A FEW months ago I discussed my unfortunate run-in with a hard copy of the Guardian newspaper. I asked: ‘Why is it that the Guardian never fails to highlight how public services are under massive strain (children cannot get the mental health services they need and others are paying for health services) yet these very same people think it is fine to continue with completely unsustainable levels of immigration?’
I further asked: ‘Just why is it always the same people who cry the loudest about crumbling public services yet believe that it is a fabulous policy to bring in yet more people? Indeed, net migration surpassed 500,000 for the first time in 2022. We know that 45,755 people illegally entered the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats in 2022 alone, most of whom claimed asylum.’ In fact, more than 100,000 migrants have arrived via the Channel since the small boats crisis began in 2018.
I said that it was unjust, imprudent and unfair to say that Britain can take on thousands of more people when public services are in such a state.
So I found myself thinking about that blog when I read the following important and slightly scary piece by Will Hutton. The headline demanded: ‘Let’s stop kidding ourselves we’re a rich nation and get real . . . the UK’s gone bust.’
For once I agree with the Guardian. Can we please stop pretending that we are a rich nation and face up to hard reality? If a company goes bust, it is not normally permitted to take on extra financial liabilities to the tune of billions of pounds. This is essentially what the UK is doing with its current unsustainable immigration policy.
As the Left likes to remind us, the hundreds of thousands who come here are ‘very vulnerable’, which means their needs are even greater. Therefore if Hutton’s analysis is correct then it is not fair on the people who are already in the UK, and it’s not fair on the immigrants, especially illegal immigrants (who might end up on barges that fail a legionnaires’ disease test) to say: ‘No problems here, the more the merrier.’
Hutton had some cold, hard truths to say about UK plc: ‘Our fading industrial base produces permanent current account deficits, which since 2000 cumulatively exceed £1.5trillion: rather than belt-tighten, we have chosen to run up debt and sell our assets to foreigners in vast quantities to maintain our living standards. Nor do we have empire or the EU anchoring our trade. We are alone.’
And: ‘Our national debt has trebled in 20 years – its fastest growth since the Second World War – to over 100 per cent of GDP. A few other countries have even more national debt, but ours has become very short term and vulnerable – a quarter of it is in inflation-linked bonds – to rising interest rates and inflation. Debt service occupies nearly 10 per cent of all tax revenues, the highest in the G7. If a second financial crisis broke today, we could not put the public balance sheet behind our banking system without expecting a run on the pound.’ (My emphasis.)
So tell me again why is it moral or indeed fair to run the unsustainable immigration policy we now have, with creaking public services, a serious housing crisis, and a nation slipping into greater and greater debt? It isn’t moral or fair. It is morally and indeed financially bankrupting. It’s time for people on the left to come to terms with that reality now.