Cities and regions

If you look at the EU figures for incomes and output per head the dominance of a few large cities comes across from the statistics. in the 2013 figures Inner London is by far the richest region within the EU. It records an average income per head of 80,000 Euros,more than twice as high as any other part of the UK and more than twice as high as most other EU regions. The dominance of Paris in French economic success is also clear. The Ile de France area , Greater Paris, enjoyed an income of 44,200 Euros a head. The next richest region in France was Rhone Alps at Euro 26,400. These two largest cities in the EU are the most successful in generating high value added services and output, and sustaining more better paid jobs than elsewhere.

Most other European cities are of modest size by modern world standards,and do not establish the same lead over incomes elsewhere in their countries. Berlin is relatively poor. Hamburg is Germany’s top performer with a high income level. In Austria Vienna is the highest earning area by a decent margin, and in Belgium Antwerp is the leader. Outer London is relatively weak, with an average income considerably below the Home Counties that lie beyond it. In the UK Bristol is the one other city aside from Inner London that delivers a higher average income than most parts of the country. Were the EU figures to combine Inner and Outer London it would look more like Paris/Ile de France.

The figures show that cities do seem to offer the best prospects of concentrating, nurturing and using talent to boost incomes and jobs. It is not a universal panacea, as some cities enter periods of decline, stuck with older industries and patterns of working that no longer command high wages. They may also lose talent as it migrates elsewhere, and have a higher ratio of people dependent on state assistance. Fast growing cities on the other hand suck in more talent and may have younger average ages and higher proportions in work.

Other forces can provide high incomes. NE Scotland has done well out of oil, providing enough well paid jobs in that industry to make it one of the best paid regions on average. In the UK Cornwall and West Wales are the lowest income areas, with Lincolnshire, East and South Yorkshire and Merseyside also towards the bottom of the table. The Northern Powerhouse can help boost the great northern cities. As the figures show the lowest incomes in the UK are in rural areas.

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57 Comments

  1. Posted July 30, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Cities , on the whole have always attracted more money , which is why they are always so crowded and undesirable as a .place of residence. When people buy in London it is not due to rolling hills and beautiful scenery .It is purely investment, as money breeds money and therefore jobs.
    Cities though could be more desirable if planners thought about context before introducing new developments. Tin fronted business concerns on main roads in view to all and next to a housing estates are not welcoming sights for visitors and those searching to reach upmarket.It is mainly outer cities which have these monstrous, hotch potch areas of lack of design and talent. Large modern estates with detached houses which are overlooked and have postage stamp gardens are simply not desirable unless you are inside the house. Three storey houses next to small detached hide the light. Where are these people who are supposed to have talent as designers.
    Space and how we use it is just as important as the spaces we are filling .There are many projects to make City gardening a success and I applaud this move. Many of the London flats could be improved by introducing more green.If I want to see tac I could go to view Blackpool lights or to the EU Disney land. The popularity amongst children and its financial benefits are unquestionable , but tac and bad design should be confined to these places of specific interest .

    Reply London has many garden squares and parks which do give it more green space

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      People buy in London not just for money reasons.

      Many just enjoy the buzz and excitement of city living, perhaps having a second home in the country too.

      • Posted July 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Apart from the Hyde park I have not seen many roof top gardens and other places of green down the main streets . perhaps you are wearing rose coloured spectacles.However if you read on you may find something else said rather than your closed perception of green spaces.
        I suppose you are referring to EReigns when you say er?

        Reply green park, St James’s Park, Regents Park, Battersea,Hyde Park,and many garden squares, Vincent Square and Chelsea cricket grounds, grounds of Royal Hodpital etc

        • Posted July 31, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

          Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill, Clissold Park and loads more. Plus all the gardens in the many squares. Come out a bit further and you have load of greenery like Richmond Park.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parks_and_open_spaces_in_London

          • Posted July 31, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            Ok you win instead of going to the lakes this year for my hols I will go to the rolling hills of inner city London. It is Cities we are talking about.

      • Posted July 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic . Afew of my contemporaries went down to the smoke to live in London for the buzz but I wouldn’t call central London an area of rolling hills and beauty .Architecturally there are some interesting buildings and galleries which depict rural scenes , but that is not bucolic. It is a choice for them.

