Leading article

Joy to the world

The world's still getting better - here's the proof

14 December 2013

Pessimism sells. It shifts books and newspapers, sends ratings soaring. It fills lecture halls, wins research grants, makes political careers. We are fed this constant diet of doom, predicting anything from meteorological Armageddon to a tyranny of austerity, and so it is little wonder that we tend to miss the bigger story. A cold, dispassionate look at the facts reveals that we are living in a golden era. and that, if you use objective measures, 2013 has been the best year in human history.

As a public service – and one which is rarely provided in broadcast or print – The Spectator will below provide evidence for these assertions. We can start from crude figures: $73.5 trillion, the world’s economic output this year. Never has so much wealth been generated — but, importantly, never has growth been shared more evenly. While the rich world is wallowing a mire of debt, the developing world is making incredible progress. The global inequality gap is narrowing – and thanks not to the edicts of governments, but to the co-operation of millions of people, rich and poor, through international trade. Or, as critics call this system, ‘global capitalism’.

As a result goals that once seemed fantastical are now within reach: from the end of Aids to the end of famine. To understand the speed of this progress consider the  United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals,  drawn up in 2000. The plan then was to halve the number of people living on $1 a day by 2015. This target was reached five years early. This amazing achievement passed with almost no comment, perhaps because it had been achieved by the market rather than foreign aid. People, when free to trade with each other, are succeeding where decades of government schemes failed.

The 2015 UN Millennium Development Goal on undernourishment was hit seven years ago (right). Also, the goal Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 12.15.16to halve the number of people without access to drinking water by 2015 was achieved last year. The UN wanted to improve the lives of 100 million slum dwellers — with water supply, sanitation and better housing — by 2020. This target has been met ten years early (in fact, 200 million were helped by 2010, twice the target). There are still huge problems; it is true that 400 million children still live in poverty. But with a few more years of globalisation may end that. At the current trajectory, the World Bank’s target to all but eliminate poverty by 2030 looks like being achieved early. Most people alive now can hope to see a time when the concept of famine is consigned to history. (In fact, the United Nations now believes Africa could be only 12 years away from this extraordinary goal).

This is happening because the world is trading, and its people co-operating through trade, as never before. With the wealth comes better ways to protect crops, and ability to guard against (and recover from) natural disasters. The number of deaths due to natural disaster is a fraction of what it was a century ago; nature is no less vicious, but mankind is far better prepared.

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China, now the world’s workshop, is now driving the planet’s progress against hardship. Its embrace of market reform has reduced the number of people living in extreme poverty from 84 per cent three decades ago to 10 per cent now. Yes, China remains far poorer than the West, but the gap is closing fast, and in certain areas of development the Chinese are overtaking the West. We learnt this month that the poorest pupils in Shanghai (a city with more inhabitants than most European countries) are now better at maths than the richest in Britain.

In the space of a decade, Britain has gone from pitying China and handing it foreign aid to fearing it – and , as was the case recently, wondering how we can copy its education secrets.  In Asia and North Africa, primary school enrolment is now as high as it is in the rich world. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, two-thirds of children are in school – in 1990, it was barely half. Back then, literacy had been extended to only 75 per cent of adults. Now, it’s 83 per cent and rising fast.

Ah, say the critics, wealth is one thing. But how is it achieved? How many of these Asian exports are made by tiny hands? Global capitalism has long been associated, by its detractors, with child labour. But in fact the International Labour Organisation reports that child labour has fallen by a third over the past decade, and the number of children in hazardous work has more than halved. Every day in every way, the world grows richer, safer and smarter. All this, in spite of the world’s population growing at a rate which makes Malthusians shudder.

Extraordinary advances in medicine, and in the ability to produce affordable drugs for millions, is sending levels of life expectancy soaring in the poorest nations. The introduction of anti-retroviral drugs in Malawi, for example, has seen its Aids death toll fall from 92,400 ten years ago to under 46,000 now. This reflects a worldwide trend. Cambodia is on track to eliminate deaths from malaria by 2015, having halved infections over the course of this year. Malaria is one of the world’s biggest killers – and, as the World Health Organisation recently confirmed, its death rate has almost halved since the turn of the century.

