The southern Northern Powerhouse, obviously

01_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,333

Monday 01 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I understand that at the very heart of your governments heartless soul is the transfer of public money into private hands by hook or by crook, whether that’s agency nurses instead of publicly employed nurses, flogging off state assets, defence (the arms industry cash cow) or hiring private consultants like McKinsey for £199,000 to write secret reports (now leaked) on how you can screw us over some more.

Sheffield’s Northern Powerhouse department is to be shut down and moved to London, a move that is, admittedly, geographically marginally better than Brighton and definitely better than Penzance. Are we seriously meant to believe that moving the Sheffield Northern Powerhouse department to London, Britain’s most expensive city, is a sensible cash saving exercise?

The thing about the Northern Powerhouse, well the real thing about the Northern Powerhouse is it’s a nonsense Tory soundbite, but the thing is that ‘Northern’ is by definition oop north and you’ve shelled out £199,000 of public money for the inspired idea to move it south for what is likely to be a centre of overpaid managers in overpriced buildings at vast public expense to cut the north further.

The idea of the Northern Powerhouse is predicated on better transport links, road and rail, er, why? Apart from the obvious transfer of public funds to massive road and rail projects, who will this serve?

HS2 is reportedly the most expensive high speed project in existence at an eye watering £42.6 billion which will enable punters to travel 140 miles at under half the current time. Building HS2 will have a devastating environmental impact for those luckless enough to currently live on its proposed route and nothing about the business case stacks up, especially in the age of the Internet and it won’t be transporting manufactured goods, just lots of people in suits in a hurry to be somewhere for another Latte and unbelievably important meetings. Strivers only, please.

Anyway, if you’re going to move the Northern Powerhouse south, why not shut down everything north of Watford Gap and frack the entire north to kingdom come? The north would then be in reality what the south has always considered it to be, the arse of England, just one gigantic fart… plus earthquakes, but who will care?

Nothing good has ever come out of the north except the industries that made Britain the richest country in the world and, maybe, folk music and funny regional accents. Maggie saw off industry and now the few bits left have been abandoned by you and as the south despises folk music and funny regional accents, who needs the north any more apart from welfare scroungers and I don’t fancy their chances under Iain Duncan Smith’s sanctions regime.

Case against HS2

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