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The Spectator magazine has lost its way

The Spectator magazine is the oldest conservative magazine in Britain – indeed I believe it is the oldest conservative magazine in the world. However, it has lost its way…

First came the attack on Chris Heaton-Harris Member of Parliament, for daring to ask for details of what the taxpayer backed universities were teaching – with the implied hint that he (horror of horrors!) wanted to answer back, to counter the conditioning efforts of the leftist academics. But now things have moved on… In this week’s issue of the Spectator Mr James Forsyth has hidden leftist suggestions behind free market language. What specific suggestions do I mean? “Stimulus” (Keynesian language – fit only for the people who control the universities) infrastructure government spending (no figure given for how much money this would be ), and fifty billion Pounds of extra government borrowing (on top of the vast borrowing the government is already engaged in) to build houses in the South East of England – thus turning the area into one huge urban sprawl, and pushing the country to certain bankruptcy and economic collapse

There is no way that Conservative voters could support such criminal insanity – they would stay away from the polls in disgust. The Spectator magazine has lost its way.

51 comments to The Spectator magazine has lost its way

  • Runcie Balspune

    The bizarre preoccupation with the “housing crisis” centers on only building homes for those who need a home, which, many would point out, are probably foreigners, and in places where there are already far too many houses.

    However, why not build homes for older people, such as those who no longer need the empty children’s bedrooms any more, who might own their house outright, make “downsizing” attractive to these folks, put homes in areas where there aren’t too many existing houses, out of the way in quieter places, then you start the domino effect whereby these oldies release their existing houses and kick off the chain that ultimately ends in a first time buyer.

    But I suppose if you’re going to bribe someone’s vote with a house, you actually need to show you have a house for them.

  • There is only one reason Kent was not paved over decades ago, from Croydon to Dover, with consequent implications for housing prices… and that is the state planning regulations that stop people from purchasing farmland and building houses on it (how much fucking rapeseed does the UK actually need?). So once again, people like James Forsyth look to the state to fix a problem caused by the state.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . fifty billion Pounds of extra government borrowing (on top of the vast borrowing the government is already engaged in) to build houses in the South East of England . . . “

    Why does government need to build houses?

    I’ve found a new hobby of sorts – it involves going into small rural towns that have been emptying out for decades and convincing them to drop or limit their ages-old restrictions on how big of a lot you need to build a home. Then, we build ten cheap houses on five or six acres of cheap ag land. Sell, rinse, repeat. People are amazed at how cheaply good housing can be made. It only gets expensive when government makes it so.

    For decades or more, they have kept the riff-raff out by requiring ten-acre lots for houses. But now, as they see their tax bases moving away, they can be made to realize that a bunch of new, not-rich residents on half-acre lots beats empty ten-acre lots for well-off folk. And, not being government-supplied housing, the new residents actually either get jobs or have income.

    Fly over the USA and you’re appalled by all of the empty space. Then, read about how housing is so expensive. Finally, kill your local city council members, because they caused it.

  • Chip

    The state is responsible but not in the way you think. Despite widespread public opposition to more immigration, the UK will add another 4.4 million people in the next 12 years. The state has made a decision at odds with what the public wants.

    Meanwhile, I suspect that state protection of rapeseed fields is in line with public opinion.

    Consider that extra 4.4 million people next to a recent poll:

    76% want immigration reduced, 4% wanted it increased. 14% want it unchanged.[1]

    50% chose immigration as the most important issue facing them and their family – higher than the economy (46%) and the Health Service (42%). Immigration has led or tied this poll for the past year.[2]

  • Laird

    Chip, but how many want rapeseed subsidized?

  • Lee Moore

    I am reminded, with a weary smile, of that time (during the Blair-Brown junta) that the top dog at the BMA roundly attacked the Conservative Opposition for “political interference” in the NHS. If the NHS could be taken completely out of politics, he said, this would be a good thing. The Conservatives had proposed a small reduction in the rate of increase of tax revenues devoted to the NHS.

    To be fair to Forsyth, he seems just to be suggesting that if the universities want to be free of political interference all they need to do is stop taking the King’s shilling. This is, of course, hopelessly naive. Politicians are always happy to keep their noses out of private financially self supporting institutions, aren’t they ?

