Levelling up

The government has committed itself to levelling up. It wants to adopt policies that spread wealth and income more widely around the country, given the big gaps between London and the rest.

It is right to talk positively of levelling up, and not to talk negatively about taxing the rich out of London to bring London’s figures down to nearer the national average. It’s no help to the other cities of the UK if London is poorer. Indeed, levelling London down might also entail some loss of income and wealth for the rest of the country as well.

There are various differences between London and the rest of the country. London’s productivity is higher. The capital has many more small and competing companies per 1000 residents than the rest of the nation. There is much more private sector wealth and income per person than elsewhere.

One of the curious features of the imbalance is it is much dearer to live, work and set up a business in London than elsewhere, yet more people choose to do it. They do so because they seek access to the better paid jobs, or access to the better off customers that London provides. There are many competing London restaurants, often with high meal prices, yet many of them make a good living. There are so many people in London wanting to buy a meal with the income to pay for them. With more companies and more highly paid people there is more need of lawyers, accountants, business consultants, personal advisers and the rest. In turn these service sector professionals are well paid and create more demand.

In some other cities and towns around the country there is a shortage of spending power and free enterprise. Oxford and Cambridge are demonstrating that it is possible for smaller provincial cities to attract a cluster of new investors and businesses around themes or strengths of that place. It requires ensuring there is suitable housing for those with the money to develop a business or to supply the high level talent the businesses need. As the cluster of new activities grows so the city attracts the supporting trades and services that can work with the new wealth creators.

Manchester in its prosperous past was King Cotton. Liverpool developed from a great port with many merchant traders. Birmingham was always a big manufacturing and engineering centre. Modern versions of these concentrations of talent and investment will drive wealthier and more productive cities and towns around the country. The levelling up agenda needs to make it easier for them to attract the talent and investment it takes to build a much bigger private sector. The policies needed include lower taxes, more supportive government interventions and fewer penal regulations, and a belief at all levels of government that free enterprise is a big part of the answer, not part of the problem.

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  1. Posted March 5, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Just get the largely parasitic government off the backs of the productive. On lawyers, HR consultants, accountants and the likes we have far too many of these. This as the absurd increasing complexity of the tax system, red tape, employment laws and the likes creates more and more of these largely unproductive and parasitic jobs. Yet another huge burden on the wealth creators & productive.

    Above all Boris need to abandon his idiotic expensive energy agenda and his deluded alarmist lunacy, to cancel his wasteful vanity projects and cut the size of the state by about 50%.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Alas it seems Boris is yet another tax, borrow and waste socialist and a climate alarmist believer who is pretending to be a Conservative. Let us hope I am wrong. We will find out in the budget next week.

      The Corona virus is a far,far greater and more immediate threat than some possible and very uncertain climate change in 100 years, he should concentrate on preparations for the pandemic and the thousand of patient that will need help in a few days or weeks time.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        This is especially true as the “renewables” and electric car “solutions” as pushed by the (largely scientifically illiterate) alarmists clearly does nothing or any real significance to net world CO2 output anyway. Even if you (wrongly) accept that CO2 is actually serious a problem.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        hysteria again every known case of people with corona virus can fit on a single double-decker bus

        • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Can you name me a double decker bus that scan hold 116 people please?

          • Posted March 6, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            AEC Routemaster (London red bus) 132 passengers – 80 seated and fifty standing

            Active coronavirus in UK – 97

            Active coronavirus in Worldwide – 39.711

            (they could all fit into one Premier League stadium)

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          But perhaps doubling every day or so. That is 100,000 plus in ten day time!

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        HS 2 is London centric, wasting billions on green crap London elitist group think, London and civil service anti US group think- hence Haewei, immigration London centric. Leveling up my arse. Your govt is clueless. All London group thinking is imposed on the country – even fox hunting!

        Sidwell has too many lead roles and too powerful. He has three. Current events demonstrate he is not on top of his game, to many fingers in too many pies. Security should be given to someone else and he should be asked which one of his other two roles would he prefer to lead and give the othe one away as well.

        Why not make all policy decisions based on rural group think? Cameron called Tory supporters who in the main come from rural areas turnip taliban! Or swivel eyed loons! There will not be a leveling up any time soon. Another reason why the Environment Agency, and other quangos, is no good for the country it only thinks London!

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Don’t think you are , there will be no levelling up with Boris’s climate lunacy. There is an estimated £3 trillion cost to this infatuation with St Greta, and that is a conservative estimate, so we will be all levelling down to the dark ages. If they whinged about austerity from the recession they ain’t seen nothing when the climate change austerity gets imposed on us. Meanwhile there are 600 coal fired power stations being built around the world in 25 countries.

        • Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          Exactly total insanity. An absurd and very dangerous new religion.

        • Posted March 5, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          MPs get a 3.1 percent pay rise! Nearly £82 ,000 plus expenses and tax free perks for a part time unqualified job! Levelling up! Your pay is out of control by any standard across the country. No right to recall, different rules to get prosecuted for fiddling expenses, after all the shinanigans over the past three years it is an utter disgrace. Nurses get £24,000 and they now have to hold a degree, junior doctor,
          police officer, teacher all on far less and have far higher standards etc. how many years did Mayhab prevent police officers having a rise, even against Javid arguing their case?

          Higher chance than any other to become a Lord to boost MPs pensions! Outrageous.

          Civil service appear to be the only body higher paid than MPs. What credibility does your levelling up across the country have? None.

          • Posted March 5, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Doctors nurses, teachers, police officers and military expected to risk their lives for corona virus!

          • Posted March 6, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

            50% of very expensively UK trained doctors do not go on to work for the NHS (or even as doctors at all) as the NHS are such a poor employer. Then they rather immorally import (often worse trained) doctors from overseas.

        • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          This country’s been levelling down across the board for the past 40 years

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this virus is a real, imminent threat as you say.

        But this is a Conservative government.

