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Britain is turning into South Africa From schools to prisons, our state is crumbling

South African police following the recent Johannesburg (LUCA SOLA/AFP via Getty Images)

South African police following the recent Johannesburg (LUCA SOLA/AFP via Getty Images)


September 8, 2023   6 mins

I’ve always suspected that Europeans are incapable of understanding South Africa, the strange and complicated nation where I was born and often return. At bottom, the issue is this: how can people so accustomed to safety, stability and a well-functioning state really grasp the nature of a place where none of these things can be taken for granted?

I feel obliged to say that South Africa is a wonderful country, and a resilient one. For every horror story you see in the media — most recently the tragic blaze in Johannesburg — there are many things worthy of love. Nonetheless, three decades after the end of apartheid, it is obvious that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has failed in its historic mission: to spread the living standards formerly enjoyed by the white minority to the broad mass of the population. It has, if anything, achieved the opposite, overseeing the dereliction of the infrastructure and human potential on which any such improvement would depend.

Metaphors for this failure are everywhere. Railways that took my parents to their summer holidays as children now lie rusting and abandoned. Supermarkets sell asphalt for drivers to fill in potholes for themselves (the product is marketed as gatvol, which means both “hole-full” and “fed-up”). Criminal gangs, their numbers buoyed by an unemployment rate above 30%, cut down traffic lights for scrap, steal transformers from power stations and collapse roads with illegal mining operations. Eskom, the national power monopoly, is so ravaged by corruption that daily blackouts now last as long as nine hours.

Especially since the reign of former president Jacob Zuma, politics has descended into a looting operation that extends from multinational businesses down to local mafias, even as the impoverished majority finds its taps running dry and its sewage systems spilling over. Anger is quelled with promises to expropriate farmland and wealth from white citizens. Crime is rampant and the police are widely regarded as useless. As I say, Brits are far removed from this. They were heavily involved in Southern Africa during the 19th and early-20th centuries, sending settlers, redcoats, and gold and diamond prospectors, but today they mainly send nervous tourists. The pathologies of South African society seem as exotic as the hot, dry climate and the wild animals on the veld.

But are they really? Lately I’ve been questioning if the gulf separating the two countries is as vast as I assumed. At first it was just small things, sotto voce echoes of South Africa protruding into British life. A man begging from cars stopped at the traffic lights. An epidemic of urban homelessness. Universities renaming buildings to repudiate links with the past. A steady trickle of stories about police no longer bothering to investigate crimes. Now, a prison escape in the capital and parents scared to send their children to crumbling schools. Once I started paying attention, though, the resonances grew ever deeper. The media loves to measure Britain against the GDP of American states, European healthcare and Australian quality of life. This is supposed to be self-deprecating, but maybe it is more flattering than we care to admit. Analogies to South Africa can expose things that comparisons with rich countries leave obscured.

Consider the cloud of scandal and dysfunction which has settled over the UK’s privatised utilities, namely water, energy and railways. These services have increasingly been marked by cronyism, private gain, mismanagement and underinvestment, all familiar symptoms of corruption in South Africa. For years the water companies have been paying out huge dividends to shareholders, while racking up vast debt piles and spilling sewage on a daily basis. Last year, Govia Thameslink Railway was awarded a lucrative new contract, despite one of its subsidiaries, Southeastern, being caught defrauding the public purse of millions. Then again, bad trains may end up being the least of our problems, for the National Grid has warned that the UK may face power cuts in the coming winter, and is urging businesses to reduce their electricity use. There is a growing realisation that Britain does not have the grid capacity needed for the government’s decarbonisation plans.

It is becoming clear, in other words, that Britain’s post-Eighties regime of privatisation has led to a subtle form of the South African disease. The state fails to maintain and improve infrastructure, while allowing the asset-stripping of national wealth by private interests. Who needs criminal syndicates when you have hedge funds and private equity firms? There was something especially South African in ministers’ claims that Thames Water cannot be renationalised, despite its severe debt crisis, because doing so would scare away the foreign investors who prop up the UK’s economy.

Meanwhile, the Tory party does an increasingly passable impression of the ANC. Apparently convinced it will be in power forever, it has become little more than a vehicle for personal advancement and influence peddling, disguising its aimlessness with an occasional bout of populist rhetoric. This was especially evident during the Covid pandemic, when the genteel traditions of British corruption — peerages in exchange for political and financial support — gave way to the handing out of state contracts worth billions to politically connected companies, often lacking relevant experience.

The South African comparison also casts a revealing light on Britain’s social cleavages, though I am not talking about the kinds of ethnic tensions for which South Africa is infamous. It is true that the UK economy’s voracious appetite for immigration, an easy source of cheap labour and consumers, resembles South Africa’s habit of exploiting migrants from elsewhere in Africa. But one only has to look at the frequent anti-immigrant pogroms in South African townships to see that, for all the anxieties over integration, British society remains a relative picture of harmony.

The real issue is class. Brits often express shock that extreme inequality appears so normalised in South Africa, but an outsider to the UK could make a similar charge. In post-industrial Britain, working classes of all ethnicities are consigned to poverty wages in jobs such as cleaning, shelf-stacking and delivery driving, if they have not dropped out of the workforce altogether. London and its surrounding counties have become, like South Africa’s Western Cape, the luxurious facade Britain shows to the world; but other parts of the country are faring much worse, with healthy life expectancy trailing significantly in parts of Northern England, Scotland and Wales. Countless towns have fallen into abject poverty, regarded by polite society with little more concern than South African townships, their inhabitants ruled unfit for anything better by the very fact of remaining there. Social mobility, we are told this week, is at its worst in more than 50 years.

This wasted potential is tragic on its own terms, but it has wider ramifications, too. In South Africa, where 29 million people receive state welfare grants and only 7.4 million pay tax, the state is trapped in a doom-loop, with spending on social programmes hampering investment that could benefit the economy. But to look at projections for the British state’s ever-growing benefits, health care and social care bills, it seems we may be heading for a similar scenario. These parallels will doubtless seem absurd to many Brits, and doubly so to South Africans. Earlier this year, when I mentioned to some friends over there that the UK has its own problems with government incompetence, they literally laughed in my face.

After the Cold War, the rubric of “developed” and “developing” countries implied that the Western model was the endpoint of economic progress across the world. Three decades later, the distinctive features of that model — nation-states with strong civic cultures, meaningful democratic conflict, economic growth and a commitment to broad-based prosperity — have themselves been eroded by globalisation. Hence developing countries provide an increasingly plausible model for the future of developed ones, rather than vice-versa. In this sense, at least, Britain remains at the vanguard of global capitalism. And making this explicit ought to help in countering complacency. For all their gallows humour, the British are used to counting themselves among the world’s most advanced and admired nations, and so struggle to grasp the possibility that, in 50 years’ time, this may no longer be the case. Which brings me to the most disturbing echo of South Africa I’ve noticed in recent years.

This is something more amorphous: a matter of mood and mentality. South Africans have come to regard their chaotic and inept state with a weary resignation that borders on ridicule. It is a burden to be negotiated when necessary, and fended off where possible. For some time now, Britain’s attitude to its own governing class has been moving in the same direction. New Labour alienated large parts of the traditional Left, and now Tory incompetence has led to similar cynicism among conservatives. With each perceived betrayal, more people enter the reservoir of citizens who have given up believing that Westminster can do anything remotely useful.

These feelings have real consequences for a country’s prospects. Why do so many people stubbornly resist house-building and planning reform? Why do they see it as common sense to reject society’s claims on their resources? Part of the reason is surely that, once we lose faith in the nation’s political authorities, appeals to compromise for the greater good ring hollow. Or to put it in terms a South African would understand: the British are gatvol.


Wessie du Toit writes about culture, design and ideas. His Substack is The Pathos of Things.

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Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

When you go from population growth of +100k per year (1973-2003) to +400k (2004-2022) certain things are inevitable. House prices sky rocket. The police, GPs, hospitals and schools struggle to cope with demand. Overstretched infrastructure begins to fail. Traditional manners and customs which regulate our lives stop being ubiquitous as they are alien to new arrivals.

The public voted for reducing immigration numbers to 100k in 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2019. So far with no effect.

The benefits of mass immigration? Cheap taxis? McDonalds delivered to your door? Not having to wash your own car? Great!

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt M
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

You’re looking at mass immigration from the wrong angle. Capital just adores cheap labour. That’s why we have it and that’s why no captured politicians will ever do anything about it.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

Capital loves it, as you say. Politicians love it because it pushes GDP up and inflation down. Old Money loves it because open borders is a cause that they can support which clearly distinguishes them from the middle and working class oiks and makes them feel self-righteous about doing so. The legal profession loves it because it puts international law above democracy. The universities love it because they can charge a fortune to recycle third-rate business studies post-grad courses to students who are really just looking for a route into the country.

