another and not getting anything done I’ve thought of this article.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“a political system that creates the problems it then promises but fails to resolve, but is adept at fooling enough of us at election time that more money and bigger government is the answer.”
Good summary of the problem but I fail to see how the “solutions are simple”.
There’s nothing simple about conquering vested interests in a liberal democracy…
The simple answer is system failure and economy catabolism, but that’s not exactly a solution…

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

Fair point. I should have made clear the difference between “simple” and “easy”. Pushing rocks up a mountain is simple but not at all easy. The same applies to removing vested interests: we can see that it simply needs doing, but actually doing it is not easy at all.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

Fair point. I should have made clear the difference between “simple” and “easy”. Pushing rocks up a mountain is simple but not at all easy. The same applies to removing vested interests: we can see that it simply needs doing, but actually doing it is not easy at all.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

You seem to overlook the fact that collapse of communism allowed upper orders to screw both working and middle class for the last 30 years.
Nothing encourages sharing benefits of economic growth as much as realisation that you might be swinging from a lamppost and your family are dead or in a Gulag.

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Good point, the collapse of soviet bloc was indeed significant in furthering what we might call “neo-liberal” policies from the 1990s

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Good point, the collapse of soviet bloc was indeed significant in furthering what we might call “neo-liberal” policies from the 1990s

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I’m glad you wrote this comment. That line you quoted was the one line that bothered me in Mary’s essay. But it takes so much work, I decided not to go after it. Your comment is great. I’m in the middle of reading Francis Fukuyama’s “The Origins of Political Order”, the second volume of which is subtitled: Political Order and Decay” (which is what attracted me to the set). In his introduction he suggests he is going to argue there are some inexorable laws of human social nature that lead complex states which arise due to innovations which occur maximally in times of which one might euphemize as “supply-side” economic systems but which inevitably create huge wealth differences between groups where the elite exploit their wealth to obtain even greater wealth but in the process destroy the economic system which allowed it to arise in the first place. And so they decay. The Left looks at “supply side economics” and sees these rigged systems that are put in place by the joint actxion of wealthy elites and politicians (who are or become them themselves). The Right looks at the politics which further represses them and makes it even more difficult for those at the bottom to better themselves. They’re both right – at this time. But it wasn’t always this way.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Your comment reminded me of this view of Murray N Rothbard made in1982: “We have gotten to the point where everything the government does is counterproductive, the conclusion, of course, is that the government should do nothing at all, that is, should retire quickly from the monetary and economic scene and allow freedom and free markets to work.” Forty years later we still have government failure.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“a political system that creates the problems it then promises but fails to resolve, but is adept at fooling enough of us at election time that more money and bigger government is the answer.”
Good summary of the problem but I fail to see how the “solutions are simple”.
There’s nothing simple about conquering vested interests in a liberal democracy…
The simple answer is system failure and economy catabolism, but that’s not exactly a solution…

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

You seem to overlook the fact that collapse of communism allowed upper orders to screw both working and middle class for the last 30 years.
Nothing encourages sharing benefits of economic growth as much as realisation that you might be swinging from a lamppost and your family are dead or in a Gulag.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I’m glad you wrote this comment. That line you quoted was the one line that bothered me in Mary’s essay. But it takes so much work, I decided not to go after it. Your comment is great. I’m in the middle of reading Francis Fukuyama’s “The Origins of Political Order”, the second volume of which is subtitled: Political Order and Decay” (which is what attracted me to the set). In his introduction he suggests he is going to argue there are some inexorable laws of human social nature that lead complex states which arise due to innovations which occur maximally in times of which one might euphemize as “supply-side” economic systems but which inevitably create huge wealth differences between groups where the elite exploit their wealth to obtain even greater wealth but in the process destroy the economic system which allowed it to arise in the first place. And so they decay. The Left looks at “supply side economics” and sees these rigged systems that are put in place by the joint actxion of wealthy elites and politicians (who are or become them themselves). The Right looks at the politics which further represses them and makes it even more difficult for those at the bottom to better themselves. They’re both right – at this time. But it wasn’t always this way.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

“And for some decades now, the main way of doing that has been “supply-side reform”, a euphemism for keeping competition at the bottom of the meat-grinder sufficiently brutal that workers don’t get too demanding.”

I agree with certain points made – the Tories are doomed, that Brexit is a symptom of much larger forces etc – but this analysis is also filled with fallacies. The worst one is the assertion that I’ve quoted here: supply side reform is emphatically nothing of the sort. Supply side reform is simply a process by which resources continue to be allocated in the best way possible, and for vested interests not to be permitted to take over resource allocation decisions, which when it happens causes unjust enrichment of the few and indefensible impoverishment of the many.

