The modern world is built on the concept of the city. The large metropolitan hives, covered in hulking steel towers and filled to the brim with all manner of foreign peoples. These economic hubs are the backbone of our global society – with each city containing a lot of economic value. Truly, if one wants wealth, modernity, and all sorts of other things, the city is the place to go.
Unless you want any fulfillment in life. What good is wealth when you lose most of it on your rent? What good is modernity when you’re depressed due to the slog of endless office work? I come from a very rural line – villages in Aberdeenshire, Donegal, Rutland, the Peak District and the Cotswolds were the residence for my family generations back. Only in recent generations have we moved to more urban areas. This is the same for countless other Britons. Low wages in our ancestral villages have forced us into cramped urban areas, which, over time, have become even worse than when that incredibly silly ancestor of ours decided to move to the city.
Unlike in rural Britain, with her spacious cottages and greenery, the city is a cramped and claustrophobic hell. In the relentless modern quest to achieve capital, we have subjected ourselves to these terrible living conditions. People spend exorbitant amounts of money to rent from a foreign landlord, only to live in nothing more than a metal box. They hold no attachment to these places, and when they die, the box will be inhabited by someone of no familial connection to the previous inhabitant – likely of different ethnic stock, to boot. The cycle continues until the building is demolished to construct an even more cramped, even more expensive metal box. I am, of course, talking about the tower block.
The concept of the tower block is a relatively recent and unpopular design, as illustrated eloquently by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP in this video. For those unaware of recent happenings in Britain, on the morning of June 14th, 2017, a tower block in London suffered a fire, killing countless people. For many of our poorer compatriots, the tower blocks of London are the only accommodation that they can afford, being priced out of more traditional housing by wealthy Gulf landlords, rising immigration, and a booming population. The tower block has gained a reputation as an unsightly menace in the skylines of our cities, being filled to the brim with the disadvantaged, housed in a disgusting tube. And when these so-called architects decide to improve the look of these metal tubes, they merely clad them in a different material. The brutalist monstrosity remains, the terrible living conditions remain – and they become more unsafe, as evidenced by Grenfell Tower. When these buildings inevitably burn down, who do the residents blame? The architects for creating such an unsafe and an unsightly building? No. It gets blamed on this vast spectre of institutional racism.
This is but one problem with the modern city. As we all know, they are beacons for immigrants, with many London boroughs having White British people as a minority, dwarfed by the Black and “Asian” (note: in the UK this is used to refer to Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi people) communities. In our own capital city, we are but a shrinking slice of the population. The picture is the same across the nation’s towns and cities – rising diversity makes the area worse and worse for the ethnic Britons unfortunate enough to live in the area.
In addition to this, residents of places such as London report the highest levels of anxiety and the lowest levels of satisfaction with life in the country. You can’t put a price on mental health. Unsurprisingly, areas like the Outer Hebrides have the highest happiness levels, followed by other predominantly rural areas. The question is, would you like to live on a slightly lower income, buy better quality and more local goods, and feel happy and fulfilled? Or work a 70 hour week for Mr Goldstein to eke out a few more pennies to spend on groceries from a producer you’ll never meet, while popping pills daily to keep the depression at bay? This map illustrates the divide between the happiest and unhappiest places in Great Britain. Notice where all the red and orange areas are? That’s right. They’re primarily clustered around urban areas.
Let’s get back to the title. We’ve established that the city is a terrible place to live, from all perspectives. Cramped housing, mass immigration, a higher chance of mental health issues, and so many other problems that, if added into the article, would expand it to the size of a novel. But why is it so particularly anti-British?
The answer is to do with our cultural identity. When you, or anybody else, thinks of England, they think of our rolling hills, our expansive coastline, and our idyllic villages. At the heart of our national character is the urge to cultivate a link with nature. We were a nation of farmers a few generations back. Today, even the most metropolitan, Middle-England disparaging, snobbiest espresso drinkers in London still like the idea of getting out into the country for a bit. We love our traditional village pubs. We like our food from local sources. Our rural history is still woven into our increasingly undermined culture, as an inescapable part of our identity.
There is a reason why shows like Escape to the Country dominate our daytime lineups. Because people want that country lifestyle. The village creates a better community than the tower block. Gone are the petty arguments about who left the hallway smelling like cannabis, gone are the noise complaints, for the countryside provides a better moral foundation, inspired by our Anglican values! For every home is separated from its neighbour by a beautiful garden! These uniquely metropolitan complaints are replaced by wholesome and neighbourly discussions. Where the noticeboard, filled with multicultural guff and complaints forms the heart of the tower block community, the church and the pub form the heart of the village. It’s where young love blossoms and friendships are formed – not in some dingy 13th floor office in a no-go zone, but in the eyes of God and true Britons.
We are a rural nation at heart. Nearly 30% of our land is protected. Our heart and soul is in the village. There is no debate on this issue, people! Our culture has been guided by our past, and this past is one of rural life, rather than living in an urban hell!
I leave you with this thought. They say “An Englishman’s house is his castle.” Is a studio apartment a castle?