It has been left to Boris Johnson to identify the most significant future opportunity in this country — population increase.
I was very impressed by his speech on Tuesday because he did a dangerous thing: he tried to reason his party audience out of its instinctive position. London has had more live births in 2012, he told us, than at any time since the 1966 World Cup. He attributed it to time spent on the sofa during the Olympics. Conservative supporters always favour economic growth but usually balk at any linkage with having more babies. Being predominantly old, they find large numbers of the young irritating.
Yet, as Boris hinted, without specifically pointing out Germany’s population decline, on current trends Britain could become the biggest country in the EU in a generation or so. He does instinctively identify the hopeful aspect of every situation, which makes him unique, and formidable.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.Tags: Boris Johnson, Conservative conference 2013, UK politics