        • Posted July 31, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          Indeed, you pays you money and takes you choice. What suits one person may not suit another. Furthermore what suits someone young with no children might not suit someone later in life with children or who is retired.

          People who visit London for a day or two rushing round the centre on tubes do not get a true impression. Live there for a while and you get a rather different perspective.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Margaret Brandreth-J

      Er 47% of the land space in London is green space. There are 8 million trees in London its the worlds biggest urban forest . Deer, foxes, badgers and all kinds of wildlife can be seen in Londons vast green areas.

  2. Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    No wonder the EU is so keen to regulate and tax the City. In the worldview of an EU bureaucrat (and a UK leftist to be fair), these high numbers for London are ‘unfair’ and something that should be attacked by statist regulation and tax.

  3. Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    One reason cities, and in particular capital cities, do so much better than rural areas is because they arrange things to suit themselves and tell others what to do.

    A good example is the way the capital (i.e. government) has organised the National Parks: their primary purpose is to be run for the benefit of the Nation as a whole, and the interest of those living in a National Park come second. Thus business initiatives are neutered unless they are farming, the countryside or tourism.

    Also, all routes lead to the capital. For instance HS1 and HS2. And Heathrow.

    The “Northern Powerhouse” is a rotten idea. It tells the region what they must do and bribes them to do it, thus introducing regionalisation by the back door while retaining the stranglehold of the capital. And to the extent that it is any good at all, why is the largess only available to the Chancellor’s chosen few: what about the rest of us!

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      The nature of business is you want lots of customers. If you base yourself in London you are closer to far more of them than if you base yourself in say Land’s End. Also it is a hub for meeting people from around the world. It is all about population density and them having money to spend.

      Alas London is hugely held back by the lack of a 5 runway Heathwick hub airport, due to inept government and endless dithering.

      • Posted July 31, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, are you a “Heathwick” investor?

        Willie Walsh has said on the Today Programme this morning that the costs of a third runway at Heathrow are prohibitive and that his company will not be putting any money into it.

        The last thing Britain wants is loads more public money being thrown at the capital to unbalance the nation even more.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Alan,
      We in the “Northern Powerhouse” were never consulted about this – Conservative democracy in action. A deal was stiched up by Osborne with 10 council leaders all but one Labour before the last elections. The councils in those towns were asked to endorse the agreement after the event. They were not consulted before the agreement was made. As I expected Tony Lloyd, former Labour MP, has been appointed- not elected- mayor of Greater Manchester. Elections we are told will take place in two years. Meanwhile we read that the mayor will be given tax raising powers.
      Who said ‘no taxation without representation’?
      We “Northern Powerhouse” taxpayers must know our place under Osborne’s diktat.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      The Northern Powerhouse is bizarre, how are you ever going to get Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield to work together.

      What about Cheshire West and Stoke on Trent, Stockport or Oldham are they in the Northern Powerhouse or not?

      What exactly are the aims are they going to be Centralised near Manchester Airport?

  4. Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Lifelogic yes but to live in London with high house prices, high rents, high mortgages, high taxes, motorist muggers on every corner and an almost total lack of decent state schools you need to have far more income to have a similar standard of living.

    Also in the more rural areas (as you point out) you tend to have a rather older population while the cities tend to attract young talent from the whole of the UK.

    One can often earn twice as much in London yet still have a far lower standard of living after housing costs. Paying far more tax (due to the higher income) yet having a far lower disposable income. The figures are also boosted by the non doms in London with their special tax regime & overseas wealth coming in.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Living in the country can also be expensive.

      No or precious little public transport – cost of running a car.

      Availability of services either public or private is difficult or with less choice.

      Anybody brought up in rural areas without the proverbial silver spoon has to get out or face a life of low wages. (the odd one gets lucky and becomes the county dole office manager type thing)

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      The incredibly high pay of the ‘top people’ in London must account for the much higher pay levels, compared to other cities. The standard of living of the ordinary Londoner is lower than in many other cities. Whether the top lawyers, accountants, city traders, civil servants and others are really giving the rest of the country a good service is an interesting subject.