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt M
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I dispute your claim that “Old Money” loves it!
In my experience they absolutely HATE it, with a vengeance, because it is quite literally destroying the birthright of our entitled offspring.
A project that had been very successfully executed from 1066 onwards, now looks doomed to fail, more’s the pity.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

Per GK Chesterton:

The simple key to the power of our upper classes is this: that they have always kept carefully on the side of what is called Progress. They have always been up to date, and this comes quite easy to an aristocracy. 
 it was their business to stand for the new things, for whatever was being most talked about among university dons or fussy financiers. Thus they were on the side of the Reformation against the Church, of the Whigs against the Stuarts, of the Baconian science against the old philosophy, of the manufacturing system against the operatives, and (in 1910) of the increased power of the State against the old-fashioned individualists. In short, the rich are always modern; it is their business. 

Today that means open borders, net zero and wokery in all its forms.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Well if I may dare to contradict some of Chesterton.
The so called ‘aristocracy’ although I prefer the word plutocracy have NOT “ always kept carefully on the side of what is called Progress”. In fact rather the opposite. Conserve what you have, and DON’T take any unnecessary risks. being the order of the day for many.
‘They’ were “on the side of the Reformation” because here was an almost risk free chance to plunder the Church of over five million of England’s finest acres.
Against the Stuarts, because they represented a clear and present danger to their position. Hence, one had to be beheaded another exiled to achieve that extraordinarily beneficial settlement, rather exaggeratedly called “The Glorious Revolution” of 1689/90.
As to ‘Baconian science’ I must pass.
Unmentioned by Chesterton was the resistance of the Plutocracy to the abolition of Slavery and The Slave Trade, ultimately meaning that they, the Plutocracy were VERY handsomely compensated indeed.
True they ultimately agreed to the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1867, but even there prevaricated until the last possible moment.
By 1910 the state was finally becoming very intrusive, but nothing like as intrusive as in the German Empire, or indeed the Austria-Hungarian Empire concerning Pensions, women’s rights and the all the rest of the nonsense of the embryonic welfare state.
What is truly astonishing however, is how many of the Plutocracy have been wiped out in the last century.
True 1914-18 didn’t help, but post 1945 with a plethora of magnificent “farm/land subsidies available, it is beyond me how anyone could have gone, and to lapse into the vernacular ‘t*ts up’, and I have discounted for chronic interbreeding!

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Paul Lynch
Paul Lynch
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Net zero debateable, but open borders and wokery is NOT progress. They are both opportunistic, and monoplize opportunity.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Lynch

I think he means trendy, right-on causes when her refers to “the side of Progress”. I would say all three things above qualify for that description though as you say none of them actually contribute to the progress of society on any useful dimension and two of them actually retard progress in my opinion. For instance going from the “colour blind” ideal of the 1990s to the racial identity politics being pushed today seems like a large step backwards.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I disagree, I don’t think the old money upper class aristocracy do like open borders, in fact generally I think the politics of the upper and lower classes have often been fairly similar, especially on cultural issues. Open borders is more of a pet project for the middle class bores in my experience, who see it as a way to differentiate themselves from the uneducated oiks below and inbred racist blue bloods above

BW Naylor
BW Naylor
10 months ago

What a Martyr, I think we’ve sold out the kids long long ago. Cue the crocodile tears no?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  BW Naylor

Not from me Sir.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

I thought the “old money’ one would getcha, Charles! But shouldn’t you say”we” absolutely hate it?

Clara B
Clara B
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yes, it pushes up GDP in the aggregate but not per capita. A few years ago, the House of Lords concluded in a major review that immigration has almost zero economic impacts (the tax take from high income individuals – think Spanish doctors, French lawyers – is negated by the low tax take/receipt of welfare among people from outside Europe/North America). So, we’ve imported 100s of 1000s of people over many years, against the wishes of the electorate, for negligible economic benefits (but, as you say, we can get McDonald’s or sushi at 3am).

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Correct both!!! The overall thesis of this article is really good. We are in so many respects a Neo Banana Third World country with increasing isolated colonies of First World excellence lost in the mix. The root of the problems lie in the dysfunctional New Order system of goverance which are the legacy of being a province of the EU empire, mixed in with the disastrous Blairite revolution which weakened the independent nation state. It is only disappointing in ignoring the shocking malaise in the quality of our public sector workers. This week yet nore chilling death scandals in the bloated broken NHS. 3bn covid loans missing from accounts. Is this generational? An unacknowledged by product of Blair’s destruction of the exam system and merit in the education system to get his 50% socially engineered into crap unis and debt?? It is fair enough to attack the horribly botched privatisation of utilities. But there is a far far bigger story of decline and failure to account for, covering the grand sweep of politics and administration from the 90s. The warped energy market and Net Zero insanity that will lead to SA style blackouts. The escalating welfarism and entitlement culture that sees whole towns sinking into stagnant non life on benefit street. The insanity over mass unplanned immigration, the 900bn QE Inflation Bomb, the now vampyric high taxation and assault on wealth creation and the Third World magic money tree antics of the Fool Johnson. This points the finger at all the feeble near ceiminally negligent political parties. And the inept permanent progressive anti capitalist Blob and Technocracy whose multiple car crashes have filled the UK motorway with charred wrecks and brought the UK to a very SA style level of crisis and self harm.

David Hirst
David Hirst
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Paragraphs, Mr M!

Best regards

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  David Hirst

Really!!

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This is all a bit incoherent – blaming Blair after 13 years of Tories is becoming almost comical. If my memory serves me well things were not brilliant in 2010 but certainly better than now.

Are you in favour of capitalism or not?
Capitalism loves free movement which means immigration. You deride the anti capitalist blob as the problem but capitalism is the main driver of immigration. Are you in favour of privatised public services or not?

George Stone
George Stone
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

We are still paying the price for the Blair/Brown years, which, in 2008, I thought would take between 10 and 20 years to fix. George Osbourne said that they could fix the deficit within 5 years, but it took them ten. Blair/Brown the ‘gruesome twosome’, as well as selling off the gold at a virtual all time low, spent more than the growth in the economy for every year that they were in power. Also the ‘hidden taxes’, and the massively expanded PFI programme have had effects that reverberate to the present day. Gordon Brown’s raid on the pension funds tax dividends in his 1997 budget, accompanied by changes to the accounting rules in 2000, caused defined benefits schemes assets invested in UK shares at that time, to fall from more than 50% then, to 4% in 2023, as outlined by the ‘Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’, ironically. Gordon Brown was also warned about this at the time!
This is not ‘almost comical’ Mr Brown!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

To clarify – yes, I blame the New Order (NMI hyper regulation & technocracy) system erected first by our need to conform to the new EU systems of governance and diktat after Maastricht. This system was driven deeper by Blair after 97 in a constitutional revolution (human rights laws, devolution, Supreme Court, Bank of E, expansion State sector, welfarism). Then came their wild credos – Millibands Net Zero and the DEI cults. Blair is surely the great author of that new system and the sickly culture it has engendered, one that in practice endures to this day (minus the Bruseels diktat) because it was adopted by the weasels Cameron amd May and Johnson too. But it is Blair’s Way, not Thatchers. Hunt still follow Brown’s credo on tax – it is exclusively a tool for redistribution to the poor, not incentivisation of wealth creation and the ghastly diskriminators – the evil Rich. I was opposed to the insane ‘free movement’ of whole peoples (6 million unplanned arrivals…smart!!) but of course am in favour of a freer movement of labour. Privatisation? Yes fine in principle. It is just obvious that the Blobby regulators have badly botched a number of the public utilities. Telecoms? Fine thanks. Of course mass migration was convenient for short term low quality capitalists. It was the duty of the State to control and regulate and quantify the inflows so that they did not crash public services and ultimately do great harm to capitalist productivity (grab cheap East European labour, forget the potential of AI tech robots). But the State failed wholly in that duty. And so here we are. Doom loop. Interesting to see Germany now recognise that this same system..the plague of risk averse heavy handed diktat planning and regulation …is suffocating its economy too.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

So what are your solutions? Assuming that with all your focus on the Blarite way of doing things the Tories are not to blame, what then are you favourite Tory policies of their time in power which have delivered widespread benefits?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Thanks for that reality check 🙂
Blaming Blair right now is beyond laughable!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

See above. A system not man

A R
A R
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

We shall taste the bitter fruit of these recent Tory administrations over the next 10-20 years. So yes indeed right now we have the delightful consequnces of labour. f**k them all.