  • Oddly enough this chimes with a conversation I was having with my brother in law yesterday. He was telling me of a butter shortage in France. Apparently, farmers are restricted on the price they may charge, so they are selling it abroad for better prices, hence shortages on French supermarket shelves. I shrugged and pointed out that this is what happens when the state seeks to meddle in the market. it is an entirely state created problem.

    I saw a little light go on…

  • Paul Marks

    I have been involved in local government for many years – both in election campaigns and as a councillor. I have never heard of a housing estate stopped by “regulations”. Indeed the standard mantra of local government officers (officials) is “you must approve it councillors – or they will go to appeal and it will be passed anyway, leaving the Council Tax payers with the legal bill”. The function of the Town and Country Planning Acts is, for example, to torment someone in a “Conservation Area” (an area that many be only a few years old) over what exact form of PVC window frames they can have in their own home (no I am not making that example up) – the idea that they prevent big housing companies turning good land into yet another housing estate is laughable.

    I used to make a point of walking round the land (the woods and fields and streams) that was to be destroyed – “weeping in grief and powerlessness” like the President of the USSR that “Stalin” made sign his own wife’s death warrant. There are no “brown paper envelopes” involved – why bribe councillors, we have no power. And, of course, the new roads and drains (and so on) would soon start to fall to bits – just as everyone knew they would.

    And if “regulations” are preventing what is left of the south east of England being turned into “Mega City One” (a dystopia of crime and decay – but with no “Judge Dredd” to keep some sort of order) then why the demand for vast SUBSIDIES? As usual under the “free market” language is the truth – the truth being CORRUPT CORPORATE WELFARE. Just like “HS2” and the rest of the “infrastructure” corruption.

    And if Mega City One does get built (although the buildings will be collapsing almost as soon as they are constructed – that is what building companies are like, ask Mr David Cameron and Mr Gideon Osborne about their charming friends) will the inhabitants be voting for the Conservative and Unionist Party?

    Well assuming the inhabitants of Mega City One take any time off from hunting each other for food, and actually go and vote – NO they will not be voting Conservative. Any more than the Marxist activists that Mrs May tries to attract with her “Racial Audit” and pro “Transsexual” speeches vote Conservative.

    I remember listening to some police officials a few days ago at a conference – saying how distressing it was for their officers to have to watch vagrants (accept we are not allowed to call them vagrants any more) injecting heroin into their groin in public (arrest them? dear reader how “out of date” you are). “What sort of libertarian are you Paul – people have a right to inject heroin into their groin on a public street!” – well if one wants Mega City One without Judge Dredd.

  • Paul Marks

    A Free Market?

    Yes indeed a free market would mean no farm subsidies – contrary to what is often claimed British farming was doing fine before the First World War and there were no farm subsidies then.

    But a free market would also mean no Bank of England and no lending money that DOERS NOT EXIST (in short most of the Big People in the City of London would be in prison). Companies and individuals would have to go to Real Savers and offer them real interest for their savings. And there would be no government subsidised “infrastructure” (Corporate Welfare) schemes either.

    Suddenly these housing estates would not be so “economically attractive” – not with real interest rates (not government backed Credit Bubble Finance) and the companies having to build and MAINTAIN their own roads, drains and so on.

    And on top of all this the companies (and their hench persons – such as Gideon Osborne and James F) want another 50 billion Pound “bung” to actually build the houses.

    They want to destroy what is left them of our country – and they want us to pay them to do it.

    By the way where are all these new people (and they are new people – the local population are not having lots of children) supposed to work?

    There are not more factories and workshops than there used to be – rather the reverse.

    Are the new people all supposed to work in warehouses (“sheds” as we call them) moving imported goods (“paid for” with BORROWING) about?

    “Paul you do not understand – people live alone now, so they need a lot more houses than they did when they lived in families”.

    Actually I do understand that (only too horribly well) – but what an odd thing for a “Conservative” such as Mr Philip Hammond, to support.

    “Society is breaking down, due to decades of “liberating” government policies, how wonderful!”

    I can understand Frankfurt School Marxists celebrating the break down of Civil Society – but why should “Conservatives” support the dying of the light, and the coming of the darkness.

  • The state is responsible but not in the way you think.

    No, the state is responsible in exactly the way I think. Planning and Land Acts? If people are annoyed that housing is more expensive ‘because of immigrants’, then why is the state actively preventing the commensurate supply of housing to service that increased demand? Sorry Chip, but you are falling into the same fallacy as James Forsyth: it is only a ‘problem’ because the state is preventing the housing market from adjusting to solve that problem.

