The right-wing Tory think-tank, Policy Exchange, published a report today in which it argued that northerners have no chance of a better life and should move south instead.
The report claimed that cities like Sunderland, Rochdale and Bradford could not be revived and had "little prospect of offering their residents the standard of living to which they aspire." The report said it was time to stop pretending Sunderland had a bright future.
It also argued that people in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool should move south where they would enjoy a higher standard of living.
If this report was not so funny, it would make me furious. And this is supposedly David Cameron's favourite think-tank! It tells you what the Tory leader really thinks.
It reminds me of Norman Tebbit telling everybody to get on their bikes in the 1980s.
Ill-informed, uncaring, unsympathetic, right-wing, Thatcherite, London-centric rubbish. The Tories have not changed one bit. They should be crucified for this.
If the Tories could escape, for just one second, from their London/South-East centric bubble they would see that the North is booming. Manchester has enjoyed a renaissance. Liverpool is European Capital of Culture. (See my earlier post) Hale has more millionaires than anywhere else in the UK. Our northern cities are being rejuvenated. People do enjoy a high standard of living.
But this is not the point.
The point is that the Tories are STILL offering the same old solutions to the problems we face. Instead of facing up to the fact that they ruined our northern cities and towns through eighteen years of neglect and under-investment and offering a workable solution to improve places like Sunderland, the Tories have taken a leaf out of Tebbit's book and told people to move south.
Tebbit - talk about the undead.
It has taken ten years of Labour Government to reverse the decline. Investment in our services, infrastructure and industries has transformed many areas. There is more to do but the Tories offer us no solutions. Instead they hark back to a 30-year old view of the north.
What turns my stomach the most is when the report warns that politics has been dominated by ministers representing poorer towns - as if this was a bad thing! Thank God, I say.
At least Labour has been a voice for all those communities who were counted out by the Thatcherites and their cronies. If the Tories had their way, Britain would be governed by the rich and for the rich with the south-east getting everything.
If you really want to know the difference between what Labour offers and what the Tories offer you could start by reading this report. Labour invests and helps to rejuvenate. The Tories peddle the same poison and prejudice.
Same old Tories, same old solutions. No one is falling for it.
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