        Do you not grasp what that means?

        Apparently not.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        According to Rebecca Long Bailey on Andrew Neil the climate emergency is governments biggest concern. She truly has lost the plot like Corbyn and Starmer.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      “Above all Boris need to abandon his idiotic expensive energy agenda and his deluded alarmist lunacy, to cancel his wasteful vanity projects and cut the size of the state by about 50%.”

      I have a feeling he and his party with him, will be gone in five years anyway.

      He doesn’t seem to have any bulldog about him where French EU threats are concerned, and is about to bugger up many a hard earned retirement with his climate alarmism.

      Unless we see the brexit we voted for, and he reverses the petrol and diesel bans, and stops french access to UK fishing resources….I don’t see him getting voted back in at the next general election.

      Failure on any of these three red line issues will simply result in the bum’s rush.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Which ‘hugely expensive’ employment laws do you want to axe? You’re retired of course so it won’t affect you personally. But it would be useful for the rest of us to know which of our employment rights you object to. Maternity leave? Paternity leave? Parental leave? Holiday pay? Working hours? Health and safety? Tell us.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Glad you mention working hours – it seemed like a list of why not to work.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        I am not even that close to retirement age. I expect to work for at least another 15 years or so, cornona virus and good luck permitting.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Between yourself and our host you have identified the obstacles to spreading productivity around the country. I can only hope that the govt ministers that spout on about levelling up will read this blog before they do any more damage.

  2. Posted March 5, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The government and health secretary advised us that the NHS was exceptionally well prepared for the corona virus. But so far it seems this just means they have a 111 phone line and a 111 web site telling you (if you think you have it) not to go to the GP, A&E or the pharmacist and to stay at home (to infect the rest of you family instead) and they might come and test you (or they might not bother). Also to wash you hands while singing songs. Is this what “being well prepared” means to this government?

    The washing of your hands while singing songs is rather like having a torch, life jacket and whistle under you seat just before a catastrophic air crash. This as the virus is clearly going to be transferred by air born tiny water droplets, on public transport, on phones, laptops, handles, seats and tables on the tube, trains, cafes, restaurants and buses, door and fridge handles and many thousand of other objects and tools that we touch or use every single day.

    How exactly are the NHS going to treat the many thousands of people who will clearly (and very soon indeed) become very ill and the many who will die? How too will they deal with the existing demands on the NHS while doing this? How will they protect medical workers from infection? The silence is rather deafening.

    Where are the new treatments, treatment centres and all the equipment that might help some more survive without infecting other vulnerable patients and staff. They are surely under reacting massively. This both on measures to delay the spread of the virus and on measures to prepare for the many patients that are virtually inevitable within just a few days or weeks.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Just avoid going out, so no cinema, restaurants, shopping and definitely don’t venture around London on the Tube.
      Avoid people who travel, and people who meet with people who travel.
      Wash your hands before you touch your face to protect yourself, and afterwards to protect others.
      Airborne infection will be from people who cough, so avoid those people as well. Mercifully it seems corona-virus doesn’t make you sneeze.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      I agree largely with your comments Lifelogic. Whether this virus becomes a pandemic when we are all dropping down as flies remains to be seen. But the government, BBC and other media seem to be going around like headless chickens giving out advice which is almost nanny state. I was up in London on Monday, life more or less going on as per normal with just a few people with face masks. The crowds at Waterloo when I came home were huge, why cancel other events if we still have those. It struck me that the time I needed to wash my hands were after I had gone up escalators and stair cases with rails – and the automatic taps in one gents gave water for less than a second… At home washing hands frequently does nothing as there is only me here and I rarely have visitors (sad…).
      Can we please have some sensible statements, including from our host, instead of the current panic driven media. What to do if we catch it and how those who have had it suffered, if at all?

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Don’t panic Corporal Jones.
      Do we or de we not have an history of muddling through?
      Of course the NHS is unprepared, but the equivalent of hand washing and being even more careful about social contact will save us and mean the NHS will live to fight another day.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I have seen the 111 phone system in action for the virus and it has been very efficient and effective and well-run. From what the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser said the other day they are prepared with a range of plans and strategies to cover all eventualities – they also answered a few of the questions you raise directly so clearly you haven’t bothered to inform yourself before your multiple postings here. As a result you have no clue at all if they are “under reacting” or not so why make the claim ?. Trying to spread panic like you are doing, and asking for fantasy solutions like “new treatments” is unhelpful and frankly laughable. You need to calm down.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Have you seen any of the many high viz personel on London underground sanitising ticket barriers, carriages or hand rails on the buses. I have but it was in an east european country whose many citizens work here not in this country unfortunately. They’ve also isolated all the people who were in contact with a virus carry while we have allowed people to return from Italy & Spain without checking them

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        By need treatments I mean treatments for those most badly effected things that might mean more can survive.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      As I see it, if the virus indeed continues to spread, it will run its course through the active population, like a smouldering fire, that leaves some isolated pockets untouched, especially in rural areas. However, it seems likely that all will suffer supply and distribution problems as is already being seen.
      As with the ‘flu, I suspect many will simply hole-up at home until they recover – no need to go anywhere near a doctor’s surgery or hospital. What would be helpful is for the NHS to provide OXYGEN KITS (do they exist?) and basic palliative medicines, home-delivered or made available at collection points in a secure manner. Even if I was going to be seriously ill, I’d rather be at home, where I’d also be less of a problem to others. Whole families or neighbourhoods will go through it together, and take care of one another. After a time, an increasing proportion of the at-risk front-line workers will be immune.
      The NHS cannot, and does not, have the answer to everything. The trouble is, politically, people expect it to. They could be about to find out they are wrong.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        Well the daft way the NHS is funded and the free at the (rationed and delayed) point of delivery creates this state virtual monopoly. So of course tax payers expect it to cope. It has largely killed any alternatives.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I heard that a couple of hotels have been requisitioned as treatment centres. Not all patients required intensive care, of the 87 cases in the UK how many required intensive care? What age were they? Where did they catch it from?

