The Migratory Ratchet

To say Britain has just entered a recession is slightly disingenuous, notwithstanding the jargon and semantics of economists and journalists. Whilst GDP has dipped for a second consecutive quarter, GDP per capita has been contracting for seven quarters straight. Having dropped throughout every quarter of 2023, and most quarters of 2022, Britain is enduring the longest uninterrupted decline in GDP per capita since records began in 1955.

Compounded by the fact that Britain’s GDP would’ve declined further without the unprecedented amount of immigration experienced throughout 2022 and 2023, it’s abundantly apparent that the UK economy is a ponzi scheme; an artifice sustained through short-term economic benefits to the long-term detriment of the nation, offset by additional short-term benefits and so on. Even when Britain’s economy grows, having experienced anaemic growth throughout most quarters of the same period, it renders no discernible or substantive benefit to the average Englishman.

The benefits of this arrangement are exclusively experienced by politicians and corporations. The former is given a straightforward and politically convenient means of construing the impression of prosperity, of making Line Go Up, while the latter has access to an ever-replenishing pool of cheap and flexible labour; one which suppresses wage growth, burdens national infrastructure, and induces demographic problems across British society. Truly, the Potemkin School of Economics.

However, courtesy of the unprecedented and largely non-EU-driven spike in immigration following Covid, a lot of anti-immigration positioning has been reconstructed around this new normal. This isn’t entirely bad. After all, people deserve to know why immigration is increasing, despite longstanding public demand for it to significantly decrease, especially while its contemporaneous.

However, the problem I foresee, one which I see flickers of in right-leaning political commentary of all kinds, is the acquiescence to previous levels of mass immigration. You know? The days when net migration was running at a sensible 200,000, when a greater proportion of arrivals were high-earners from the EU in possession of illustrious Skillsets; the days when immigration coincided with increases in GDP and GDP per capita, putting White British people on-track to becoming a minority by 2066, rather than 2040.

As everyone should know by now, the immigration debate is fundamentally a concern about displacement, one which is forced to disguise itself through Legitimate Concerns, such as Parliamentary Sovereignty, Small Boats, Control, and so on. As such, given immigration salience is making a post-Brexit return, there will be attempts to force those concerned about demographic displacement to re-disguise their concerns in a way the system is prepared to officially tolerate.

I refer to this as The Migratory Ratchet, the process by which previous waves of migration are accepted to justify opposition to present waves of migration, and previous instances of ethnic displacement are accepted to justify opposition to present instances of ethnic displacement. The Migratory Ratchet operates on the basis that the quantity and quality of present migration is different to previous migration, and that recognising these differences must be the basis for immigration control.

This is not to say there aren’t quantitative and qualitative differences between forms of immigration. Nor is to say that it is always wrong to make such distinctions. Rather, it refers to the use of these distinctions as a political manoeuvre to re-politicise mass immigration under a system which seeks to depoliticise it as much as possible, and how this coincides with the system’s desire to perpetuate mass immigration in the long-term by making short-term concessions to immigration restrictionists.

The most prominent distinctions separate migrants between those on big boats (legal) and those on small boats (illegal), those with skills and those without, those coming in their tens of thousands and those coming in their hundreds of thousands, those who give and those who take, those who bring dependants and those who are dependants themselves, those who are white and those who aren’t, those who are (supposedly) Christian and those who aren’t.

By using these distinctions as proxy for nationalist politics, under prevailing ideological pressures which oppose nationalist politics altogether, one crafts a wedge which can be assimilated into the operations of the ratchet, allowing the system to adapt to present dissatisfaction. These so-called Legitimate Concerns, transform fundamental political questions of mass replacement into managerial caveats, summarised by the aforementioned distinctions, which merely refine the process as to make it less irritable to the common Englishman.

I’m doubtful Starmer’s inevitable premiership will change much, although I can envision a scenario in which he makes concessions to the Legitimate Concerns of immigration restrictionists; maintaining recently introduced regulations on bringing dependants, reducing illegal channel crossings (presumably by providing Safe and Legal routes), even placing more stringent barriers on foreign students, whilst increasing work permits at a similar or greater rate to the outgoing Conservative government and instating economic policies which reduce the intake of the cheapest of cheap foreign labour.

In summary, The Migratory Ratchet will keep turning. The least defensible externalities will be suppressed in a superficial show of strength, briefly demobilising the right, who will then express their outrage that net migration is pushing a million, instead of being controlled to a select few hundred thousand.

