Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where to start?

The BBC News, alongside many other media outlets, has reported that Policy Exchange's latest report 'Cities Unlimited' argues:

"Cities in northern England such as Liverpool, Sunderland and Bradford are "beyond revival" and residents should move south, a think tank has argued. Policy Exchange said current regeneration policies were "failing" the people they were supposed to help. A mass migration to London, Cambridge and Oxford would stop them becoming "trapped" in poorer areas, it said."

It's an incredible claim to make. Author Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics (proof indeed that at the end of the day intelligence is an unquantifiable trait), said: 'No doubt some will claim that these proposals are unworkable, unreasonable and perhaps plain barmy.' Plain barmy? That's putting it mildly.

It's all quite mind-boggling. If the north is 'beyond revival' as this think tank, that advises the Tories on key issues, suggests, then we should just give up on it and tell everyone to move south? Is that actually what they’re suggesting? The report is (now) online, you can download it here. Their site is is a load of rubbish though; the search function doesn’t work and the layout is garish.

Surely a mass migration to other cities will just ruin those cities? Does this ‘think’ tank really believe this is the best course of action? It almost seems like practical joke and if it was April 1st it would make more sense. How on earth have we evolved to a system of government and 'thinking' where a major think tank can suggest such outlandish, spurious, almost comical claims?

On the 'thisislondon' website they've included a great image comparision piece in their article to show the differences between Oxford and Liverpool - pictured. It's utter rubbish. You could find two shots of any two cities and make one look nice and the other like a dump.

Perhaps they're right. Perhaps everyone oop' north should just give up, come down here, (we've got loads of room!) and find jobs here, (can't give 'em away!) and let's allow the northern cities to turn into wild, ghost towns, that we can use for movie shoots in post-apocalyptic films.

1 comment:

geordie said...

I can confidently speak for my people here: none of them would remotely want to move. (Otherwise, they'd, er, have already done it.)