    And unlike Paul, I am totally OK with a London megalopolis urban sprawl, indeed more than OK, enthusiastic, just not funded by the taxpayer.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Up to a point Lord Copper but they can still come up (dare I say it) trumps:

    It’s a new golden age for Lady Mucks by julie burchell


  • Mr Ed

    This is the magazine that was published by a woman who, at the height of the New Labour terror, was shagging Home Secretary David Blunkett, and is owned by the Barclay brothers’ group.

    Perhaps a bit like Zaphod Beeblebrox, when asked if he wasn’t dead, replied ‘Maybe I am, I just haven’t stopped moving yet.’.

  • John Galt III

    Parts of Scotland look empty – move there.
    Why live on London where the Muslim mayor could care less if his religious wacko brethren want to cut your head off.

    As regards the Spectator, National Review in the US started going stupid 30 years ago. They are totally anti-Trump, not remotely understanding the collapse of the traditional Republican Party into a bunch of losers with no backbone. Breitbart and Project Veritas understand America far better. The old, tired right wing press is totally dead. Good riddance. If you don’t like The Spectator in the UK, get going and start something new.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “Sprawl” is simply a term for fields full of cow pats being turned into something better.

  • bobby b

    “Sprawl” means “while I don’t own any of that empty land to my west, I prefer that it remain empty.”

    It means “my sewage systems and roads are finished, and any more would constitute pollution.”

    It means “I got mine, you go pound sand.”

  • Mr Ed

    Parts of Scotland look empty – move there.

    Parts of Mordor look empty – move there.

    Your auto-correct isn’t working.

    Weardale would be better.

  • staghounds

    L50 billion, that’s cute.

    Sovereign nations don’t go bankrupt, they just create more money. Everyone gets his zloty, lira, pounds, or dollars.

    He won’t be able to buy anything with them, but the government will have discharged its obligation of pretty slips of
    paper in full.

  • Chip

    We both agree the state is responsible but I’m focusing on the responsibility that triggers yours and many others.

    If the state listened to citizens and limited migration there wouldn’t be the pressure on housing that then leads to other government initiatives that annoy you – and me.

    The first mover is immigration. Now, you’re logically consistent in that you want open borders and no restrictions on development, even if it transforms the English countryside into something that looks like Shenzhen. That’s commendable.

    But my libertarianism isn’t absolutist. Current immigration policy is likely the greatest threat to individual liberty and the free market, because most immigrants arrive from statist cultures and then vote for statist policies. Labour and Corbyn are on the brink of governing thanks to these votes.

    The statistics don’t lie.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Sprawl” means “Hey, I gotta idea. We’ll get our pals on the Zoning Board re-zone all that empty (heh-heh-heh) agricultural land and then, once there’s a deal-in-principle (heh-heh-heh) to rezone it to Commercial or Residential, we’ll explain to the various farmers that their property taxes are going up. All but the ones who’ve got contracts with ConAgra or Archer-Midland-Daniels will sell toot-sweet and luvit, or maybe hate it but so what.

    “I love the sound of dozers tearing up good farmland in the morning. And it’s such a thrill when I finally see it all paved over with nice cement and asphalt, and the light from those twinkly things in the sky is no longer bothersome, what with being overpowered by our modREN, wonderful sodium-vapor streetlights.”

    … Later …

    “Yes Ma’am, we know that when you moved out here this was strictly a rural subdivision, 1/4 mile on a side, unincorporated Plainfield, Pop. 5000, where most everybody was in farming. Isn’t it great you had the opp to buy your 1/2 acre or so at an affordable price? [Happy grin, rubbing of hands] And now look, the Fry family who started this meshuggah have done so well that they’re mega-millionaires, Plainfield went back on its sworn promise not to let Development ruin what most residents thought was a pretty nice lifestyle, after all Progress don’tcha know and who said you have a right to expect us to keep our promises! Now, ‘You’ve Got Yours,’ as they say, and don’t you think all those folks who’ve befouled the land they pushed former farmers off of have also got a right to Better Things? So shut up. All the farmland we can annex to Plainfield and then rezone to increase the tax base — er, I mean, to provide nice housing (including McMansions on 1/3-acre lots, w/golf course) for the eager nouveau-sort-of-riche, we will indeed annex. And if you smaller farmers can’t pay the increased freight, well, ‘s your problem.

