July 20, 2024

I have glimpsed the terrifying future of lazy, defenceless, near-bankrupt Britain

All parties promise huge new spending on pensions and the NHS that the country simply cannot afford

It’s the modern British disease: we are living so far beyond our means as to have become entirely detached from reality. We are an increasingly impoverished and indebted nation, a rudderless second-order global power, and yet, like penniless aristocrats harking back to a bygone age, we retain Rolls-Royce tastes and a misplaced sense of entitlement.

We crave French-style levels of “free” public services, but want to pay Florida-levels of tax. We are fickle and inconsistent and suffer from grossly unrealistic expectations as to what we can afford given the state of our economy. We seek a foreign policy that punches above its weight, but are allowing our Armed Forces to shrivel.

We have lost interest in working hard, in deferred gratification, in getting up in the morning even when we don’t feel like it, but want to retain our triple-locked pension, subsidised public transport and generous welfare state, policies backed by Tories and Labour alike.

Our economy has underperformed terribly since 2008, and yet we feel able to spend even more on the NHS and constantly hike the minimum wage. We want to spend and spend and spend yet more, encouraged by demagogic politicians who tell us that we can have it all, but have forgotten that the world doesn’t owe us a living. With no economic growth, and a dire outlook caused by 25 years of social-democratic idiocy, the sums aren’t close to adding up, and printing money – as during the financial crisis and Covid – would be lethal in an inflationary age.

I look at the future, and I fear for our children: we are bequeathing them a poisoned legacy