STRAIGHT TALKING Time to narrow North/South gap
FROM UKIP’S DEPUTY LEADER
A REPORT by the think-tank Centre for Cities has just told us something we all knew – the North/South divide in this country is widening.
The study found for every 12 jobs created in southern cities since 2004, only one was created in the North.
Economic growth has also been driven by the South, which means when the government speaks of the “economic recovery” it means bugger all to many working people in northern towns and cities.
The report also unsurprisingly found that whilst jobs created in London in the same period rose by 17 per cent, they actually fell by 10 per cent in places like Blackpool and Rochdale. All this gets right on my wick. The reason why the South – and by that I really mean London – is taking off is because that’s where all the London-based politicians allocate the money.
Take for example the fact that in London £1,500 per head is spent on infrastructure in comparison to just over £200 per head for the North East.
Consider that HS2 – a high speed white elephant that will cost the British taxpayer around £80 billion – is being constructed for the benefit of London and will suck even more life out of the economy of the North.
All government departments and all the media outlets, with the exception of THIS paper and the BBC’s empty gesture MediaCity in Salford, are London-based.
It’s London, London, bloody London.
And it’s just getting worse as the capital’s population grows due to uncontrolled mass immigration, and the city’s tentacles spread ever wider.
You might have thought when Labour were in power between 1997 and 2010 they would have tried to address this problem, as most of the northern MPs were Labour – including the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
But no, they actually made things even worse.
During that time the gap between rich and poor actually got wider and the North/South divide expanded, which is criminal considering that this was once the party of the workers.
And don’t for one nanosecond think the Tories are going to do anything about it. They are a primarily southern English party, with mainly southern MPs, that see no real political capital in pandering to the North.
Moreover, don’t forget this is the party that wanted to see my city Liverpool go into “managed decline” in the 1980s. Some friends of the North!
I’m not in favour of devolving power to the regions, as I don’t want to see the breakup of England, but something has to be done to redress the balance and stop London sucking the life-blood out of the rest of the country.
For a start I think governmental departments need to be relocated across the country. Why not move the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to Manchester or Leeds?
We could move the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs out to somewhere a bit, well, more rural.
If the next government does not move to right the past wrongs inflicted on the North, then I fear resentment towards London will increase and the English regions will eventually go their own way.