It would be a patronising error to ascribe all of this progress to western aid. That plays a significant role – but as countries become better off, they provide better care for their people. You won’t find Britain, America or anywhere in Europe in the list of fastest-growing economies of 2013. But you will find Chile (4.4 per cent). Bangladesh (5.7 per cent), Rwanda (7.5 per cent) and Ghana (7.9 per cent) closing the gap with the rich world due to their main resource: the courage and character of their people. With this growth the infant mortality falls, life expectancy rises and poverty is that bit easier to escape.

Once, people would argue that the explosion of wealth and population that we’re seeing would induce a food crisis. In fact, the portion of mankind going hungry is at a record low. There has been no population crisis, because mankind has proven pretty clever at coming up with new ways to grow food.

But what about these new, middle-class Chinese and Indians buying cars and causing a mass shortage of oil? Again, the panic proved unfounded. We are instead in an era of hydrocarbon abundance, thanks to advances in fracking technology. It has helped America cut energy prices by two thirds and prepare for an era where it won’t need oil imports from Arab tyrants, or anyone else. As for Britain, it emerged this year that there is enough shale gas in Lancashire alone to power the country for 50 years. This is possible because the rich world’s fossil fuel consumption is actually falling, even with the population increase, aviation boom and bigger, fatter cars. And why? Due to consumer demand for more efficient cars and factories – not government diktats. With hydrocarbons, as with so much else, we’re doing more with less.

You are unlikely to hear this mentioned much in the press, donation-hungry aid agencies or by politicians. All tend to focus on problems – and rightly. There are all too many of them out there; the number of people uprooted due to conflict or persecution, for example, stands at an 18-year high. Human progress is also susceptible to sudden, calamitous reversals. But this year, things have been getting better faster than any rate in history. By small incremental improvements – in health, technology, wealth and trade – there has never been a better time to be born.

When the Queen gave a speech to the United Nations general assembly three years ago, she observed that the greatest achievements in her long reign had come about ‘not because of governments, committee resolutions, or central directives’ but ‘because millions of people around the world have wanted them’. Her Majesty was too polite to spell it out, but politicians follow the world, rather than lead it. Free trade and free markets have made this the best year ever — and stand to make 2014 better still.

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Show comments
  • peteran

    Lots of encouraging stuff there. But you seem very selective in your links. It’s true that world output was $73 trillion dollars for 2013, and I’m prepared to believe your assertion that that was the highest on record. But where’s your evidence that, when it comes to wealth, “never has it been shared more evenly”?

    In first world countries, such as the U.K. and U.S., that’s most certainly not the case. (See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/13/uneven-financial-crisis-recovery-charts_n_3913882.html)

    It gives us all a warm feeling to think that the world’s riches are being spread more fairly across the globe, if that’s true. But it’s small consolation to the huge majority in the UK, who see their living standards drop, while a tiny minority experience enormous — and mostly unearned — increases in their personal wealth.

    • Greg

      You comment on the poor wealthy people of UK. This is further evidence of greater distribution of wealth. Away from the 60 million in Uk and to the hundreds of millions of people who have seen their wages and quality of life increase in large bounds in the rest of the world.

    • Bonkim

      You cannot store wealth – not money in the bank but ability to generate continuously – that necessitates ever increasing spiral of production and consumption – which is limited by resources – and the limit not far off – a century or two or may be decades before an almighty world dash to control scarce resources. Main reason for WW2 was German and Japan’s quest for control of energy and mineral resources. It looked inexhaustible then only in the control of US/UK Imperial interests. Now limits are seen as real.

      • Daniel Maris

        I have some sympathy with your view in that we will certainly make a complete hell on earth if we don’t have an active policy of restraining the rise in and ultimately reducing population.

        However, I don’t think the problem is really in terms of resources.

        Asteroid and lunar mining, more efficient recylcing and materials substitution can probably supply us with all the materials we need even if our population grows by another factor of ten. Water can be extracted from the atmosphere directly. Meat can be grown in labs eventually. Energy can be beamed to earth from lunar solar facilities or we will master cold fusion.

        But unrestrained population growth is destroying our co-habitees on earth in millions every day.

