Hit the north

Posted by Ian

The Conservative Party’s favourite think tank has announced it’s all over for the north of England.

According to the Policy Exchange, cities such as Liverpool and Hull, and towns like Blackpool and Scunthorpe, are apparently doomed. There is no point in spending any more money on them. Their populations should be forced to leave and move to the green and pleasant land that is the south east, where jobs, houses and money are supposedly plentiful.

It’s been a long long time since I’ve read of such an utterly demented and blinkered piece of research. It reminds me of the pontifications of Norman Tebbit in the early 1980s, who commanded everyone who couldn’t find work to "get on your bike" and look for it, even if it meant moving to the other side of the country, uprooting families, communities and homes in the process.

Never mind the fact that Liverpool is presently the European Capital of Culture. Oh no. That counts not a jot. Never mind the heritage and tourism industries that have made Blackpool, Hull and Scunthorpe some of the most distinctive and colourful places in the UK. And never mind their respective populations, who own homes and businesses, who have children in school, who have relatives nearby, who have roots in those places stretching back for generations. No, forget all that.

Come, the think tank orders, come to the south east of England, a place that is in no way already crammed full of people, in no sense choked by pollution, and not at all devoid of the sort of spectacular landscape that makes the north one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

And don’t, whatever you do, build three million new homes in a region like the north where there is an acute shortage of affordable housing. Heavens no! They should be built in those clearly run-down, half-empty and abandoned outposts of civilisation such as London, Oxford and Cambridge. After all, there are plenty of empty fields and countryside all around which can be easily concreted over.

It’s ludicrous and obscene. For their part, the Tories have distanced themselves from the report, saying it doesn’t reflect party policy and they do not agree with its conclusions. But still: the fact anyone can come out and, presumably with a straight face, argue such a risible opinion is just mind-boggling.

Surely there’s nobody with a sound mind who can agree with these proposals…is there?

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100 Responses to Hit the north

  1. alan says:

    It\’s the middle of august. It\’s a slow news day. So they put out this c**p to try and perk things up.I\’ve been south, I\’ve worked there and they can keep it. Anyone stupid enough to relocate to London and the South East deserves everything it has to offer. The south east\’s just a giant mess of traffic jams to get through on the way to somewhere decent like France.For god\’s sake don\’t anyone tell them how much better it is up here – let them stay down there out of our way.

  2. craig says:

    What a load of rubbish this report is ive lived in hull or ull as we say it most my life ive lived in other parts of the uk including down south and i always move back to hull, i live on the bransholme estate which has a bad name it dosn\’t deserve is it just me or is it the ppl that do these reports never actualy vist the places there reporting on (hutton report springs too mind) prices are still cheap here jobs are still here only just thought thanks to multinational companies pulling out the area to relocate abroad ( cheap labour and fue csts) its thanks to programs on tv like the worst place to live in the UK. which pulls the north down so much when london has a higher crime rate and is so over priced you have to be a oil tycoon to live there il stick to been up north with flat caps pidgeon racing and a proper beer thanks

  3. Unknown says:

    I\’m a Southerner living in Wantage, Oxfordshire and I actually have to travel up North to Leeds in order to work on this long term contract which is actually quite lucrative by my normal standards. I quite like Leeds as the people here seem pretty friendly and there is a lot of development/building work being done here and it seems to be a city in the ascendency. I have been to other places like Manchester that I really like and I have actively tried to get a job there as I think I would really like it there. Other places I have been to include Durham and York really beautiful, historical and picturesque places. Ok my sister live in Hull a place not so great in comparison but to say that the North is uninhabitable smacks of stupidity and sheer arrogance and small-mindedness. It is the embodiment of what is fundamentally wrong with this country to an extent – waste a lot of taxpayer\’s cash on something that is essentially useless to anyone. Why waste money on some thinktank (a contradiction in terms where no logical though processes have taken place here) when these government ministers can just get in one of their jaguars (paid by the Great British taxpayer) and just drive up North and have a look for themselves. I can understand if there was a nuclear accident on the scale of Chernobyl up North but to suggest that the populations of Hull or Liverpool should emigrate down is just downright ludricous. The Government seems hellbent on wasting our money on thinktanks, quangos and other idiotic schemes. Another example took place in my hometown, Peterborough when me a few colleague were wandering around outside an O\’Neills pub near the city centre. There was a camera crew with this woman interviewing some stupid drunk outside who had two plastic phallic symbols attached to his head, who was on his stag-do. I thought that they were interviewing for a programme called Booze Britain, a show that glorifies our Country\’s Booze culture but after they finished I asked the woman what they were up to and she answered that they were doing some research for the Government to show the extent of the country\’s so-called drinking problem. Again another waste of money. In fact if they took all this money that they wasted in such a fashion and then invested it in the re-development of places like Hull and Liverpool then there wouldn\’t be a need maybe to invest in so-called research into whether these places are inhabitable or not!