Eamonn Von Holt
Eamonn Von Holt
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This article could equally apply to Australia, in the past 12 the Labor (sic) Govt has let in over 700,000 migrants to fuel Australia immigration ponzi scheme that has created a false economic growth narrative for the past 20 years or more.
Unsurprisingly, there is a massive housing shortage and we are experiencing a rental crisis forcing many young people to remain living at home.
As we have seen with the Qantas scandal – the govt blocked extra flights from Qatar airways to help maximise Qantas profits, in exchange for a few favours, cronyism and corruption are rife at the top end of town!

William Cameron
William Cameron
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It reduces GDP per capita

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

Agreed!

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

All those interests are minority numbers. What makes mass immigration actually popular is that almost everyone – in practice – loves it. I say “in practice” because of course when asked in political terms, most people say they dislike it. But the examples given above which are economic in nature – well that’s how we all choose to spend, and our desire for cheap goods and services combined with a dislike of performing dirty, smelly, unsociable hours, badly paid jobs ourselves amounts to a vote in favour of mass immigration.

It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t even all that controversial anyway, because if by some miracle Rishi Sunak does manage to get a couple of boatloads of channel illegals booted out the back of a plane on the runway in Rwanda before the end of next year, he’ll get a fat thumbs-up from most voters on the strength of it even though the illegal channel crossing numbers are a rounding error compared with the official numbers of legal immigrants.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Ah there’s the rub!

William Cameron
William Cameron
10 months ago

This skates over the ÂŁ12,500 per annum each their public services cost

Last edited 10 months ago by William Cameron
rob drummond
rob drummond
10 months ago

exactly right – the long since trumpted ‘immigrants pay taxes’ – is complete rubbish.
2 kids in school, another on the way perhaps, on top of housing benefit, tax credits, child allowance, school places – you name it – it far exceeds the income tax paid in a year.

this is to name just a few costs, not including pressures on infrastructure.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  rob drummond

There’s a good reason why this part isn’t quite as popular an objection though, and it’s that this is equally true for everyone on less than about ÂŁ100k pa. And people are understandably reticent about advancing an argument that immigrants are parasites if it means implicitly admitting that they themselves are too.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I am not buying your figures unless you provide some evidence.
I was higher rate taxpayer for 30 years and I could see money I paid in taxes on my annual tax returns.
Maybe people on less than 30k a year are subsidised but not people on less than 100k per annum.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Absolutely

Last edited 10 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
10 months ago

How are the cheap labourers adored by capital going to magically transform themselves into consumers capable of buying the goods capital presumably wants to market to them, though? Long term, capital’s expectations of this love affair would seem to be incoherent.

My father used to say, “You can’t burn the candle at both ends.” But, then, he belonged to a generation that understood the wisdom of, “Business is best when it’s good for everybody.” (He also used to say, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” His generation had all the good lines.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Mark Kennedy
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Kennedy

I think those lovely sayings get carried on from one generation to another. Speaking of sows “pearl before swine” is a cryptic way to say a lot to someone who knows what it means.

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
10 months ago

They had better start to cease the immigration angle. The real problem is outside markets produce goods cheaper and the loss of exports due to better production companies leaving to produce outside the UK ( higher wages, production costs, lack of a foreseen need of own country owned power supplies etc) British shareholders/Gov,ts allowing companies to be foreign owned and none taxable( due to many Parliamentarians/ Shareholders being more supportive of other countries) Wrong type of people being in power positions having no respect for the 95% of the population who rely on them to be trustworthy and magnanimous.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Gang masters, and Cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
10 months ago

I can see how legal immigration can be stopped but I don’t understand how we can stop the boat people.
In theory, we can have naval patrols just inside the 12 mile limit and put a shot across their bow if they cross the line. Are we really going to do that? Will naval personnel obey orders? Will coastguards do as they’re told and prevent entry, if they see poor people in little rubber boats?
I think not, so it is only the legal immigrants that we can stop. Yes, we should stop the students because we don’t need all of the universities. Can we stop the care workers?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Well to answer your questions chronologically.
1: Can we put “a shot across their bows?” No, we’d probably hit a French frigate by mistake.
2: Will the Navy obey orders. In short NO.
3: Will the Coastguards do what they are supposed to do? Again a resounding NO.

So you are correct, so called ‘legal migration will have to be severely curtailed.

ps. 20,000 have paddled across this year alone!
That is the same number that crossed in the Spring of 43 AD,* during the Roman Invasion of Britain, under the command of one Aulus Plautius.

(* To use Christian chronology, otherwise 796 AUC.)

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
10 months ago

Romans brought their civilisation. What are the boat people bringing?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

Good question, but it would be madness to answer.

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

They’re bringing the very opposite of It!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

Um.. fear for their lives, a willingness to work, a sense of betrayal by their UK ally (in the case of the Afghans)?

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

You are getting your figures wrong.
It is definitely more than 20k this year.
It was 900 just last week.
I already replied to another post that many people in uk would happily sink invaders boats.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I am sorry, I was never much good at Maths!

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

I am acutely aware of the fact that I am alone in this view but I think the Rwanda plan would stop the boats.
If, as reported, the going rate is ÂŁ5k for a place in a dinghy, that is a reasonable cost if you assume you are going to end up staying in the UK. But if it is clear that you are only going to end up in Rwanda, then no one is paying for that.
Critics say that there are too few places available in Rwanda to make a dent. But I say that you don’t need that many. What you need to do is establish that all the passengers on the next boat to arrive will be deported. No one will want to be on that next boat. So after a few hundred deportations, I suspect the traffic stops.
At least that is the lesson I draw from the Australian experience.
The law is now in place that makes it clear that you have no asylum claim in the UK if you come here illegally (except in a few edge cases) and so eligible for deportation.
The problem of course is whether the government can get over the legal hurdles to implement the Rwanda scheme. The Supreme Court hearing is imminent but the judgement will be some time away.
Stopping the Boats is the only thing that could potentially save the Tories – or at least there is no way they can win the GE if the boats are still coming – and so the scheme needs to be up and running soon to demonstrate progress. But if it isn’t working by next spring and Labour get in, the scheme will never see the light of day and we wont know whether it would have been effective.
So it all comes down to the decision of the Supreme Court judges. If they say it is legal, they might save the Tories. If not, they guarantee a Labour victory. I wonder where their sympathies lie?

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt M
Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think you are correct.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Rather than banning the Wagner Group we could employ them to ‘sweep the English Channel’?
Any survivors could be transhipped back to the EU, ie: Ireland.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

Back in the good old days of Imperial Hong Kong they had a problem with illegal immigrants from the mainland trying to climb over the fences. The authorities put security in the hands of the Ghurkhas armed with sticks and their famous kukri. Problem solved!
I have often thought we could put all our immigrant detention centres on the border of Eire. And we should be as active as the French authorities in stopping them wandering off into Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Agreed, the DS*solution.

(*Directing Staff.)

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

But the problem is not technical, just sink the boats using drones.
Problem is with uk establishment supporting this invasion.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

This is excellent idea.
Although Irish people I know claim that number of savages already arriving in Ireland is causing serious problems.

Chipoko
Chipoko
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

You are not alone, Matt! I, for one, endorse your view that deportation to Rwanda would impact on illegal immigration in the manner you suggest. I am pretty certain that there are many people out there who would think the same as you do.

Kat L
Kat L
10 months ago

Perhaps a bit of testosterone needs to be added to the drinking water?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Bromide surely?

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

What you describe is disfunctional nature of uk politics.
There are many people in uk who would happily push the button on the drone carrying missiles to sink boats crossing from France.
These people are invaders and invasion should be stopped.
There is great book by French author about savages invading Europe in their millions.
Only this week reported crossings from France were 900 savages.
That is over 300k on annual basis, so let’s stop this nonsense that illegal immigration is insignificant.

Lawrence wanty
Lawrence wanty
10 months ago

Film with migrants phone sinking of illegal boat crossing, rescue economic male migrants from sea tell migrant who’s phone was used to film RN sinking boat to send to all friends in France telling them they will be sunk by RN but not rescued just saying

Andreas Stoll
Andreas Stoll
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I think it’s the left, the woke, the greens, our international adversaries and other trendy or ‘socially aware’ groups who determined that borders are ‘racist’. (Along with anything traditional European, Western or Christian) The sheer numbers of this motley devious or ignorant cohort tragically makes it impossible for politicians to ignore if they want to be re-elected. And many politicians quietly thrive on the chaos they cause as only they can then ‘fix the problems’…

Last edited 10 months ago by Andreas Stoll
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andreas Stoll

Where do “pro-lifers” and the religious “all life is sacred” stand on whether to kill migrants?

Daniel Bell
Daniel Bell
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Let’s look at 20year periods from 1950.

Uk population in 1950 was 50m. In 1970 55.6m (+5.6m). In 1990 it was 57.7m (+2.1m). In 2010 it was 62.7m (+5m). In 2020 it was 67 (+4.3m but over a 10 year period).

