November 26th 2023
A lot has been going on in the UK this past week, so this letter just gives a few snippets of the chaos that is stifling the breath out of the UK. At first, I thought that events and actions by the Government, both Central and Local could be explained away by sheer incompetence. I am generally not a supporter of conspiracy theories when usually things can be explained away by incompetence, or greed, or indiscriminate, thoughtless exercise of power just for the fun of it.
Given recent events, I am not so sure.
A political commentator put another nail in Rishi Sunak’s coffin when he used part of a poem by that epitome of Britishness, Sir John Betjeman, to describe Sunak.
I am a young executive. No cuffs than mine are cleaner;Executive by Sir John Betjeman.
I have a Slimline brief-case and I use the firm’s Cortina.
In every roadside hostelry from here to Burgess Hill
The maitres d’hotel all know me well and let me sign the bill.
You ask me what it is I do. Well actually, you know,
I’m partly a liaison man and partly P.R.O.
Essentially I integrate the current export drive
And basically I’m viable from ten o’clock till five.
That appears to sum up Sunak completely.
He seems to miss every opportunity to get a political advantage and regain lost ground with the electorate.
London is now regularly infested with demonstrations by Just Stop Oil, pro-Palestine supporters and other hangers-on who latch on to the pro-Palestine “rallies”. The Met police come across as weak and biased (they are probably scared, both for their personal safety and not wanting to be accused of causing a breakdown in public order by provoking a reaction to strong policing). The electorate and Sunak seem to forget that what we call the general public are also the electorate who are fed up to the back teeth with all this and want the police to get a grip. Every time the police show weakness, Sunak bleeds support from the electorate and from factions of the parliamentary Conservative party.
Today saw an unusual event with a march against anti-semitism taking place in London. It started at the Royal Courts of Justice and progressed through Central London. It went off without a hitch, totally peaceful. The only possible inflammatory placards were a few voicing concern about the BBC. This just confirmed the weakness of the Sunak position and the complete fragility of the police. Any heavy policing of this by the police would have rapidly escalated and confirmed the perceived bias of the police, showing that they only police the weak. This march will have ramifications.
The situation in London with regard to the ULEZ “pollution free” zones is deteriorating by the day. Not happy with rebels chopping down the speed cameras, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan introduced vans with cameras inside. The rebels countered this by parking in front of them with the tailgate up, blocking the cameras. This is perfectly legal as long as they weren’t infringing parking regulations. Sadiq Khan upped the ante by having the vans accompanied by cars with security guards inside. This culminated this week in one of the cars running over one of the protesters, hospitalising her. The car drove off without stopping, but video evidence has been lodged with police.
Just to further provoke the London Public, freedom of information requests revealed that over two hundred ambulances operated by London region Hospital Trusts are non-compliant and will incur costs for entering the zones. To replace them and upgrade the fleets will cost in excess of £64,000,000. The quandary for Khan is that if he gives the ambulances dispensation, he is defeating the alleged benefits of the pollution-free objectives and if he doesn’t he is inflicting major costs on the NHS. His response was that the savings obtained from the zones would more than recover the costs for the NHS in improved health in the zones. No wonder he drives through London in armoured vehicles.
And in the ultimate irony, his vehicle is ULEZ-exempt!
Meanwhile, in peace-loving Ireland, they managed to follow UK practice and through misleading government statements inflame a controllable situation into a full-scale riot.
The Taoiseach, Leo Varadke took the opportunity to blame it on the far-right. In Ireland? Protestant vs Catholic, Treaty vs non-treaty, there have always been other issues for the politicians to concentrate on. There was a knifing incident near O’Connell Street in Dublin when three children and a school care assistant were stabbed. Rumours spread rapidly throughout the poor inner-city area adjoining the incident that the perpetrator, who had been apprehended, was a Muslim immigrant. This triggered the spontaneous riots and looting as the inner city has suffered from high immigration. Almost unnoticed, the percentage of the population of Ireland not born in the country has risen to 20%, putting pressure on essential services. The riots were a spontaneous expression of latent anger.
The Taioseach came on TV and announced that the perpetrator was an Irish citizen. In the UK these are weasel words for an immigrant who has taken out citizenship since arrival. Sure enough, Varadkar was using the same playbook. It transpires that the person arrested was of Algerian origin and had been in the country twenty years, taking out citizenship. We are now waiting for the next lines from the UK playbook. “It was a lone wolf attack”, followed by “It was a psychotic event”. Local media in Ireland said they hadn’t seen such anger since the Easter rising in 1916 and the Battle of Dublin during the civil war in 1922. If there is such a thing as the far-right in Ireland, it is worth asking how they came about, and it was probably started by a reaction to government inaction over the years regarding immigration.
Finally, the latest immigration figures for the UK were released last week. These were another nail in Sunak’s coffin. Net migration into the UK for 2022 was just in excess of 750,000. Most of these were believe it or not legal immigrants. Of the total 52,300 were “illegals” (updated from 2022 to latest 2023 figures).
The main sources of non-EU immigrants into the UK were India 253,000, Nigeria 140,000, China 89,000, Pakistan 55,000, and Ukraine 35,000. Most of the Indians came in on student visas but were allowed to bring in family members as well. This is worth a whole article about the impact of over 50% of UK youth now attending university. This has to be paid for – hence overseas students paying enormous fees.
So much for Sunak’s promise to cut immigration. Every situation that has arisen where Sunak could have gained an advantage has resulted in him taking the wrong action. He seems afraid of using power and seeking to further consolidate the pursuit of power. He is either politically naïve, lacking in emotional intelligence or being manipulated.
Just to show that I haven’t forgotten Batshit Bonkers Britain, a street sign has just gone up tonight in my little village.
“Help reduce pollution, turn off engine whilst parked.”
Nicely sited on double yellow no-parking lines.