      Italy has a lot of questions to answer, this outbreak must have started there much sooner than they admitted to and they carried on and allowed all the half-term tourists to go to a region that was infected.

      I also read other Countries have converted student accommodation, not sure what they did with the students! Our care workers nurses and doctors coming into frequent contact with potential carriers need to start wearing more personal protection, some pharmacies have already started this – ALL must do so.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Do you feel better now?

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        I feel fine thanks, both before and after.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      “The silence is rather deafening” – and becomes more so as disgracefully and damagingly the Department of Health and Social Care will cease to tweet information on the location of each new case, rather will release consolidated information on Fridays.

      (Perhaps it gets banned by Twitter if it tweets tens of thousands of times a day?)

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Thankfully the people’s Blue Boris has now forced the Department of Health to continue daily infection reports. Unlike it, he may be aware of the lessons from 1918 of complete, relevant, accurate, timely, and honest disclosure.

      Now there has sadly been a first Coronavirus death in the UK, can we hope the perspective of the “no worse than ‘flu” crowd no longer views developments from their place in Wonderland?

  3. Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Don’t swap a London metropolitan elite for a Manchester metropolitan elite.
    There is rather more to the country than that.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      They’re not ”elite”.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Are the millions in Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, York, Oxford, Cambridge, and in our other fine, Remain-voting cities “elites” too?

      You are writing about ten million in Manchester and London.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        you really are obsessed, aren’t you. Get help.

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Well, if someone uses a word such as “elite” in an utterly nonsensical way then I might care enough to point it out to them, Fred.

          If you want to call that “obsessed” then you can.

          Oh-oh, there’s another!

  4. Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Go on just about any holiday anywhere. Northerners with money.

    The average Londoner lives in squalid housing and conditions. They may be rich on paper but their costs and debt is horrendous. Hence programs called Escape to the Country.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Much truth in that. They may have a higher income but after, tax, child care, transport, higher cost of living, rent or mortgage then their disposable income is often rather less that someone up north this while they are often paying more in tax. Plus they might live in one room rather than a house. Unless they are lucky enough to have council or social/subsidised housing.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      @Matt; Indeed, trying to export the problems of London & the South East economic bubble to the rest of the UK is not levelling-up but levelling-down.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I agree. Northerners seem to have more disposable income. Perhaps Southerners should sell up when they retire and move North where the properties are much cheaper. There are some beautiful areas outside the South-East. Government should look at reducing the tax burden of downsizing.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      “The average Londoner lives in squalid housing and conditions. ”

      Don’t be silly.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        250,000 for a mugger’s paradise studio flat in Willesden.

        Yes. You can get a detached family home for £3 million.

    • Posted March 6, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      This post should be required reading for all politicians.

      Removing child benefit at £50K for those in London is punitive

  5. Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Levelling incomes is not remotely a good plan anyway it destroy the incentives to be prudent and provide for yourself. It means taking money off people who invest and use it well and giving it to people who often waste it and spend or invest it badly. How would this do anything but damage the economy? If you made everyone equally wealth one day then a few days later they would not be. Some would have injected it, drunk it or put it on a lame horse within hours.

    So long as people have the basics or shelter, food and health care that is all they need, if they want more they need to get a job or become self employed.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      John, this diary is at serious risk of becoming Mr Lifelogic’s Almanac, and I for one am getting seriously fed up with the publication of his seemingly endless (and all too frequently duplicated) views on Life, the Universe and Everything.

      I have always come to your Diary to read your views, and sensibly expressed comments thereon, not to be hammered over the head by a very predictable and now tedious commenter.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      If one, for example, levelled the pay of say doctors and surgeons with that of say dog walkers or the unemployed. You will get loads too many dog walkers and unemployed and far too few doctors and surgeons. It is absolutely essential that the system is not level. That is how the market to works to match supply and demand and to incentivise people to do what is needed.

  6. Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    London is populated by mega rich or people on benefits.
    The ordinary citizens can’t afford to live there.
    This makes for an abundance of cheap labour because there are no housing costs.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Maybe the government could give us the same level of benefits that the newly imported population receives. That really would be levelling up.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      You last line makes no sense to me. Where is there “no housing costs and an abundance of cheap labour?” If there is somewhere it sounds like a great place to set up a new business.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; London is populated by mega rich or people on benefits.

      There, corrected tha6t for you Ian!
      The benefits being tax loopholes and avoidance schemes…

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      What a silly, erroneous caricature.

      If your family were rooted in or near to London then you would have a home as a base to set out in life there.

      Moving in from outside is more challenging, yes.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Then you’re stuck in your childhood bedroom. A common phenomena for young London people.

        • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          I know ‘highly paid’ tube drivers stuck in their childhood bedroom.

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

          Maybe, but that has no bearing on the the fact that the comment to which I replied was silly, and mine showed it to be such. In fact you support mine on that point.

          You’ve changed the subject, as often you do.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink


  7. Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Risk. The fundamental component of wealth creation. It is the fuel that drives innovation and the application of new ideas towards material creation. Unfortunately the State despises risk. State players concern themselves with parasitism and dependency not risk and freedom to act. Each are the antithesis of one another.

    You keep wasting cash on the unreformed, bloated socialist State and leave the private sector to its thing. If you choose to join us then start promoting profit, risk and business. Create a culture of risk taking.

    Labour’s client state that your party now tries to manage and contain despise freedom and risk preferring parasitism, political control and dependency. Purge it and unleash the private business culture with the proceeds

    Start with the Statist BBC, NHS and reform of oppressive laws that try to politicise our world with social engineering poison.

    Entrepreneurs and business embrace the freedom to act and the freedom to think. Politicians despise those ideas. There’s no middle ground. In today’s authoritarian Britain all the established parties have joined one another in crushing our world with oppressive laws designed to control how we see and how we think. That’s not freedom.