  4. Maria says:

    Lets all move to New York!!
     

  5. Unknown says:

    IDEA: Why don\’t we transfer our entire population from our so-called uninhabitable country to France (seeing as it is such a beautifuil country), move the French into Belgium, flatten Holland to make it our big car-park for the French and put depleted Uranium shells around the borders of these countries as well as Germany to stop them and the Krauts from coming back in. What do you guys think?

  6. jen says:

    I live in Maghull, Liverpool & couldn\’t imagine leaving it for London or the South East. I actually like the fact its a 20 min drive to an empty beach & I\’m surrounded by farmland. Sure there are run down areas in Liverpool, but every city has that! As for being paid as an incentive to move south I\’d rather go abroad or move further North to live in Scotland than live in London.

  7. jackie says:

    Hi, What a total load of doo doo.  Anyone who suggests that Liverpool and other surrounding area\’s are totally ruining people\’s lives are disillusioned and a proper bunch of nerds who make top wack out of coming up with these ridiculous statisitcs.  I go to University in Liverpool and visit the City at least three times a week, I would like to say to this minority of people "Go and research something that actually contributes something to humanity, instead of damaging the reputation of hard working people of Liverpool and other cities further".  What a gang of idiots.  Please, less verbal garbage.

  8. jackie says:

    Also, I forgot to mention, Any northerner going down south, take note of how many londoners actually look at you, they all look at the floor and do not interact with anyone, for fear of being mugged or something more terrible.  Liverpool people and northerner\’s in general would help anyone and make you feel welcome and would stop and help anyone in their hour of need.  For instance, I went to London for the 1999/2000 celebrations in Trafalger Square.  What a mess, around three in the morning, families with prams were still on the streets, naturally having a late one, and there was a crush for the tubes.  I was travelling with my husband and his two \’northern\’ friends.  The only people who helped these people with prams who were being crushed by their own, were the northerners, my northern boys helping the women of the south, their southern counterparts ignored them or looked the other way and few actually climbed over the prams.  Myself and my three northern boys took over and had to issue crowd control and told these freaks to back off and stop crushing them.  I have not visited London again since and will probably not go there for a long time as I hear on a day to day basis that southerners are fleeing north because of the \’migration\’ population.  So, research statitians get your facts right before you spout your rubbish off.   

  9. ashleigh says:

    I\’m a proud scouser and northerner, but this north vs. south debate is a load of rubbish.
    There will never be an end to it due to the amount of opposing opinions, and me typing a good old northern ear bashing about how great the north is will do nothing aart from add to the list of everyone else\’s views. 
     
    I do love the north, it\’s where I\’ve grown up and had many great memories with family and friends, and I love to hear good things about it, and I do have a grumble when the north or Liverpool in particular is bad-mouthed.
     
    I\’ve enjoyed reading everyone\’s comments on here about moving from the south to the north and loving it, because ultimatley northerners pride themselves on being hospitable and friendly, but to sit here bad-mouthing the south isn\’t going to achieve anything, or change anyone\’s opinion greatly.
     