    … Later …

    “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Ummm,

    This letter is to inform you that your subdivision is included in the deal struck between Plainfield and Naperville to annex it to the latter city. You are now living in Unincorporated Naperville, we aim to be the biggest city in Illinois except for Chicago, and isn’t that wonderful and exciting!

    We have so much in the works to heighten your living experience with this change! For instance, as soon as we get you Incorporated with the rest of Naperville, we’ll see that you get real sidewalks and City water and sewer — all the Mod. Cons. Of course, you’ll have to pay the cost of whatever septic-tank removal & disposal has to be done and of the new sidewalks and City water & sewer, but hey, we’re sure you’ll be happy to pay your fair share in this exciting project!

    Insincerely Yours,

    Weehawk Hoboes, Mayor of the City of Naperville”

    . . .

    Thank the great Frog our subdivision happened to be in Will County rather than DuPage County. Will Cty. soaks its industries enough to slightly lighten the burden on the rest of us. DuPage County has no industrial base to speak of, so the folks who are lucky enough to be able to afford to live there pay through the nose for the privilege.

    Also, we have (well, I moved away a few years back, but the point remains) a neighborhood–the original subdivision that is–whose people are determined not to allow this abortion. So far we have successfully fought off incorporation, as has what was once a bunch of fields and homesteads that was likewise subdivided into “Green Acres,” which is now an older subdivision in the heart of Naperville.

    . . .

    As another example, speaking of Roads to Nowhere, there’s the ruination of farms along land eminent-domained away from its owners in order that the disgraced Rep. Dennis Hastert & cie. might realize a humongous rise in their financial situation as soon as the new Expressway linking Chicago’s O’Hare with the brand new, super-duper, tangerine-flake chrome-lined baby of an International Airport serving Chicago at Peotone, Illinois, which is 54 mi. S and slightly E of O’Hare. Peotone is as yet the back of beyond, and I join with the people who are still allowed to live on their land. (Not sure if they now have to lease it back from the state or if the E.D. project fell through.) It’s beautiful country there (only ~ 10 or 15 mi. from Naperville), a little rolling with some nice streams. Where the land’s not suitable for crops, there are cattle herds instead.

    . . .

    That’s not to imply anything negative about bobby’s real-estate endeavors, but only to point out the obverse side to Perry’s “I got mine, so you can go pound sand”; namely, “You got yours, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t make a mint off making it available to other folks who don’t see why they shouldn’t get your — er — theirs.”

    . . .

    In the meantime, there are some nice truly-large houses near my old place, and lots & lots of McMansions and “town-houses” with all the charm of the Lower East Side Tenements, except with cleaner air. We are surrounded by these.

    And they all have sidewalks and get to pay for city water & sewer. Because, you see, they are Incorporated.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Correction: “I got mine, you go pound sand” misattributed to our host. Actually it’s bobby’s take on the sitch (horsefeathers, bobby!), above at 4:20 p.m.

    Apologies to both, and the readership as well.

    – – –

    As long as we’re on the subj, Patrick, those fields are full of cow pats because they are or at least were populated by cows. You know cows. Those rather large but generally gentle (not counting the bulls, of course) that are the source of both company’s best butter and the Pride of Britannia, the noble English Roast Beef. Also of steak and kidney pie, and for those of the Irish persuasion, corned beef.

    But hey, who needs beef or butter. We can always eat goat (although I think they tend to leave leavings lying around too), though I hear it’s tricky to make goat’s-milk butter, which they say is “naturally homogenized.”

  • There is no way that Conservative voters could support such criminal insanity

    Well no, but the recent election demonstrates that our Tory PM, let alone the Tory Spectator, is good at unenthusing conservative voters and not learning from it. That said, I’ve read a few articles in the Spectator in the last twelve months. Either it was an unrepresentative few or the magazine has ‘lost its way’ only recently. 🙂

  • hennesli

    I couldn’t care less about the countryside or the provincials who live there, if you like wide open spaces without other people go to Siberia. Britain has some of the toughest anti sprawl measures in Europe, scrap them and you will see an end to the housing crisis.

