Thursday 16 April 2015


Yesterday was another day of manifesto launches, nationwide interviews and a hundred and one demands for government action on this, that and global warming cooling climate wossname. I caught a glimpse of part of The Daily Politics and their scanty coverage of ‘the regions’ (if it’s not London, it’s just ‘the regions’) and they were all banging the same anti-austerity drum; all crying out for more and more funding. “The government must bring jobs. The government must ‘invest’. The government must bring joy and treasure. The government must make me, my kids and their kids and their kids and their kids happy forever.”

Well, here’s a better idea; an idea we can actually afford: Instead of robbing the rich to keep the poor penniless-and-pointless, just say “NO!” Ignore the begging bowls and leave them to it. If businesses will not relocate north without incentive let the regions themselves provide the incentive – government is hopeless at creating productive jobs, but abject poverty is BRILLIANT at incentivising innovation and invention and lowering expectations. So what if the pits closed or the textile trade went to where they were grateful for the nasty, grinding soulless graft? Their time is gone and if the local industrial landscape won’t support your numbers you do have choices.

There is no natural law, no nebulous human right that says you must be able to extend your crappy, rickety genepool while staying put. In any case there is something utterly depressing about generation after generation being brought screaming into the same sink estate and relying, from the outset, on state handouts because thirty or forty or a hundred years ago the economics stopped working for you. Sheffield may have been built on steel and coal, but face it, the former third world does it so much better and so much cheaper. And besides, dogged clinging to the rocks of ‘community’ may just be part of what is holding you back. In-breeding becomes inevitable if you refuse to embrace change.

If you are worried about the future prospects for your children then either do something about those prospects or don’t have children. If you don’t expect anybody else to support you, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you can achieve. And if your region can’t be revived after decades of pumping in other people’s money maybe there’s a message there too. Do the decent thing and either get on your bike or just allow your expensive-but-useless, union card carrying line to die out naturally.

The north - so much nicer without the council houses...
'Ey up! It's all gone a bit quiet...

If you don’t want your stark natural and industrial beauty, your rolling hills your old satanic mills enough, then let them go. Because without your whining welfare-enabled feebleness, without your short NHS-dependent life spans and without your depressingly helpless pleas for outside help ‘the regions’ will deliver or depopulate, in the process becoming more attractive places to make a living, supporting the types of communities who can thrive in those environments. Be it self-sufficient eco-types or new entrepreneurs maybe we can once again build Jerusalem in that green and pleasant land. But I’m fucked if I’m paying for it.

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