    The south has good points just as the north does, and yet this silly divide is still going strong.
     
    YES the north has cheaper houses, and lovely countryside;
    BUT the south has impressive architecture and a larger population, so the cost of living is expensive, which is reflected in larger salaries.
     
    I\’ve had my say now, but for the record…….It aint grim up north!
     
    Ash x

  10. jacques says:

    I am French and have lived in Bradford for 35 years . Every time I come back from travelling I feel at home . I have made many friends . I love it . Haworth and surrounding have some of the most beautifull spots in the world . Curries are fantastic . I like London too , mind you .  

  11. luke says:

    Hi im a 16 year old living in hull and its great, sure some estates are a bit rugged and the footy fans are nuts but we all are (go city), when i went down south the southerners were ignorant and some teenagers mocked me about my accent, to be honest they can keep the south its way too overated

  12. Unknown says:

    Hi! The 4 years I have lived in Hull have been thoroughly dreadfull! I live on the nicest part – Victoria Dock, I have an awesome duck pond outside my flat but all the chav scum killing the fish, urinating in the bushes has made me hate where I live! Most people I seem to have met are biggots and narrow minded with little consideration for anyone but themselves! Mind you – it is cheap to live there if you are into that sort of thing…
    Me – I can\’t wait to blow this joint!

  13. Kelly says:

    I\’m from Blackpool, and i\’ve lived here the whole fourteen years of my life, and tbh, there aren\’t even a lot of tourists anyway!
    Also, five min drive and there is more grass than you\’ll ever see in your life!
    I went to London a couple of years ago, and I can\’t remember seeing one piece of grass, apart from that park where the London Eye is.
    I think it\’s disgusting how all these southeners take the piss out of us on TV, it\’s not like we really say anything about them?
    I would not like to move to the south east at all, have you heard there accents 😐
     

  14. Danny says:

    Lee Taylor, if you think Vicky Dock is the nicest part of Hull then you are sadly mistaken. It must have been an absolutly terrible 4 years if your still here. If its that bad then why dont you get yourself out of our town and back darn sarf. Idiot

  15. Iain says:

    Thanks Lib Dem Tim Leunig   (right-wing think tank? geez, politics is ballsed up isn\’t it?)…..hmmmm….maybe we northerners should actually follow his advice…..let\’s run a media campaign aimed at the hoodie scallies, tell them the streets are paved with gold in London……….there you go Leunig, well done, thanks for solving our anti-social behaviour problem

  16. Richard says:

    My family have been food wholesalers in blackpool for over 50 years. i have worked in the business for a number of years even though i am 24 and i also have a business studies degree.
    In my oppinion with the price of the euro being so strong and the cost of air travel increasing, tourism will stay within britain. with these factors happening and the decreasing state of the economy i feel that people in britain will look towards areas which have always attracted tourism traditionally.
    Either side of the coast and further north from blackpool (such as the lakes) have traded for many years. even though the conservatives think tank believes that up north is doomed, blackpool still existed without any conferences and i think it will continue to do so.
    whenever a weather report is made in the north west it sometimes depicts doom and gloom. More often than not this weather misses blackpool. Its no wonder that the victorians had railway lines leading directly into blackpool which is actually a dead end when looking at the rail and motorway links.
    long may blackpool be busy. (much better than brighton lol)

  17. ryan says:

    Well im stuck in the middle in wolverhampton!…… i would pick the north any day of the week! i lived and worked in hull for a year and ok its not the greatest city in the world, but ive been to worse! i cant stand london, the s.west is nice but the beauty of the lakes is out this world and as for architechure only in the south? angel of the north? york and durham cathedral? the humber bridge???? there are loads! there will always be a north/south devide always has always will, each side has its plus points but if you want a friendly smile a warm pint decent bag of chips and change from a fiver dont go south of the river mate….. the trent that is! 

  18. midlands says:

    People are people and cities are still cities.. north or south its all the same, good and bad. Look at the knife culture or the football teams.. the music scene.. the city center binge drinking. Friends and family are whats mainly important to most of us.