      Just to take some of the unwelcome news items this week, we had Lady Justice Arden deciding that a deceased person had been capricious and harsh and then changing her will to award an amount to a relation specifically excluded. Nice work in the pipeline for top lawyers, they will be planning the first TV adverts already by overturning wills for U, no win no fee.

      Then there is the situation in Kent, where it is almost impossible to take the car over on holiday or deliver lorry loads of produce. Until July 1st we had the happy choice of 3 ferry companies running from Dover. My Ferry was very good last year and with low fares. But the UK Competition Commission- now the Competition and Markets Authority decided that Eurotunnel could not run the ships, which were previously with Sea France, and one of the other ferry companies only wanted to use one of the ships. And so ,in order to improve the competition and markets, we now have a choice of two ferries instead of three and with less capacity, striking workers and a thirty mile queue.

      While over at Highways England, the new private publicly owned company, with highly paid ex- civil servant executives, we have a lady in charge telling the people of Kent that they can’t have a contraflow because to have two lanes of traffic going in opposite directions is too dangerous when separated by cones in the middle of a 3 lane motorway with a hard shoulder. Perhaps she ought to close all the other motorways and roads in England, where this dangerous practice goes on.

      Yes, thanks goodness we have all these top people in London to look after the rest of the country.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      That’s right, Lifelogic. When it comes to translating the figures John gives into an accurate assessment of actual living standards, you need to carry large salt cellar around with you.

      Living in both London and West Yorkshire, I have often felt that the economic gap between north and south is overdone. Prices for practically everything except eating out are cheaper in the north. £20,000 in Yorkshire will go as far as £30,000 in London. But the biggest difference is house prices which are at least 3 to 4 times more expensive in London. If we look at a person’s disposable income after he has paid his mortgage, one wonders if many people in the south on average wages are in fact any better off than their equivalents in the north.

      The low cost of most everything is one of the reasons why so much business is being attracted to Leeds and its environs and something that the poor Greeks should take note of.

      P.S. The phrase ‘The Northern Powerhouse’ is greeted with wry amusement by the locals I chat to.

  5. Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I do remember vaguely my school geography, and an index which rated the developed status of a country by comparing the difference between income and population size of the largest city, second largest, and so on. I’m not sure the UK would be much above 3rd world now. Something definitely needs to be done to boost our other major cities, but it needs to be done in a defined way. The vague notion of a Northern Powerhouse is as unclear as CMD’S big Society. No one really knows what it entails.

  6. Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Cities can be confusing. Mrs Thatcher used to tell us about the wonders of the free market yet Boris (same party) wants to closee Heathrow and have a planned airport (Boris-Marx International Airport) in a fog bank in the Thames estuary.

  7. Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    OT – I’d like to just point out to the govt (as none of them seem to have noticed) that there is a massive crisis in Calais which is causing misery to thousands of people in Kent as well as elsewhere throughout the country, including lorry drivers everywhere. No wonder the haulage industry is desperately short of drivers.

    Harriet Harman told the PM to ‘get a grip’. I’m liking her more and more. Who in the Conservative party is going to grow a pair and give Cameron the metphorical – or actual – slap in the face he needs to get him to face up to the real problems facing the country right now?

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      @DaveM

      “there is a massive crisis in Calais which is causing misery to thousands”

      Dave spent millions or pounds of taxpayers money erecting a wire fence. How could he have known that the intruders were equipped with wire cutters? Be reasonable.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Give it a few more days and it will really be a crisis with major disruptions to food supplies. No moves yet it seems to divert traffic to other ports. There are plenty more ‘sans papiers’ waiting to jump across the line to El Dorado….. But don’t worry, Cast Elastic is giving lectures to people on ‘dirty money’……. There’s a story to tell there somewhere!

      zorro

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Oh no Dave, you are apparently all xenophobic in your reactions to the Calais crisis and wanting to keep out economic migrants…… The British reaction has also been ‘grossly excessive’ according to UN Secretary General’s special representative on international migration, Peter Sutherland (ex Goldman Sachs employee and Bilderburger)…… So you just have to do as you are told as there is a plan, there’s a good chap ?