    Peoples need for housing and infrastructure trumps the whiny objections of the aesthetes and nimbys.

  • bobby b

    “That’s not to imply anything negative about bobby’s real-estate endeavors . . .”

    Well, except that Satan is likely involved, at the very least in the financing. 😆

    You’re speaking of when Megoctopolus expands and eats up surrounding Bucolicburb. What we’ve done involves towns completely surrounded by nothing out in the sticks with populations hovering around 400 and dropping yearly. We don’t get the reactions that you describe. That’s a different animal.

  • The statistics don’t lie.

    Seriously? Of course they do.

  • Thailover

    This is like Mike Pence talking about how we can “pay for the tax cut”.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh, bobby, I never thought that you yourself would in any way be mixed up in the usual sweetheart-shenanigans going on between the developers and zoning boards, City Fathers, etc.

    Actually, I’m interested to know who owns these “empty” lands. Are they really “empty” or are they the site of farming or other operations, or of privately-held land that the owners keep for the simple enjoyment of it? Or is it land held by the government, or what?

    Anyhow, as long as the people who presently own the property you want to buy would prefer to take the money and run, I’m all for it. It’s no fun living in a place where you can’t make a living, unless you have no need to acquire more shekels.


    Well, you’re a lucky man, bobby, and the rest of the readership is lucky too, because I was just getting wound up into a good rant about what happens when townspeople get the insane idea that Growth Is Always Good, and Bigger Is Always Better. But I deleted it before it got completely out of control. Perhaps sometime when it’s a little more connected to the immediate subject. 😀

    . . ….?

    Although, come to think of it, say you try to re-populate the present 400-person town at x4 or whatever density. Where are the jobs to support the 3600-person population going to come from?

    This sounds to me as if your business plan is interesting. Feel free to describe! :>)))

  • Julie near Chicago

    4×400 = 3600, as any fool can plainly see unless he or in this case she takes off his or her socks. And even that isn’t a guarantee of passable arithmetic.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    4×4=16, Julie! 4×40=160, 4×400=1600. It’s not rocket science.
    Also, so long as you keep talking about a great Frog, we will suspect you of liking the froggie French! At one time, the ruling house of France had frogs as a symbol (they came from swampy ground), so frogs are linked with them Frenchies.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    October 29, 2017 at 8:41 am

    “I used to make a point of walking round the land (the woods and fields and streams) that was to be destroyed . . . “

    Destroyed? You mean like, converted from unused farmland into new small affordable homes with yards in which people can live? You surprise me here. Is humanity merely a blight on an otherwise beautiful empty earth? All building doesn’t need to be soulless ugly subsidized warehouses.

    Julie, your numbers are scary-big. We have three groups so far, two with ten small houses, one with fourteen small houses. The houses are primarily sized for a family of two or three, and are scattered amongst three widely separated towns. We talked to many people and realized that a gap exists for (primarily) older social-security-age adults who want out of big-city life and can easily afford a $450 house payment.

    Another gap existed for younger people looking to start out, who wanted out of apartment life and in to equity-building and could afford the slightly bigger $600 house payment that bought the extra bedroom. Many of these turned out to be employed at a distance – i.e., they work via phone or computer and don’t need to be in among the criminal set of the city.

    We underestimated how many folks want out of the expensive city-and-suburb life and who idealize rural town life. Our marketing budget went unspent – we sold via word of mouth. Now these folks are living in a small rural town, living cheaply, bringing outside money into the communities and making those communities even more attractive to others. We made a small profit, kept ourselves out of trouble, employed some of our kids, and it was a lot more fun than lawyering!

    In all three cases, the land came from inheritors – sets of kids – who had no interest in farming, and who rented out their land to other farmers to tack on to their own management. There’s a lot of that out there. Happy to get paid for part of it. The only unhappy person I can remember was the guy in town whose sister from the cities bought one and moved in to be closer to him. He liked his distance.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Mmmm–frogs’legs, breaded and fried like chicken. Taste a lot like chicken, too. At least as chicken used to taste. Today’s chicken has no discernible flavor at all.

    So what is your opinion then of Fried Frenchman? Would they be anything like Roast Englishman or, perhaps, Toasted American? (I know you’re deeply deprived culturally, being down there in Oz and all, Nick, but I do trust you understand the vernacular American usage of “toasted.” It means, “swozzled.”)