This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. It is widely and incorrectly presumed that mass immigration began with Tony Blair, de facto chief advisor to the incoming Prime Minister, whose Institute for Global Change is pressuring the incoming Labour government to increase immigration for the sake of “Growth, Growth, Growth”.

Mass immigration as we understand it began with Blair, but mass immigration itself precedes New Labour. Britain has incurred large movements of people, even instances of replacement migration, before and after 1945 – that is, official Year Zero for Modern Britain – which now look small compared to recent intakes. Keep in mind: Britain effectively having net zero migration from the end of WW2 up until the early 1980s. Even with net negative migration, Britain experienced large influxes of people, the likes of which altered the country for generations.

On paper, 19th century Irish immigration is dwarfed by 21st century immigration, but it remains fact that the consequences of such immigration were vast and remain with us, such as turning Liverpool and Glasgow into hotbeds of anti-English sentiment, having largely displaced their native populations, and altering the face of trade union politics; from a tendency dominated by Englishmen trying to shield against the import of cheap Irish labour to one dominated by Irish surnames, infused and aligned with ethnic “anti-imperialist” politics.

On paper, the influx of Russian Jews at the cusp of the 20th century is dwarfed by the post-Covid spike in immigration, but this still led to ghettoization and the displacement of the native population in various urban areas; a trend that has continued well-into the 21st century as other foreign diasporas have set-up shop, bringing their grievances with them – infamously, something the centre-right can only identify as bad when it affects more settled diasporic communities in Britain – while Englishmen are pushed further and further into the surrounding shires.

The UK’s Somali-born population, by far the most financially and legally burdensome subdivision of Britain’s foreign-born occupants, making them something of a lowest common-denominator in discussions about immigration, mostly arrived in the 1980s following the outbreak of civil war. This was merely one of several movements into the UK which occurred throughout the same period. Indeed, many rightists seem to forget (deliberately or not) that the first sustained increase in migration after WW2 took place throughout the premierships of Thatcher and Major.

Boston, the most Eurosceptic place in the UK, is also the most Polish, having endured a major influx of Polish migrants throughout the early noughties; a transformation which was encouraged by the UK government following the accession of ex-Soviet countries to the EU. Needless to say, honouring the spirit of Brexit and rehabilitating mass movement from Poland as an acceptable mode of migration are mutually exclusive political convictions.

Nobody with any sense, or sincere nationalist principles for that matter, would look to such times and instances as the contextual basis for a “sensible” immigration policy. Alas, the centre-right believes one must implicitly concede to these instances of replacement to make incremental progress in resisting larger and renewed waves of migration and the various knock-on effects.

On the surface, it appears to be a pragmatic application of our principles, but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, it is an implicit but unequivocal surrender of the nationalist framework for a moderated globalist framework; a substitution enacted under the bizarre assumption that as things get worse, our stated aspirations need to become less radical. Like our current leaders, whose short-termism is well-documented, it constitutes sacrificing long-term struggle for short-term gains to be offset by developments in the near future. Sound familiar?

It is one thing to find newer, more effective ways to express old aspirations, but this cannot be mistaken for substituting our aspirations altogether. Indeed, if the migratory ratchet was to make another full rotation, it follows that we should find ourselves in a new alliance with non-Anglo whites and “Model Minorities” (high-earners, high-achievers, more Westernised, etc.) marching in lockstep against “Third Worlders” – that is, exclusively the MENA/PT countries and sub-Saharan Africa.

As some have already noticed, talk of England as an Anglo-Saxon country has practically ceased on the British right, a large chunk of whom have started to nail their colours in defence of England’s “Anglo-Celtic” identity in view of “recent” attempts to make it Diverse and Inclusive – that is, not merely less English, but less European and less Christian. Erstwhile, colourblind meritocracy continues to be touted as a palatable wedge of political resistance, embracing entrepreneurial Indians and studious Chinamen to siphon off violent Albanians and lazy Somalians.

Such coalitions will not emerge out of shared political interests between societies, but within British society itself; an arrangement which befit the diversitarian politics of Modern Britain, but unbefitting the pursuit an undiluted nationalist agenda. There can be no two-stage solution. We cannot smoothly refine The Migratory Ratchet into obsolescence. Rather, it must be permanently reversed and absolutely destroyed; it must be rejected from first principles or not at all. This starts and ends with the reconstitution of the British people as a living, breathing, and historic reality.