The periods 2010 – 2020 looks to be the outlier. Interestingly when the conservatives took power. 1970/90 saw a big decline from the past decade.

Interesting too is that living standards and wealth growth for the average person were booming in the 50s and 60s when population growth was expanding at one of the fastest rates. How would you square that circle with this line of argument you are taking?

The main reason UK is probably accepting so much immigration is to inflate the birth rate and keep the balance between tax payers, consumers and pensioners.

The article paints a pretty clear picture of what the issues are and the pitfalls of assets stripping in the privately sector and not investing in critical infrastructure.

This decent into blaming immigrants is just factual incorrect. If anything the strategy is aimed at keeping the system ticking over the population pyramid balanced.

If you looked into the decoupling of wage growth from productivity in the early 70s amongst other things you will see another more accurate pattern emerging which does more in answering this current conundrum of broken Britain. It is surely not a slight uptick in population growth from 2010.

Last edited 10 months ago by Daniel Bell
Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Bell

The “baby bulge” of the immediate post-war years (1945-1965) did expand the population but through an increase in births, not immigration.
The economic circumstances of the late 50s and 60s are not dissimilar to those we see today – full employment, labour shortages, industrial unrest, rising wages, high inflation, housing shortages. The driver for these things though was clearly not the population increase because the extra people were still kids. It was in fact a rally from the privations of the war years and the effect of the huge amount of rebuilding that had to be done thanks to the Luftwaffe. When those kids born after the war were productive adults, we entered into the Stagflation period of the 1970s.
The recent population increase (2003-2022) is larger in scale than the baby bulge (or boom if you are American) and is entirely due to immigration. Obviously it started due to the A10 expansion of the EU. The suddenly influx of workers and consumers from Eastern Europe was a tonic to the economy and since then all governments have been afraid of turning off the tap. But like all addicts, the longer the habit goes on, the more damage is done to the body – in this case to our housing market, welfare state and infrastructure.
Sooner or later a government will have to face up to this problem. Dismissing it as “a slight uptick in population growth” seems like you are being wilfully blind. And using phrases like “blaming immigrants” seems to me like a clumsy attempt to make concerns about the size and make-up of the population seem like a racist exercise, which, if true, is very unfortunate.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Bell

This discussion seemed bound to descend into blaming of immigrants. And anyone who doesn’t is just “woke”.
Sometimes I can’t believe the waste of oxygen

S M
S M
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’m an immigrant and like most other ‘immigrants’ have accustomed just fine to local manners, thanks.

 I’d like to know your thoughts however on the Brits that have no issue drinking to the point of dangerous collapse in the middle of the street where they can be victims to theft or worse (something I’d never seen in my country), and if I may, my dear white British neighbors, who are in the habit of leaving their rubbish bags outside their flat, creating a real nuisance and attracting rats in our building. Perhaps you need some sensitivity training before casting such a wide blanket and pretending you ate the only one who is polite and well mannered. And don’t just say “oh but the majority are not”

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  S M

I have never said anything of the sort SM. I am sorry to hear you have such anti-social neighbours. My argument is that you cannot have immigration on the scale of the last 20 years without inevitable negative consequences on the housing market, public services and infrastructure and the dilution of local norms and traditions. I was certainly not saying that all immigrants are impolite or uncivilised.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Congratulations on the double century!
As@: 1812.BST.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

Thanks Charles

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

The free market economy loves immigration. To be fair the market in this country has absorbed Immigration, it’s not as if there is high unemployment so immigrants are doing something. In fact I think things would be worse without immigration since we have clearly decided to run an economy, both public and private, that needs it.

But there is a contradiction in all this that few of those who are anti- immigration are willing to face. The only way we can seriously cut immigration is by adopting an anti-growth model of the economy which would involve a top-down statism. This hardly sits well with the right wing rhetoric of those who tend towards anti-immigration. (Its not an accident that immigration has gone up since Brexit – and will probably go up further if a deal with India is reached.) You might argue that you can have growth without immigration – well perhaps but you certainly cannot do that over night. Shutting the door to immigration tomorrow would just mean many businesses and public services being unable to operate. The demographic shape of the UK – growing numbers of old and a low birth rate (it’s the immigrants who are stopping the birth rate from collapsing completely) – makes the need for immigration even more acute.

Radical greens (I mean really radical) are anti-immigration simply because they are anti-growth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Butler
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I love how every single discussion about the royal eff up that is the British economy always devolves to blaming immigrants.

Often from Tory sounding people who have watched their party conduct the orchestra of bad economic policy for over a decade.

So you all now realise it is bad for people to go to another country and leech on the resources.

The cosmic irony.

You live in a country whose “greatness” was built on exactly this.

Every single piece of infrastructure, every single luxury that has become part of greatness of British life came from plundering the resources of other places to bolster those of your own country.

A culture of tea that doesn’t grow tea, a culture of sweet things that doesn’t grow sugar, cities built on textile mills in a country that doesn’t grow cotton.

At least the immigrants of today applied for visas before coming to “plunder” your resources. For two hundred years you did it down the barrel of a Gatling gun.

Nature balances everything in the end. Now there are no more colonies with unlimited resources to build the economy of the homeland.

The colonies, having been sucked dry are now coming back to take their due.

A little reflection and humility would be in order to take a long and far look about how the world got to how it is now. This is the only way to fix anything going forward.

But by all means keep blaming the immigrants. I am pretty sure if you push them all out everything would go back to how it was.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

But isn’t that called international trade?

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Martin Butler
Martin Butler
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes it’s comical – whatever the article is about you’ll find significant numbers here seem to manage to bring it back to immigrants (or ‘the blob’). The funny thing is in the next breath it’s all about the horrors of statism and ‘socialism’.
The only way immigration can be cut is through some serious statist interference in the free market.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I am not sure the unprecedented scale of immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe to the UK over the last 20 years can be wholly blamed on the British Empire. As far as I know, the Union Jack never flew over Warsaw or Bucharest.
Nor am I convinced that the buying of things like tea, sugar and cotton from foreign countries can be classed as plunder.
Back to modern times though, British policy will need to balance immigration with housing availability, the capacity of our public services and the resilience of the national infrastructure. It doesn’t seem like a radical position to me. It is certainly achievable (now we are not bound by EU Freedom of Movement rules) but it does require some planning (and some bravery) from our government, be that Tory or Labour.
Finally I think your use of the phrase “blaming immigrants” is unpleasant as it makes it sound like people concerned about impact of population size and make-up are racists. Surely that is not the way to discuss important topics on a forum like this which is known for its civility and good sense.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It isn’t really buying when you have invaded a country and now control its political structures. That’s not buying that is a hostage situation.
Again, https://www.bl.uk/asians-in-britain/articles/global-trade-and-empire
And I appreciate that an influx of immigrants into any country can become a big problem. I am only asking that sometimes people should take a long view and understand that today’s problems are almost never a consequence of today’s actions.
Most immigrants would rather live in their own countries. If their own countries offered them the barest minimum of opportunities. Many of those countries are “shitholes” mostly because of the mismanagement of the citizens. But a truly sober observer will also acknowledge that a lot of the economic instability and inequality in the world today has its roots in the cavalier actions of the erstwhile powerful countries. The big European powers plundered the rest of the world for centuries to build themselves the affluent world they live in.
Nature corrects itself eventually. The immigrant crisis in the West is a consequence of that correction. If thinkers in the West do not take this long view and see it for what it is they will simply keep on preferring solutions that will not work.
Tony Blair and George Bush set fire to almost a quarter of the world on a whim. Obama came and gave us a sequel. No consequences. Maybe you would not have as many immigrants from the Middle East in Britain if a little good judgment and humility had been applied then. No?

Jacquie 0
Jacquie 0
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

What a load of old tosh!
Contrary to popular belief, Britain as a whole did not benefit economically from Empire.
https://youtu.be/dn7kiak3yzI?feature=shared
This from Sam Akaki (immigrant)
“Before the British and other western powers arrived, much of Africa was a borderless wilderness inhabited by warring tribes and clans who were collectively vulnerable to killer tropical diseases, blinded by ignorance and often enslaved by superstition. It was the British Church Missionary Society, followed by colonial demonstrators who risked their lives in deeply inhospitable territory seeking to liberate fellow human beings from the bondage of poverty. They pioneered education and modern health service and introduced cash crops, industrialisation and English as a unifying language.”