        • Bonkim

          Hello Daniel – you are talking to a mechanical and energy engineer with a lifetime of doing all the things you mention. However optimistic you may be about mining materials from other planets or recycling and reuse – all that is in the stratosphere and scientists and engineers are seeing that whilst the universe may be limitless and energy and matter are indestructible and their sum total remains constant – some basic thermodynamic laws prevent mankind’s continued existence beyond a certain limit.

          • Weaver

            A mechanical and energy engineer?!? Really?!? C’mon…

            “Matter and energy are indestructible”

            That’s a very curious way to describe the system. Conservation of energy aside, there’s the small matter of both nuclear decay, (inc proton decay) and entropy to consider. You know, that second law of thermodynamics you’re waving around.

            Also, the universe is limitless but finite. There is a difference.

          • Bonkim

            Man’s tenure is even more finite and short.

          • Weaver

            We may endure such length, though time wends its weary way to entropy, even the powers may envy….

            But really, you just get a secret narcissitic thrill from the thought of being amongst the last men, at the doomed apex of civilisation. What a compliment history pays to thee! Thoughtful and sanguine beyond your decadent peers; and tragically backlit by barbarian fires beyond the Tiber!

          • Bonkim

            Man is a destructive animal and your kind thinks the gravy train will run for ever.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Trust in God and take short views!

          • Bonkim

            Don’t believe in God – Man’s invention.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Oh God. Another miserable atheist. Get ready with the thunderbolt.

          • Bonkim

            You will have to Ask God to redirect a Comet or meteor to hit me. Until then – superstitions masquerading as religions.

        • Weaver

          It’s not raw matter, it’s high-density energy which is your only meaningful constraint.

          If you can spend the energy to mine asteroids you should probably be mining the local rubbish dump instead. It’s slimmer pickings but you’ll get far more metal per unit of energy.

          Save the asteroids to feed your starship construction out near the trojans where you’re not paying the energy costs to move it in-system. :-)

        • Fergus Pickering

          Naw! It’s the old we want to kill off..

      • Weaver

        Marxists are so funny. Always confusing physical mass with wealth and value.

        Hey Bonkim, how does resource scarcity mesh with your Labour Theory of Value? Doesn’t it contradict Marxist predictions on the Organic Composition of Capital?

        Or are you one of those Marxists who doesn’t read the Old Man?

        • Bonkim

          Being practical and not philosophical have no answer for you. And I am neither a Marxist or Labour supporter – pretty Right-wing on most issues.

      • Weaver

        What scarce resources? Stuff is CHEAPER than ever before and is getting more so.

        Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good theory!

        • Bonkim

          Stuff is cheap because of the exploitation of resources and labour – the pyramid is growing with millions of poor people added every day – and ruining their environment for satisfying the consumption based world trade.

          • Weaver

            Ahh…the negative externality argument!

            What poor people? Mean & median human income is HIGHER than ever before. Global inequality is the lowest since the ancient times. “millions of poor people added every day” – Ignorant and factually untrue .

            What ruined environment? Air and water quality in the wealthy world are at their highest ever, and improving everywhere as incomes pass about $5000 per capita.

            Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good theory!

          • Bonkim

            People in the US always lived in their holes – you have no clue of the real world outside.

          • Weaver

            I’m not in the US. Lose another point.

            So, you don’t dispute the data? Hmmm? Just going to throw abuse?

          • Bonkim

            your casual racism against Americans, btw – Racism?’ I like many features of the US and its history and people – but today’s US is not what the founding Fathers built – it has got complacent, and corrupt and losing its anglo- value-system. I am not racist and don’t see the world as black or white – but people that are well off cannot imagine how the rest of the world lives and the destructive streak in human behaviour – US will soon become insignificant in world terms – The more populous countries – China, India with close to half the world population, Latin America and Europe all are expanding, and consuming. US will wake up once the gas supplies run out and the Prairies turn to salt-pans – 1930s dust-bowl condition is always a possibility. Look up all the conflict-zones on earth and cases.

          • Weaver

            “Look up all the conflict-zones on earth and cases”

            Which data set should I use? Sipri or CoW ? Oh yes, I’m an int. relations graduate with a specialism in stats and conflict studies…and you’re some kind of plumbing engineer. I can see how I need you to tell me what is going on….>sigh<.

