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Eee… It’s grim up North…

Posted by putsimply on 13th August 2008

I nearly choked on my Cornflakes this morning while pondering online news (finger on the pulse):

‘Northern Cities are beyond revival’
Centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange has declared that cities such as Liverpool and Bradford are beyond hope. Their economic raison d’etre having evaporated, the populace should up-sticks and head for the Southeast.

[This report was only referring to ‘some’ northern cities, not ‘northern cities’ in general. The Media’s tendency towards misleading sensationalist headlines continues…]

I have so many problems with this irresponsible and rather insulting story…. For a start it’s a real kick in the teeth for cities that, in some cases, are having a hard time of it anyway.

One should not give up on areas because their economies have withered, as Policy Exchange has apparently recommended. You invent new things for those areas to invest themselves in. And who does Policy Exchange’s sentiment help in the long-term? I imagine that a mass migration to the South East would cause job shortages there and worker shortages in the North.

Mind you, if any good comes of Policy Exchange’s statement, it’s that it has, at least, caused people to sit up and take notice. Without a good, media-friendly kick in the teeth such places degrade simply through the indifference of the wider body politic.

Policy Exchange has been closely associated with Conservative party policies. Unsurprisingly the Conservative Party has seen this ‘abandon hope all ye who enter here’ message as a PR Disaster. Well, more fool them. One of the main dictums in PR-Management is ‘keep control of your messaging’. If Policy Exchange has such a public influence on the Conservatives, the Conservatives should keep a closer eye on what they’re saying.