  19. sandra says:

    This report will no doubt be blown out of all proportion.  I can only say that having \’moved North\’ from London in 2006, it is the best decision we ever made.  We moved to Southport, we have on our doorstep, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, Lytham the Lake District, beautiful countryside, friendly people, hundreds of restaurants, local theatres, EVERYTHING anyone could need.  No congestion!   The list goes on.  Most people who criticise the North, do not really know anything about the places or the people.  The transformation of Liverpool is really exciting and you cannot tell people about it, as it is beyond comprehensive, the scale of the regeneration.  It is amazing.
     
    There should be no divide between North and South, it is all politics.  Lets not partake – I would only criticise the North for hiding it\’s delights for so long!  We can be on the beach in 5 minutes and in the countryside in 2!  Back in London by train in 3 hours. 

  20. Autumn says:

    I was born up North but have lived down South since i was 16months old, but i am just about to move to Leeds, i love this city it is fun & vibrant, the people are friendly too… down South hardly anyone has the time or inclination to even say hello to you…. I cant wait to come back home, as thats the way i feel when im in Leeds, even if some of my mates take the mick of my accent!!! lol…

  21. matthew says:

    I\’m from bolton, and i moved to bristol 5 years ago. Dont do it. True it has alot heritage about it but in the long and short its a shit hole, The NHS down here is a wste of time, GP\’S and consultants are very elitiest, waiting lists are joke, ive been waiting 18 monthes for a follow up consultancy, and to get my results for a test. JOKE. overcrowding is a major problem, public transport seems to work to no time table what so ever. council tax is a joke, we rent, we dont own our home but we still have to pay for the banding, we live in a 2 bedroomed flat and the council tax is £1300 for the year. rediculous. House prices are a farce, half the houses look run down, havent been done up since the 70\’s and they still try selling them for £250,000 all becouse its down south. Were moving back up north in september cant wait, leave this rat infested flee pit to the yocals who havent grasped the use of the english language. Plus it stinks.

  22. Unknown says:

    I lived up north (near Liverpool) until i was 20 and then moved around a bit living in Reading for a while and then returning to settle in Reading.  There are pro\’s and cons for both places. The south is expensive and overcrowded and there seem to be fewer people by the day that speak english. That said, i feel much more relaxed down here. I can go into reading town centre day or night and always feel at ease never bothering to check my wallet is still there or that anyone is eyeing or following me. When i go back north my hand is never off my wallet and all i see are shitbags. The main problem with places up north is that people have made living off the state a way of life, there are families that have not had a relative work and pay tax in living memory. Something like 26% of the population of Liverpool is on benefits, all they did was trade in their caravans for council flats but they never learnt any respect for anything. I say stop letting so many foreigners into the country to crowd the south and stop waisting tax payers (mostly southern) money on doomed rejeneration projects for dumps up north.

  23. shabba! says:

    Ive lived up north in manchester for my whole life, Id hate to live in the south, everything costs more and you get less (especially housing). The people arent that friendly, and no1 has the time to say hello to each other (ive spent time in london btw). Plus it just seems like youll be stabbed or shot for your wallet/phone south of Watford. And better employment in the south? bearing in mind its office jobs that get redundant in a recession, not skilled labour….

  24. peterc says:

     I\’ve lived and worked in London and the South East for over 40 years and having dated a lovely girl from the Wirral if I had the chance I would move to the North West tomorrow. Given the choice between a night out in London or a night out in Liverpool, I\’d take Livi 99 times out of 100. 

  25. Fraser says:

    Being a Scot living in the central belt, the North of England is within comparitively easy reach and is a delight to visit – the Lake District, Yorkshire, Northumbria, all with stunning scenery, and the friendly cities of Manchester and Liverpool and other towns where people actually have eye contact with one another and where they are warm and friendly – travel to London, yes, that is fine, but maybe for only a couple of nights to see a show and do some shopping, then get back home as quickly as possible!  The further south you go, it is our experience that the less friendly the natives are!

