My country has changed. This has happened around me and despite me, but not because of me. I have voted for none of it. Had my fellow citizens voted for it I might be convinced that I should support it. They have not, and therefore I feel no such compunction.
We have been governed by stealth. We are still being governed by stealth. During the dark days of Blair and Brown 2.5 million people came to live here. In a nation already struggling to fulfil the commitments made under the contact that we call the Welfare State, a nest full of little mouths that had put nothing into the pot was permitted to settle and take a share. Since then, a suggested figure of a third of a million people a year have continued to encamp in our midst. The real figure is likely to be far larger than that.
I am not inclined to sit quietly when I feel that my nose is being rubbed in diversity. Diversity might be good at the right time and in the right measure. However, when, in the course of my daily life I encounter pensioners who are struggling to pay their bills, having contributed a lifetime of tax and National Insurance to the state coffers, and when I see those very same people hobbling gallantly but painfully through life, waiting for admission for a new hip or a new knee, or when I see the widow counting out the pennies at the checkout and looking anxiously at the items on the conveyor, I have a deep sense of disgust in the recesses of my gut.
The rubbing of noses is as nothing to the retribution that I would wish to take against those great reneges Blair and Brown. These two, and the blue lilies who have followed have, to my mind, broken faith with those who gave them their opportunity to govern. They have failed to give due consideration to their obligations under the contract that exists between Government and the taxed. They have failed to respect the needs and the entitlements of those who have built this nation, those who were already here, those who made it possible for us all to be here.
Oh yes, there are some who would say we are enriched, that those who have passed through the red hot turnstiles of our hospitality have contributed something and will continue to do so in the future. That may be so, but I was always taught that you attend first to the responsibilities that you have taken upon yourself, and when they are accomplished, then and only then do you look beyond them and open up your horizons. It may be that that day never comes, such is the magnitude of your existing task. So be it.
Free movement is, they say, non-negotiable. I say that the duty our nation has towards its own people is non-negotiable. I pray that soon we will have leaders who possess the courage to enact such obligations.
Charity begins at home. Those are wise words, but this is not charity, it is duty.