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Sutherland

      He reminds me of an older Leon Brittan to look at of course.

      zorro

  8. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    There is no question of how important London is as a place of influence and decision . In the mid 70’s there was a lot of pressure and persuasion to move H.Qs out of London and to diversify parts of the Public Sector away from the centre . It was not a success . By the early 80’s the move was back to the centre ; it was not because technology had not provided the means of rapid and effective communication , it was all to do with the need to scrutinise and supervise staff – especially those in the spotlight . Today the problem is exacerbated by the very high cost of commuting .

  9. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Why is the Tory or at least the 2 main men so keen to Balkanise England
    Why is Cameron strutting around the world stage when we have an immigration crisis at home. I think they like the idea of flooding the country with young males without skills or prospects. Tell us again how bringing half a million foreigners in annually helps the economy when they consume more than they produce and devastate public services.

  10. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    There is a new edition of the Travel-To-Work map due out shortly from ONS. Based on the 2011 Census. It is supposed to give direction to planning future transport, housing and working areas. Shame it won’t get used.

    Anyway, meantime you can have a play with the commuting across the 406 LG Districts. See how many come and go for their work on your patch.

    The site is slow and a bit flakey! http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/HTMLDocs/dvc193/index.html

  11. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    There are more than 3,000,000 people who don’t live in London who commute in on a daily basis. They earn London wages but live with suburb prices. A new garden city has just been approved at Ebbsfleet with 15,000 new houses effectively overlooking Canary Wharf ( the river is between them). I hear that the government is looking at designating the borough of Dartford in Kent as a new London Borough.

    London is the best and most successful city on the planet ( why do you think so many people want to get here legally or illegally?) Its why Labour lost the election the left bleat on and on about inequality, the 1%, bankers, poverty, food banks blah blah blah, however the UK is THE best place to live on the planet , we have the most generous welfare system in Europe ( probably the world), we have a free at the point of use health system and most of the people realise that there is nowhere better. Its why we don’t need the EU too by the way. The entire population of UK is in the Worlds top 10% of wealth

    Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh are also ALL thriving cities. The North/ South divide is a myth. One of the worst regions for deprivation is in South East England ( planet Thanet). Some of the most desirable places to live are in the North East ( Harrogate for example).

    That is why Hs2 is nonsense. If government is going to spend money on rail then the major city commuter lines are where the attention should be.

    How about Hi speed rail from Cornwall to Exeter and Bristol ?

    Urbanisation has been the most dramatic change in human activity in the last few hundred years, free market capitalism has lifted people out of poverty and poor health but has clustered around huge conurbations. As Ive mention a few time, things are changing, small, local and independent is the way forward.

    If government really did believe the green nonsense they come out with, if they really did believe that transport in the UK needs overhauling then all they have to do via the taxation system is incentivise more people to work at home. That requires a huge investment in the mobile and broadband infrastructure in the UK but is a damn site cheaper and more use than HS2 etc

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      @ Libertarian: “That is why Hs2 is nonsense.”

      Unfortunately for present UK Government, HS2 made sense to enough of the right people at the time. Forgive me for reposting my comment, made towards the end of last year, which might explain why we will have to have an additional railway system connecting our South to our North:

      Because “Ever Closer Union” is embedded in all the treaties, it also explains the real reason for the HS2 project, and why it is rather more political than logistical. Under ‘Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system’, “introduction of provisions on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system must not create unjustified cost-benefit barriers to the preservation of the existing rail network of each Member State, but must endeavour to maintain the objective of the circulation of high-speed trains throughout the Community;” so it appears it has been agreed that expenditure on our domestic railway is not to interfere with the smooth running of the ‘interoperable’ Trans-European Network (of which HS2 will of course be a component), so we’ll all end up paying for the building of it whether or not we ever use it. To put it another way, we’re effectively going to be paying for improving one slightly clunky, but operative, national railway system from the South to the North of England and building another brand new international one there as well.

