The Uranium Wall | Ben Weller

In 2019 the “red wall” crumbled. The people of the North of England chose conservative solutions to their globalist problem. The issue at hand, Brexit, was addressed but now “global Britain” has found Herself stuck in the mud once again. The UK is sovereign over Her laws, but those ghastly Europeans (and Russians… wince) are still sovereign over Her energy. A pressing issue: the merits of the new conservative leaning must be visible. Thus, “levelling up” and energy independence can be followed simultaneously, and to do so the wall must be rebuilt. A nuclear wall.

There are ten opportunity rich towns in Blighty branded “post-industrial”. These ex-economic hubs yield no commodities and reek of deprivation. It would be ignorant for one to say that the towns are ignored for the sake of an essay, but the ‘quick fix’ of feckless devolution suggested by Michael Gove is an empty gesture that history has doomed to fail. Governments must fathom the idea that development is not quick, easy, or indeed much of their business. It is imperative that Britain: strips restrictive planning regulations; allows small scale nuclear fission reactors in each post-industrial town; becomes energy independent; saturates the nation with architecturally tasteful housing and offices; rips the green belts to shreds; and keeps a barge-pole distance (at least) from regional devolution.

In January 2022, GB News’ political correspondent, Tom Harwood, tweeted: it’s “time to designate a post-industrial cultural town as an enterprise zone with unique planning reg[ulation]s, giving the freedom to ‘Canary Wharf it up’. [Britain] needs flashy skyscrapers and millions of homes. Time for Hong Kong 2.0”. Wandering through Canary Wharf, acting the main character in a New York rom com, is enough to drive anybody towards whatever pills influence Harwood’s dreams, and it’s really no wonder. This capitalistic heaven loved by everyone (except Prince Charles) has become the nation’s second business district, boosting the capacity for Britain’s financial sector previously suffocated by the City of London. They both show how stunning glass skyscrapers erupting between Edwardian masterpieces is downright beautiful. Who says Mansfield can’t be the third? The aforementioned Hong Kong was built by tycoons, happy to be subjects so long as they could chase their capitalistic whims. The glass jungle around Government House was built through pure desire, not by ‘government’. Thus, as British people, we cannot let Chris Patten’s tears be shed in vain; we must make a Kowloon in Blackpool, a LOHAS in Stoke, and a Lantau Island in Doncaster. Built through incentive and good conditions, not mandates and ‘cheapest bidder’ PFIs. Each will be powered by its own privately operated nuclear reactor, a link in the great Uranium Wall.

However wondrous this idea may be, the moral bastions of British society, the Green Party, have decided that the best way to advance their environmental agenda is by calling for the abolition of nuclear reactor development, the firewood of the metropolitan Uranium Wall. But maybe the disapproval of globalist Greens show the nuclear wall to be the idea of the century as it does exactly what they don’t want. It makes an independent, self-sufficient, Britain. Nothing has highlighted the need for this energy independence more than the meltdown over Russian supply issues. Many say the UK is on the way to energy independence, but a Uranium Wall will achieve the goal far faster. Since the UK had to cut 3% of its gas supply the political environment has been filled with talks of self-sufficiency, but there have only been delays in revealing how it is the government wishes achieve the goal. It doesn’t seem to be through nuclear means, after all, half of the nation’s nuclear capacity is expected to be withdrawn by 2025. Adding to the upset, rumours around the topic seem to insinuate that Britain’s way out is through more and more unsightly wind turbines, yet even Her Majesty’s Prime Minister once said that wind power couldn’t “pull the skin off a rice pudding”. Not only can nuclear power pull the skin off a rice pudding, it can desert an entire Ukrainian city for 20,000 years. If that doesn’t get Britannia standing on Her own two feet we have no hope. When the fighting dies down and people are still grumbling at Mr Putin, maybe the United Kingdom can become Europe’s energy monopoly, pumping sweet power out of our Northern belt of capitalism, prosperity, glamour, and power. Never again should the French threaten to cut off Jersey, instead a man from Barnsley’s new private plant should be able to cut off the French. Welcome to the new British Empire: headed by the Uranium Wall, subjugating the Europeans, trading in electricity.

