You may have seen in the news that right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange have produced a report – “Cities Unlimited” (click here to open a copy) which says that Northern coastal cities such as Liverpool and Sunderland had “lost their raison d’etre” and that some were “beyond revival”.
David Cameron was quick to denounce the report as ‘insane’ whilst on a visit to Carlisle, making it clear that Policy Exchange did not speak for the Conservative Party.
But a report by the BBC (click here) claims that Vera Baird, MP for Redcar has slammed the report as “vindictive, anto-Northern thinking” – and then goes on to talk about Policy Exchange as David Cameron’s ‘friends’.
John Prescott, fresh from over exagerrating his impact on takeup of croquet (forty odd percent) whilst the professional body had already stated around fourteen – waded into the argument, saying:
“To state that northern cities like Bradford, Liverpool and my home town of Hull
have no hope of being regenerated in the 21st Century and that people should
move to London, Oxford and Cambridge is the most insulting and ignorant policy
I’ve ever heard.”
The Policy Exchange report is, of course, unhelpful and just a little naieve in the current political climate, but we live in a free society where such organisations are at liberty to publish their ideas. However, for Mr Prescott to talk piously about regeneration “in his home town of Hull” after the massive windfall generated by the sale of Kingston Communications was totally squandered and gave little or no benefit to the people of Hull, is surely the pot calling the kettle black.