“Today, per capita GDP in Britain is roughly 28 times what it is in Zambia. But to blame this on the legacy of colonialiasm is not very persuasive when the differential between British and Zambian incomes was so much smaller at the end of the colonial period. In 1955, British per capita GDP was just seven times greater than Zambian. It has been since independence that the gap between the coloniser and ex-colony has become a gulf. The same is true of nearly all colonies in sub-Saharan Africa.” – Niall Ferguson in Empire

” … the BritishEmpire, destroyed slavery around the world in a long and bloody battle.” – African-American academic, Dr Thomas Sowell, himself a descendant of the transatlantic slave trade.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jacquie 0
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Jacquie 0

That you actually believe that the Empire existed as some sort of charitable crusade to save the heathens from themselves is really extraordinary.
I am not sure how anybody with even a cursory knowledge of history can say this with a straight face
https://www.academia.edu/25222748/To_what_extent_did_Great_Britain_benefit_economically_from_possessing_its_Empire_between_1870_and_1900
This is from the British Library
https://www.bl.uk/asians-in-britain/articles/global-trade-and-empire
I understand we now live in a world where people can basically live in their own alternate reality but come on.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes there are some remarkable points of view on here (though I have heard Ferguson’s and Sowell’s arguments before, what they are forgetting is how it was often Africa’s subjection to the free market policies of the IMF that have slowed the continent’s growth since the 1970s – countries that refused to become economic vassals of the West, like Botswana, have done much better, as the economist Josepth Stiglitz argues)

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Thank you for this. Also the complete disinterest in a more positive politics of redistribution, reindustrialisation, democratisation of the workforce etc and of sensible humane responses to immigration which reduce the numbers coming here whilst helping those fleeing their homelands (yes often through our own fault, as in the case of those fleeing Afghanistan since we invaded and abandoned it to chaos) – such as the economist Paul Collier’s suggestion that our government finances British companies to move to those countries closer to areas from which the immigrants are fleeing to provide them with work nearer to home (whilst – don’t worry Tories – keeping capital happy)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-bIaIgcBuI

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

“Every single piece of infrastructure, every single luxury that has become part of greatness of British life came from plundering the resources of other places to bolster those of your own country.”
>> Are you mad?
Or are you advocating a return to hunter-gatherer economy?
The value added to raw materials by transforming them into commercial goods far outstrips the value of the raw materials. Ergo, the infrastructures and luxuries enjoyed by British people in their heyday (the most affluent society in the world by far in the 19th c), largely came from British ingenuity and social organisation.
The fact that England had labor struggles and political conflicts in the 19th c only proves that its social order was flexible enough to allow such things to take place by political means, and not by civil war and assassination.

Last edited 7 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Douglas Redmayne
Douglas Redmayne
10 months ago

Britain is creaking at the seams because of excessive population growth in too short a time. It adds to pressure on public resources that are operating at the limit of capacity

Last edited 10 months ago by Douglas Redmayne
D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

Water supply is getting really tight now. The summer hose-pipe ban in Devon & Cornwall was rolled over from 2022 into 2023 without being lifted in the winter.
It would be astonishing if rainy, overcrowded Britain ran out of water before sunny South Africa, but it’s possible.
We grow our population by a half-million a year, but when did we last build a reservoir?

Dr Anne Kelley
Dr Anne Kelley
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Water supply is tight mainly because not there are not enough reservoirs. In the South West we have rainfall throughout the Autumn, and this year in the Spring and Summer too, but the useless South West Water Company failed to collect it. Excuses are made such as difficulty of obtaining planning, but water is a vital resource and building reservoirs should be a legal obligation, which should override local protest.

D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

Ah, but build it where?
You can farm crops on land, or build a reservoir, or build a housing estate, or a solar energy farm, or have a nature reserve. What you can’t have is two in the same place, let alone all five.
Small country; growing population; no solution possible.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

1992

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
10 months ago

You mean all those immigrants coming over here to prop up our NHS because we aren’t paying our own doctors properly (many are leaving for eg Australia) or offering affordable housing because we’re comfortable with landowners sitting on land and drip feeding housing at extortionate prices?

Last edited 10 months ago by Desmond Wolf
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

Given the topicality of the author’s references e.g. “escaped prisoner”, it’s something of an omission not to have mentioned the Birmingham city council bankruptcy issue.

Birmingham used to be seen as a.model of British urban efficiency during the period of huge industrial growth in the 19th and early 20th centuries, yet now stands as a symbol of its opposite.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
William Murphy
William Murphy
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes, it now seems weird to remember that Neville Chamberlain made his reputation in Birmingham. But the only thing he is known for is Munich.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Yes indeed, and a gross calumny it must be said.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Wasn’t that Joseph Chamberlain?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Duplication.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Correct, although Neville was one his sons and was Lord Mayor of Brum’ in 1915.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago

One of the great “What ifs…”, is what if Joe Chamberlain’s Imperial Federation had got off the ground. It was essentially an (EU style) political and customs union for the British Empire, with countries being self-governed within that framework. It was also envisaged as having a Council of the Empire overseeing Defence and Foreign Policy as a joint policy. It was Chamberlain’s grand vision but it failed to take off due to resistance from the free-traders.
Would we have become embroiled in WW1 if it had happened? Perhaps we would still have been the richest country in the world. Or maybe Germany would have conquered France and ruled Europe.

Last edited 10 months ago by Matt M
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Sadly we had already tried toadying to the Germans by giving them Heligoland, axiomatic for the building of their High Seas Fleet.
It had availed us nothing, hence the dreaded Entente Cordiale of more properly the Entente Fatale.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

You’re kind of like a savant, Charles!

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The effects of too much Diversity, perhaps?

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
10 months ago

A very astute article. Britain is turning into a third world country; an increasingly impoverished nation fantasizing that it is still a rich one.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

Something which would give me renewed hope is if the next PM came out of No.10, strode up to the wooden lecturn, riffled through their prompts and said:
“Right folks, I’m not going to beat around the bush or sugarcoat stuff: things are sh*t. And they are going to be sh*t for a while yet. But this is what we are going to do…”
Politicians that just level with the people might not solve any problems, but it would be far better and less frustrating than this residual pretence that Britain is somehow still great (note small “g”) and a model for others to follow.

Last edited 10 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

However, most Brits I know in London think that NHS is “the envy of the world” and were banging pans for it during “covid pandemic”.
When I tell them that NHS might be envy of 3rd world but nothing else, they either sulk or call me fasc&st.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

And you will all live happily ever after in the Land of Substandard Healthcare. It’s tragic how people can (pretend to) be satisfied with awful service. It’s almost psychotic.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
10 months ago

“With each perceived betrayal, more people enter the reservoir of citizens who have given up believing that Westminster can do anything remotely useful. … Why do [so many people] see it as common sense to reject society’s claims on their resources? Part of the reason is surely that, once we lose faith in the nation’s political authorities, appeals to compromise for the greater good ring hollow.”
The author intends this to be a very depressing article, but unbeknownst to him, he ends it on a very optimistic note. The first step to revitalizing Britains’ once-vaunted civil society – its voluntary associations, its entrepreneurship, its spirit of growth and risk and accomplishment – is for people to give up on Westminster and the long trail of seaweed submerged beneath it, tangling up everything in its wake. Rather than look to the local planners and mandarins and experts to fix problems, people might start figuring it out on their own, and just tell them to get the hell out of the way.
A little of the ol’ Victorian spirit would go a long way these days.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

If only – the civil society is also fractured as this needs people to invest time and effort in the collective, when we are either too busy working/getting on or distracted by TV screens, mobile phones and videogames. National institutions have been compromised by money and ideology. Where we may invest is in small local communities but these are often inward looking – fellow survivors seeking mutual validation.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago

As an ardent Anglophile, witnessing from afar the state of modern Britain is like being broken on the rack.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

Just to clarify, one is broken on the wheel and stretched on the rack; but long live the mixed metaphor, especially painful ones.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Aha! We have an expert among us, excellent!

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
10 months ago

Worrying!

Tony Price
Tony Price
10 months ago

We’ve had enough off experts – put him in the stocks!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Please!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Haha!

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

To the iron maiden! Or to the Black Sabbath, I don’t really care.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

Until i turn Deep Purple?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

As a native Brit living abroad, witnessing from afar the state of modern Britain is like being broken on the rack.
Well, maybe not broken on the rack – but it is deeply upsetting to watch the country you grew up in crumble so spectacularly and remorselessly. This attitude of resignation to ruin which seems to be spreading is so sad, I want to take the entire country by the shoulders and give it a good shake.

Last edited 10 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I guess that’d make you a Mover and Shaker?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Guess it does!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Really good one Steve!

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
10 months ago

We seem to be left with a choice between incompetence (the current Conservatives) where they can’t seem to get anything done, and outright vandalism (SJWs and Wokies) where you can but hope they can’t get anything done. Starmer’s Labour positioning itself as incompetence-but-not-vandalism might win a landslide. You think it can’t get worse, but honestly, I think Trudeau actually is worse.
The whole thing resembles nothing so much as the disintegration described by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. Which when I read it 25 or so years ago seemed a bit OTT.

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yep, it doesn’t look so OTT now, does it?

