Rivers of Blood: Enoch Powell
Swamped: Margaret Thatcher
Hostile environment: Theresa May
Invasion: Suella Braverman.
The Tories never let the facts get in the way of what they hope will be a vote-wining slogan. They truly are the "nasty party," despite vicar's daughter, Theresa May's warning earlier this century. Sadly she didn't put her "belief into action" as the mission statement over our Salvation Army shop pithily advertises..
Regarding M/s Braverman's inflammatory description, a Madeleine Sumption, director of the Oxford migration Observatory points out , "This is not an invasion - it's not an army.. . But if instead she is referring to the number of people coming . . . [they] are relatively manageable."
Here;s a small selection of the numbers of people seeking asylum in some European countries (per 10 000 people in that country:
UK 8 per 10 000 of our population
France: 18 per 10 000 of their population
Germany: 23 per 10 000 of their population
Cyprus: 153 per 10 000 of their population.
Frankly, as in spite of everything I still feel the UK is a fabulous place to live - a "green and pleasant land" with a tolerant and friendly people. great creative arts, and the opportunity for a creative and fulfilling lifestyle - I feel a bit miffed that we're so low down the list of choices and most foreigners seem to want to go elsewhere.
There is much muttering that many would-be incomers are not really fleeing horrible conditions, but are simply economic migrants looking for a better life.
If young people want to come here, pick our fruit and vegetables and fill all those other job vacancies, thus helping to pay my pension, that's great. Some, like Michael Marks of Marks and Spencer, and Montague Burton of "Let Burton dress you," may be entrepreneurial innovators who may also add greatly to the prosperity of Leeds and then beyond.
In fact most of the nationalities entering by small boat are actually fleeing terrible conditions. The top five nationalities for the first quarter of this year were: Afghan, Eritrean, Iranian, Iraqi, and Syrian.
If the government really wants of curb the numbers fleeing terror, destitution and adverse climate change, then it needs to give priority to Overseas Aid and reverse the cuts from 0.7% of GDP to O.5% (and effectively 0.3% as much intended for overseas development is now spent on asylum seekers here) and show more enthusiasm for COP 27 and measure to halt the climate disaster. If the places where people live are safe, peaceful and prosperous fewer will want to move to other countries.
Given that that is a long-run solution, in the short run we need to build the necessary reception facilities, staff them with sufficient people to feed and house them comfortably and enough civil servants to "process" the applicants and send them off to wherever they want to go (say with a £500 grant to help them settle in.)
Make no mistake, the desire to migrate, either to escape dangerous conditions or simply for a better life, is not going to go away.
We in the West take it for granted that we have a God-given right to make use of modern travel facilities to go wherever we like either to work, for holidays, have adventures or simply have a look. I am happy to have visited all five continents and worked in three of them. With modern communications those what in for want of a better word I'll still call the "Third World" know what is avoidable elsewhere, see what the likes of Suella Braverman (whose parents emigrated from Africa) have achieved and want to come here and do likewise.
And good luck to them
* The title echoes a chapter in Richmel Compton's "William the Detective" published in1935. William, leader of The Outlaws, had discovered the Nazis and decided to emulate them. However, he thought the title "Her " Hitler sounded effeminate so designated himself "Him" Hitler.