      Christopher Booker explains this in his article, 14/1/2012:

      “As we know, the high-speed trains from Birmingham will not stop at St Pancras, where the HS1 line to Paris begins. They will either stop at Euston or, as the ministry confirmed to me, will continue, via the North London line and the Channel Tunnel, direct to the Continent.
      The hidden story behind this project goes back to 1993, when Jacques Delors was busy with two gargantuan schemes for the integration of Europe. One was to give it a single currency. The other, just as ambitious, was his plan for Trans-European Networks (TENs), designed to integrate all Europe’s transport and communications systems.” and
      “Whenever a new line is built, under EU directive 96/48, it must connect “interoperably” with the rest of the network. This is why those trains from Birmingham and the North will have to connect directly with the continent. No doubt, since one can fly from Birmingham to Paris in under an hour, such trains will prove as financially disastrous as their Dutch equivalent – but nothing in the grand design is based on practical calculations. HS2 is a political project, inspired by Delors’ dream of an integrated Europe. And that is why our politicians and officials, under its spell, press on with it, regardless of common sense.
      But why can’t they just tell us this? Why does the driving force behind this insane project have to be a state secret? Not the least price we pay for being part of the “European project” is how it makes those who rule over us so routinely deceitful about almost everything they do.”

      Reply Most people I know who support the project argue for it in UK terms, not as a trans European project. It clearly is not a requirement of our membership of the EU as we have never been threatened with court action for failure to build it. I speak as an opponent both of HS2 and of our membership of the current Treaties/EU

  12. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Interesting that you say Devon and Cornwall have one of the lower incomes, as given from my experience they also have quite high housing costs.

    Would this be due to the better off pensioner wanting nicer surroundings, and moving from the cities.

    Given the extraordinary difference in living costs, and the fact that Benefits are paid on a National Scale, it is no surprise we do not have many who are out of work wanting to get on their bike to move to higher cost areas.

  13. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Off Topic

    How is the new fence construction at Calais coming on ?

    Do you really think we or the French are doing enough to keep law and order around the Port and Tunnel.

    Given that these people are illegal immigrants who are trying to get to England, why do not the French deport them, as they must also be of illegal status in France having not yet claimed so called asylum.

    Time to put up border controls between EU Countries me thinks.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Due to travel through the tunnel in a few weeks, what are the chances of getting through on time.

      • Posted July 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Almost nil, it will get worse

        zorro

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Every single one who arrives here has entered illegally – therefore we are ensuring that crime DOES pay. 5000 vandals and thugs are willing to smash their way in and threaten lorry drivers. They are then rewarded for getting here, with housing, cash and healthcare. The family is then contacted back home – and told to come. They then have a taxpayer funded life till they drop. Contributing nothing. Cameron must be so proud that HIS and the EU’s plan for the destruction of this nation is going to plan. Wonder if he realises what this is costing him in votes. Still, come the election he’ll offer 2p off a litre of fuel and all will be happy.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      AJ

      As hard as it is to face upto the fact that both the French and British governments seem to stay away from is, that is only when the risk is far greater than the perceived reward that all this nonsense will stop. Build a fence? Make sure it is of the high voltage kind. The human rights lot will be screaming and getting out of their chairs but at the end of the day it is the working taxpayer who will end up with the bill in some shape form or other. I do wonder how much all this illegal immigration added to the green crap and wll the other nonsense that this government wants to support adds to the national debt which I have heard right is, £1.5 trillion

  14. Posted July 30, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Off topic:

    The situation in Calais is spiralling out of control – with Cameron fearing to say ‘boo to a goose’ to the French for fear of his precious EU so-called re-negotiations.

    Have you any plans to write a blog item on this problem? (please!)

  15. Posted July 30, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Is the Northern Powerhouse a new initiative ?

    A replacement for Mr Cameron’s Big Society which seems to have been quietly dropped .

    What exactly is it ?

    • Posted July 31, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Its local councillors being given power over nearby areas they do not represent. Its local councillors being given power over NHS allocation of treatment, even less power in the patients hands. Its spin. Its a big gravy train for lots of political hangers on.

  16. Posted July 30, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Not a word on the migrant crisis unfolding at Calais ?

    What an utter humiliation for your government and for Britain.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Surely the humiliation is with the French government, they are responsible for ensuring freedom of movement for EU citizens and businesses. That they have allowed illegal immigrants to reach Calais let alone set up a permanent camp, commit criminal damage and attempt to break across the border demonstrates their inability and unwillingness to defend EU borders and the rule of law.

  17. Posted July 30, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    One does not see the odd person or two setting themselves ablaze every day in the north of England protesting we want to be like London, or that we envy London, or we are jealous of London. Nor are mass demonstrations prevalent each participant banging his self on his head until blood flows protesting we demand more of London, or that we love London, or we want the life of a Londoner.