  8. Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    “I’m from the government, and I am here to help”

    The Great North and Midlands became wealthy, not through government intervention, but through private enterprise. The canal system was developed to move goods to market and done so with private money.

    Today we have governments signing up to international agreements and creating legislation that inhibits growth and prosperity and the creation of an extension to an airport.

    What we will have is more forms of taxation. Much like Scotland, the richer parts of England pay for others to waste. Bureaucracy will be created in the form in another government department.

    • Posted March 6, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      Exactly. A tax borrow and piss down the drain government and a socialist command economy is the last thing we need. But that is what we seem to have.

  9. Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    On one hand you argue, correctly, that the free market is best and on the other you want more government intervention. Illogical Mr Redwood. We want less counter productive and biased interventions from bureaucrats and their political masters not more.

    Reply Helpful interventions like lower taxes and fewer rules!

  10. Posted March 5, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Ian Wragg

    “The ordinary citizens can’t afford to live there.” [London]

    …..and many locals in villages and towns along the Thames through Berks & Oxon are priced out of their own property market, by London people who have the big money and wide elbows to do as they like regardless of how it affects other people.

  11. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    London drains talent from the rest of the country. HS2 between Birmingham and London will exacerbate this “problem”. If HS2 is to be built, there is a case to first build it north of Birmingham. This should help with the “levelling up”.

  12. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    O/T the Corona virus, a handful of people are infected and the vast majority survive. Annually 30,000 die of flu but this is not reported.
    Who’s driving the hysteria and who’s making a fortune out of it.
    Just saying.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Well 1% of perhaps 33% of a population of over 60 million is 200,000 deaths. Just in the UK.

  13. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Flybe collapses. Why? It doesn’t turn a profit and never turns positive cashflow. When will governments, politicians and civil service goons realise that you cannot circumvent the fundamental laws of finance

    While the State pisses away hard earned cash the private sector embraces the harsh reality of operating according to strict financial principles

    Standing up in Parliament and express your virtue doesn’t generate a profit. A business will only turn a profit when it learns from its mistakes. Propping it up using taxpayer cash only delays the inevitable. it is the waste of State intervention that is the true crime not the decision to stand back

  14. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Another slogan to add to ‘Austerity’, ‘Northern Powerhouse’, ‘Smart Motorways’ and many others. Government and party mouthpieces think the people are simpletons. The first was considered virtuous and became a millstone. Can we please have pragmatism and practical policies.

    Drop the sloganisaing.

  15. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that I like this concept, it’s something a socialist could have come up with, but the devil will be in the detail.

    If it means that pensioners and those in the south will be penalised so that the north and young people get more, then it will be a painful mistake.

    Scotland is already over-compensated from money from England – Just because the south creates the wealth is no reason to rob it.

  16. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Excellent reading. In todays Telegraph by Sherrelle Jacobs highlighting the lunacy of the governments zero carbon targets.
    Impoverishing the masses to appease St. Greta of Thunberg and the green blob.
    Looks like Farage will have to inject some sense into the debate.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Her childhood was not ‘stolen’. It was given to her – lifted from pre industrial infant mortality rates.

      This country has not done ‘nothing’ about climate change. It has reduced its emissions by 30% and is lower than Germany.

      The industrialised world is the one that has the only hope of avoiding the next asteroid extinction event.

      Human kind has created a genetic Arc of global species.

      Do we not get a pass from St Greta ?

      Our efforts should be towards making life liveable – St Greta’s answer seems to be anti human. To start killing the people to sate the Climate God (while Harry Antoinette preaches from on high.)

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Well, her words have often been twisted by the usual parties to make it seem that way, if that’s what you want to believe.

        Why don’t you consider instead what she actually says, and what reasonable, like-minded people propose to do in response to those widely-held and soundly-reasoned claims?

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          If you are talking about Greta’s claims that “we are doing nothing” or “we humans will be extinct in a few decades” or ” the world is on fire”.then she is completely and utterly wrong.

  17. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Politicians promises are made to be broken (unless it serves the PTB). This is why we have so little trust in politicians.

    HS2 will continue until the London/Birmingham route is absolutely set in stone, and will then be abandoned for the North (not that it would help the majority of Northeners anyway). Please improve our existing northern rail and road infrastructure. That would help millions of less well off commuters, instead of the wealthy few.

    We are in a downward spiral. The more houses we build to house the massive number of immigrants, the harder it is to build roads & rail. Nobody likes to lose their home, not even immigrants.

  18. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I see the new ” backing losers ” policy is working out well , about as well as the last time the Uk tried in fact . So how much as the Flybe rescue package cost us then ?

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps taxed into bankruptcy.

  19. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    You are right and wrong at the same time. The UK Government as of now is a top down dictating monstrosity in the same image as the EU Commission. One size doesn’t fit all, people are thankfully not all the same. Why not start by recognizing that simple fact.

    More of central governments dictates, controls and rules should be passed down to the communities to make their own decisions of what is best for them. Just as central government with their eye on the next election causes taxation to becomes a burden on achievers, the wealth creators, the innovators of society, actually hold the country back. Leave people there own money and they will produce better results.

    The modern vogue for governments to get elected as a result of promises made to those that take from society, at the expense of those that contribute, this alone is a big factor in societies decline.

    All the regions would benefit the UK as a whole if central government wasn’t so obsessed with concerns that left to their own devices they would be powerful in their own right. Let them have their own tax system, let them really control their own budgets. In other words central government should not be freighted of being challenged.

    The UK you elude to was not built with central government funds, but by communities pushing on to secure wealth for their own sake and those in the communities. It is central government control that kills enterprise and asperation. You must see how that ideology is what is killing of the purpose of the EU.