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

But Labour government will be total vandalism.
Just recall Starmer plan to give votes to 16 years old and foreign residents.
All designed to drag UK back into EU.
Starmer was member of Corbyn shadow cabinet and conspired with EU to engineer 2nd Brexit referendum.

Howard S.
Howard S.
10 months ago

The collapse into crime and chaos in our own inner cities here in the United States is following the same pattern. We are bringing in hordes of people from dysfunctional, impoverished, failed Third World countries and instead of raising them up to the level of our country, they are dragging us down to the level of theirs. In my area we have a large immigration of people from the Muslim countries, for example. Escaping the backwardness, intolerance, violence and poverty of their own lands, and they get here and immediately start building mosques and madrassas to continue the very lifestyles and beliefs that forced them to leave home in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by Howard S.
Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Howard S.

Are they active in robbing places though?
I find it so ironic that the BLM torched American Cities for a whole summer, killed a few too, supported by many Democratic Mayors. Yet the US version of the UK’s Monster Raving Looney party has a fancy dress day out in the Capitol, about as violent as some of my University day football dinners and they end up serving 10, 20 etc years in jail.
Something VERY amiss in North America, and that includes Canada. Or perhaps the ‘Trucker Trials’ just starting may end up in acquittals, and so change my opinion of Canada. I doubt it somehow.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Howard S.

Reality is the savages West imports can not be brought up to the host nations level.
Their IQ is too low.
That is why their countries are such shi*holes.
Obviously religion doesn’t help but it is not main reason.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

It is the main reason. It’s got nothing to do with IQ. You really are being racist with that.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Howard S.

Isn’t that the truth. And those damn Burkhas and hijabs.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

“There is a growing realisation that Britain does not have the grid capacity needed for the government’s decarbonisation plans.”

Luckily, that’s one problem that the government could solve at a stroke.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

I have worked for many years in the industry. Britain has nowhere near the grid capacity… but if you say that, you are labelled ‘obstructive’ or even ‘a denier’. The point is that the government has set a target – so now we just close our eyes, cross our fingers and hope that everything comes right in the end. Not a very clever plan!!

Hundreds of kilometres of pylons will have to be connected – to go underground is literally impossible over long distances. People don’t want pylons. Surprise, surprise. So, how do you connect those things in the sea to the grid? Somebody might have a bright idea – we hope.

Last edited 10 months ago by Caradog Wiliams
D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

I think Simon meant that they could solve it at a stroke if they dropped the decarbonisation plan.
Other than that, you are correct. We are heading for a time when we import food, LNG, manufactured goods and perhaps even drinking water. What do we sell to pay for it all? The family silver is gone.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Actually Net Zero according to the FIRES report (p6 Graphic)
 https://www.icax.co.uk/pdf/Absolute_Zero_Report.pdf
Is going limit imports of everything. It is going to do what German U boats failed to do in two world wars (though the prospect of them not failing terrified Governments) and stop the ‘Big Steamers’. Something Kipling so presciently warned of in 1911.
The P6 Graphic shows that in 27 years time there will be NO shipping, (ie no Big Steamers) , no flying and none of the modern ‘inland’ equivalent of “Big Steamers” – Diesel Tractor units hauling 44 tonne loads to keep us fed.
The stupidity of our politicians is quite frankly, beyond anything the author envisages. Either they haven’t read this FIRES report or they think that the Channel Tunnel rail link is capable of bringing in the food we need. Now making 2 huge assumptions. a) That sufficient suitable rolling stock exists to bring in that food and b) the tracks don’t melt under the load. Then how does it get from the railheads with no fossil fuels? Stopping both Big Steamers and the Diesel Artic tractor units is so insane even someone insane might baulk at actually doing it. 
Below is an interesting link.
https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/bigsteamers
For anyone who likes folk music start the video at 2:30 seconds in, or if you’d simply like to see how prescient Kipling was and what he might well say in response to the Net Zero insanity, it’s on that page.
Finally, unlike the author, I think we need a complete rescinding of anything Blair did and the EU demanded. Perhaps then we English at least, might begin to stir ourselves instead of simply existing until it all falls down and we can start again. Though if Net Zero isn’t scrapped, I give it 10 years before the revolution begins, IF not sooner. Ulez Blade Runners may only be the start!

Liz Runciman
Liz Runciman
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

But won’t

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
10 months ago

Canada and the USA are headed down the same path, just a few years behind.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

Certainly it is a mystery to me where Canada’s job and tax base will come from if they continue to destroy our oil and gas, forestry and mining industries.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Oil and gas represent 20% of all Canadian exports. Energy really does power the economy. Trudeau is intent on destroying this.

anthony henderson
anthony henderson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Same in Australia, we sell our coal, gas and iron ore to China, they make some nice solar panels and wind turbines out of this and sell them back to us, so we can become ‘net zero’ in a few years. Throw in the divisive and expensive ‘Voice’ campaign and things aren’t too rosy here, either. I was looking forward to summer but we’re being warned it could be the hottest summer in decades and huge bushfires are imminent. No wonder people are looking glummer than usual. Then there’s the cost of living and unaffordable houses.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

They have no idea what the summer will be. Though they will blame it on Climate Change. The fact that you weren’t that far away from the 21st Century Krakatoa, which flung so much water into the upper atmosphere NASA thought it’s sensors had broken, won’t bother them. Despite ALL that, the Greens won’t admit that the weird weather is more likely related to Krakatoa 2 than climate change. Still, we know better.

Last edited 10 months ago by Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

So even if we scrap Net Zero, and the Big Steamers continue Drax still won’t get any North American wood to burn in order to ‘save the planet’? 😉

Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Roman

I’m glad that somebody realised that obvious fact and pointed it out…

Last edited 7 months ago by Leonel SIlva Rocha
William Cameron
William Cameron
10 months ago

Why ? Do we resist building ? Because we were told Immigration would be tens of thousands- not 10 million. We never asked for an extra 10m non/low tax payers -all needing public services and houses.

Peter Hall
Peter Hall
10 months ago

The problem is, where do you go if you believe the United Kingdom is inexorably sinking?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Hall

Ireland?

Who on earth objected to that!
It’s just like here but FAR, FAR, lest crowded as a result of the Great Famine 1846-49.*
As the tidal wave of EU largesse overwhelms them, so they become more like us every day. Georgian House, trophy wife, brats at Eton, membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and so forth.
The Roman Catholic Church is almost dead and buried, and the Magdalen Laundries, the notorious ‘death’ orphanages likewise.
99.9% speak English, and they have very much the same sense of humour*.
If you want something less ‘Home Counties’ head for the ‘Wild West’ across the Shannon.
What is there NOT to like as ‘we’ the demos, say now?

(* Population 1840: 8 million. Population now about 6 million.Perhaps a unique figure for Western Europe?
(**Including that superlative word : gobshite.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
10 months ago
D Glover
D Glover
10 months ago

Do try and keep up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwne1r2vd6I
Refugees are pouring into Ireland as well.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Didn’t spot many in the far west this summer.

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
10 months ago

It seems Ireland is being colonised by the same sort of characters who land on the Kent coast every day and it is being felt more keenly as the indigenous population is so small and there is a housing crisis.
If the arrivals were families, rather than opportunistic young men with issues, they might be received more kindly.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Indeed, but it’s Catch- 22, EU largesse is the reward for compliant behaviour.
Otherwise it would be “repel boarders!”

I wonder if HMG has considered transporting Sinbad & Co from the Kent coast to the Pembrokeshire coast, and then supplying them a dinghy or lilo, and assisting them to cross the 50 odd miles across the Irish Sea.*

(*À la Française.)

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

They could take assisted passage back in the mass of Irish vehicles that turn up at the Welsh resorts during holiday times?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

Exactly. The same in the US. I notice that most of the migrants seem to be young males.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

The only problem is that they like shooting and blowing up Englishmen. I’m English by birth from Irish parents – but I wouldn’t go back for all the Leprechaun’s gold in the place.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Hall

Poland looks good if you don’t mind the proximity to Russia. There would be a sort of circular logic to that reverse immigration wave.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You are believing what you read.
The problem with Poland, as always, isn’t proximity to Russia but to Germany.

Only now, it isn’t the threat of panzers rolling over the border, but rather a Germany led EU trying to force on Poland the same recipe of mass immigration and “clean” energy that has served the Germans themselves so well. It will happen at some point.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I suspect Germany will have turned right before that.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

But benefit scrounging immigrants don’t come to Poland because they are not getting free housing and money like in UK and Germany.
Energy policy is another matter.

