I fear not. Confirmed in the sinecure of ‘the longest period of growth in our history’, bolstered by the echoes of their own mantras, insulated from the forces they have unleashed in society and the economy, powerless to act having signed away their own autonomy they are, in the last analysis, a caste of preening irrelevancies simpering on the precipice of a volcano.
They no longer represent us.
Item: unchecked immigration.
By allowing immigration in unprecedented numbers into the country, the population underwent a huge change in terms of size and makeup. The sounds and sights of the streets changed. Cities and towns struggling to find adequate housing and services for an already distended population found themselves dealing with ever greater numbers, many of whom disappeared between gaps in the multifarious agencies created to deal with them (and, yes, even help them). Tensions and suspicions arose - even in places with a long history of immigration. Riots flared.
No-one outside the lunatic fringes was demanding a return to whites-only homogeniety, but for years a debate was stifled by the knee-jerk, liberal cow’s cud of “that’s racist, mate.” Official business was conducted in 17 languages. The police were told that they were institutionally racist and as a result were forced to genuflect before the Gods of Academia, surrendering their autonomy to a barrage of forms and processes designed to ‘correct’ their behaviour. And while they retreated within their high-tech fortresses, paralysed by strictures, forces from outside sought to wreak vengeance on the largesse of their host country.
A bitter harvest was eventually reaped on the luckless innocents of the underground, catching by surprise a far-flung constellation of leftish commentators who had belaboured the point that expressing a desire for jihad was either a juvenile cultural specificity it was safe to ignore, or maybe something that held a grain of truth – for wasn’t the case that the West was weak, supine to the whims of commerce and greedy capitalism? Terrorism could be our fault - a kind of moral irrigation of the soul.
And while, safe in their enclaves of intellectualism, they wrung their hands, still the doors remained open, and still these forces were endured first-hand by a population far removed from their rulers by wealth, education and the mad chicaneries of the bureaucracy.
Item: restrictions on housebuilding
As the population swelled, Government pandered to the forces of Nimbyism – the homeowning classes being the most likely to vote – and placed endless restrictions on the development of new homes. Housebuilding fell by 2007 to a level not even sufficient to replace the stock that was being lost to demolition and age.
Item: house prices
These two vectors of historically high immigration and historically low housebuilding combined to fuel a boom in house prices. Owning a home was an aspiration shared by most people – for what is a man without a dwelling? (There being no visible upswell in the number of people expressing a desire to live the life of a hobo, it is a question worth posing.) And so, by the iron-clad laws of supply and demand, prices soared.
As they soared, so people resorted to their credit cards or equity in their properties to fund their lives. Egged on by a government keen to make homeowners of us all (an impossible task!) new products and options became available - aided at every stage by a Government who wanted us all to feel rich... after all, we deserved 'equality' did we not? Why should a small number of people be the only ones to benefit from prosperity.
Swept to power on the belief that public services were poor due to underfunding, Labour began a campaign of hitherto unforseen largesse in public spending. The ‘windfall’ tax on energy companies of 1997, the sale of 3G licenses in 2000, the selling of Britain’s gold reserves in 1999, all swelled government coffers by the billion.
An avalanche of cash poured into a public services. We we told it was ‘sustainable’, ‘prudent’, it complied with a ‘golden rule’ that ‘entrenched stability’ in the economy… chimaeras all! To the cheers of the Unions, the soft Left, environmentalists, a cabal of left-leaning think tanks, quangoes, pressure groups and media intelligentsia, Government began to raid the public purse to fund yet more spending. Pension fund piggy banks were smashed in the stealth of the night. Taxes on petrol and heating for homes were ratcheted up – ostensibly to fund the fight against climate change, but quickly diverted into dead-end projects to ‘end child poverty’, bring projects like the Olympics to London, introduce ID cards, fund the bottomless maw of the agencies that government itself spawned.
Redistributed? Of course! But not to the poor. The total share of their income lost to tax soared. meanwhile, a gilded generation of government apparatchiks grew fat on the teat of the public purse. Child Support Agency? Fail. British Council? Fail. NHS? Fail. Railtrack? Fail. And still they glided ever higher on the thermal updrafts of our money - their rewards seeming to grow in inverse proportion to the benefits they brought.
Fresh to power, John Prescott felt able to declare that Labour would have “failed" if car did not decline on 1997 levels. Petrol taxes rose. Congestion charging was introduced. Cameras to track violations of traffic code sprouted along roadsides all over the country. Great humps of tarmac were poured into the middle of residential streets. Chicanes appeared. Fines were automated. Police presence on the highways grew. New ‘Agencies’ appeared to restrict the roads. Enforcement of parking offences was handed over to private companies and incentivised by volume.
Elswhere, the catastrophic decision to separate the running of infrastructure from the provision of services and rolling stock (the result, not co-incidentally, of European legislation) meant that rail services continued to fail – becoming more and more expensive even as more and more people used them.
So the arteries of the country became more clogged. And while the people looked to the roads, still they were relieved of their money and little of it was spent on the roads.
And amidst the ruin that this has wrought, while the roofs and walls of the people are shaken and battered by the chill winds of this incoming storm, the commentariat still tell their mendacious tale of the need for more government and more controls.
We, the people, have been shilled to the highest bidder, bilked of our money, spat on and defamed by the people we elected to represent us. We vote left… we vote right… we don’t vote at all… still the lies and control from the centre spill down on us. The failure is at the top. It is our leaders who have failed us – yet still their spittle falls on us. We are feckless… we drive too much in the wrong sort of cars… we drink too much of the wrong kind of drink in the wrong place… we use too much energy watching too much television… we eat too much of the wrong foods. We are heathen – a boiling mass of unsophisticated peasants incapable of making the ‘right’ judgements for ourselves.
Even when, by all empirical standards, the ‘ruling classes’ have failed in every project, ruined every bright dawn, stamped on every dream. Even when they lie and steal and bow to pressure groups and fund their own lavish lifestyle at our expense. Even as they propose more controls, more targets, more metrics, more checks and balances more cameras, more technology. Even as they do all this and more, still it is you who are found wanting in their eyes.
Until they hang at the gibbet for the sport of crows, we shall have no peace with them.