    And don’t you go sticking on side about the French. Marlene Dietrich was an enthusiastically vocal Francophile, and what’s good enough for Marlene. Whereas I have neither her money nor her legs.


    As for your arithmetic lesson, I must break it to you that I have been aware of that alleged equality (4×4 = 16, so forth) for 67 years or so, but even if you add 60 million Brits to the 50 million Frenchman who can’t be wrong, I still consider it an unlikely theory. Sometime I’ll take off my socks and see if it’s true, using Mother Nature’s OEM on-board abacus. I might have trouble with the decimal point, though. Maybe Galois or one a them Frogs can help me out with that.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Julie, what would 6×600 make? If not 3600, what?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks for your reply, bobby. I knew it would be interesting, and it is. Personally, my sympathy is with the guy who would prefer his sister keep her distance.

    As long as it’s working out well for everybody (if he can solve his sister-problem) I have no beef.

    Still, the land you speak of is anything but “empty.” It’s farmland and being farmed, you say. The fact that the landowners lease it out for farmers to farm on a cash-rent basis does not mean the land is unused. ***I’m getting a little tired of people who keep assuming that farmland is a luxury the human race doesn’t need*** and we’d all be better off if all of England south of Kettering were paved over to support the human population who allegedly want to live there. Who needs farms–they can always eat the inevitable pigeons. “Pigeons on the grass, alas!” indeed.

    You should know that I myself own half of the farm on which I grew up (the bro sold his half), and which has been in our family for at least four generations. Yes, I lease it for the purpose of raising wheat and soybeans to the farmer whose place abuts mine. I would have loved to live there, but that’s impossible. The Young Miss will inherit it when I toddle off.

    “Empty land” … “appalled by all the empty space” … so forth …. Good Grief!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Nicholas, how would I know. I still have my socks on–my feet are always cold.


    I don’t suppose it’s necessary to say so, but I assume you understand that my comments subsequent to my arithmetic blooper have been joking. :mrgreen:

  • Julie near Chicago

    Correction. ≥ 5 generations so far. In the interest of accuracy.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Gosh, I thought you were serious! You could have fooled me! In fact, you did!

  • bobby b

    “Still, the land you speak of is anything but “empty.””

    Actually, I understand that. Part of my extended family feeds 150 beef cattle, another part farms a square of sunflowers and corn. Still another raises (ugh) sheep and goats. I have fresh cow poop on my boots by the front door.

    But in our three sites, we bought 15 acres each from someone’s mostly fallow 640-acre square. Because of prices and megacorps, there’s an awful lot of unused land right now. There’s room for a lot more people to live out there without putting a dent in our food supply.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thank you, bobby. That clears things up a lot. And I’m very happy for your success with your real-estate project. “More fun than lawyering,” I think you said. Good! 😎

  • Mr Black

    How else will the UK house all the imported voters in comfort if not for new government provided housing? After all, they don’t sell their votes cheap.

  • Bob H

    The article claims,
    “There is no way that Conservative voters could support such criminal insanity – they would stay away from the polls in disgust. The Spectator magazine has lost its way.”

    The truth is that idiotic Conservative voters still voted for a Tory government led by Cameron, a moronic socialist who believed in big government and Globalism.
    That illustrates the criminal insanity of the average Conservative (Capital “C”) voter.

    True conservatives found better people to place their votes with, and only voted tory whilst holding their noses if there was no alternative.

  • The Austrian

    James Forsyth and the Spectator are not one and the same mind, so don’t give up on the mag just yet! They do still publish conservative-minded stuff that is almost impossible to see elsewhere in the mainstream, eg Rod Liddle and Theodore Dalrymple. And on the biggest UK question of recent years, the EU referendum, they could easily, like most supposedly free-market-supporting publications, have caved but to their eternal credit they stuck to their Brexit guns.

    Fundamentally, Forsyth is correct on housing – Generation Rent has no interest whatever in voting Tory and something has to be done to de-fuck-up the property market for them. If you have a degree that adds no value, high taxes, significant student debt, no prospect of buying your own place and plenty of people (e.g. the BBC) telling you Britain in the 70s wasn’t too bad and Thatcherism did this to you, there is only one direction in which to vote. Among first time voters, at the last election the Labour Party (a divided mess of a Labour party that couldn’t even add up their own numbers) was 47% ahead!!

