On Saturday, 23rd July my best mate and I travelled to the small town of Boston in Lincolnshire. We had holidayed in its American counterpart back in May, and we wished to visit both places over the course of 2022. That part of Lincolnshire had special family connections for me, because when my paternal great-grandfather arrived in England from what is now Northern Ireland, he set up a small farm between Boston and the village of Stickney a short drive away. My last visit to Boston took place in the autumn of 1989 en route from London to see family in Yorkshire. I wanted to see what, if any, changes had occurred in the intervening 33 years.
Upon arrival I was shocked. What had once been a quintessentially English market town in the late 1980s had been transformed into a satellite settlement more redolent of somewhere like Stolipinovo or Bedřiška. Eastern Europeans, who appeared to be mostly of Roma descent, were ubiquitous. They flocked together in groups around the market square, outside the famous St Botolph’s parish church (known affectionately as the ‘Boston Stump’), and inside the plethora of food shops set up to cater for their precipitous arrival over the course of a very short while. It was clear they wished to converse among each other, as did the native population. There was no interaction, and certainly no indication of any sort of communal togetherness. In truth, I heard fewer people speaking in foreign tongues in Boston, Massachusetts than I did in Boston, Lincolnshire. This is despite the former being a city of considerable size with the greatest concentration of higher education establishments in North America. Boston, England is a town destined to be divided for a very long time thanks to both the pace and type of immigration it has experienced.
Saturday’s visit got me thinking on how many other examples of ghettoised communities thanks to mass immigration there are across the United Kingdom in 2022. We’re already aware of the numerous problems associated with the establishment of Pakistani Muslim communities in town chiefly across the Midlands and northern England. Boston is a prime example of non-integration taking place with regard to European immigrants. So how many more are there? Involving what other minority groups? How have more people been allowed to come to the UK over the past 25 years than in the previous ten centuries? Most importantly, when were the bulk of the electorate ever specifically consulted over such a large and irreversible change to this country’s demographic profile?
I will be clear at this juncture I am not against the principle of immigration. There have been many examples of minority groups settling in Britain and rapidly becoming a full part of this country’s national journey. I went to school with people of Italian, Greek, Irish, West Indian, Polish and Indian heritage, for example, whose parents had climbed up the economic and social ladder. By the same token, I am not against the principle of mobile phones being used on public transport. But when a passenger is shrieking invective and profanity into one at a ridiculously high volume, the principle becomes tainted. It’s the same with immigration. Modest and carefully monitored immigration of people culturally compatible with our values and way of life is fine. A demographic deluge of hundreds of thousands entering the UK every year for a generation is most definitely NOT fine. It doesn’t allow for proper assimilation; it puts terrible pressure on infrastructure and resources; it encourages both the political and business classes to opt for the easiest solution of migrant labour to cover worker shortages as opposed to developing an education and apprenticeship system fit for purpose; and it does not solve what is termed the ‘demographic timebomb’ of an ageing population as, inevitably, the migrant communities will themselves age and become dependent on a pensionable income in due course.
What I find depressing in the ongoing contest to find a new Conservative leader and Prime Minister is the fact neither candidate has once mentioned immigration during their respective campaigns. When over 17 million people voted for Brexit, they not only did so to re-establish the desire to have laws made by those we can elect and duly remove, they also did so to control the numbers arriving here. To date, the Conservative administrations we have elected in the interim have done nothing to curb those numbers. In the year to June 2021, Britain experienced a net migration figure of 239,000 people!! That’s a city the size of Plymouth in just 12 months. By contrast, let me illustrate the net migration figure for randomly selected years of my youth and young adulthood:
1983 – 20,000
1986 – 34,000
1991 – 45,000
1996 – 50,000
These are the sorts of figures that are manageable and sustainable. However, migration rocketed after the arrival of Tony Blair’s government in 1997. Just a year later after the Blair landslide, net migration reached 140,000. By 2004, it had hit 260,000! I have long since suspected the governing Labour Party of that time wanted immigration to be less about filling niches in the economy, and more about a blatant exercise in population replacement. In fact my suspicions were confirmed by one of Labour’s own – Andrew Neather. He was a previously unheard-of speechwriter for Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, who penned an article in the London Evening Standard in October 2009 which gave the game away:
‘Immigration didn’t just happen; the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000…was to open up the UK to mass immigration. I came away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’.
Conservative governments post-2010 have been little better, even if their immigration numbers are less ideological and more about filling various sectors in the jobs market with a seemingly limitless supply of immigrant labour. Another problem we now have is a whole legion of lawyers, civil servants, politicians and journalists worshipping at the altar of uber-diversity. They’re not even interested in seeking remedies to curtail the arrival of thousands of ILLEGAL economic migrants to our shores month in and month out, let alone cutting back on the numbers arriving here by the proper channels (excuse the pun). The legal profession – especially – is well infiltrated by figures determined to tie the hands of any government that wishes to turn the tide. These judges all come from the same Left-wing stable; delight in their ability to frustrate politicians who are clearly acting in favour of the public will on this matter; and then love to enunciate their triumphant sanctimony from the pulpit to any like-minded Guardianista audience they can find (https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/jul/24/brenda-hale-theres-absolutely-no-need-to-scrap-the-human-rights-act?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1658661037). Naturally, it’s safe to assume they inhabit areas of the metropolis far removed from any of the consequences stemming from those they so keenly defend.
Both Sunak and Liz Truss have vowed to curb migration. They seem to forget we’ve heard it all before. Cameron pledged to reduce the numbers to the tens of thousands, failing spectacularly. My guess is Liz Truss (almost guaranteed to win this contest) will end up in the same predicament – in part caused by the lack of drive and dedication needed to address the problems I’ve outlined above. Maybe it really isn’t worth making the effort to go out and vote anymore.
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