An Elegant Sufficiency

At some future date someone will have to decide that enough is enough. The person in charge of housing will make a phone call to the person in charge of immigration who will write to the person responsible for the car industry who will email the transport minister who will then fax everyone concerned with aviation and shipping. They will all sit in a boardroom and be told that Britain is now officially ‘full’ of everything. The pint pot is fit to bust: there is physically no more room for anything else. We are an island nation and you simply can’t wish it to be bigger than it already is. They will look aghast at each other, wondering just how such a state of affairs could exist. All of the planners would have to be sacked as there would be nothing left to plan. They will have effectively planned themselves out of a job. Of course this is all fanciful nonsense. Surely, in a country like Britain, there would be some kind of ‘grand plan’ which would prevent any of this taking place. The super contingency that would ensure the well being of our country for future generations. Does such a beast exist? Probably not. Do we care? Probably not. And it’s because we don’t care that we can not be too surprised at the answer to the first question. I think it’s one of those debates, similar to global warming, that will not seriously affect the next generation or two and therefore slips from the personal agenda of daily priority. To emigrate to somewhere like Canada for example is an amazingly expensive and complex operation which can take years. The Canadians have operated a points system for immigration for some time which ensures that all who apply to live and work in Canada will be of benefit to Canadian society from day one. This system will give one an almost immediate answer as to whether one might qualify or not. Even then, workers may only do a job not currently filled by the indigenous workforce. One must arrive with enough financial security as not to be a burden on the Canadian taxpayer and ones status is reviewed on a regular basis. Workers arriving in Canada must have a guaranteed offer of work. No social security is available whatsoever until the authorities are satisfied of your honesty and commitment. Even then, before full benefits and pension rights might be received one must legally become a Canadian citizen which can take up to five years: swearing allegiance to the flag. One has to provide evidence from the British police that one has no criminal record and if self employed one needs to illustrate at least three years accounts to prove solvency and include a business plan. On top of all of this they ask for various references from all manner of authorities within the UK. We are still debating in Britain: should we or should we not adopt a points system for immigration? And, as we contemplate our navels, the tiny pint-pot that is Britain begins to overflow.

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