    When Mr Osborne said creating Powerhouses in the North would mean “the great cities of the North can be like London” frankly, and without satire, it really did go down as a threat through northern ears ( full stop )

    I know it is usual throughout the entire world for politicians to pander to the ignorance and low aspiration of penned up human beings in cities, but being in a carefully marked green area totally surrounded by the noise of cars and within eyesight of buildings is not enviable in free parts of the UK. Though Constable’s painting the Hay Wain has an outside frame one should not assume the frame is to hide Powerhouse buildings.

  18. Posted July 30, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Successful cities are the lamps which attract the moths, and in so doing create a whole set of problems. The cost of living in them or near them. The cost of travel. The higher levels of pollution in the air due to vehicles, industrial processes and aircraft attracted from all over the World. Have you ever noticed that London is invariably two degrees higher in temperature than it’s surrounds, which I always put down to the night storage effect, air conditioning, and vehicle pollution.

    Yes the rewards can be much greater in terms of salary and property values if you can afford to buy one. However the downside can be much more debilitating . Possibly why the seriously rich ,in the case of London, have an escape home in the Cotswolds.

    Hence my belief in working from home, where the world of the computer has given us all the tools. Put simply, I could do deals when the opposition were on their way to the office.

    I am not anti city, they have the centres for the arts, history, restaurants etc., but these are places for leisure visits. Hence my lifestyle choice of work away, but visit for pleasure.

  19. Posted July 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    While posting on todays topic I also watched Nigel Farage’s live press conference launching the “Say No, Believe in Britain” campaign. He articulated the reasons for No and leaving the EU superbly well.

    He chided the No elements in the conservative party and labour party for to date being fairly mute, presumably in deference to Cameron’s spurious re-negotiation, which very few outside the Westminster bubble believe in. Particularly as he has been told by Brussels that he cannot re- negotiate the subjects that most concern the British people.

    Nigel said that should a parallel conservative No campaign emerge, he had no problem in sharing a platform with it. Nor did he have a problem if a stronger voice than his emerged to lead it. Personally I doubt if their is anyone with a strong enough public profile to take the helm other than Nigel.

    I do think that the No element in Parliament needs to get itself organised, to come out and be seen because the train is about to leave the station. You and your like minded colleagues need to be on it. We have in my opinion reached the point where deference to party leadership and loyalty to the party should now take a step backwards. It is not acceptable when the sovereignty of the country is at stake to continue the pretence of this re-negotiation., and use it to stay hidden.

    Reply we have set up conservatives for Britain with over 100 MPS, and I have written and spoken extensively about this topic in the last two months

  20. Posted July 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    We should announce a closure date for the channel tunnel so that people booking ahead can make other arrangements. Closure to continue until the EU solves their migrant problem. How we don’t care, it is not our problem.
    In the meantime any migrant of any age that has sucessfully reached Dover should immediately be returned to Calais, no landing, no processing, no consideration of asylum application, nothing but a mug of tea and a sandwich. Just an immediate return to France as “your problem”. Many migrants have passed through 6 countries, all of them viable for an application for admission.
    Our politicians know what the electorate,their employer wants they should just do it or stand down for someone that will. We do need the proper right of recall!

  21. Posted July 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I hope you are applying some heat to James Brokenshire after his nonsense letter on the Dover/Calais situation the other day, and Ms May, and Cameron. The open doors immigration, failing to actually lock up and deport those getting through into England, the continued uncapped confetti like intra company transfer visas going to the Indian outsourcers, all this and more. Disgrace, disgrace, disgrace. Their usual talk tough but do nothing line on immigration is crumbling before them it must be obvious the public are not going to put up with this much longer. For goodness sake we cannot even keep our exports going through our main export route. What on earth is going on?

    Please tell them in no uncertain terms to start doing and stop talking.

  22. Posted July 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    London has done very well out of the money laundering boom .

    On the one hand it upsets and disgusts me and makes me ashamed to be British .

    On the other if London was to start asking difficult questions the money would just go somewhere else .

    Not very edifying though is it .

    I’m sure we are capable of better than that .