Thomas Bengtsson
Thomas Bengtsson
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I’m not so about that. Wessi’s don’t really have the control over the Ossi’s they thought they would have. Poland is further away with Eastern Germany as a buffer. And the Ossi’s will definitely vote much differently in elections. I think Poland is smarter than that with the newly investments in Nuclear Power and high investment and production of military devices.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Hall

Those believing are in the main the ones causing the sinking. They were usually the ones who threatened to leave for the EU IF we voted for Brexit. Unfortunately, I suspect they took one look at the EU post Brexit and decided to stay.
Even our Greens looked slightly less deranged than the EU with their culling farm animals in Holland and Ireland both agricultural economies and adding ‘insect protein’ to flour!
I remember pre referendum remainers claiming US food isn’t so strictly legislated and so allows unacceptable amounts of insect parts in their flour. I wonder how they spin the benefits of EU legislating for how much flour they allow with their insect parts?
Or the famous “Chlorine Wash” – completely ignoring the fact virtually any ‘washing in UK tap water” is a chlorine wash and then Germany demanding their salads be chlorine washed to stop killing consumers.
Leave the UK and you are probably only going to end up in an even more insane place. Or perhaps, considering Scotland, Wales and Ireland’s devolved Governments, I should restrict that to ‘leaving England’?
A revolution is coming because all the Westminster Parties support the same policies, and one of those policies, Net Zero, is so insane that no one will be able to ignore it. Once food starts to get scarce, riots will increase; riots being inversely proportional to the food supply.

Matt Partridge
Matt Partridge
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Hall

Thailand

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago

As someone who spends alot of time in both countries I have been arguing for some time that where South Africa leads the western world follows. Not just UK, the same crony capitalist corruption and incompetence are everywhere in North America and western Europe. My South African friends broadly agree, but with one objection: South Africa is going by corruption alone but the West is going by design.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Your opinion is valued because unlike the rest of us, you’ve lived in both. But seriously …. South Africa is simply returning to the norm of black Africa. The UK has its issues but the 4:1 ratio of welfare benefits to payers for such benefits is catastrophic and far beyond such ratios in western countries.

Laurence Eyton
Laurence Eyton
10 months ago

Interesting article but I can’t but help thinking that Argentina is the better analogy, a country that went from First World living standards pre-WWI to a total basket case is a matter of 60 years or so, through sheer economic mismanagement.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Laurence Eyton

You mean Left Wing governments.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Laurence Eyton

Yes, Argentina was 5th richest country just after ww2 but Peronism (basically socialism with national elements) destroyed it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Argentina was all but a British colony in its heyday, they even had the ONLY overseas branch of Harrods!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Actually things are rather looking up!
Firstly, and at long last, Birmingham City Council have finally proved that you can actually kill the ‘Magic Money Tree’ if you really shake it hard enough. With any luck this should also have finally killed off the farce of the Commonwealth Games.
Secondly the vexatious, indeed vindictive prosecutions concerning the late nano-war in Northern Ireland seem about to be brought to an end, and about time too.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
10 months ago

I think Melbourne beat them to it by simply refusing at a very late hour to host it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Many thanks, I stand corrected.

Bernard Kelly
Bernard Kelly
10 months ago

The overall intelligence of Britain is reducing in line with increased immigration, especially immigration from middle eastern and African countries. Of course no one will admit it but this is the elephant in the room which is leading to the decline in prosperity of not only Britain but also other European nations. That said, national governments under the rule of Big Corporate, love mass immigration for obvious reasons. It is a source of cheap labour and also cheap votes.

Frank Leahy
Frank Leahy
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Kelly

What evidence do you have to support this? Ethnic minorities do better in education. 50% of medical students are of ethnic minority background for example. I don’t know whether their better performance is due to “intelligence” or hard work, but I can see the outcome every day at work. If “white” people don’t like it we need to teach our children to stop whinging and work harder.

Last edited 10 months ago by Frank Leahy
Leonel SIlva Rocha
Leonel SIlva Rocha
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank Leahy

Affirmative Action and lowering Standards, especially for minorities, have a lot to do with this. I have seen this in my own Country, which is not even a particularly notable example. One of the reasons, among others, why Health Systems across the Western World are crumbling. These days, almost every Tom, d**k and Harry can be a “Doctor”…

Last edited 10 months ago by Leonel SIlva Rocha
Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank Leahy

The White Man’s (and I mean man, and heterosexual man) Burden is all very real, though the nature of it has changed dramatically in the UK..

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank Leahy

Get your stats right.
Yes some ethnic minorities like Indians, Koreans or Chinese have slightly higher IQ than white British.
However Muslims and Africans have much lower IQ.
If you look at IQ map of the world you can see which countries and why are successful and which countries are failing.
Basically Muslims (unless they chanced on oil) and Africans countries are sh*te countries.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Kelly

Exactly.
Importing low IQ savages into the West is counterproductive on so many levels.
Obviously you get all the usual multi culti clowns telling you that you are wrong or racist or whatever.
But facts don’t lie.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Low IQ savages.

You felt really smart writing that didn’t you?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Exactly. Give racists an inch and they feel free to start saying savages. Andrew, don’t you realize your nasty comments say more about you than those you try to put down.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

You’re wrong and you’re racist and you don’t have facts.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Kelly

Really? When it comes to laziness and entitlement I would put large elements from all stratas of our ‘indigenous’ population at the very top of the league.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
10 months ago

It so happens I was thinking about this comparison the other day, what with Birmingham City Council going bust, schools (and likely other public buildings) crumbling, shoplifting being more or less permitted and once staggering incompetence that’s just become normal nowadays. I’m not sure how South Africa and the UK come back from our respective debacles, but it’s going to take a strong government and a meek population. At least with the UK, lockdown demonstrated people will happily adapt to a “papers please” society if you give them a vaguely good reason.

Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
10 months ago

SA (which I lived in for nearly a year and came to love) pioneered Identity Politics. It’s a cancerous ideology guaranteed to lower social trust so of course corruption took hold.
And it points to one potential future for UK if we don’t expel Identity Politics soon.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Taylor

Would you say Aparteid was a powerful expression of Identity Poltics?

Frank Leahy
Frank Leahy
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Surely the answer is “yes”? A comparison which I haven’t seen made before.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank Leahy

Off course it is, but you risk destruction saying that in this day and age!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Blasphemer!

(My apologies, a feeble joke.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes, it proved that if you have white people in charge country can work.
With black people in charge?
We all see the results.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Taylor

Come on.
There is not a single functioning African country because African savages have low IQ as proven by countless tests over many decades.
SA worked when it was run by white people with help of Indians.
Now Africans are in charge with predictable results.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Worked for whom? Which tests?

Barbara Stevens
Barbara Stevens
10 months ago

The population of Britain were duped by the politicians and the media for over 40years into voting to join the EEC. Disaster for the infrastructure of England.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago

I thought Brexit was supposed to fix this?

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
10 months ago

I don’t see the U.K./ SA parallel but I do agree that U.K. politics needs a very serious reboot.

Maybe I am too much of an optimist but I think that could happen here – because in this country, unlike South Africa, a relatively early change in political direction is clearly possible.

In my view the next one for U.K. will not be so good – leaning even further towards Socialism – but when that is seen to be a continuation of the current trend and hence an abject failure ( as I believe it surely will be) the one after that could be the start of our country’s salvation . It’s not going to happen soon, it’s not without risk and it needs new leadership to emerge (people of the right calibre are nowhere to be seen right now) but I think it still can happen here.

So, I may be kidding myself but I really don’t think we are in quite the same hole as South Africa and this is not the time to give up all hope in the wisdom of the U.K. electorate and for positive political change leading towards better government. In South Africa I fear it will take much longer and be a much more painful process – but eventually it can happen there too.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
10 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

I believe we have a single party state, as the major policies, with a few minor differences here and there, are identical.
As was evident with Covid, when they all agree, we end up shooting ourselves in the foot.

David Bullard
David Bullard
10 months ago

I’m in Cape Town for a few days in a very well equipped Greenpoint AirBnB with all mod cons. Snag is that I can’t prepare any food because the power goes out at 6pm and comes back at 8pm by which time I’m no longer hungry. If I walk down Main Road I pass lots of beggars and rather dodgy looking individuals and yet there are masses of very expensive cars driven by ‘black entrepreneurs’ parked on the pavement. Coming back from a lunch in Bree St today I passed makeshift tents and shelters and watched men pissing against a fence in full view of the passing traffic. We know it’s falling apart here and we know that nothing will change after the elections in 2024 but if we win the rugby world cup none of this will matter. That’s how resilient we are down here on the southern tip.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  David Bullard

Is that sarcasm? I can’t tell.

David Bullard
David Bullard
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

That’s the secret of good sarcasm…..you never can tell.

tom Ryder
tom Ryder
10 months ago

Thanks the Bill Gates & crew’s Covid lockdown destroy your economy to protect mRNA vaccine royalties strategy the entire world is reaping what’s been sown

rob drummond
rob drummond
10 months ago

the crumbling concrete is not a uniquely British problem. Those ‘crunchie bars’ were made in Sweden and sold all over the place.

i honestly dont know why Journalists are forever trashing the Counrty – when in reality most (all?) similar countries are in the same boat.