On occasion that does involve stopping the unions from raising workers entitlements beyond what the market can afford, true, but these days it is much more about preventing middle-class vested interests from wrecking economic growth, whether it’s planning reform to increase housebuilding or public sector reform to prevent increasing amounts of tax revenue to pour ceaselessly into paying the salaries and pensions of bureaucrats whose main job is to create work for each other while front-line public services collapse.

We are not presently doing either those two examples I mention, or the vast array of other reforms that are presently needed to prevent socioeconomic decline. And it is that failure, alone, which explains the mess Britain is now in. The article is therefore wrong on the implied point that decline is inevitable and the solutions to it lie outside the power of governments to address: the solutions are simple.

A country can survive big government for a while, and it can survive bad government for a while, but it cannot cope with government that is both big and bad at the same time. That is what we presently have: a political system that creates the problems it then promises but fails to resolve, but is adept at fooling enough of us at election time that more money and bigger government is the answer.

The lessons taught by Thatcher and Reagan have to be relearned. There is no alternative: government is the problem, not the solution, and as long as voters think that voting for other people’s money can actually solve problems, we will simply have bigger and more expensive problems.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Harvey Solomon-Brady
Harvey Solomon-Brady
1 year ago

The Windrush story purported by the media and second and third generation immigrants is, I’m afraid, a myth.

Yes, thousands came to Britain to work, but it was on such a small scale not to be worth mentioning. There were hundreds of thousands of native Britons unemployed.

Here’s a good article on it, published recently: https://im1776.com/2022/11/22/the-windrush-myth/

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I have always been surprised how many Americans I meet claim that their descendants ‘ came over’ on the Mayflower.
No doubt this will soon be the case with the Windrush.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

The Mayflower myth is doubtless useful for those who believe the Anglosphere is a general force for good and deserves to survive (I am one of them), but it is just that: Americans are mostly the descendents of successive waves of immigration from the Old World in the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. That means white Americans are of general European descent, not British.

What confuses me is why anyone would want to claim kinship with a bunch of 16th century Puritans when it is just as good (and arguably better in some ways) to claim descent from immigrants brave enough to cross the Atlantic later once it was understood just how vast and challenging the New World actually was.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Yes to claim some form of kinship with a bunch of 17th religious ‘nutters’ is rather odd.

Far better to claim kinship with those who arrived in 1607 (rather than 1620) under the guidance of one Christopher Newport, intent on profit and plunder!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

There’s never been much that is logical about snobbery.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I suspect because the sentiments of this video exist in the subconsciouses of all Americans, boih native and later-comers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzyLuUxMtGY
Hence the recent upsurge in iconoclasm.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I agree – and I’m one of these Americans. The name is probably Scottish in origin, but the only relatives I can directly trace (back to the 1800’s) are German, English and Irish. Yet the name agnatically soldiers on.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Yes to claim some form of kinship with a bunch of 17th religious ‘nutters’ is rather odd.

Far better to claim kinship with those who arrived in 1607 (rather than 1620) under the guidance of one Christopher Newport, intent on profit and plunder!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

There’s never been much that is logical about snobbery.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I suspect because the sentiments of this video exist in the subconsciouses of all Americans, boih native and later-comers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzyLuUxMtGY
Hence the recent upsurge in iconoclasm.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I agree – and I’m one of these Americans. The name is probably Scottish in origin, but the only relatives I can directly trace (back to the 1800’s) are German, English and Irish. Yet the name agnatically soldiers on.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Mayflower folk were seeking religious freedom, Windrush folk were seeking economic opportunity- big difference.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Newport & Co were also seeking “economic opportunity “ in 1607, so much so that they soon needed negro slaves to help them out.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Newport & Co were also seeking “economic opportunity “ in 1607, so much so that they soon needed negro slaves to help them out.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

This isn’t just an American foible. It’s similar to all these people supposedly related to William the Conqueror after running their DNA through Ancestry.com and 23-and-me. It was so amusing to finally understand the principal outlined in the first chapter of Reich’s book (Who We Are and How We Got Here), that while the number of ancestors you have doubles with each generation back, the number of stretches of DNA only increases by about 71 stretches because of the way that chromosomes split apart in chunks. The way I learned mitosis in school wasn’t simplistic. And in terms of ancestry, what it means is that while the recent Queen Elizabeth could trace her ancestry directly to William the Conqueror 24 generations back, at that level she had potentially over 16 million ancestors whom contributed only about 1700 DNA segments to her DNA. The odds that one of those segments came from William was vanishingly small (1751/16777216). Of course, the population of Europe wasn’t probably 16 million back then so there had to have been some “relative overlap” in there, but the basic principal is still the same.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

The Mayflower myth is doubtless useful for those who believe the Anglosphere is a general force for good and deserves to survive (I am one of them), but it is just that: Americans are mostly the descendents of successive waves of immigration from the Old World in the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. That means white Americans are of general European descent, not British.

