A SATELLITE city stirs. London seethes. ‘Know your place’ is the curt metropolitan message, pour encourager les autres. How dare the nobodies of Knowsley protest about Hotel Calaisfornia, that booming Home Office franchise where, if France fails to meet your high refugee standards, you can check in any time you like.

They’re living it up, and there’s plenty of room, at the Hotel Calaisfornia. ‘Anti-racists’ deem Rwanda uninhabitable. So our dinghy guests are dispersed around the country on inflatable budgets; far from polite society, naturally. Anything to keep the activists – the judiciary, MSM, the King – off ministers’ backs. 

Local opposition can’t be brooked: it exposes awkward cultural differences. We’re all one big melting pot now, with humanitarian duties to perform – for outsiders. ‘Look,’ cry the enlightened, ‘at our expensive views, which hoi polloi can’t afford.’ Tony Blair once pronounced the class war over. In inverted form, it’s raging.

Representative democracy? At this rate we’d fare better under aristocratic paternalism, benign lords of the manor. The family seat of the Stanleys, earls of Derby since 1485, is in Knowsley. Tenant farmers worked on the surrounding estates for centuries. Though poor, they were at least afforded protection by their lord.

Today’s residents, airing perfectly legitimate grievances, are effectively gagged by their elected officials. According to the Labour MP for Knowsley, Geoff Howarth, the demonstration was fuelled by misinformation. It’s the ‘far-right’ wot dunnit. So we are to believe that British fascism is alive and well on Merseyside. It’s the classic bait-and-switch, coming to a demo near you. (Of course, one hopes that the mysterious latecomer troublemakers face justice.)

Of course, if the chattering classes had any respect for ordinary people, fighting-age male immigrants wouldn’t be here in the first place. Now that they are, peaceful dissenters can expect few favours. Be quiet and get on with it. If not, feel the full force of the law. What price exclusion zones around the hotels, and terrorist charges for breaching them?        

Stepping back, it all stems from a collapse in British self-confidence. Why don’t we robustly secure our shoreline, like, oh I don’t know, a functioning nation state does? For the same reason that our armed forces are depleted. Because, deep down, our elites believe there’s nothing here worth defending. (Ukraine’s borders are evidently another matter.)  

In left-liberal eyes, the UK is (or should become) a progressive anywhere, not a regressive somewhere. Exclusive postcodes shield the woke from the harmful consequences. They’re not that stupid. Young daughters of middle-class utopians walk safe streets. For now.

The working class of Liverpool and elsewhere don’t expect to be loved by the powerful. There was no golden age when they were. But there was a time when they were respected, when their fears were listened to, and sometimes allayed.

That social contract has been broken by a condescending commentariat; by internationalists bored with local obligation; by a ‘coffee’ class irritated by their fellow citizens’ pale faces. And by former one-nation Conservatives, who now find the common touch inexpedient.  

One day, this toxic ideology will be consigned to a shameful chapter in our island’s storied history. But for now, as Knowsley all too clearly shows, its adherents and facilitators press on, vilifying any resistance.

When will they be satisfied? Not until Britain itself resembles a dark desert highway, while they’re snugly inside, quaffing pink champagne on ice.            

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