I am the last person to want to pile on against the BBC. But two things have disturbed me this week. One is the cuts being made in local radio. Although Radio Manchester might be less harmed than others, it is stupid of BBC bosses to slash one of the services that justifies the licence fee. These stations stood by people in the pandemic, they provide news and features absent from commercial radio (oh! for Piccadilly Radio) and serve an elderly audience, little provided for in the media generally.
The other is the coverage of the refugee crisis in Kent. It has all been about the poor condition that the boat people are being kept in. The demand has been for the Home Office to make things better and to process applications more quickly.
On the conditions issue, are the reporters (and the Labour Party) not considering the important point that the better the facilities, more “refugees” will come? On the subject of processing applications more quickly, I never get the impression that the reporters expect that to lead to RAF planes conveying the “refugees” back to Albania. How many are deported? How many disappear into the black economy?
I don’t have a solution to this immigration crisis and nor do the politicians. Because of our language and laws, we are an attractive destination for people from Albania to Afghanistan. Albanian criminal gangs are taking the mickey out of the system. Home Secretaries Priti Patel and Suella Braverman think the public will be fooled by rhetoric. They won’t. What is likely to happen is the rise of politicians advocating sweeping away all human rights laws in relation to refugees and armed intervention to stop cross channel crossings.
AMERICA ON THE EDGE
Hopefully, political violence will not come to our shores, but it is a different matter in America.
In the midterm elections, there are people standing for office who will control the verification process for future elections. Many of these are supporters of Donald Trump and deny that the 2020 election of Joe Biden was legitimate. It is quite plausible that in 2024 there will be a mismatch between votes cast and the opinion of the returning officer. A toxic mix of thwarted voters and a huge supply of guns could bring the United States close to a civil war.
Meanwhile in this round of elections, Joe Biden looks under pressure. Optimism that the abortion issue would polarise the Democrats seems to have been overwhelmed by issues over the economy. Biden could lose the Senate and House of Representatives. He would then be faced with an inability to pass laws and would be subject to a renewal of probes into his son Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine some years ago.
WEST LANCASHIRE BY ELECTION MYSTERY
Rosie Cooper MP announced her intention to stand down from her Lancashire seat well before Chester’s Chris Matheson resigned. Yet his seat has a by election date of December 1st whilst none is forthcoming in West Lancs.
I picked up some irritation at the delay in Labour ranks at Westminster last week. It could be because Rosie Cooper may not be taking the normal route out of Westminster. That involves the archaic procedure of applying for an office of profit under the crown as a Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds.
In her case the office of profit will be the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.