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The Conservative Cope

According to recent polling by YouGov, a measly 1% of 18- to 24-year-olds plan to vote Conservative at the next general election. Having won roughly 20% of this demographic in the 2019, the Conservative Party has lost 95% of its support amongst Britain’s youngest voters in less than four years.

In reaction to this collapse in support, journalists and commentators have taken to rehashing the same talking-points regarding Tory ineptitude and how to resolve it – build more houses, be more liberal, have younger parliamentarians, and so on.

I don’t intend to add this ever-growing pile of such opinion pieces. Instead, I want to put Tory ineptitude into perspective, in hopes of undermining the entrenched and parochial coping of Britain’s right leaning politicians and commentariat.

Even though Churchill didn’t coin the phrase, right-leaning talking-heads maintain that “if you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain”, even if not articulated as such; the progressive and liberal tendencies of the young are annoying, but natural and inevitable.

Of course, this is simply not true. Thatcher won the most support from 18- to 24-year-olds in 1979 and 1983, something which left-wing and right-wing critics are more than happy to point out, yet such doubters of the Iron Law of Liberal Youth have managed to reinvent the law, albeit without the caveat of an inevitable turn to the right in later life.

Socialists and capitalists don’t agree on many things, but they are united by the belief that Britain’s youth is a bastion of progressive leftism, marching in lock-step with other first-time voters around the world. In the former, this inspires great confidence; in the latter, this inspires a sense of foreboding.

Other commentators have blamed Brexit, which is also wrong. Despite the widely-cited age-gap between the average Remainer and Leaver, the UK’s relationship with the EU is pretty far down the average young person’s list of political priorities, hence why almost every avid post-Brexit remainer is a terminally online geriatric. Ironically, The Data from the British Election Study predicted a gradual increase in support for the Conservatives amongst Britain’s younger voters between 2015 and 2019.  

Any person that has met the new cohort of young conservatives will attest their nationalistic and socially conservative modus operandi. Having its failures on crime and immigration reduction broadcast across the nation, its unsurprising that such people would lose faith in the Conservative Party’s ability to govern as a conservative party.

Indeed, given the Conservative Party’s eagerness to hold onto the Cameronite ‘glory days’ of tinkering managerialism, interspersed with tokenistic right-wing talking-points (i.e., the things which actually matter to the conservative base) its little wonder that the Tories have failed to win the young.

The Conservative Party Conference has a less than palatable reputation, but when the bulk of events revolve around uninformed conversations about tech, financial quackery, achieving Net Zero and lukewarm criticisms of The Trans Business, it is unsurprising so many Tory activists choose to preoccupy themselves with cocaine and sodomy.

Contrast this with the European continent, where right-wing populist parties are doing remarkably well with a demographic the Tories have all but officially dismissed. In the second round of France’s 2022 presidential election, incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, a centrist liberal europhile, was re-elected for a second term, with more than 58% of the vote. Although Macron obtained the majority of 18 to 24 years old who voted, it was over 60s which provided the backbone of his re-election, acquiring roughly 70% of their votes.

Moreover, whilst she was most popular with older voters (50- to 59-year-olds), the right-wing Marine Le Pen secured a sizeable portion of voters across all age brackets, especially those aged between 25- and 59- years old, filling the chasm left-behind by Macron’s near monopolisation of France’s oldest citizens.

These patterns were generally replicated in the first round of voting, although the far-left Melenchon garnered the most support from France’s youngest voters. At first glance, most right-leaning commentators would flippantly dismiss the wholesale liberal indoctrination of the youth, overlooking the astonishing fact that roughly 25% of France’s youngest voters support right-wing nationalism, whether that be Marine Le Pen or Eric Zemmour.

Due to growing suspicion of the two main parties in Germany, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU, otherwise known as Union) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), third parties have gained support from the disaffected young, such the centre-left Greens, the centre-right Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Whilst it’s not doing as well as the Greens with first-time voters on the national stage, the AfD is making strides at the federal level and is doing noticeably well with Germans in their 30s, which isn’t insignificant in a country with a median age of 45. Compare this to Britain’s Conservatives, who start to faulter with anyone below the age of 40!

Moreover, the AfD is effectively usurping the CDU as the main right-leaning political force in many parts of Germany. For example, the AfD was the most popular party with voters under 30 in the CDU stronghold of Saxony-Anhalt during the last state election, a forebodingly bittersweet centrist victory.

Similarly, Meloni’s centre-right coalition, dominated by the nationalist Brothers of Italy party, didn’t lead amongst the nation’s youngest voters (18 to 34 years old), but they came extremely close, gaining 30% of their votes compared to the centre-left coalition’s 33% – and won every other age bracket in the last general election. Again, not bad for a country with a median age just shy of 50.