It would be fickle to pretend that the 75,000 people of Dudley could be the sole drivers of Central Britain’s transition from a deprived wasteland to a metropolitan opportunity rich strip, and equally unrealistic to imagine that those that do partake can do it from their Milton Keynes-esk houses. The private sector needs to drive the building of houses to respond to the mass migration to the Uranium Wall, knowing they don’t have to auction off half of their projects as social housing, whilst mindful that the watchful eye of Prince Charles (despite his distaste towards Canary Wharf) will be upon them. We want Poundburies everywhere, disrupted only by sheer glass skyscrapers ripping through the integuments of Wakefield. Some may remember the notion of stripping restrictive planning regulations, believing they’ve seen a juxtaposition. They’d be wrong. This isn’t about planning regulations, it’s about making sure that the houses built, whilst allowed to be put anywhere said investor pleases, are beautifully Edwardian enough to keep Charlie’s teeth from gritting. The government, in their admittedly limited role in the Uranium Wall, need to make sure that new Britain evokes Britishness, not just minimalistic brick and PVC slabs. Do they think we’re Belgium? They can do this through regulating nothing but the aesthetics of low-rise blocks, shops, and rows of houses. The Uranium Wall will be an age proof marvel, as tasteful in 2222 as 2022.

Of course, building “anywhere said investor pleases” would be downright impossible in the nation’s current state. Every post-industrial town but one (Plymouth) is choked by an unnecessary and antiquated metropolitan green belt. They suffocate opportunity. They must go. Understandably, readers tremble at this point. Ripping up green belts surely means building vulgar towers like the Tulip over good British pastures? If such a thing was the case, the Uranium Wall would no longer be a patriot’s project, and instead be a suicide mission for the nation. Thankfully however, this is not the case. Green belts, contrary to public perception, offer no protection to true rural Britain. They throttle towns and cities, stopping them growing into their surroundings; often just dreary suburbs and ex-industrial land. As a result, the Wiltshire farms that should be wrapped in cotton wool are developed upon as 80-year-old laws dictate that those same houses can’t be constructed on the outskirts of Wigan. The Economist bolsters this with its stark “build on the green belt or introduce space rationing: your choice” warning. Many still say that it’s a risk worth taking, and that gentrification and urbanisation create inequality and pollution, however to those should simply be put the question: ‘are environmental gains better done through nuclear investment or stifling new infrastructure?’. Innovation would be null without the capitalistic roots that form the entire Uranium Wall plan, and without innovation the environmental situation would be stagnated. The freedom to make that comes from the freedom to build that comes from the freedom to spend is vital in the rebuilding of the environment and of the wall. A wall that, let’s not forget, is the only plausible arm in a machine hurtling towards a net zero target with not an ounce of progress made.

Whilst the previous points have been pipe dreams about a Britain to come, the last is a very short, stark, and simple warning against a move that could ruin the entire plan (which would be a great nuisance after all this writing). Mr Gove, do not devolve more powers to English regions! A socialist orientated organisation, hellbent on usurping the national government, cannot front the progress necessary for Britain to achieve any of the Uranium Wall’s targets. In Wales, the devolved government was supposed to develop England’s poorer relation into a self-sufficient, economically developed, proud people (sound familiar?). Instead, their GVA per capita has fallen since 1999 with the nation still at the bottom of the pile in terms of productivity. At its lowest, the average Welshman produced 73.8% of what the average Brit did (2009), lower than the 76.9% figure of 1999. A strong unitary force, committed to the private sector, is necessary in shaping an environment where a nuclear wall can build itself; after all, the Hong Kong tycoons revelled in being subjects so long as they had the freedom to earn, earn, and earn.

The people of the England fawn over the idea of returning to their former glory. They salivate over environmentalism, lust for energy independence, pine for quality housing, ache for countryside protection, and don’t seem particularly fussed about English devolution. There is little more to say when looking at this evaluation. The Uranium Wall is what the British people want, and also (cue the cliché) what they need. Britain can prosper economically and accommodate growth. No other Western country has that capacity. Even Spain has well and truly given up on the prospect. The UK isn’t Spain, however: She’s plucky, and doesn’t have a parliament full of PSOE socialists. So, let’s utilise what is had now and create the environment and the furore to reconstruct the wall. 10 nuclear power stations may seem like a mean feat, but so did writing 1,700 words about a theoretical development opportunity spawned from an ever more irrelevant dream of regaining British sovereignty over Hong Kong (admittedly noticeable after the amount of mentions it received). Yet here we are.

Winston Churchill said, “if the British Empire is fated to pass from life into history, we must hope it will not be by the slow process of dispersion and decay, but in some supreme exertion for freedom”. The Hong Kong dream is dead in the water, so now it’s time to move on to the next one. Let’s have that supreme exertion of freedom. Freedom for the North and for Britannia whilst we’re at it. Let’s level up!

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