I had to laugh watching Princess Tony’s confession yesterday to the Commons liaison committee. It turns out he and his so-called government don't have a policy on population in the UK of any kind. Yeah, that’s right, I laughed in a wearisome, ‘we are ruled by a moronic toe rag claque of vacuous cretins' sort of way, as our glorious leader went into his standard fallback position of righteous indignation and turbo hand gesturing mode – trying to defend another catastrophic failure of public duty.
We must be the only western country in the world that doesn't have a policy on population - and shame on them for that. But I don't expect anyone was too surprised - this bloody shower of duffers couldn't shut a barn door – before… or even after the three-legged pantomime horse has limped off.
And yet we hear about 'sustainable development this' and ‘sustainable growth that' as some government lackey stands up and announces yet another million new house building initiative to go on some cunningly coined 'Gateway' area of countryside in the South East of England.
Sustainability is only achievable if you have a strategic bigger picture in mind and are aware of the limits of that bigger picture. In the case of England, you are never further than 72 miles from the coast – Or else, sustainability can only be achieved via a never-ending series of Gateway sites in a country that goes on forever. We appear to have neither.
This Nu Labour project breezed to power in 1997 in a Nu Wave of Nu Order optimism. One of the cornerstones of their manifesto was to decentralise. Take the heat out of the South East, spread the public offices of State and the private economic cash cow all around the country – for everyone’s benefit.
Well, surprise, surprise, that commitment soon foundered along with all the other pie in the sky waffle speel from the 1997 manifesto. Good intentions got stuck in a traffic jam on the road to hell. The back of a fag packet strategy, cheap headlines for tomorrow’s chip papers fed to a supine BBC became Princess Tony’s preferred modus operandi. Policy pronouncements on the hoof – travelling light with his six pack of spin doctors, a bullet-proof limo, a bumper can of volume hair spray and a speech writer head hunted from The Shopping Channel is the norm nowadays. Long term planning: responsible, non party political government became a distant memory as Tony chased ever more sensational headlines - and showcased ever more short term psycho babble .....and called it ‘Policy’
Long term responsible policies, you know the stuff that doesn’t grab the headlines has been left until it ceases to be long term – and because of Nu Labour dithering falls into the medium and short term policy areas….. only then is it picked up on Blairadar…
Energy, Law & Order, Defence, The Constitution…. and now ‘Population’. All areas of ‘bigger than party politics’ policy simply ignored by this shambles of a Government. I’d have thought ‘population’ would have been right up there in the vanguard of the Nu Labour thought process. England is the 4th most densely populated country on Earth. So if we are to have up to 50 new ‘Gateways’ built on virgin Southern countryside in order to shoehorn millions of new workers in millions of new houses to satisfy the white hot centralisation of the South East service economy, where is the ‘sustainability’?
I want to live in a happy, contented country - not one in which every single public amenity is in calamitous meltdown because it’s a cheapo sticking plaster solution or because some utility or service is being asked to cater for many more people for which it was originally designed. A responsible government is supposed to put the electorate at the top of its agenda and plan for the future in a mature and responsible way…..
Looks like Nu Labour don’t do mature and responsible – they don’t read well on tomorrow’s chip papers.