    Governments, MP’s and those in receipt of taxpayer funded should at all times be under pressure by those that pay for their life style. By that I don’t mean the others whom consider them selves the alternative political power, but exactly that those that fund their existence.

  20. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Four out of seven posts are from one individual. Whose blog is this anyway?

  21. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I suppose the main objective of “ levelling” is to destroy any hinterlands of seething non Tory voting.
    There were similar initiatives in the 80s…much moving of jobs from London to places like Liverpool etc.
    Did it work? I don’t know how that would be quantified but it was certainly social engineering on a grand scale. And the consequences of that are all around us.
    Many people were swept up in relocation from London to eventually see the jobs disintegrate and the no longer new offices demolished for housing. Meanwhile other socio economic interferences prevented their return home.
    They, I imagine, discarded their sprig of rosemary and green ribbon long ago!

  22. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The last paragraph needs expanding. King Cotton is long gone to cheaper overseas manufacturers. Birmingham’s light engineering has been decimated. Air travel and other port options have hit Liverpool.

    Coal and steel no longer keep South Wales busy.

    The key question is how to generate business and employment to replace what used to be in these places. Lower taxes will not do the trick. So you need to explain what ‘government interventions’ you have in mind.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Forgive me for being very basic, but in a community of some 1000s, there will be a need for plumbers and carpenters, vendors of food and some clothing, teachers and a doctor or two, plus a pharmacist, electricians and car repairers and so on. Might even be nice to have a pub!

      Why not give an incentive of lower and simpler tax rates + lower stamp duty and the provision of decent private rentable accommodation to persuade entrepreneurs to work in the communities you mention?

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        ‘The race to the bottom’ means many entrepreneurs will now establish the more straightforward businesses in low cost countries.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      The big hit to Liverpool was the trade union movement’s attitude to a grain terminal in the 60s I remember. They closed it down and in effect put a big black cross against ever doing anything in Liverpool. Dereck Hatton came along just to confirm the decision. End of story.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        You forget containers also reduced the number of dockers required and new ports were more adept at handling them.

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          True but based on Liverpools history who wanted to develope a container port there.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Lower & simpler taxes, less red tape, cheap on demand energy, real freedom of choices, competitive banking, fewer damaging anti-competitive market interventions, competitive banking, far, far less government, far fewer expensive and largely worthless degrees, easy hire and fire, relax planning …….. This will certainly work, as has been shown again and again. Fewer payments that encourage people not to bother to work.

      Just get the suffocating state out of the damn way.

  23. Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    more supportive government interventions

    There is only so much in the pot and it can only be shared out so many ways. If the government really wants to be supportive it can start by cancelling all prospective subsidies that may be being considered for the new traunch of onshore wind turbines being considered. Originally my understanding was that subsidies were given to support new technologies in their start up projects, attract investors to come in and earn easy money. What anyone in their right mind thought their was new about wind turbines when windmills had been around for centuries begs belief. When on considers the billions paid out in constraint payments and improving the infra structure to actually distribute the power to the end user, how much of this would properly invested helped cities outwith of London and the South East? Yet again it appears that our politicians are still running blind when it comes to applying science and engineering principles in their leeming like charge to become 100% green.

    Invest in a multi purpose fuel like hydrogen which can and I am sure will supply base load power, power all vehicles, domestic, commercial, industrial heating manufacturing systems and even aircraft. This will provide far more jobs, still be green to meet our targets and be operational 24/7 whatever the weather. On economies of scale the UK could become a world leader and a benchmark for applying such technology and exporting the knowledge and skills. If every little helps it about time politicians applied themselves to what is really needed and stop all these quick fit knee jerk projects and get behind projects that will support every sector within the country, not those that just provide easy pickings for investors and foreign owned power companies.

  24. Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    You can geographically move ministries. This may provide employment in areas that need employment, but it is none productive. I believe that it is necessary to create the right incentives in areas that need productive employment and to encourage incoming or expanding employment opportunities to them. The Freeport idea is a good one, but do not confine it to seaports, it can be done with airports just as easily.

    I suspect but do not know, that much of the goods traffic that flies into LHR is not ultimately destined for use in that area. Why not consider creating a massive freight airport in the Grimsby or Tyneside area with freeport status, possibly much easier than expanding LHR. These days natural resources are much less important than human resources and communications. Looking at a map there is a vast area of Spurn Head around Sunk Island to accommodate such an airport. Extend the M180 and tunnel under the Humber Estuary and you have land communication. Then wait for the great unwashed to fly to the defence of some otherwise unknown fauna causing a ten year delay. Very British but with a small b.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      I take your point, but if you provide gainful employment it helps large numbers of local families. There is a danger is that they become totally dependent on a single organisation for their livelihood.

      However, with good schools and an ambitious mindset the youngsters can gain useful skills to either branch out into different lines of work, or set up their own business in what is now a slightly more prosperous and attractive town. No need for government departments to be in London where there are plenty of opportunities anyway.

  25. Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The Government should make a start by moving its own Civil Service jobs out of the south east. In recent years they have done the opposite. I have seen over 2000 job losses from my own area. These have been moved to the cities at great cost to the northern towns. We need action not words. Margaret Thatcher instigated a big programme of job relocation to the north which was a great success. I know many people who moved and none have regretted it.

  26. Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Let’s start with the basics in levelling up. Here in Northumberland’s East coast we still have no dual carriageway linking us to Scotland, and getting across from Newcastle to Carlisle in the west is even worse. Once transport links are improved then it will be easier to persuade businesses to invest in this region.

  27. Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    So simplistically what can we expect the Government to actually do to ‘level up’?
    Another bright sounding slogan?

  28. Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Due to the leak deliberate I assume (suggesting that Budget may remove entrepreneurs CGT relief) I currently know a few people spending money and time to trigger a disposal in a big hurry – prior to next week. Potentially saving up to £1.8 million in tax. This may well all turn out to be pointless and expensive activity, but then £1.8 million is quite a large sum for many people.