Moreover, these trends transcend Western Europe, showing considerable signs of life in the East. Jobbik, the right-leaning opposition to Viktor Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party, is highly popular party with university students, and despite losing the recent election, Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party obtained roughly a third of first-time votes in the election four years prior.

Roughly a quarter of first-time voters in Slovakia opted for the People’s Party-Our Slovakia, a far-right party with neo-Nazi roots, and roughly 35% of Bulgarian voters between 18- and 30-years-old voted for the right at the last parliamentary election, centre-right and far-right included.

Evidently, the success of right-wing nationalism amongst young voters across Europe, isn’t confined to republics. In addition to its republics, European constitutional monarchies, such as Sweden, Norway, and Spain, have materialised into right-wing electoral success.

The Moderate Party, Sweden’s main centre-right political force, won the largest share of voters aged by 18- and 21-years-of-age, with the insurgent right-wing Sweden Democrats placing second amongst the same demographic, coming only a few points behind their centre-right recipients of confidence-and-supply in government.

Further broken down by sex, the Sweden Democrats were distinctly popular young Swedish men, and tied with the Social Democrats as the most popular party with Swedish men overall. Every age-bracket below 65-year-old was a close race between the Social Democrats and the Moderates or the Sweden Democrats, whilst those aged 65 and over overwhelmingly voted for the Social Democrats.

Similar to the Netherlands, whilst the Labour Party and Socialist Left Party were popular among young voters at the last Norwegian general election, support for centre-right Conservative Party and right-wing Progress Party didn’t trail far behind, with support for centre-left and centre-right parties noticeably increasing with age.

Whilst their recent showing wasn’t the major upset pollsters had anticipated, Spain’s right-wing Vox remains a significant political force, as a national party and amongst the Spanish youth, being the third most popular party with voters aged 18- to 24-year-olds.

Erstwhile, the centre-right Peoples Party (PP) is the most popular party with voters between 18- and 34-year-old with the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) drawing most of its support from voters aged 55 and older, especially voters over 75.

Still, it is easy to see how sceptics might blame our culture differences with the European continent on the right’s alleged inability to win over the young. After all, its clear youth politics is taken more seriously on the European continent. The JFvD, the youth wing of the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FvD) in the Netherlands, is the largest political youth movement in the Benelux. The JFvD regularly organises activities which extend beyond campaign drudgery, from philosophy seminars to beach parties. Contrast this to the UK, where youth participation begins and ends with bag-carrying and leafleting; the drudgery of campaigning is only interspersed by instances of sexual harassment and other degenerate behaviour.

However, this suspicion is just as easily put to rest when we compare Britain to the rest of the Anglosphere, especially New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America.

In the run-up to New Zealand’s general election, polling from The Guardian indicated greater support for the centre-right National Party (40%) amongst voters aged 18- to 34-years than the centre-left Labour Party (20%), a total reversal of the previous election, defying purported trends of a global leftward shift amongst younger generations.

More to the point, support was not going further left, with the centre-left Labour-Green coalition accounting for 34% of millennial votes, compared to the centre-right coalition’s rather astounding 50%; again, a complete reversal of previous trends and more proof than any that so-called ‘youthquakes’ aren’t as decisive as commentators and activists would have us believe.

Despite Labour’s success with young voters in 2017 and 2019, when the voter turnout of younger generations is as abysmal as Britain’s, it’s not exactly a given that parties and individuals of a non-socialistic persuasion should abdicate Britain’s future to a dopey loon like Corbyn. The creed of Britain’s youth isn’t socialism, but indifference.

If anything, right-leaning parties are more than capable of producing ‘youthquakes’ of their own. In a time when the British Conservatives are polling at 1% with their native young, the Canada’s Conservative Party are the most popular party with, polling at around 40% with 18- to 29-year olds, and despite his depiction as a scourge upon America’s youth, Trump comfortably won white first-time voters in both 2016 and 2020. Perhaps age isn’t the main dividing line in the Culture War after all!

In conclusion, the success of the Conservative Party with younger voters does not hinge upon our electoral system, our constitutional order, our place in Europe or the Anglosphere. Simply put, the Tories’ inability to win over the young is not an inability at all, but the result of coping; a stubborn and ideological unwillingness motivated by geriatric hubris, disproven time and time again by the success of other right-wing parties across the Western world.

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