If this is summer God help us when winter arrives. I haven’t resumed the art of chicken-cleaning yet but felt morally obliged to look in on my pals in action on the allotments. Gumboots, gravel, cursing, sheets of water everywhere – it was not a happy sight. Perhaps we should have bred ducks which, unlike chickens, need no protection from the wet stuff.
Like a News of the World reporter of old I made my excuses and left. I headed for Tesco where I joined hordes of less-than-happy shoppers. For some it seems to have become somewhere to go when all else fails, but I have never become addicted to the idea of examining displays of baked beans as a diversion. But moments such as these do serve to remind one of just how crowded our island is becoming.
It was quite brave of Ed Miliband to speak out about immigration yesterday. Sadly what he said inspired little hope that he has any real plan in mind, but at least he did face up to the fact that his party has been “remarkably soft” on the issue. He was equally correct to say that politicians cannot go on with the pretence that there is no problem given that immigration is often the main topic of conversation in pubs and clubs up and down the land.
When Theresa May recently ventured to suggest restrictions she was immediately confronted by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – she of the expenses scandal – who predictably cried racism. It illusrated perfectly the mess we have allowed ourselves to get into. Somewhere along the line the politically-correct brigade have managed to convince everyone that to refuse entry to anyone who is not British by birth is to be racist, the sort of ghastly creature that is covered with tattoos and supports the BNP. It is of course illogical nonsense.
The simple, if unpopular, truth is that this island is becoming dangerously overcrowded. Every part of our social structure is creaking at the seams. Even without the handicap of Lansley, the NHS was losing its ability to cope with an ever increasing population, our social services are collapsing under the weight of rocketing caseloads, unemployment amongst young people is a nightmare, our roads are jam-packed with, er, jams, our commuter train services are the equivalent to cattle-trucks, our primary schools are swamped. Wherever you look things are overcrowded.
Given its obsession with austerity for the lower classes, the government is taking the axe to benefit payments, but no one mentions that over 350,000 of the claimants are recent immigrants. Many inner-city primary schools are under seige and class sizes have almost doubled in the past four years. To make things even worse more than a million children do not speak English as their first language. In the past year alone this total has risen by 50,000.
It all reminds me of the buses I used to catch many moons ago. The conductor would declare standing room only and, after allowing eight passengers to board, would declare that more would create dangerous overcrowding. That is where we are as a nation right now, yet the population projections suggest an increase of another 20 per cent over the next 20 years.
Perhaps the most alarming short-term crisis relates to employment. Miliband pointed to what he called “a collison of large immigration from Eastern Europe and a UK labour market that is becoming too nasty, brutish and short-term”. It is, he said, a “class thing”. If you wanted a conservatory built you are better off as a result of the large number of foreign workers recruited on short-term low-paid deals. If you earn your living by building conservatories you will struggle to find work.
Now that at last a leading politician has had the gumption to mention the unmentionable there is perhaps a ray of hope. There needs to be since over the next few months there is a real risk of large numbers arrivng from various parts of Europe. Someone has to have the courage to face up the EU and to say that the door is shut. And as new members of the EU such as Turkey appear someone has to make clear that unlimited access to the UK is not available.
Up until recently anyone coming out with such proposals would have been labelled a little Englander. No longer, most people now recognise that little England is sinking under the sheer weight of its numbers.
Our dear leader will doubtless respond to Miliband by pointing out the sanctity of the laws of the EU. Since he yesterday lectured the Argentinian President about the importance of referendums, perhaps he would like to hold one here. Polls suggest that his slavish adherence to EU rules is not quite as greatly admired as he imagines!
QUOTES FOR TODAY; ” A classic is a book that everyone wants to have read, but nobody wants to read”…..Mark Twain “I gave my young nephew a book for Christmas. He spent a month looking for where to put the batteries”….Milton Berle “A hundred thousand sperm and you were the fastest!”……Jim Hightower “He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death”……Saki “When they circumcised you they threw away the wrong bit”…..David Lloyd George “Tony Blair is only Bill Clinton with his zip done up”……Neil Hamilton