What confuses me is why anyone would want to claim kinship with a bunch of 16th century Puritans when it is just as good (and arguably better in some ways) to claim descent from immigrants brave enough to cross the Atlantic later once it was understood just how vast and challenging the New World actually was.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Mayflower folk were seeking religious freedom, Windrush folk were seeking economic opportunity- big difference.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

This isn’t just an American foible. It’s similar to all these people supposedly related to William the Conqueror after running their DNA through Ancestry.com and 23-and-me. It was so amusing to finally understand the principal outlined in the first chapter of Reich’s book (Who We Are and How We Got Here), that while the number of ancestors you have doubles with each generation back, the number of stretches of DNA only increases by about 71 stretches because of the way that chromosomes split apart in chunks. The way I learned mitosis in school wasn’t simplistic. And in terms of ancestry, what it means is that while the recent Queen Elizabeth could trace her ancestry directly to William the Conqueror 24 generations back, at that level she had potentially over 16 million ancestors whom contributed only about 1700 DNA segments to her DNA. The odds that one of those segments came from William was vanishingly small (1751/16777216). Of course, the population of Europe wasn’t probably 16 million back then so there had to have been some “relative overlap” in there, but the basic principal is still the same.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

Immigration was mainly to London and other large cities. Unemployment was in the towns of the north. That hasn’t changed. There are hardly any people of West Indian origin in the North East, because they weren’t needed; there was plenty of cheap local labour.

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago

Excellent point. Places like Boston in Lincolnshire are not at all typical

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago

Excellent point. Places like Boston in Lincolnshire are not at all typical

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I have always been surprised how many Americans I meet claim that their descendants ‘ came over’ on the Mayflower.
No doubt this will soon be the case with the Windrush.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
1 year ago

Immigration was mainly to London and other large cities. Unemployment was in the towns of the north. That hasn’t changed. There are hardly any people of West Indian origin in the North East, because they weren’t needed; there was plenty of cheap local labour.

Harvey Solomon-Brady
Harvey Solomon-Brady
1 year ago

The Windrush story purported by the media and second and third generation immigrants is, I’m afraid, a myth.

Yes, thousands came to Britain to work, but it was on such a small scale not to be worth mentioning. There were hundreds of thousands of native Britons unemployed.

Here’s a good article on it, published recently: https://im1776.com/2022/11/22/the-windrush-myth/

Anglica Bee
Anglica Bee
1 year ago

Net migration this year is in excess of 500,000 – a new record. Migration of over a million people to these shores permitted by a Government – in fact, a political class – that has no answers to the housing and infrastructure crisis.These figures do not include illegal immigrants (via the Channel, entering by clandestine means, visa/holiday overstayers). 2,082,321 million visas were granted in the year to June 2022 (1,089,408 million less than 2019) with only 16% work-related and fewer than 2/3 of that number “skilled-workers”https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2022/summary-of-latest-statistics There is absolutely no indication that these numbers will abate under any of the current incumbents of the Ship of Fools that is the HoC. We need a revolution.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anglica Bee
Anglica Bee
Anglica Bee
1 year ago