            You're just wrong, Bonkim, and you don't know what you're talking about. You're a beautiful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          • Bonkim

            Woe betide anyone that recruits you as a consultant. Someone that cocksure of anything must be a congenital idiot.

          • Weaver

            I’m not in private consultancy (at the moment), but I feel I’m doing rather nicely, thank you.

            Cocksure ? Au contraire, a good analyst questions everything, especially the recieved wisdom. You speak boldy for a man who convinced himself in the absence of any data. How did you manage to do that again?

          • Bonkim

            A blogspot is not a forum for presenting data and not sure the validity of the data you have referred to.

          • Weaver

            Argument requires evidence, on a comments thread or anywhere. Maybe you like arguing in a fact-free platonic environment, but some of us prefer to deal with the real world where the facts can disprove bad theories.

            Anyway, If you don’t like my sources, quote your own. Or better yet give precise methodological grounds for rejecting them. Rejecting data only because it doesn’t agree with your prejudices is not a healthy sign.

    • Weaver

      Yeah, but check the global gini and Theil indices. The RotW has made huge gains in the last decade or two.

      The effects are linked, of course. I forget who said it but, “in order to move 10 Chinese into the middle class, it may be neccessary to move 1 American out of it…”

  • Bonkim

    The earth is overpopulated and resources running out. A world economy based on ever increasing production and consumption cannot last.

    Technology and foreign aid has enabled population explosion at locations where life was unsustainable in the past – should we really be encouraging population growth?

    • Fraser Nelson

      If resources are running out, why is there less hunger than ever before?

      • Bonkim

        Transient feature. a question of a century or two if not decades. Look up world conflict zones – control of scarce land, water, energy and minerals – the main reasons and such conflicts are increasing, people driven out by conflict and poverty to the richer countries – look long term, not short term snapshots..

        • Weaver

          Well, I’m an international relations graduate and this claim is just plain wrong. Primary resource conflicts do exist but are a small and falling proportion of global conflicts, almost completely confined to Africa now.

          YOU look at the long term. Primary resources are an ever-decreasing proportion of human wealth. Check your chicago commodity index for the last century and a half.

          • Bonkim

            When it comes to the crunch – basic necessities are those that will count – you cannot eat your Twitter or Microsoft shares. All the rest of the transient wealth can only be generated on the basis that the basic necessities are assured – that is where the crunch is.

            Regards world conflict zones – nation states as you see today and their hold on land, water and natural resources are of recent origin – as also internationally traded commodities. A fleeting second in human history and accelerating fast – hence the limits to resources – and look around the various conflict zones including Asia, the Americas, even Europe, the power balance is shifting and the emerging nations are contracting forward production at an accelerated rate. You can do a simple exercise that the tangible essential resources will run out in may be a century or two – but political turmoil break out well before the end.

          • Weaver

            Umm…Basic necessities are cheaper and more abundant than ever before (at least the last 2,000 years…and international trade is older than that, FYI). Have you ever read any OECD/FAO reports, ever?

            Look, for an Engineer, you seem long on words and painfully short on data. Does your theory make any quantifiable predictions that we could test? Or is it all “Doom tomorrow”? Is there any way to falsify it at all? Or is this another inevitable but unfalsifiable theory like Marxism?

            The rest of your post doesn’t read too well. I’m not at all sure what you mean by “contracting forward production at an accelerated rate”…if you don’t understand a subject, like economics, try to avoid trying to impress with convoluted phrases. It will suffice to express yourself simply.

            Basically, you can’t even meaningfully define resource; aside from a the vague notion that it’s some finite amounts of a finite set of physical gunky stuff that’s in the ground and is being dug up and turned into ash by geometrically increasing human consumption. To borrow from Paul Dirac, that’s not even wrong.

          • Bonkim

            Cheap for who? Billions cannot afford basics even at the cheap prices you enjoy – many don’t have basic toilet facilities – leave alone basic food and a safe bed.

          • Weaver

            Cheap for everyone. Compared to median (and mean) global income.

            Yeah, we’ve got poor people, but they are a smaller faction of global population each year. For an engineer you seem awfully confused about absolute and relative quantities.

