You are here

The UK Today----And The UK To Come----Will It Be Our Fate Too?

Unstoppable waves of migrants, overcrowding, displaced workers

uncontrollable crime, an alienated youth culture without hope and "one of the most divided and unequal ... countries in Europe", ---is this portrait of contemporary Britain a picture of our own future?

Let the British Poor Eat Cake

Wendy Kellett has a vision of what is to come. And it is a nightmare.

Speaking of her native land, the United Kingdom, she writes that:

“This is now one of the most divided and unequal-and overcrowded-countries in Europe. Unemployment amongst the young is rising; poverty amongst childless adults of working age is rising; immigration continues unabated-driving down wages at the bottom. The real value of incomes has fallen steadily in the past couple of decades, primarily affecting those with the least. Property values have soared, driven by speculation, a deregulated financial sector and increasing pressure on land from development and population growth.

The ‘toffs’ have no idea, or no concern, for what the less fortunate are experiencing. (They will find out, sooner or later.) Their attitude was typified by the chief executive of the Barclay group, Bob (deep-pockets-my-bonus-is-bigger-than-yours) Diamond when he defended the remuneration culture of the UK financial sector before the Commons Treasury Select Committee on bank bonuses. Diamond declared that ‘There was a period of remorse and apology; that period needs to be over.’ I must have missed the remorse and the apology. Diamond rejected the demands of MPs that he forgo his 2010 bonus, which could amount to $8 million.

So it’s business as usual for the greedsters, able to continue unabashed-- courtesy of the publicly funded rescue package---all gain, no pain. The pain is borne by the young, the unemployed, the sick, the disabled, the impoverished, the homeless and the millions of workers who are seeing the value of their wages plummet.”

An Archipelago Of Rich Enclaves In A Sea Of Crime And Poverty

The UK has become what John Kenneth Galbraith said of America, a nation where “private affluence co-exists with public squalor”. By 2015, she predicts, we will see a UK where

“Rising inequality, matched by population growth, will exacerbate the divide between rich and poor and a demoralised and resentful public will be increasingly numbed by diversions like sporting events, celebrity television and political messages which skilfully demonise the poor and needy. Entrepreneurial types will no doubt turn in ever greater numbers to drug dealing, people smuggling and black market supply of now-unaffordable goods beyond the reach of many. Mass migration from Africa and the Middle East will continue , driven by climate change, poverty and population growth. The rich will continue to move into gated enclaves and religious groups will fill the gaps left by vapourised public services : I suspect that ,increasingly, we shall see whole areas dominated by different faith groups.”

Canadian Youth Alienated And Embittered

I replied that this unfolding tragedy sounds very much like what is occurring in North America.

“Sounds a lot like Canada. The United States is even worse. The gap between rich and poor has grown dramatically since the 80s. Now Canadian cities are being to resemble American cities as they were 20 years ago. We have a social safety net that they don't, but the level of services are dropping like a stone. What Galbraith said of America is now true of Canada. The working class has been pauperized, caught in a squeeze play between the outsourcing of good-paying manufacturing jobs and the "in-sourcing" of cheap imported labour which has driven down the wages of displaced blue collar workers and their children, who must compete for the McJobs of a growing low-wage service sector.

Many of these kids have degrees and are trying to work off student debts in the five figures flipping burgers or selling cars for chump change while politicians bemoan the plight of immigrants with degrees who can’t find employment relevant to their field of study. No wonder that so many young people are still living with their parents. The more removed the wealthy become from the masses, the less empathy they have. But incivility, hostility, rudeness, and hostility are bubbling up among the young. In the 60s our fault was our naive idealism. Theirs is their unapologetic cynicism. On the CBC today, I heard the testimony of a bus driver who saw five black female teens on his bus threaten an elderly white lady because she was "looking at them". This kind of incident was unknown in Canada in my time. But it is common now. People are alienated and angry and they are lashing out at the wrong targets.”

The Lost Generation

Wendy also observes the same youth alienation in the United Kingdom.

“I see blank ,sullen incivility on the faces of many of the young : disturbing but explainable. They are fed a diet of, to quote REM : 'shiny, happy people' on the telly, who are famous for being famous, and whose fatuous remarks beggar belief. I suspect that the young know, perhaps subliminally, that they have no stake in the present and no expectations of the future : nihilism; anomie and disengagement are the result.”