  23. Posted July 30, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I fancy that the figures you are using, particularly the E80,000 income per head, exaggerate the position of Inner London because they actually measure GDP. London’s GDP per inhabitant is distorted.
    Vast numbers commute from Outer London to Inner London, where they generate GDP before returning to their statistically poorer homes. And GDP is boosted by having the headquarters of financial services companies and other big, profitable corporates. For instance, every time someone buys petrol on a credit card in Carlisle they generate a slice of GDP in Inner London.
    Inner London still tops the tree if one compares average household incomes but by a far smaller margin. Adjusted for purchasing power it was, as I read it, less that E33,000 per head.
    By contrast, the UK has no less than seven statistical regions where average net disposable income after transfers is higher than pre-tax income. That compares with only two in Germany and one each in Spain, France and Italy.
    I suggest that this is the UK’s main economic problem and the most important issue thrown up by these statistics, And that is true whether you view it from the point of view of generating wealth or just in terms of taxation and ever-rising welfare spending.

  24. Posted July 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    How many of those incomes in Inner London are public sector, BBC, GPs, consultants, companies 100% dependent on public sector contracts compared to private sector employee/self-employed?

    I watched several programs last night that just left me feeling depressed and wondering how things will ever be resolved, slum properties in central London, Lewisham I think with 17 paying for slum conditions, people renting known slums which get condemned when reported by unknown ‘tip offs’ and then the housing has no choice but to find homes for people with children, landlords who I can’t imagine are declaring the income they’re getting properly.

    I saw a chap called Soros from the States that emigrated to the UK from Hungary, my husband said he was a stock market gambler that gained from the hospitality the UK offered him and then left with his fortune, who then started to tell us in the UK what we should be doing to accept more immigration and that we aren’t doing enough!

    There’s no way out is there, the more we repay, the harder we work, the more benefits we give to raise people out of poverty the more want to come to take our hospitality, free NHS etc. this is what will finish of the NHS,not the Conservatives, simply a lack of people paying for the services. We have lost control of immigration and we are getting a reputation for not welcoming people when we’re taking in and feeding and housing hundreds of thousands, its ridiculous.

  25. Posted July 30, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    My earlier comment about the judge overturning a will and handing work to no win no fee lawyers was based on a report on BBC News 5 days ago. The history of the loss of My Ferry ships from the competitive market for Dover-Calais, following the Competition and Market Authority decision is also on Wiki. The statement from Highways England about the dangers of having a contraflow on a 3 lane motorway with a hard shoulder is on BBC SE News.

  26. Posted July 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Just think of all those EU penpushers overpaid and pensioned to devise these artificial and contrived smaller chunks of the EU just so that another bunch of penpushers can come up with statistics that are not only useless but worse than useless in that jealousies and unhappiness are created out of thin air where none existed before. Load of rubbish, analysis of which we can do without. The utterly useless and expensive penpushers may of course not see it this way. As usual the EU disgusts me.

  27. Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    To my mind economic success relates to the amount of added value. To what extent does income per head correspond to added value? How much value do those Russian billionaires and oil-rich Arabs add and how much of their income stems from being in a position to put their hands on the money? How much value do the various parts of the finance industry add compared to the amounts they extract for themselves as income? Are the well-paid CEO’s actually adding more value than they take out in total remuneration?

  28. Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    The other major wealth factor is proximity to the coast – and it applies worldwide, not just in Europe. An extreme example is doubly landlocked Uzbekistan, which lies on the Old (and defunct) Silk Road. In fact, you can include all of the ‘Stans. In Western Africa, the relatively rich Christians live in the coastal areas and the poorer Muslims live in the interior.

    • Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Note: The five ‘Stans are poor relative to much of the former USSR.

  29. Posted July 31, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I see Nicola Sturgeon is claiming that David Cameron has no right to decide whether or not there should be another Scottish referendum on breaking up the UK.

    She is actually correct, insofar as the Prime Minister of the UK does not have that legal right; but nor does the First Minister in Scotland, nor the Scottish Parliament.

    That legal right is clearly reserved to the UK Parliament which passed the Act to create her position as the head of a devolved government, as well as to establish the Scottish Parliament; as both she and Alex Salmond implicitly acknowledged, when they signed the Edinburgh Agreement on the independence referendum held last year.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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