Monday, 18 November 2019

The British electorate is being dissolved and a new one formed - but everyone knows that

The British general election is not the most important one since 1945. It is more important. If the Conservatives do not win an absolute majority there will be a second referendum on Brexit and a second referendum on Scottish independence. This is existential. The UK's existence and independence are at stake.

Is it the most important election ever? It is the most important one since the 1831 election, at least, which endorsed parliamentary reform and changed politics forever.

The Father of the last House of Commons, Kenneth Clarke, says that the result is impossible to predict but, 

“If I had to stake my life on it I think it will produce a hung parliament.”
He might be right. He might well be right too that Boris could have got his Brexit deal through Parliament, in which case Boris should have done so. 

This might have meant he won fewer Labour Leaver votes, and the Liberal Democrats fewer Remainer votes, but it would have given him a momentum and the appearance of a winner. 

Much more important it would have meant the UK had left the EU. 

Whatever happens about Brexit, mass immigration into the UK will continue. It's only the rate of this rapid and irrevocable change that is in doubt. 

Boris is happy about it and will make that clear to persuade floating voters that he is not far right.

He is not, in the least far right, of course. What he is is a globalist. He is no Donald Trump, but belongs to the alliance between big business and social liberals which Brexit incenses. 

As Foreign Secretary he wanted the Anglo-Americans to topple the Assad family in Syria. He is no more a peacenik or an isolationist than his hero, Winston Churchill.

The Tories’ immigration plans to reduce the number of “unskilled” migrants, made public yesterday, makes big business unhappy. The CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn said yesterday,
“When we hear talk about brightest and best, I think that is a worry … it’s not just brightest and best, it’s people at all skill levels across our economy that we need.”
No-one is arguing for what was taken for granted during the years of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, that only family members of British subjects should settle in the UK , plus a handful of millionaires, and much less is anyone arguing against family reunions, which Enoch Powell once pointed out could take place in either direction.

The figure here to watch is not the number of immigrants, net or gross, but the number of citizens of non-EU countries given leave to settle in the UK. In 2018 it was just over 90,000. 

This compares with 61,300 which was the average annual number of grants of settlement in the 1990s, and the figure in 2010 of 241,192. As a proportion of the British population that figure for just one year, which does not include citizens of EU member states, was about as big as the entire influx of Huguenots, which was the biggest influx of immigrants after the reign of King William the Conqueror until the influx of Jews in the decades before 1905, when it was halted by the Aliens Act.

As a very rough rule of thumb, the numbers of EU and non-EU immigrants before the 2016 Referendum had been roughly the same for a long time.

Then there are the illegal immigrants. Four boats, carrying 39 migrants, were intercepted in the Channel this afternoon. Earlier this month, a patrol intercepted a boat carrying 22 people. There were 30,000 attempts that we know of to illegally enter from Northern France in 2017. Over a million illegal immigrants are thought to be living in the UK, but in fact nobody knows. 

The Spectator, the leading Conservative weekly and a supporter of Brexit, now as in the 1975 referendum, has started a campaign for the illegal immigrants to receive an amnesty.

Politicians of all parties will continue to dissolve the electorate and choose a new one. They do not necessarily want to but they have been persuaded that immigrants are a benefit to the economy, which is very doubtful. Any other course of action would reduce GDP, require courage and risk unpopularity among the opinion-formers. 

So this is how things end. It's simply the speed of the change that is in doubt. 


  1. Everything you say here is spot on..except... our votes DON'T MATTER... the reason for this election is to overturn WHAT that people voted for... Churchill and Boris are indeed alike.. both American and both Jewish.. go figure

  2. Neither Churchill nor Boris is Jewish. Churchill was half American and Boris was an American citizen because born in the Upper East Side, New York. He renounced his US citizenship two or three years ago.

  3. Apparently Mr Johnson is one eighth Jewish. His maternal great-grandfather was a Russian Jew. Mr Johnson told the Jewish Chronicle in 2007, “I feel Jewish when I feel the Jewish people are threatened or under attack, that’s when it sort of comes out. When I suddenly get a whiff of anti-Semitism, it’s then that you feel angry and protective.”

  4. My feeling is that Boris Johnson is trying to pretend not to be too much of a pro-immigration zealot until after the election. Once he gets his majority he will show his true colours and immigration will go through the roof. He's a globalist of the very worst sort. Boris Johnson with an absolute majority in Parliament is a terrifying thought.

    1. Yes, I fear he may show his pro immigration colours after winning, but if he does not get an absolute majority the alternative is a second EU referendum, a second Scottish referendum and Jeremy Corbyn in office.
      I think Boris is anyway anxious to triangulate. He is a liberal Tory, with the masculine distaste of a corner-cutter and rule-breaker for the nanny state, who decided to campaign for Brexit for a mix of reasons, careerist and philosophical. He is therefore hated and, utterly unfairly, described as far right by opponents even in his party (Kenneth Clark)
      He will use a lax immigration policy to reassure high minded globalist and Remainer Tories.

      The right wing and often racist Tory MPs of the 1980s and 1990s no longer exist. There is no anti-immigration right any more.

    2. I think Boris is anyway anxious to triangulate. He is a liberal Tory

      To be honest I think Boris is just a liberal. A pure liberal.

      with the masculine distaste of a corner-cutter and rule-breaker for the nanny state

      His dislike of the nanny state is another example of his thorough-going liberalism. He's a liberal of the "there's no such thing as society" variety. The danger is that this is likely to make him very PC in practice, because to such liberals only the individual matters. They're the sorts of liberals who end up supporting "rights" and paradoxically end up supporting state enforcement of those supposed rights.

      and, utterly unfairly, described as far right by opponents even in his party

      He is far right in the sense that liberalism is essentially a philosophy of the Right and he's an extremist liberal.

      He has the potential to do more harm than even Tony Blair. Boris's is the sort of liberalism that has torn the heart out of western civilisation. The worship of the individual, the worship of selfishness, the hostility to traditions, the worship of money.

      There is no anti-immigration right any more.

      That's true. The modern Right is right-wing liberalism, both economic and social liberalism. Such people can see no arguments at all against immigration. Immigration is good because it's good for profits and immigration is good because it's the socially liberal thing to believe in. There is no chance of any genuine opposition to immigration coming from the Right. There's a slim chance that such opposition might come rom the Left. OK, a very slim chance, but at least there's some chance.