    The Tories are a totally toxic brand for most people under 40, and if there is no free-choice, low-tax, small State, property-accumulation offering to the young then Corbyn’s Labour will be in power in a few years, with another 20 years-plus of price controls, re-nationalisation of industry and infrastructure, multiculturalism and capital flight to look forward to. Can Britain in any recognisable shape survive that?

  • Runcie Balspune

    there’s an awful lot of unused land right now

    There is, but it isn’t in places where the pro-immigration politicians want more votes.

  • Watchman

    Bob H,

    You are aware globalism increases freedom? Nationalism is definetly not a friend of freedom.

  • a moronic socialist who believed in big government and Globalism

    I am all for abominating big government in any form, but I do not have a problem with globalism as such, unless by that you mean supranational statism, which is not what I mean by it.

    Peace of Westphalia: biggest mistake in human history.

  • Alisa

    I’m with Julie here: ‘unused land’ always means ‘land used for a purposes I do not approve/understand’. Of course such purposes, obvious or not as they may be, are often far from what the actual owners would have chosen in the first place, absent interference from people who know better than the owners themselves.

  • Julie near Chicago


  • CaptDMO

    I have 10 (or so) acres that are dedicated to CO2 sequestration, natural habitat for animals unsuited as housepets, surface runoff water filtration, and possibly liquid assets in paper, for the “free” school education of gay, female, immigrant, single parented, CHILDREN.
    It’s also a potential “lab” for biology, silvaculture, ecology,….
    Some may call it “The Woods”.
    It’s ALSO a handy place to hide the bodies of those that may DEMAND the magic dirt be dug up, subterranean infrastructured, paved over, selectively foliated, ordinanced, to accommodate high density housing, and “community” anonymity, to illegal aliens, welfare addicts, fly-by-night construction “incorporated entities”,municipal employees, “state” inspectors, Waste “management” contractors, financial “services” drones, and other assorted used car sales associates.
    I’m SURE that enough taxes could be generated to supply at LEAST 25% of the communities “Not My Job” essential needs.
    If you build it, they WILL come!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Well, Capt, I do exist in the intersection of {females}^{children} (oddly enough, everybody I know is a children, so I must be hanging with some worthy folks), so if you’d waive the rest of your criteria for me I’d love to come and let your woods sequester some of my natural CO2 output.

    But unless it’s kept to its present noble purposes, the deal’s off. ;>)

  • Paul Marks

    bobby’s comment was ironic – although he does not know that. I can assure you Sir that the “Growth Agenda” is not what you think it is. As for farm land being useless – well I assume you eat (even if you have no regard for the land in any other way). Remember there are no real productive jobs with this “development” – no factories, no workshops. Just more houses (falling apart as soon as they are built) and more “sheds”, more warehouses for imported goods paid for with borrowed money. Running on roads that start to crack if you touch them.

    But we must support the “Free Market” – the free market of another 50 billion (billion with a b) Pounds of housing subsidies, and (no doubt) another 50 billion Pounds of “infrastructure” subsidies, on top of all the hidden subsidies (such as the funny money from the Bank of England) that these friends of Gideon Osborne are already getting.

    “But the people” – what people? I love this idea of families playing in their back gardens (sorry – backyards). This is Britain in 2017 – not 1957, what families? A quarter of the population live alone and there are few children – and few of those are actually born into families. Marriage and families have gone the way of the Book of Common Prayer.

    The Tories are a “Toxic Brand”? You mean the Mrs May speeches on the wonders of Transexuals (as if this was the Rocky Horror Picture Show) and the “Racial Audit” (all hail the Frankfurt School of Marxism!) will not get the young voting for the Conservative and Unionist Party? I am shocked – shocked to the core of my being.

    Perhaps if “the Tories” actually were a “brand” things might be better – for example when I listened to Mrs May’s speech (the coughing speech – if only she had just coughed, rather than trying to be as leftist as possible) it did not end with any music that was even vaguely Conservative (what “The English Grenadiers” march) – instead there was some stupid “pop music” in silly imitation of the Labour Party.

    Not some much a “toxic brand” as NO brand – a group of people pretending to be what they (we) are NOT.

    If people want the darkness – the collapse of society (the collapse of civilisation) they will vote for the party that wants that, the Labour Party. Not a group of people (the Conservative Party) who only PRETEND they like “pop music” cannibalism and so on.