          • Bonkim

            You are an inexperienced international relations graduate – still green and wet behind your ears.

          • Weaver

            Top of class, mate, but thanks for the abuse. I cherish it.

            What’s so funny is that an arts graduate is kicking your ass with data and superior engineering estimates.

            (OK, OK, that was a long time ago and I have other degrees now, but still…)

            What branch of engineering are you in? Domestic plumbing? Nawh…some kind of site services company, perhaps. You’re certainly not a white collar engineer.

          • Bonkim

            I suppose you have paper degrees galore and believe that the future is bright – learn to look ahead and link causes and effects first. Get out of you safety zone, travel around and see how the rest of the world functions and how fast the growth in natural exploitation, population, and consumption/ expectations. Regards data – you sound much like someone that hit an oil well or gas field and assume the ride will go on for ever. Are a member of the Tea Party?

          • Weaver

            The point about degrees, Bonkim, is they train you to think, not (just) to know.

            Your conceptual model of spirally finite resource consumption is not just wrong; it’s incoherent. New “resources” are discovered all the time (whilst others are retired). Material is recycled. We become more efficient, with greater energy intensity. Mining and agriculture become ever more capable. New energy sources become available. Population growth allows specilisation and trade. Wealth allows us to live full lives in clean and healthy environments….

            All the data screams that things are getting better. But oh no, you’re not going to look at the data. You just “know” things are going to all over. Well, make a prediction for your “collapse” and put a date on it. If you’ve got the balls, I’ll make you bet on it.

            ( Maybe I should travel more. Haven’t been to Latin America or Antartica yet…)

          • Bonkim

            Hello Weaver,

            Don’t jump to conclusions about my educational qualifications or experience/exposure. You are an expert in wishful thinking and forever an optimist by discounting all matters that go against your argument.

            Not sure how far in-depth you have explored material recycling – economics and real world situation regards reuse, also energy audit of the related reclaim and re-manufacturing processes.

            Agriculture – energy, water, and nutrient inputs and process efficiencies in both mechanised and non-mechanised and organic,

            Mining, smelting, and recovery operations – coal, oil, gas, minerals, the way open cast is ruining huge tracts of land, poisoning land and water courses, and the writ of the EPEA or other regulatory authorities don’t prevail across the Globe, and even in technologically advanced countries such as Canada, Russia, Uzbekisthan, China, Australia, S Africa, venezuela, etc, effluents and emissions are destroying huge land areas and water courses. Canada’s Athabasca tar sands extraction is a disgrace. The Ural sea has disappeared for all practical puroses, Baku oil field areas are dead, Millions live in filth surrounded by effluents of mining, and smothered by poisonous emissions in many parts of India, forests being destroyed by slash and burn in S America, etc,.

            Now yes things are cheap because no one pays the real price of such damage.

            Bio-fuels – another story when you calculate the fossil fuel and other energy inputs and relate that to what you get out. Huge part of agricultural production going to animal proteins – in turn related industries – tanning, meat processing, etc, churn out environmental pollutants in quantities that nature is unable to clean up.

            Unless you are a spokesman for the oil industry or some other that see mining and material processing as an inexhaustible business to be expanded every year to produce disposable cheap crap and make a profit, will have to re-train yourself.

            Regards my background and qualifications – best to stick to your international relations field.

          • Weaver

            Ah, well, Int. Rel. was a long time back. I’m in another field now

            You failed to say “negative externality”. Also, I think you meant “Aral” sea if you’re referring to soviet 1960’s agro-industrial malpractise… (tsk – there’s my international relations training again!)

            You really should have done that – said “negative externality” or “social cost” – that would indicate you knew what you were talking about. You know, using the proper technical terms, and all that. As it is, I now know that you don’t know the literature.

            The short answer is that negative externalities are small compared to wealth effects. Yeah, early industrialisation is pretty messy. But it gets better. Once a country gets to middle income (~$10k/capita), the air and water clean up surprising rapidly. There’s lots of examples. The polluted areas are small (actually tiny) compared to the suface of the planet, and recover in a generation or so.

            Ever visited Derbyshire?