    Removing this relief would be an appalling thing to do showing this new government is also at war with entrepreneurs, job creators and risk takers. Just as Brown, Darling Osborne and Hammond were. Javid it seemed too but he did not get chance.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Darling introduced this relief

  29. Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    In London from my personal observation, often the rich rub shoulders with the poor with poor housing estates intermingled with pockets of very high-value housing. The underskilled minimum wage workers in London have a problem if they get their social house and housing benefit to pay for it, they can’t earn enough with their skills to work!

    In Manchester, Liverpool, Stoke etc. the wealthy moved out of the City, their nice big homes were made into student lets and became run down causing others to leave who were happy to stay and live in the City, schools deteriorated and the wealthier people moved into key high priced suburbs that often have a very low quantity of low cost private and social housing nearby. They have built hundreds of flats in Manchester these are fine until children come along, the whole social structure needs to rebalance and quickly. Council and Social housing shouldn’t take up any more than 15% of any area but our wealthy boroughs don’t want that.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      The national living wage being UK wide is ridiculous. London property prices needs a higher rate to support rent and mortgage costs.

  30. Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, It is no coincidence that Oxford, Cambridge are doing as well as London. It is down to their world-class scholarship and research. This is as important part of infrastructure as high-class road, rail and air transport and is as much affected by centripetal forces as anything else in the economy. If every provincial university worthy of the name was encouraged to compete for really big research grants in broad areas crucial for government policy – and almost every Department of State has at least one – we could build international centres of excellence around the country that attract more of the new businesses and jobs that now gravitate to the magic triangle.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      The trouble is that decent research is usually not a local thing. It is usually not a national thing. It is an international thing. It requires co-operate across borders. It requires people to travel across borders.

      And in June 2016 Britain erected a big sign telling foreigners to bog off.

      That message has been received loud and clear around the world – with the long term impact on research and the standing of our universities entirely predictable.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        That total nonsense.
        The Government has made academic scientific and technical skills a priority for entry.
        Dont you check anything before you have a rant ?

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Dear Andy, I think you may be mistaken on some points.
        1) We did not, in 2016 or later, erect a sign telling foreigners to “bog off”. Leave campaigners such as the current PM were at pains to say the opposite. Sir John has written many pieces and made many speeches advocating Brexit but has never even politely implied in any way that foreigners should “bog off”. If that message has been given and heard it has come entirely from people like yourself,who should know better.
        2) Correct me if I am wrong but I believe it will still be possible, indeed utterly normal and commonplace, for people to travel across borders, whether between the EU and UK or, as now, between the UK and nearly everywhere else.
        3) Yes, international research co-operation is common but large scale multinational on-site research projects are not. I would not suggest that the UK should, say, build its own Large Hadron Collider at Lampeter. I would in any case remind you that the LHC is half inside the EU and half outside.
        4) Your thinking seems to be pre-digital. Research scientists are forever communicating with each other and comparing notes and data between laboratories and between continents. As I recall, such communication was one of the first purposes of the internet before the world wide web.

      • Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Britain did not erect a big sign telling foreigners to bog off.

        Neither did Australia nor Canada nor New Zealand.

        Stop lying.

        • Posted March 6, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Stop pretending that you don’t understand the simplest of metaphors.

          • Posted March 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            So give us a quote from any Conservative MP that comes close to Andy’s propaganda metaphor that ” we erected a big sign telling foreigners to bog off”

          • Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            Actions speak louder than words.

            The Leave vote said it, and e.g. Johnson’s description of the French compounded that.

          • Posted March 7, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            A very weak response from you Martin.
            No actual examples of the claim, the UK told foreigners to bog off.
            Literally or metaphorically.

            Immigration continues at very high numbers as people from all over the world want to come here.

  31. Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Relocating government department or institutions doesn’t work eg BBC media city Salford

    Private businesses need to be encouraged to start new projects north of the M25

    I would suggest that local government funding needs to be dramatically increased and local (emphasis on local) transport infrastructure projects developed as a priority i.e local commuter trains, repair of roads etc

    Remove business rates outside of M25 and fund free parking in city centres

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      I think that CEs etc. would rather go out on the town in London after work than in Loughborough.

      Don’t you?

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Why hasn’t BBC Media City in Salford worked?

      “The overall result for Salford was hugely positive, with the BBC increasing creative jobs by more than 75% from 2011 to 2015. According to an independent report by KPMG, the BBC’s relocation contributed £277M to the UK economy (as measured by Gross Value Added) in just one year.25 Feb 2019”

      Greater Manchester’s leaders said the move is ‘a British success story’. Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford council and the region’s lead on employment and skills, said: “The BBC’s move to Salford has benefited not just Salford, but Greater Manchester as a whole and indeed the entire north west.

      MEN “As well as the direct benefits of the thousands of people that are now employed across Greater Manchester as a result of the BBC’s relocation, the move North has been instrumental in sparking a creative and digital revolution in the city region.“We have seen phenomenal growth in our creative and digital sectors in Greater Manchester, making a compelling case for industrial clusters of excellence.

      “The sector is worth £3.1bn to Greater Manchester’s economy – that’s double what it was in 2010. There are 55,000 thousand people employed in the sector. We are producing some of the most highly skilled graduates in the sector and are now in the top 20 European digital cities. This is a British success story, and the BBC’s move here has been a central part of that.

      It’s a cause for real celebration, and critical for the rebalancing of the nation’s economy to ensure that all of the nations and regions – and not just the capital – benefit from our amazing creative and digital talent.“It is precisely because the BBC and ITV have a strong presence in our city region that we are such an attractive proposition for others, from Channel 4 to the 1,600 start-ups formed in Greater Manchester in the past year.”

