Ray Dawe’s Political View (County Times February 21) ‘Where will our children live?’ poses a question about housing in the area but unfortunately he does not explore the question which follows from that which should be ‘How will they earn their living?’
From clothes pegs, saucepans and Christmas crackers to iPads, vacuum cleaners and pressure washers - the chances are that when you look on the small print on the packaging of your latest purchases you will find the inscription ‘Made in China’.
The serious depletion of our manufacturing base over the last 50 years is having and will continue to have profound consequences for this country, creating a grossly skewed economy with a hot house region in the South East.
The ballooning of the so-called service industries coupled with mass immigration as a consequence of our post colonial history and membership of the EU will create a situation which is certainly not sustainable in any sense here.
Surely the attitude of blithely allowing the Far East to become our factory for basic day to day items and shipping them halfway round the the world is naive as well as environmentally damaging.
China and her neighbours, rightly from their viewpoint, will more and more aspire to a ‘western’ standard of living. Over time their relatively cheap exports will become more expensive for us and how indeed will we pay for them, what will we sell them in return?
Do not forget that our ‘expertise’ in technology will be of diminishing value as educational standards in these supplier countries continues to rise and indeed overtake our own.
We have been conditioned by generations of politicians to expect year on year increases in our living standards and no politician who aspires to re-election will state the truth that this expectation is probably false.
We are short of natural resources and rely to a large extent on food imports.
The answer is to use our undoubted ingenuity and re-evaluate our position in the world.
It is not fashionable to say but we really need to tighten up on immigration, re-invigorate our manufacturing areas in the Midlands and the North, thus creating jobs making our own hardware and building factories and houses on brown field sites there where they will be needed and welcomed.
We have in a sense to reboot our economy and get the unemployed to work. If this means wages that are lower than expectations for a while, then so be it.
Far better this than shelling out millions on benefits to those who want to work and can’t get it. These benefits are not government money - government has no money as such, it redistributes taxes from those in work AND borrows.This borrowing is a millstone around the necks of future generations.
We also have to maximise UK food production and the building of hundreds of ‘Brooksides’ over the remaining fields in the South East is certainly not going to help that.
We do indeed need to plan 20, 30, 40 years ahead and ask do we really want to create a nightmare of an overcrowded South East with the consequential chaos on the road and railway systems with increasing pollution and ecological and social damage?
Will this be the legacy for our grandchildren?
So the answer to Mr Dawe’s question is that probably our children will have to live where they can gain a living and that may not be in the Horsham District.
After all, the days of extended families living for generations in the same area have been gone for well over a hundred years, however regrettable this may be.
A genuine national strategy needs to be developed. Providing a relatively short term fix which enriches landowners and large (not local ) builders is certainly not the answer.
In the meantime councillors need to represent the electorate and resist as far as possible a missguided government. They should represent us, not their party managers. It’s called ‘Localism’.