            But nothing is as deadly to human life as poverty – thats the worse toxin of all. You’re lucky to make 40 in a pre-industrial civilisation. A bit of pollution on the way to prosperity is a reasonable trade.

          • Bonkim

            Jargon changes with time and location. Use of jargon is no indicator of education, knowledge or reasoning skills.

            Know Derbyshire well.

          • Weaver

            Jargon is a useful indicator for level of education in a technical sphere. Doesn’t mean you are wrong, of course (you’re quite right about that), but absence does show you don’t know the literature. Now, I’m right about your reading level in environmental economics, so lets not waste any more of our time dissimilating, mmm?

            Derbyshire is an illustration because it was a real mess 150 years ago in early industrialisation. It got richer (and cleaner). Wealth is the handmaiden of environmental goods, not their enemy.

          • Bonkim

            No further comment – no point wasting time with an amateur with paper knowledge.

          • Weaver

            “amateur with paper knowledge”.

            Thank you. I take both of those labels as a compliment.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Oh come along with you. A couple of centuries and we’ll be beaming up to planets on other galaxies. Cheer up, you miserable muppet. It’s Christmas!

          • Bonkim

            Don’t believe in Christmas, and in any case Christmas is not Christian.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What on earth has that got to do with anything?

      • saffrin

        Buy one get one free of course.

    • tommy5dollar

      As long as we have sunlight then we have almost unlimited resources.

      • Bonkim

        What counts is the incidence of sunlight per unit area and needs of people – unit consumption – you will find the two don’t match. Solar energy will not meet all our needs – only a tine fraction, the sun shines for only part of the day, food crops need land and water – both in short supply, water pumping needs energy, fresh water itself is getting scarce at many locations around the globe and deserts are expanding..

        • Weaver

          2008 Figures:

          World Energy Consumption = 514 ExaJoules
          Solar Energy incident on Earth = 3850,000 Exajoules

          You know….we can move electricity from one place to another over a magical device called a power cable….But of course, we could just build nuke plants and save ourselves the hassle…

          • Bonkim

            Very simplistic – You are assuming all that radiation can be trapped and converted to electricity and transmitted to where needed economically and that all that is practical and that human societies will pay the price. UK is already feeling the pinch that electricity from new nuclear station is 3 X that from existing conventional sources.

            What will happen is that people will stop using something that is prohibitively priced and usage intensity and our present lifestyle will change – and world conflict to use up the more readily feasible resources.

            Alternatives and substitution can go just so far.

          • Weaver

            I keep the examples to the level of understanding of the audience.

            Yawn. Obviously I’ve done the analysis (engineering estimate) with the appropriate degradation factors, just like I did with the global food supply. There’s plenty of margin. It is perfectly feasible, over the course of a century or so, to build sufficient infrastructure to harvest, say, 0.1% of that energy. Allow for 50% transmission/storage losses, and you’ve still got more than enough to run civilisation. And I’m not counting nuclear, geothermal, etc which can contribute for at least several thousand years, or non-terrestrial beyond that.

            I don’t think you’ve read the latest DECC reports on generation costs and are just making numbers up. Here you go!


          • Bonkim

            I am from the industry and familiar with DECC reports, and projects and whether they they are any good or not.

          • Weaver

            You’ll understand if I doubt that. You’ve demonstrated no capacity with data here, and never link to studies, nor done any engineering estimates I can see.

            You got these basic numbers wrong.

          • Bonkim

            You can learn data analysis in school but need experience of the real world to link cause and effect.

        • Mike Oxenfire

          “the sun shines for only part of the day”
          The sun has been shining continuously for billions of years, without rest, and will continue to do so, for billions more.

          • Bonkim

            Quite right – nature will carry on after throwing up destructive human species.

          • Mike Oxenfire

            Happy Christmas! You cheerful soul!

          • Bonkim

            Ignorance is bliss!

      • saffrin

        almost unlimited resources = limited resources sonny.

  • Hippograd

    Every day in every way, the world grows richer, safer and smarter. All
    this, in spite of the world’s population growing at a rate which makes
    Malthusians shudder.