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        You’re quoting organisations that where involved in the tick boxing exercise

        Most of the people involved in the build weren’t from the Manchester area

        Most of the people employed in media city were transferred from other areas

        Media city is like a walled city in Saudi Arabia it hasn’t helped Salford

        • Posted March 7, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          I disagree Glen, it has also helped nearby Manchester, initial jobs may have been transfers but local supply and service jobs have gone up, the tram services provided to Media City have helped everyone, would they have been built without Media City – I doubt it! It will take years to turn Salford around but I prefer to see the glass half full now.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      I am sure those employed by government departments in the regions would disagree with your claim that relocation doesn’t work. Ask the five thousand Swansea people working for the DVLA, or those employed by HMRC in the North East.

      There used to be a Location of Offices bureau in the 1960s and 1970s to encourage employment in the regions. It did this by requiring a permit for all new office buildings in the capital.

      • Posted March 7, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        It is helping Peter, I know people that have benefitted, don’t tell us Salford isn’t improving, my father-in-law-law worked on ships and on the docks for Manchester Liners, the area went into the worst slump, the dirty, horribly maintained area, the old ramshackled transport, the move started the replacement of 19C industries with 21C industries, would people really prefer for this area just to have been left to rot.

        On the contrary there is still lots more rebalancing to do.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I think the point I was trying to make is that just moving people from A to B is a tick boxing exercise for governmental institutions and doesn’t really result in growth or development, while private business focus on commercial, trade and local employment opportunities

      Government should therefore provide opportunities for SMEs and start-up businesses north of M25

      • Posted March 7, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Glen the new houses and apartments are great for Salford and are levelling up not down, Media City is now supporting restaurants, local shops, gardeners, window cleaners, electricians, plumbers, transport, infrastructure, taxi drivers, furniture retailers etc. They all have to eat the supermarkets are doing better.

  32. Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    If you want to level up, stop taking peope’s wealth and instead have them invest it. National Insurance being the big item. 19% of income is the rate of NI. That money if it had been invested by Mr Average, retiring today would have given him 1.1 million in the bank. The 550,000 state debt, hidden off the books wouldn’t have existed.
    No need then to spend 30% of taxes on the debt. If the difference had been invested, Mr Average would be sitting on 1.75 million

    But MPs like you took it and redistributed all his wealth and now you complain about what you have done.

    So why do you persist in hiding the pension debts off the books?

    • Posted March 7, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree nhsgp. We are not benefit recipients, in the main, that we haven’t contributed healthily towards for many years, for Andy to insinuate we claiming something we’re not entitled to is just a joke. If our MPs over the years had been company directors dipping in to the pension pots to pay for other things people would be baying for them to go to jail.

  33. Posted March 5, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    What we learned from the tragedy of Grenfell Tower and the people living in it was that London is very dependent on the talent attracted from all over the third world that came to this country to set up modern high tech high added value businesses, whereas the main industries of our old industrial centres are taxi-driving, the selling of kebabs and the sale of young English girls to the local entrepreneurs.

    There are also some very wealthy people who live in London who are attracted to London for the outlets it offers them for spending their wealth. Hundreds of thousands of English people commute into London daily but I’m not sure what they do.

  34. Posted March 5, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Shifting the House of Lords to York would signal and emphasize the Government’s resolve.

    Since this notion was mentioned, there has been enough time to build a dozen or more new chambers to accommodate their lordships. Let us tender to Chinese builders to get relocation done.

  35. Posted March 5, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Successive governments not just in the UK but elsewhere go so badly wrong, as the focus is always the next election. By that I mean they are always trying to demonstrate ways in which to get the people should rely on them, be beholden to them. Time and time again Governments demonstrate they are rubbish at it.

    One intervention just breeds another in an ever ending cycle of intervention, trying to cancel out the first set of mistakes and misunderstandings. Here in the UK we have a Conservative Party that should instinctively be ‘free marketers’ crying out for intervention in its most Socialist form. Is it still a Conservative Party?

    While Government should for security reasons protect their country – whether its food, health, infrastructure, defense and so on. There is a point when this becomes the unaffordable crutch and goes outside the well-meaning intention. For instance the EU is asking from the UK that they sign up to a level playing field on competition. That is bizarre; the EU taxpayer is funding just the French Agriculture to the tune of some 10 billion euros a year. That funding creates export potential that then undermined the abilities of other countries to fend for themselves. So which level playing field are they on about.

    It is time people understood what was meant when an American President famously said – to paraphrase, ask not what your Government can do for you, but what you can do for your country. This should then be accompanied by Governments should trust in their people and set them free, as they and they a lone know the capabilities of the ‘man in the mirror’ and how to get the best for all. It is Government intervention that is holding the UK back, not the people.

    Government needs to understand just as they are rubbish at spending our money, they are rubbish in suggesting how they should interfere and spend our money.

    Brexit is just the start of the revolution.

  36. Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    A junior minister this morning on Flybe:- In a competitive market businesses do fail and it is not the government’s job to prop them up. I agree (not that it is really the government – it would be the taxpayers providing the prop).

    It might however be nice if they stopped taxing & regulating businesses to death at every turn. If they had competitive (on demand) energy and could fire useless staff more easily this would help to. We also need far less market rigging by the government this in education, health care, broadcasting, banking the arts, housing etc. This would be very welcome too.

    “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him” Robert A Heinlein.

  37. Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    John, the best way to enable ‘Leveling up’ – would be to put super-fast broadband everywhere, and give every citizen (paid-for) access, so they can work and build wealth where they are, selling into London but staying at home.

    The very WORST way to ‘level up’ would be to put one more trainline into London. Even if the HS2 was cheap, efficient, easy to implement, trouble-free, environmentally compelling, convenient, popular, and instantly available, the only effect would be to turn Birmingham into another dormitory town, with people living there rushing into London every day. Truly, HS2 is the very worst option.

  38. Posted March 5, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    If you are levelling up then don’t forget about those of us who are on frozen pensions and who are getting poorer by the day. My State pension has remained static for over 12 years whilst my wife’s has not gone up for over 17 years. We are the forgotten ones. Makes you ashamed of our Governments.