It is clear that what we are witnessing--- in the so-called affluent societies---- is the emergence of a Lost Generation----alienated, hostile and withdrawn---immersed in a digital technology that has become both their defining trademark and their sanctuary from a world beyond their control. We are witnessing a systems collapse and the unravelling of Euro-American civilization. As Yeats said in his epic poem, “The Second Coming”, the centre cannot hold.

Tim Murray
January 26, 2011

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W.B.Yeats 1919

Image icon whither-Britannia.jpg5.98 KB
Image icon whither-britannia-med.jpg29.44 KB


The UK's population is forecast by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to increase from 61.4 million to 70.6 million by 2030. Forum for the Future report says that the UK should aim to reduce that growth and its impact through more targeted family planning and an end to GDP-led growth. The report also supports proposals to raise the retirement age to 66 in 2016 to shift attitudes away from seeing older people as a burden, as well as allowing people to 'rethink how to spread work, take time out for rearing children or caring for family or for learning throughout our lives'.

The UK will need new houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure to support millions more people. Demand for food, water and other resources will increase and there will be increased waste and pollution. As the population ages the proportion of people in work and paying taxes will shrink, threatening funding for pensions and public services. Once we end up having to compensate for the costs of the "ageing population" by having to have young immigrants, we end up further blowing out our numbers, and we end up on the treadmill cycle of consumption and decline.

There's no (larger) Earth version 2 about to be released that's going to save us, We need to clean up the planet or kill 70% of the population. or damage the earth. Market forces will keep requiring "economic growth", and this growth could end up consuming us, and the planet.

Humans won't be able to exist in the comfort we have so far experienced. It's up to us to choose - allow the "big end" of town to manipulate our lives for the advanced of the Economy, or a sustainable economy and a sustainable future for the benefit of the majority.

The world is closer to a major famine today than it has been in decades. In the current era, there have been smaller cases of famine in the world such as Niger in ‘05 and again in 2010.

The rains occurring in normally dry Australia and droughts in locations like China were, in the past, linked to a La Nina phase.

In a rare phenomenon that comes once in decades, bamboo groves have blossomed en masse in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - India - making for a spectacular view. Bamboo blossoming on a large scale has caused social unrest as they leave behind millions of seeds, which attract rodents. Forest officials that it may cause a famine in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the largest congregation of Asiatic elephants. This would mean a loss of fodder for elephants and wild gaurs.

A "humanitarian crisis of epic proportions" is unfolding in flood-hit areas of southern Pakistan where malnutrition rates rival those of African countries affected by famine, according to the United Nations. A survey reflects the continuing impact of the massive August floods, which affected 20 million people across an area the size of England, sweeping away 2.2m hectares of farmland.

The Kenyan government is putting in place long term measures in place to ensure that a future recurrence of drought will not have a severe impact on the country. President Mwai Kibaki has instructed line ministries to institute practical measures to immediately alleviate the suffering of the people in drought stricken areas.

An estimated 5 million Kenyans are currently affected by the drought.

Oxfam, an international aid agency has notified on Monday that Somalia is suffering from its most horrible drought in years. And due to no-rain, it has already overwhelmed more than millions of lives in the country. In a declaration issued at Nairobi, the aid organization has stated that, the calamity must be the last wake-up call for the global community. In the declaration it has urged to seek their attention toward the people who are suffering from hunger.

The report, from Foresight, a think-tank set up to predict future crises, called for ‘urgent action’ to prevent food shortages, and said genetically modified crops may be needed to prevent famines. The cost of food will soar by 50 per cent over the next few decades as the world becomes racked by famine, mass migrations and riots. The increase will be triggered by the exploding world population, rising cost of fuel and increased competition for water.

Foresight predicted that the world’s population would rise from 6.9billion today to around 9billion by the middle of the century.

At the same time, climate change will increase the risk of droughts, floods and crop failures – creating a ‘perfect storm’ of food shortages and above-inflation rises in prices.

Read more:

The planet has been increasing its population exponentially, while the area under cultivation has been stable to dropping over the longer term as productive increases allowed a greater concentration of food production by a smaller and smaller number of workers.

International organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), report that food prices globally have risen scarily close to or above the record levels of 2008. Prices of wheat, sugar, corn, soybeans, rice and barley, have all risen. By 2050, 86 percent of the 9.1 billion people on Earth will live in today's developing countries. People in these countries are on average much younger than those in the developed world, and younger people tend to have better appetites, again increasing the demand for food.

Khan Horne, NAB Agribusiness General Manager, said food price inflation is expected as Queensland accounts for up to one-third of Australia’s horticultural production.

As George Monbiot wrote in his recent book Heat, nobody ever rioted for austerity. Both sides of politics welcome and encourage population growth that will completely overwhelm the most optimistic projections of greenhouse gas reductions currently being debated.

According to Queensland Labor MP Andrew McNamara, In this 21st Century, where managing depletion will be the critical issue, a political framework built on belief in endless growth is wholly redundant, if not dangerously delusional. Yet we remain shackled to a political system still made up of parties designed to fight the class wars of a century and more ago.

So, population growth in modern economies, where productivity rather than simple production volumes is the key to wealth creation, is actually a drag on economic growth. And efficiency gains in the absence of resource use caps actually hasten resource depletion. Where does that leave us? It leaves us having to confront the reality that in the closed system that is planet Earth, we cannot go on endlessly increasing the number of people on the planet without facing serious environmental consequences.

There are too many of us.
Earth Policy Institute reports massive price increases for food commodities.
On the demand side, the culprits are population growth, rising affluence, and the use of grain to fuel cars. Tonight, there will be 219,000 additional mouths to feed at the dinner table, and many of them will be greeted with empty plates.
Beyond population growth, there are now some 3 billion people moving up the food chain, eating greater quantities of grain-intensive livestock and poultry products. The taste and status of eating more livestock produce, for the better off, will exacerbate the crisis.
In 2009, 119 million tons of grain went to ethanol distilleries to produce fuel for cars. That's enough to feed 350 million people for a year. Plant-based diesel oil, principally from rapeseed and palm oil. demand will increase and cause more species extinctions.
An estimated one third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes—and thus is losing its inherent productivity. Two huge dust bowls are forming, one across northwest China, western Mongolia, and central Asia; the other in central Africa. Each of these dwarfs the U.S. dust bowl of the 1930s. More countries will depend on food aid.
Today, half the world's people live in countries where water tables are falling as overpumping depletes aquifers. Suburban sprawl, industrial construction, and the paving of land for roads, highways, and parking lots are claiming cropland in the Central Valley of California, the Nile River basin in Egypt, and in densely populated countries that are rapidly industrializing, such as China and India.
Our own fruit and vegetable prices are set to rise by 70% due to the floods. Food bowls are being eradicated due to urban sprawl, and back yard veggie patches are becoming impossible.
For each 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature above the optimum during the growing season, we can expect a 10 percent decline in grain yields.
Food shortages will threaten global security. Unless governments quickly redefine security and shift expenditures from military uses to investing in climate change mitigation, water efficiency, soil conservation, and population stabilization, the world will in all likelihood be facing a future with both more climate instability and food price volatility.

Subject was: The UK Today----And The UK To Come----Will It Be Our Fate Too?

Britain's Police State in all its grim unglory.

Things you wont see on the news;

UK SS (Social Services) kidnap one more child from his house

Editor's coment: Thanks, for the interesting links, but could I suggest that commenters also at least write short notes which provide some introduction to the material being linked to. In fact, the
About page of the web-site linked to above provides what seems to be a clear, level-headed and reasonably succinct summary of the material on that site and behind the disturbing scene captured on the You Tube video at . However the video with a length of almost 15 minutes could have used a bit of editing and explanatory comments. It shows a father and his son, confronting in their own home, police and social workers trying to take the boy away, which happens at the end of the video. I would certainly be interested in hearing how the police and social workers in that video justify themselves. In the "about" page Mark McDougall concedes that "Sometimes, Government intervention is necessary in order to maintain order and the safety and security of children." He immediately adds:

However, all too often, the children who really need help from the Government are being left to rot in horrendous conditions. And all too often the Government over react in an inhumane and immoral manner and persecute innocent families who should be left to live in peace.