A happy day with friends walking with us. Only a day left to go, and we won’t be sorry when it is finished. We have been fortunate with the weather: only one gruelling period of intense heat.
Last night we watched the now world-famous Emma Raducanu win the US Open Tennis tournament. Clearly, a hugely talented woman and it was a superb match.
Am I alone in trembling for her? She has achieved far more than anyone could have expected and at the young age of 18. Am I a killjoy in remembering the sayings: “It’s better to travel than arrive,” and: “There’s only one thing worse than not getting your heart’s desire, and that’s getting it”. How will she handle losing?
Emma is now exposed to relentless media interest in her life and loves. That exposure will go on forever, and forever is a long time.
I hope she has a sensible family who can keep her feet on the ground and who can stop her from going mad with fame.
Control our borders? Fat chance!
It seems that home secretaries nowadays must hail from an immigrant family – otherwise, when they seek to stem illegal immigration, they face being labelled a “racist monster”. The current home secretary, Priti Patel, is routinely called “cruel and right-wing,” by her vast number of critics. And now in the loneliness of office, she finds she can do nothing about illegal immigration except emulate King Lear: “I will do such things: what they are yet I know not, but they shall be, The terrors of the earth.”
In terms of risk/reward, people smuggling has to be a great criminal activity, a no brainer with little risk. The demand is vast: even the poorest and most oppressed people in the world have access to today’s internet. It enables them to watch the life of Riley lived by the “have-it-alls” in their Aladdin’s caves with social security benefits, the NHS, subsidised housing, a peaceful society with respected laws, foodbanks, a government free of corruption and the chance of a job (even if it’s only in the UK’s black market). Then there is a media hostile to HMG doing anything material to deal with the situation and on the side of immigrants’ rights.
When you are reduced to being a hooker on the streets of Somalia, what’s not to like about the prospect of immigrating? The totality of Zimbabwe’s poor would choose to live in Guidlford if they had half the chance, so there’s no limit on the number of potential applicants desperate to escape from a life of exploitation, cruelty, hunger and jobless misery to a land of milk and honey. All the would-be immigrants need is £5,000 and to be brave enough to risk the remote risk of drowning. And once they are in the UK, they have access to heaven. They are rescued from the Channel by kind people and given an immigrant’s allowance as well as free accommodation, food and healthcare. If they can’t speak English, they are given access to tax-payer-funded translators and the chance to be represented by a solicitor whose professional aim is to wriggle through our arcane laws on illegal immigration.
Therefore, the illegals stand little chance of being returned from thence they came, and the steady flood continues. Soon, I forecast, we will be facing 5,000 immigrants a day. No one has a clue what to do about it except to wave hands in desperation, talk tough and hand over more dosh to our natural enemy, the French, in the vain hope they might help us. Then we can listen as they laugh all the way to the bank while encouraging even more boats to make the crossing.
Poor old Patel. What a ghastly job.
Jobs for the Boys
Is your rubbish being collected efficiently? Are your roads free of potholes?
Far be it from me to drive you into a fury as you eat your breakfast, for we must all remain calm, but when you last looked at your rate bill, did you note that the sum to be paid increased by 4.4 per cent over the last year? And did you know that 2,500 local government officers earned more than £100,000 p/a last year – with 653 of them earning over £150,000? As an extreme example, the assistant chief operating officer of Coventry local authority pocketed £575,000, which included a pension payment of £26,000 and an early retirement package of £375,000. For him, early retirement meant moving sideways to a well-paid job as the business development officer of a local university.
In addition, these individuals will all get an index-linked pension paid by taxpayers for as long as they have puff.
Who agrees this level of pay? We are all in the wrong job!
It’s a serious issue, though. Today, public sector employees get a far better deal than those trying to earn a living in the private sector. The issues are two: job security and of course, index-linked pensions. And it goes without saying that politicians and the civil servants who draft legislation have a vested interest to ensure that the status quo remains. What’s to be done? No one knows.