    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Are you abroad? Presumably. So you take the state pension and spend it in another country. So you don’t create demand and employment and the taxes that generates in this country. The price you pay for that is a static pension. Seems fair enough to me.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        What strange logic MW.
        You pay into your pension for over 30 years by paying Mational Insurance and then get your State pension.
        We are all equal under the law, yet because a few live abroad they are penalised.
        Where they spend their pension is of absolutely no business of anyone else.
        Should you have your pension reduced if you buy goods from abroad or go on holiday outside the UK ?
        It is a dreadful discrimination against these people.

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I am in Canada. My wife and I came here to look after a war hero. And we paid for our pensions by way of 40 years contributions. I think we have every right to receiving the same benefit as everyone else.

  39. Posted March 5, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    South Glos council have just declared a Climate Emergency in their latest very expensively produced newsletter
    I’m awaiting a call back to hear just how they justify that statement!
    0.04% Co2 in the atmosphere!

  40. Posted March 5, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    As a further illustration of were Governments and so-called Elites go wrong. Mr Barnier in summing up this weeks negotiations “we ask the UK to respect our own independence”.

    Then we get the UK is not requested or asked to facilitate EU fishing in UK territorial waters, but ordered it ‘must’ do so. The UK must also accept the superiority of the ECJ. I could go on, but it is unbelievable…

  41. Posted March 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Here we have five paragraphs saying ‘please don’t tax The South any more’ and one paragraph saying ‘The North was once successful but….’.

    The snag is that the creative parts of industry are quite small and will fit fairly easily down south. Quite difficult to persuade people and new companies to move more than 15 to 20 miles from their former base. We will require a great expansion of business over many years to push our creative elements up north. Nowadays the only link between the design office and the production line is a data link.

    Then the implementation parts of industry are large, require land space, roads etc. But any sensible businessperson will put such where it is cheapest. Anything can be done anywhere these days. We shall have to see if Brexit enables (or forces) the implementation parts of industry into The North.

  42. Posted March 5, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    People forget that a rising tide raises all mega yachts


  43. Posted March 5, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Part of the ‘levelling up’ theme is the connectivity that has for many years included the aviation network largely consisting of Flybe.

    Earlier to-day, according to ‘KentOnline’, Kelly Tolhurst, an under-secretary at the Department for Transport (or what ever it’s called this week), took to her hind legs in the Rt. Hon. Member’s House, and, in defence of its having failed to bale the airline out, allowed as how “… in a competitive market some companies fail” and it was “not the role of government to prop them up.”

    According to the F.T. to-day, “Ministers … do not want to go too far down the route of propping up failing industries or companies. …”

    Hold on just a minute! If a company were floated with a prospectus involving total costs — and net losses — of about £50-billion and within a year or two announced that those losses had actually soared to over £100-billion, you’d called it a failed company … would you not?

    HS2, any-one?

    Never mind companies: this is rapidly becoming a failed government, in thrall as it is to the greenhouse-gas fraud. Who will bale it out? Kim Jong-Un? Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? Yeah, right!


    • Posted March 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      @Vernon Wright; Yes it is very stark that the Govt can prop-up, to the sum of £100bn plus, a failing and unnecessary HS2 rail project but not help an established and much needed regional airline for a fraction of the amount -not even as a loan- to tied them over short term troubled market conditions.

  44. Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink


    – if you don’t agree with posts why not just delete them ?

    • Posted March 6, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      This would then be just like most other right wing blogs, perhaps?

      And to think that one of your rallying cries is “Free Speech”, what?

      • Posted March 6, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Try getting a post on the Guardian site that disagrees with the extreme left groupthink.
        They delete them.
        Unlike on here.

        • Posted March 7, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          There are thousands of such posts on the Guardian’s site.

          • Posted March 7, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink


            The left blob also loves to no “platform” speakers at colleges and universities
            Outside the baying mob chant.
            Or burst in to disrupt.
            The left hate free speech.
            It shows up how poor their arguments are.

  45. Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    You forgot to mention lowering interest rates to 0%

  46. Posted March 5, 2020 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    “levelling up” – are all other industries to get the same subsidy as farmers get?

    Now we have left the EU isn’t it about time the expensive re-branded British (Common) Agricultural Policy was dumped?

    The silly bridge/tunnel to Northern Ireland is another bit of economic madness.

    • Posted March 6, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Well, that would follow Tory form other on such “pledges”, e.g. that made to the Scots before their referendum.

      Farmers generally voted Leave and Tory, but on the assurance that their subsidies would be maintained.

      Their votes are in now, so yes, tear up the undertaking.

  47. Posted March 6, 2020 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    London commuters benefit from cross subsidies, with their cheap commuter fares financed by tourists paying expensive tube fares. They also benefit from many free parks and museums. It is worth asking whether provincial cities and towns receive freebies to the same extent.

    An expensive infrastructure project for London, namely Crossrail, is nearing completion. The main purpose of this appears to be to enable people working in the City of London to live in pleasant places west of the capital rather than in East London or Essex.

    I’ll wager that London gets 5G roll out before the provinces.

    The southern ports of Southampton, Tilbury and Felixstowe handle cargoes that could be handled further north if ports like Liverpool, Immingham and Sunderland (plus the roads and railways leading to them) were to be expanded.

    • Posted March 6, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Nothing cheap about London tube, bus and train fares or rents or living costs.
      Parks are free all over the UK.
      As are nearlyball city museums.

  48. Posted March 6, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Just been to a Local Plan public consultation in Sir John’s area. Great big portable stands proclaiming ‘Environmental Crisis’ and another ‘ Climate Emergency’.
    Reason for the consultation? Which fields to dig up and concrete over, without identifying new roads to feed the traffic out onto roads that do exist. 800 more houses per year for 10 years….. Schools, transport, health services, jobs? Not a mention.

  • 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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