    Voting for a bunch of British people, very unconvincingly, saying “we hate tradition – long live transexuality! long live pop music! we are very hip and with-it Daddy-O, look at my gold medallion, and Islam is wonderful!” is not going to happen.

    I am not making that up – after Mrs May left the stage, a couple of young persons were put on doing sign language (oh we are so “inclusive”!) one had a head scarf on – wonderful thing Islam! Anyway the thing was about how the scouts are now P.C. – we love all things that are P.C.

    Contradiction between the Gay Rights stuff and the pro Islam stuff?

    There is no contradiction – so we believe in both (and we censor you on the internet if you point out that there is a contradiction), and we believe in all sorts of other things we do not actually believe in. We believe in anything the “Yoof” believe in – because we love them so much, the Frankfurt School of Marxism schools and universities are our most beloved places – them and the lovely BBC (we love that as well – please vote for us, we hate everything that is Conservative).

    What do you mean that it is all so obviously insincere that it makes people want to vomit? Did you not hear me – we are Hip, Daddy O!

    What was it that “Austrian” says – James F. was “right about housing”.

    Well we could get rid the Bank of England Credit Bubble – that would bring the house market (and the commercial property market) crashing down.

    How about NOT giving “help” to immigrants forcing up house prices for everyone else.

    And what about getting rid of Housing Benefit – which pushes rents through the roof (even David Ricardo would understand that subsidising buying something inflates its cost).

    No, no, no – do not do any of these things.

    Just “build more houses” – get the taxpayers to pay for the destruction of what is left of their country.

  • Paul Marks

    I now have a mental image of Colonel Bob Stewart (Member of Parliament) in a Progressive fantasy universe pretending to like “pop music” and sexual intercourse with goats (or whatever the latest P.C. “oppressed group” is – if it is not goat lovers) and proposing to tear down Naseby Hall (and the battlefield – why not, the accused A14 already hits part of it) and replace it with an estate of housing blocks – very affordable I am sure. Perhaps there will be “free” heroin injections as well – in the groin of course. If it can happen in Kettering I am sure that “progress” can arrive in Naseby – it is only a few miles away.

    Of course the housing blocks will collapse as soon as they are built (the whole thing being a scam – like the rest of the “Growth Agenda”) – but forget that.

    Ditto that there are no productive jobs for the new people (there is no natural increase – this is immigration) anyway. Just sheds for imported goods paid for by borrowed money.

    I remember years ago now (when I could still walk long distances) going round the “useless” farms (some of the houses centuries old) and villages – watching people ride horses and play tennis and so on – making sure they could not see me (meeting me could bring them no good – and how could I look them in the eye), knowing their whole world was to be destroyed. And knowing it was my name on some of the documents that outlined their destruction. “There is nothing I can do” and all the other rationalisations.

    And so England dies.

    And the Spectator magazine?

    “Kill England quicker!” “Kill England now!” “Destroy! Destroy!”.

    Somehow this will get the “yoof” to vote for us – accept that it WILL NOT.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    October 31, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    “bobby’s comment was ironic – although he does not know that. I can assure you Sir that the “Growth Agenda” is not what you think it is. As for farm land being useless – well I assume you eat (even if you have no regard for the land in any other way).”

    All that I can assume is that you had a very bitter experience in local government.

    I spoke of my situation in which we bought land from very willing sellers who had been trying to sell for years (in one case, seven). Their land rental payments were barely covering taxes and ditching. There is too much ag land right now, prices are down, much remains fallow (look it up – that means unused), and they considered it to be a financial drag.

    They went to the council to get the regs and zoning amended so that they could sell to us. All neighbors within 1/2 mile signed off happily and many went to the zoning meeting to support the amendment because we were bringing residents to two dying towns.

    There were no subsidies. There were no dislocations, no changes of lifestyle, no encumbrances – there was no opposition whatsoever. Hell, we got a plaque from one town.

    And this: “ . . . even if you have no regard for the land in any other way . . . ” – well, you don’t know me, and so have no reason to understand how incredibly offensive this is, so I’m just going to assume you’ve had a bad day.

  • Paul Marks

    I am sorry Bobby – I was talking about Britain, if I had read more carefully I would have understand that you were not.

    My apologies.

    As for my day – like most people I only have bad days.