An advantage Labour should not pass up

There is an interesting article here by UK in a Changing Europe, examining the population decline in the UK.

Of course those terrible, pesky immigrants have left – in large numbers, maybe even up to a million.

Surely we should be no more than relieved?

Perhaps…And this is not necessarily of consequence – though those that worked in the caring professions will no longer be helping the UK as a nation – though they might well be returning to help their own…

And as a result, Britain might get better at allocating its jobs. And finally get better at planning for and training those jobs which it needs.

But my purpose here is to indicate how we are likely to remain at the bottom of OECD growth for some while yet.

Yes, Covid has been mishandled in a way that defies description and Brexit has been organised similarly – and also, quite remarkably, in the middle of a world pandemic. Only incompetents would ever consider this remotely sensible.

But what is also interesting is that population decline automatically and by definition leads to reduced economic activity so the Tory idea of economic prosperity and growth is likely to plummet whatever they do.

Now I’m not too worried about growth and particularly not of GDP. But Tories definitely are (see their backbench movement to end lockdown in order to get the economy prospering…)

Brexit, it seems to me, will, with a declining population, have given them a passport to a long declining GDP.

This, I suggest, is an advantage that Labour should not pass up…


  1. Richard B -

    Not just a declining population but potentially an aging one too, if this BBC report is correct, older people are trying to return from Spain while younger Brits are taking their place. Double whammy – less economically active people requiring more care.

    Neo-libs don’t do job planning/allocation, that’s for the private sector, so expect nothing from Labour either. Continuing decline and a brain drain is much more likely. Tories won’t care about decline as long as asset values are given a safety net by govt – to almost quote a PM impersonator “f(amily blog) business”.

    As to Labour taking advantage, Starmer has offered the young no prospect or even hope of reversing anything and is more concerned with kicking out of the party anyone who supported Corbyn.

    1. Peter May -

      I tend to agree – have been very disappointed in Starmer so far.

      You’re right too that neolibs don’t do job planning but if we are to prosper we need them to…

      1. Jim Osborne -

        “…..neolibs don’t do job planning but if we are to prosper we need them to…” I have to say Peter that is rather like hoping a hungry lion won’t eat you after it has got you in a corner. As Richard B said, the neo libs don’t care as long as they can carry on extracting rent from the rest of us. Yes, they have been forced to indulge in harvesting the magic money tree to maintain the peace but they only do the minimum they think they can get away with – Sunak is the master of illusion, assisted by the neo-liberal propaganda machine that is the MSM. The Tories dazzle us with big numbers and the majority seem to be impressed with a few extra noughts and disarmed by a lack of awareness of how many noughts are really needed on the end of those numbers

  2. Andrew -

    There is a census coming on 21 March. It will be interesting to see how that is done this year. And then we might know with some certainty how many EU citizens who came to the UK have left again. Several hundreds of thousands at least, perhaps approaching a million. No doubt there will be cheering and clapping, as well as complaints about the scarcity of plumbers and builders and fruit pickers and care home workers and nurses and all the other useful jobs they were doing.

  3. Peter May -

    You’re right of course, Jim
    And they regularly display doing only the minimum they think they can get away with – it’s painful to watch.

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