Net migration this year is in excess of 500,000 – a new record. Migration of over a million people to these shores permitted by a Government – in fact, a political class – that has no answers to the housing and infrastructure crisis.These figures do not include illegal immigrants (via the Channel, entering by clandestine means, visa/holiday overstayers). 2,082,321 million visas were granted in the year to June 2022 (1,089,408 million less than 2019) with only 16% work-related and fewer than 2/3 of that number “skilled-workers”https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2022/summary-of-latest-statistics There is absolutely no indication that these numbers will abate under any of the current incumbents of the Ship of Fools that is the HoC. We need a revolution.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anglica Bee
Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Usually I really enjoy Mary Harrington’s articles, which are thoughtful and offer great new insights. This one, though, leaves me cold. I don’t accept the headline premise and I can’t follow the argument. I’ll just make a couple of observations.
Firstly, this is just a local observation from my mid-sized town in the Midlands, but the suggestion there has been a failure to build houses is a complete fallacy. There has been so much new build over the last 20 years it has almost doubled the physical area, if not the population, of the place. If it’s so unaffordable, who on earth is buying all this housing? And I wonder, how did we cope 20 years ago without all these new estates and manage not to have a property crisis. I think perhaps others have addressed this question in their comments.
Secondly, I think the notion of ‘healthy’ country-dwellers being uprooted into the squalor of urban life is a bit starry-eyed. Rural life for most of history, and around the world today, has been backward and squalid in its own way. That’s what drives urbanisation in China, India and Africa. And despite the suggestion that it’s all down to some coercive capitalist plot, much (though not all) of the change described in the article is voluntary. The waves of immigrants into the UK, whether Irish, Commonwealth, Eastern-European, Middle-Eastern or Albanian, have indeed suffered poor housing, prejudice and discrimination in this country. But they keep coming because, for all that, it’s better than what they’ve left behind.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Agree about the bucolic idyll myth. People flocked to cities because despite the squalor on offer, it was still better than some rural backwater where work was just as hard and you were isolated from the world as well.

It’s scary how many people nowadays have no idea how grindingly hard and unforgiving life was prior to the modern age. Most modern people, if somehow transported back in time and left there for the rest of their lives, would probably commit suicide within a week once they came to understand what they faced.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Very good point about country and town.
Your area is untypical Look at the statistics on housebuilding.
And population
And interest rates/mortgage costs.
Income growth also affects housing demand, and generally it has been growing recently. Though not for all.
https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/housing-in-england-issues-statistics-and-commentary/#heading-2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_in_the_United_Kingdom

Lisa Letendre
Lisa Letendre
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

I live in Edinburgh and the building of new developments is unbelievable. And they are sold before they are even completed. Where is the money coming from?

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Agree about the bucolic idyll myth. People flocked to cities because despite the squalor on offer, it was still better than some rural backwater where work was just as hard and you were isolated from the world as well.

It’s scary how many people nowadays have no idea how grindingly hard and unforgiving life was prior to the modern age. Most modern people, if somehow transported back in time and left there for the rest of their lives, would probably commit suicide within a week once they came to understand what they faced.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Very good point about country and town.
Your area is untypical Look at the statistics on housebuilding.
And population
And interest rates/mortgage costs.
Income growth also affects housing demand, and generally it has been growing recently. Though not for all.
https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/housing-in-england-issues-statistics-and-commentary/#heading-2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_in_the_United_Kingdom

Lisa Letendre
Lisa Letendre
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

I live in Edinburgh and the building of new developments is unbelievable. And they are sold before they are even completed. Where is the money coming from?

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Usually I really enjoy Mary Harrington’s articles, which are thoughtful and offer great new insights. This one, though, leaves me cold. I don’t accept the headline premise and I can’t follow the argument. I’ll just make a couple of observations.
Firstly, this is just a local observation from my mid-sized town in the Midlands, but the suggestion there has been a failure to build houses is a complete fallacy. There has been so much new build over the last 20 years it has almost doubled the physical area, if not the population, of the place. If it’s so unaffordable, who on earth is buying all this housing? And I wonder, how did we cope 20 years ago without all these new estates and manage not to have a property crisis. I think perhaps others have addressed this question in their comments.
Secondly, I think the notion of ‘healthy’ country-dwellers being uprooted into the squalor of urban life is a bit starry-eyed. Rural life for most of history, and around the world today, has been backward and squalid in its own way. That’s what drives urbanisation in China, India and Africa. And despite the suggestion that it’s all down to some coercive capitalist plot, much (though not all) of the change described in the article is voluntary. The waves of immigrants into the UK, whether Irish, Commonwealth, Eastern-European, Middle-Eastern or Albanian, have indeed suffered poor housing, prejudice and discrimination in this country. But they keep coming because, for all that, it’s better than what they’ve left behind.

Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
1 year ago

Interesting article. One observation only, regarding the issue of housing targets: the problem is not targets per se but how they have been derived and allocated.

What the government has done is take a centralised approach, applied a uniform expected growth figure and applied it rigidly across the country. It is that which has caused all the angst.

Instead of asking (that old-fashioned, courteous and mutually respectful approach) communities, ‘what do you need to grow?’ and, ‘what extra can you absorb?’, local authorities were simply given a figure; worse, that figure was based on a verifiably false assumption of population growth. Harrington rightly mentions Thatcher’s destruction, to privilege the City, of Britain’s industry; this needs to be linked to her hollowing-out of local authority power and structures. In housing, this means that local authorities have little real power to plan sensibly, and long-term: sure, they can occasionally say ‘no’, but negative power has its limits.

