Posted by: John | October 29, 2010

Labour’s London problem

I received an email from Nick concerning a subject that I regard as a crucial driver towards reducing inequality: localism. Let me make it clear – the driving force for this blog is to make propaganda for a federal system of Government. Although I don’t think the Coalition are even a tenth of the way there its instincts are correct even if I question some of the methods.


Apart from wanting to keep the poor poor for their own electoral advancement Labour also want to ensure that London keeps its huge wealth advantage and use low-income Londoners as vote fodder for their own self-interest.

There is a super-structure of the `middle class left` in London that after investing so much emotional, psychological and political energy building  up their own professional/political (whether public or private sector) lives that they are terrified of being tumbled from that pinnacle of power.

These people were well-served by the new Labour nexus of rampaging house prices, salaries and cultural activities. They are squealing now because their whole psychological framework and feeding tubes may be torn down. `Oh no`, they cry, `I may have to pay my cleaner more or get less rent! Or `If Islington doesn’t carry such a cache, I may have to move`.

London has grown into a truly International city. That was the past government’s way: Allow London to be the cash cow for the rest of the UK. Create this huge diamond amongst the Zircon of other localities so that those with ambition have some place to focus on. Unfortunately, an International city creates International problems and rent prices. London will have to sort out its own mess – and mustn’t rely on other regions to help out.

In 2007, the facade slipped: Brown let down his `metropolitan elite` crowd by showing how his experiment – letting the market rip with light regulation as long as it provided money for schools and hospitals (to make the London lefties feel good) – fell apart when the banks reneged on the deal.

There is a simple answer to the `social cleansing` jibe – what about the counter-argument: `Isn’t a system that forces many people from the Midlands and the North to move to London to find work one of social cleansing?` Or does that only count when it comes to bully boy London?


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