The United Kingdom has been dramatically increasing its population over the past decade or so. The prime drivers behind this appear to be an open door uncontrolled immigration policy, a Welfare handout system that actively encourages the underclass to multiply, and a socialist/feminist inspired dogma undermining traditional families – hence fragmented and smaller family units. All this appears to have been instigated by government for political reasons driven by ideology, rather than acting on what is logically best for the country.
This has resulted in a huge unprecedented demand for social housing. Though the UK has a high rate of people not in work (circa 8 million out of 32 million of working age), there appears to be ever increasing numbers being packed in. Worryingly this is coinciding with less work being available it makes little sense to knock down a business such as a garage and cram in more and more housing, but this sort of thing has happened across the UK in recent years.
The adverse affects of over crowding of a country would fill a substantial book. It is obvious that resources are limited, and the allocation of scarce resources to an increasing population will result in degradation of standard of living for the majority. The UK is no longer self sufficient in food, and another crisis such as that experienced during the Second World could see the UK literally starve in the future. The infrastructure of roads and utilities (electricity, gas, water) is again finite, and these are showing signs of running beyond realistic limits.
Looking at this from a purely business perspective, at first glance more people appears good news. However, much depends on the quality of the extra people and what services and goods they actually purchase. The UK appears to have significantly enlarged its investment in the unemployed underclass. Areas where these people are concentrated tend to be dominated by charity shops and discount stores. Competing with these is often bad news for many established businesses a high class jeweller in a deprived area cannot compete with the local pound shop!
Open spaces and countryside are being gradually concreted over with urban sprawl. With the current concerns with Climate Change, whatever the arguments – even for those whom are sceptical, it makes little sense to increase the population as all pollution will increase. Furthermore the more densely populated an area becomes, so crime tends to increase.
Despite all the obvious adverse affects of over population, the past UK government over the past decade has instigated policies that have actively increased the rate of population growth significantly. Both through an uncontrolled immigration policy, and through the growth of an underclass whom through an over generous Welfare State are actively encouraged to go forth and procreate. On top of all this the traditional family has been actively penalised, to the point that a single unemployed mum can have more income from state support than a traditional working class family.
These policies have led directly to a huge increase in demand for affordable housing. Houses have been built in every nook and cranny in the UK, and the housing themselves tiny statistically the UK has been building accommodation in recent years at a third of the average size in Europe.
Datalite has argued in previous articles that the UK appears to have been run like a giant pyramid scheme, and like all pyramid schemes, resources inevitably run out leading to a financial collapse. There was one that hit the news a few years ago called Women Empowering Women; using the usual principal of enticing other investors (aka mugs) normally about six in number into the scheme and sending cash to those people already established earlier. They should have really called this scheme Women Ripping Off Women because thats what it achieved. The fundamental problem with all such Pyramid schemes is that the available financial pool rapidly runs out.
The scale of the dramatic increase of the UK population coupled with an over generous welfare system, has produced a myriad of effects at individual level, something not readily apparent when looking at the bigger picture. To get a flavour of the changes that can happen at a micro scale, this article turns to examine the effect the above policies directly instigated onto a small cul de sac called Meaders Road, in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight. This road has just 25 houses of professional or retired people who have lived here quietly and peacefully for many years. The road’s claim to fame is being used as a location in the old 1970’s cinema film ‘That Will Be The Day’ starring David Essex and Ringo Starr. The author who used to live in this road was astonished at the dramatic changes that were unleashed almost instantly and the sheer level of crime and anti-social behaviour imposed on a formerly quiet road.
It is truism in the UK that if you are near a rough area, or to use its politically corrected terminology disadvantaged area and there is an available adjacent patch of land that can be built on, the disadvantaged areas are tending to expand and encroach onto formally peaceful decent areas. To cite our example, in the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, there is a disadvantaged area called Oakfield. Many people in this area are unemployed, on benefits, and the whole area has an imposing depressive feel to it. Not an area to walk through on your own after dark or during the day for that matter.
At this juncture the author of this article clarifies, that of course not all people living in a disadvantaged area are lowlife indeed it is probably only a handful of dysfunctional families that end up giving an area a bad name. In similar vein, not all people on benefits are lazy good for nothing scroungers. A Welfare system should be there to provide help for those who truly need support, such as those with severe disability, terminal illness, or time limited help for those who find themselves temporarily unemployed. In the UK the Welfare system as it stands can easily be abused to provide a lifetime ‘career choice’ for the feckless and the long term useless.
There was a brown field area between the end of Meaders Road in Ryde and the dreaded Oakfield area, this was selected for a major development. Not withstanding the land was sloped, contaminated with battery acid, lacking car parking space, and subject to flooding, plans were made to cram in as many small houses/flats as possible into this unsuitable area, where unemployment was already high.
Needless to say just about every Meaders Road residents objected to the plans which included a walkway linking the proposed estate to Meaders Road, significantly the police also objected on the basis of their expert opinion that this will increase crime. Needless to say is that all objections fell on deaf ears, and the Isle of Wight council duly proceeded to approve the development of the new Oakvale Estate.
It was clear that the Oakvale estate whilst being built was going to be an ugly and imposing set of buildings, totally out of keeping with the rest of the Ryde Area. One wonders how this monstrosity manage to get through planning when many property owners have had planning permission for simple minor cosmetic changes turned down. The author has not met a single person who likes the look of the new estate, the vast majority summarise the new Oakvale housing estate as an ugly eyesore.
So sets the scene, some 25 households in Meaders Road, primarily professional or retired people, house owners living peacefully for many years, twelve in the authors case. All that changed in the road was the opening of a simple pedestrian walkway linking Meaders Road to the Oakfield Estate a small geographical change but one which fundamentally and almost instantly adversely affected the lives of so many decent law abiding people at once.
People cause crime, but governments can through bad policy shape the environment to encourage crime. In the United Kingdom this has been done in several ways. The UK Welfare state has inadvertently created a growing group of people, largely devoid of family structure and ambition; where alcohol and drug abuse is rife. Furthermore there is little direct consequence to minor crime and anti-social behaviour within this group when one thinks about it, the system does not effectively fine anyone on welfare; after all theyre already on the lowest income the state has decreed. The UK over the past decade pursued an open door policy of immigration; this has had a number of adverse influences. People coming into the UK have not been checked properly; hence the UK has been the target of choice for the criminal fraternity. Immigrants have been doing the jobs that the indigenous population should be doing, hence encouraging the aforementioned Welfare State. Finally overpopulation creates its own problems, the finite infrastructure of the UK cannot ultimately cope and large concentrations of people battling over scarce resources can create its own tension.
The fate of the residents of Meaders Road in Ryde had been pre-determined by government encouragement of overpopulation, state sponsored family breakdown, and a welfare state that rewards the feckless and idle. The impact of the opening of the walkway to the new Oakvale Estate, and the dramatic changes imposed on residents of the Meaders Road example into a crime and anti social hotspot, will be explored in a future article in the second part of this crime trilogy.