How can things become better? On the ‘supply-side’, reducing Britain’s dependency on the immigration drug will help, but other reforms include unlocking the ‘land bank’, insistence that builders stick to their planning conditions requirements to build social housing (they regularly renege), repurposing high streets (especially the rooms above shops), converting redundant commercial buildings to housing, etc. In short, there is a veritable rack of measures available: time to use them.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Diggins

“Harrington rightly mentions Thatcher’s destruction, to privilege the City, of Britain’s industry….”

Another fallacy in the article I’m afraid: the process of deindustrialisation preceded Thatcher by decades (the coal mining communities had haemorrhaged jobs at a greater rate under previous Labour governments, for example) and manufacturing declined at a greater pace under New Labour than it did under the Tory governments of Thatcher and Major.

That’s not to say it’s defensible, merely that it is not plausible to explain the problem in simplistic ideological terms.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Debbie Willmot
Debbie Willmot
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Her policies exacerbated the problem even if it started before her ‘reign’. Labour was also at fault but then she’s supposed to have considered Blair to be her true ‘heir’.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

That doesn’t make sense. If Blair was her heir as you say, then why did manufacturing decline accelerate on his watch?
We are describing a situation in which manufacturing decline actually slowed on Thatcher’s watch and then resumed once Labour was back in power. How can you justify your claim here?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

China joining WTO in 2001 had an effect?

Jonathan H
Jonathan H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

China joining WTO in 2001 had an effect?

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Willmot

That doesn’t make sense. If Blair was her heir as you say, then why did manufacturing decline accelerate on his watch?
We are describing a situation in which manufacturing decline actually slowed on Thatcher’s watch and then resumed once Labour was back in power. How can you justify your claim here?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Debbie Willmot
Debbie Willmot
1 year ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Her policies exacerbated the problem even if it started before her ‘reign’. Labour was also at fault but then she’s supposed to have considered Blair to be her true ‘heir’.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Diggins

“Harrington rightly mentions Thatcher’s destruction, to privilege the City, of Britain’s industry….”

Another fallacy in the article I’m afraid: the process of deindustrialisation preceded Thatcher by decades (the coal mining communities had haemorrhaged jobs at a greater rate under previous Labour governments, for example) and manufacturing declined at a greater pace under New Labour than it did under the Tory governments of Thatcher and Major.

That’s not to say it’s defensible, merely that it is not plausible to explain the problem in simplistic ideological terms.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
1 year ago

Interesting article. One observation only, regarding the issue of housing targets: the problem is not targets per se but how they have been derived and allocated.

What the government has done is take a centralised approach, applied a uniform expected growth figure and applied it rigidly across the country. It is that which has caused all the angst.

Instead of asking (that old-fashioned, courteous and mutually respectful approach) communities, ‘what do you need to grow?’ and, ‘what extra can you absorb?’, local authorities were simply given a figure; worse, that figure was based on a verifiably false assumption of population growth. Harrington rightly mentions Thatcher’s destruction, to privilege the City, of Britain’s industry; this needs to be linked to her hollowing-out of local authority power and structures. In housing, this means that local authorities have little real power to plan sensibly, and long-term: sure, they can occasionally say ‘no’, but negative power has its limits.

How can things become better? On the ‘supply-side’, reducing Britain’s dependency on the immigration drug will help, but other reforms include unlocking the ‘land bank’, insistence that builders stick to their planning conditions requirements to build social housing (they regularly renege), repurposing high streets (especially the rooms above shops), converting redundant commercial buildings to housing, etc. In short, there is a veritable rack of measures available: time to use them.

Bob Rowlands
Bob Rowlands
1 year ago

Excellent essay highlighting the strange and uncertain future this country faces. The Conservatives are toast.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Rowlands

The Conservatives have pivoted on key policy issues in the past to retain political relevance. They had chances to do so recently with Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – but a sizeable proportion of the MPs were reluctant to change from a Euro Managerial mindset.
There is still a faint (very faint) chance that a Hero will step forward and pivot the Conservatives before the next election, but Rishi Sunak is not that man.
So yes, toast.

chris Barton
chris Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I don’t understand this strange hope people have that someone can “save” the CONservatives. That party is the problem along with their Red wing the Labour party. How many times does a party have to betray its voters or actively spit in your face before people twig it needs to go? So what if we get Labour? a few more rainbow flags will be the only difference.