Leave a comment
It is hardly news that London and its satellites have done so well when the Brown government bailed their financial industries out to the tune of £700 billion. If the great regional cities had had anywhere near that level of handout there would be not be this divide. Look at transport investment in Birmingham for instance. It is a national disgrace.London politicians keep all our money for London particularly the Gucci socialists of Islington and Camden. This will never change. Blair was the worst prime minister for the regions ever cancelling project after project. The other cities mentioned are only successful because they are within an hour of London and no other reason. Does anyone really think that if Milton Keynes was in Cornwall it would have done so well.
Bear in mind that London is an international financial centre – perhaps the international centre. It follows that the finance sector is underpinned not merely by British subventions, estimated by the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane at 74% of UK GDP, but by US subventions, estimated by Joe Stiglitz at 80% of US GDP ($12 trilllion). With money like this sloshing around it’s hardly surprising that house prices in the south east have gone up, or jobs have grown. But as a worldly wise person put it to me – if they want to subsidise our industries, then why should we complain?
Hi Ian – good points on international investment. The question from this is how come other cities haven’t benefited to the same extent from international investment? What is it that makes them less attractive to invest in? While we wouldn’t necessarily expect to see a second finance hub in the UK, this doesn’t preclude investment in other areas. Removing the barriers to this happening should be the aim of any policy attempting to support growth in UK cities.