    “Half-witted” is too kind for that kind of Panglossian drivel. It’s not the “world’s population” that’s growing extremely fast: it’s the world’s least intelligent and least democratic groups. Lots of these groups are well-established in Europe and the US. Lots more are flooding in daily. That’s why, every day in every way, the West grows more totalitarian and illiberal:

    Arrested because he joked about Mandela: Police hold shopkeeper for
    eight hours, take his DNA and seize his computer – after local
    councillor objects to off-colour internet comments

    Arrested because he joked about Mandela

    The chance to smash free speech is one great motive for mass immigration. Another motive is it that allows a massive transfer of wealth from the white majority to immigrants and to the elite who imposed mass immigration on us without a democratic mandate:

    Most glaring was Labour’s fear of a resurgence of union power. They didn’t want people banding together to insist on higher pay and better conditions. A steady supply of people for whom just working in Britain offered higher pay and better conditions than they would otherwise expect served to reduce cohesion in the workforce, making common purpose harder to achieve. It’s easy to see why this was not a perceived benefit of immigration that Labour was keen to advertise, or even explicitly acknowledge within the party.

    “Better at being Tory than the Tories” was not a vote-winning slogan. Yet it was true. The City of London, its wants pandered to, was becoming the largest, most important financial centre in the world, even as the divide between rich and poor, north and south, haves and have-nots was widening. Britain had become so divided that consequences incredibly damaging to one group of people were fantastically advantageous to others. And anything that was advantageous to the wealthy was unchallengeable, as long as taxes were rolling in.

    If Labour want to start apologising, it shouldn’t be over economic migration

    Free trade and free markets have made this the best year ever — and stand to make 2014 better still.

    By that, the Panglossian half-wit responsible for the article means: “My masters are getting richer and richer. Hurrah!”

    • tommy5dollar

      It’s the world’s least intelligent groups that are growing fastest? The Chinese are the best educated…

      • saffrin


        • moya

          Hi i came from Shanghai China,and will told you the truth of edcucation in China.
          90% the pupils,even the boy/girls in kid garden have to join extra tutorial after school .otherwise the kids will be lose in the exam for National Matriculation Test.
          In China , the test/exam is every import to citizen
          The textbook has been harder & harder , the free time of kids came fewer and fewer.

      • Noa

        And are suffering an irretrievable population collapse due to their one child per family restriction.

  • saffrin

    My snow leopard doesn’t love me. It hasn’t written to me once since the adoption

    • Weaver

      You should request a replacement. Mine makes a delightful rug.

  • Koakona

    Did the spectator not publish the same article a year ago about 2012? Is this the same article with updated figures?

    • Fergus Pickering

      And next year they can do it again.

  • Eddie

    Someone’s been at the happy juice…

    Who was it that said pessimism is a sign of intelligence?

    • travelfree

      A foolish and probably rather sad person who felt life treated them badly and felt others should feel the same.

  • travelfree

    Thank you for this – at last a fresh and truthful perspective in a world full of fearmongers and doomsayers – strange how people prefer to focus on the negative (or what horrors they create in their imagination) rather than the facts which show we live in an uplifting and inspiring era. And people are shocked to learn it’s the most peaceful one mankind has known for centuries as well.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Yup! It’s been good for me to. Both my daughters are in work and it’s government stuff so it doesn’t matter if Millipede rules.

  • Otto

    This has been true of almost every year since the Dark Ages. So?

    • Michael Dembinski

      I wouldn’t say so about 1942.

      • Otto

        That is why I said “almost every year since the Dark Ages”. Note the “almost”. Can you read?

  • Shaun Hazell

    Yep and I can tell you im the oil and gas industry and there is still a massive amount of oil out there and a few surprises to come

  • Terry Field

    An insane article.
    Human history is ‘successful’ when it coincides with the interests of the planet where humans live.
    In 2013 the Amazon was raped,
    Africa further stripped, forest destroyed, creatures slaughtered in numbers uncountable, and vast hordes of people entered motorised steel boxes to hurtle from pone point of destruction to another.
    And TV cooks proliferated everywhere.
    ‘Man v Food’
    That is the essence of our putrid reality.
    We are indeed the virus of the world.

  • DevelopmentStudiesGrad

    This is the most cretinous and incorrect article I have ever read. Where did these statistics come from?

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