Last edited 10 months ago by rob drummond
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  rob drummond

Yes, France, Germany, Netherlands… all crumbling before our eyes; and as for the the USA, its cities and institutions are literally falling apart with even Canada not far behind.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago
Reply to  rob drummond

Vested interests is the answer. The thing is, what vested interests?
In my opinion the sensible people all found life around the 70s became easier and found the ‘admin’ tasks and roles that society needed to function too time consuming.
So they didn’t attend Union meetings, club meetings, political meetings, church meetings and left it up to those ‘interested’.
Those interested were in the main left leaning or fanatics like the Greens. So they gradually acquired access to ALL the levers of power.
The rest is history. Fortunately, Net Zero insanity is going to ensure that they too become history far quicker than we reach Net Zero.
The bad news is, it ain’t going to be pretty, UNLESS another BoJo (. i.e A self-centred, all-for-one and the one is him/her) politician arises who realises that being part of the ‘machine’ isn’t the bet way to further their own personal interests. So they perfect their All-for-one by proclaiming one-for-all. The All being us plebs. They scrap Net Zero and then, hopefully dismantle the Blairite NGO,Quango ruling structures.
Mind you they’ll have to arise in the next 5 years because after that a real right wing counter revolutionary is more likely to arise from the mayhem of Net Zero insanities.
PS We should also clear out the UN, IPCC and WHO. Perhaps stop funding them, let China do it all.

BW Naylor
BW Naylor
10 months ago

Zuma has shown us what political failure looks like. Now also unfolding in the rest of the world as we speak. In 2008 and after ZIRP, phrases like moral hazard and inter generational theft were coined. Look where the world economy is in 2023. Sky high youth unemployment, unaffordable dwellings and disappearing social care systems such as healthcare and law enforcement. All while the wealthy are extracting and rolling around in any kind of capital.
Don’t kid yourself that this is not global, In Canada $4k a month or $1.8M purchase price gets you high rise pad with human excrement on the pavement, broken car windows in the street and tents in the park out front.
Enjoy the woke bed that was made with easy money.

Marzia Briel
Marzia Briel
10 months ago

All I need to know is where can I buy asphalt for the potholes here in the UK that has cost me two tires?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

I get that Britain and the west are in a period of decline, but the comparison to South Africa is over the top. And really downplays the poverty and corruption infecting that country.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Two fairly populous American cities – Jackson, Missouri and Flint, Michigan – are currently unable to provide their residents with potable drinking water, which is the bare minimum any city in a developed country should be able to provide.
Even very large, coastal cities like NYC or San Fran are now unable to provide safe downtowns, or shelter swelling homeless populations. Baltimore, once a prosperous, wealthy city near Washington DC, increasingly resembles Caracas or Calcutta. DC itself has eye watering crime rates and some of the nation’s worst schools, despite huge budgets. Philadelphia’s Kensington district looks like a zombified war zone, and LA’s Skid Row is rapidly metasticizing to the edges of prosperous neighborhoods.
Comparisons to developing countries, or even failing states, may be entirely apt.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

Yes, there are some truly terrible circumstances in many communities in the west, and maybe things will one day be as bad as South Africa, but that’s objectively not the case now. Poverty is the rule, not the exception in South Africa. Flint may not have clean drinking water, but all of South Africa experiences massive blackouts every single day. There’s a reason immigrants are clamoring to get into the west, and not so much in South Africa.

Kat L
Kat L
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

They believe in a fantasy. Once things fall apart they will fly like the locusts to the next fertile field that isn’t protected.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

The article is comparing UK and SA, not USA and SA.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That’s fair. I was responding to someone using American examples. I would suggest socially Britain is much better off right now than the US. Economics is another story.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Thank you Jim – you can be relied upon to be fair, and have prevented my head from exploding several times.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

Take a look at the “leadership” of the cities you cite and you’ll see why they’re in the state they’re in.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

But don’t you think those parts of America you describe are worse than any parts of the Uk because of gun violence?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You are completely missing the point
. It isn’t at the same state of decay, but he is pointing out that the decay is advancing slowly but surely, and people are becoming inured to the demise of their country. I am constantly amazed by the stories coming out of the UK and I have witnessed a steady decline.

Last edited 10 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

I likewise am quite amazed by the ‘horror’ stories coming out of South Africa.
A few years ago I recall a white family having to watch their eight year old son being boiled alive in a bath, because they were unable to reveal where their ‘hidden’ wealth was.
Then the notorious killing of the renowned lecturer David Rattray in front of his wife, just because he existed, and so it seems to go on and on. Almost a permanent state of Rorke’s Drift.
Fortunately on my own research visits to a Boer stronghold in the Eastern Cape, things are much quieter, although the ‘threat’ is always palpable, which off course makes it such fun to be there, I must admit.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

I look forward to Rorke’s Drift 2 – the revenge of the Zulu’s – always keep your mobile phone charged, the video will go down a treat on youtube.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

The UK is supposed to be first world. SA isn’t. Point missed again.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

This is fair. I do sense there’s a growing nihilism in the west, and maybe it’s justified. I choose to remain optimistic that the current group of incompetent, ideologically impaired and corrupt ruling elite will be replaced by rational human beings.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

“there’s a growing nihilism in the west,” Indeed, and I believe has been spotted before – in my life time during the 1970’s, and 80′ (partly dependent on your political persuasion). Historically I suspect there are many other examples – CHARLES STANHOPE, please weigh in.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Apocalypticism, to use the technical term has been around almost since day ONE!
Unfortunately it would drive most UnHerd readers mad with boredom if I was to attempt to expound on the subject.
However briefly the 17th English Day Fifth Monarchy Men believed it would all be over by about 1650.
That famous alchemist and mathematician Sir Issac Newton apparently thought it might be 2060!
Then that old dog Nostradamus’ and his quatrains.
More recently the Maya Calendar, the ‘ the New Ice Age’ of the 1970’s briefly supported by the wonderful late James Lovelock. Closely followed by the Ozone Hole, and off course the preposterous idea of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD, and the concurrent Climate Crisis Hysteria.
Still we’ll be lucky one day, but don’t hold your breath!

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

Actually, IF we ALL did hold our breath then it would arrive in minutes 😉

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

There is nothing preposterous about MAD.
Why do you think Iran and North Korea have nuclear weapons and balistic missile programs?
I like idea of Newton. I will be 100 then.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew F
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago

Not forgetting Y2K!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

There were bombings and violence all the time in the 70s. It was really bad. If we recovered from that, we can recover from this too. Nothing is a given, but it’s very possible.

Jennifer Duffy
Jennifer Duffy
10 months ago

I agree Lesley. Neil Howe in his recent discussion on ‘The Fourth Turning’ updated his viewpoint. It’s happening slower than he thought!

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
10 months ago

Net Zero won’t be steady decline. It is 27 years away. The fanatics (and it appears they include every Westminster Party) won’t stop AND very shortly it won’t just be ULEZ prompting a fight back. IF the FIRES report is the thinking of the UK Government, then we are going to get cold and hungry far faster than anyone imagines.
The plebs (that includes me!) won’t stand for it. Lockdown beach parties show that we didn’t object to lockdown, we just ignored it when it suited. Well blackouts can’t be ignored.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago

Pointing the finger at privatization while failing to acknowledge who, for example, awarded Thameslink the new contract despite their malpractice. Fascinating.

Tony Price
Tony Price
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I don’t quite understand your point. If you have an administration which refuses, for ideological reasons, to acknowledge that privatisation of public utilities and transport has been a disaster, then they will thrash around for any solution, however flawed, to keep that privatisation on track, so to speak!

Howard S.
Howard S.
10 months ago

Read “IQ and the Wealth of Nations”, by Professor Richard Lynn (recently deceased).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Howard S.

Or perhaps even ”Who are we and how did we get here” by David Reich, published by OUP* in 2018.)

(*Oxford University Press.)

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago

We are pursuing an American-style culture war in the UK now, thanks to media as well as Brexit.
Ergo the public sector is completely ideologically aligned with the mainstream Left and content merely to wait for a Labour government.
I suspect a deliberate lack of communication between state schools and the Conservative Government has spawned this crisis. It functions as just another extension of the wave of trade union activity which will continue until a Labour goverment is elected.
At least that strategy does not involve burning down entire cities as was the case in the United States in 2020.

Andrew H
Andrew H
10 months ago

Illuminating and very sobering. Hard to argue with almost any of this. I have to say this wasn’t a comparison I was expecting, but the evidence is clearly there.