  26. reality is an illusion brought on by lack of beer says:

    The north is where it\’s at! Not only in msn news is an article on newcastle the best place to go to uni, cheap living, great nightlife, not far from beach and countryside, of which is a five minute nice drive to instead of the biggest carpark in the work also known as the m25, the north has friendly people great industrial sites such as the biggest in europe plus the biggest shopping centre in europe what more can you ask for? There are rough and nice places in both but the north seems alot more frienndly and willing to help his fellow neighbour. I\’m a northerner and proud of it!

  27. Seb says:

    I\’ve not long left London, for a decent life in the North, best move I ever made!
    The south is choked, smells, is dirty, over priced and offers little Newcastle, Leeds or Manchester can\’t offer.
    Manchester is the greatest city in the UK and is nowhere near the South East

  28. Cye says:

    hey, I have lived down south and up North and I have to say it is better up North. The way of life is easy up here and the air is clean. Down south its dirty, smelly and is absolutely dangerous. the \’knife trend\’ in london plus theres the wierdos,homeless gang warfare there on the streets. Up here it isnt so bad, we get on. I dont think this \’think tank\’ should have even taken place, its as if the Conservatives are purposefully making the divide beteen the north and south even bigger. And not supporting the north is a stupid Idea. Placing houses in the most congested areas in England and not up north where its cheaper, and where labour is the main working force up north.

  29. Unknown says:

    I lived up North until i was 13 and we were one of the families who got on our bikes and moved south to get work, my dad lived down south for a year before we followed and it was due to lack of work up North, He was before retiring an Aircraft Engineer.  I would live up North if i could guarantee getting a job, unfortunately there are many small minded individuals who will put the people in the North Down without looking at the Facts. The Fact is there are lazy people who won\’t work all over the country, slumbs and crime are ripe all over the country too. North England has some beautiful towns, villages and cities just like down South. Shame on anyone who says the North is not worth re-generating and puts the people all in one basket. In my opinion that makes them the shitbags!!!!

  30. Iain says:

    I suspect (like me) most respondents haven\’t read anything more than the media take on the report. Anyway, there seems to be a lot of missing the point. Of course some people prefer living North, South or whatever due to a variety of reasons. I\’ve lived in different parts of Scotland, London, and north east England, and thay all have good and bad bits. Scotland is where my heart is, but I\’d be crazy to say everything there is lovely and rosy. I had a pretty good middle-class life so the parts of Scotland I lived in were fantastic. London wasn\’t for me (but what a great place to visit). Now in the North East of England I have a good job, a nice house etc etc. I suspect, however, that the report isn\’t aimed at the likes of me. OK I moved to London reluctantly because I was unemployed, but I chose to move out and if I wanted I could choose to move back (as so many people in London have done…..thus removing manyy of the most tallented people from places like Sunderland, Bredford, Scunthorpe etc etc)….IF I WANTED.
     
    The point is all about the fact that billions of pounds are being spent to try to make the general standard of living in Northern areas comparible to the South, and the cold facts are that if the market takes its course that\’ll not happen with relatively modest interventions. The size, wealth, opportunity, international conectivity etc of London creates a huge gravitational pull……..money goes to money, successful teams are able to continue to be successful because they\’re successful (if you get my drift).
     
    It\’s very difficult to artificially break that position, and the report is presumably saying, \’so why bother\’. Of course the other issue is that despite the overall wealth of London, there\’s plenty of deprivation there too. I\’d love to see the relative importance of London diminishing but it can only realistically be achieved by Northern areas (and others) upping their game and competing. I know Government, agencies and many businesses are doing their bit to improve economic performance outside of London, but we need to run much faster to even think about closing the gap by any real degree. However, it\’s not quite a simple. Improving the transport links might encourage more people to spread further north thus creating more vibrant economies, but it could just as easilly enable more people to move south etc, etc.
     
    Of coure if it was all so easy Governments would have cracked it years ago. We\’re faced with the problem of either trying to encourage jobs creation in deprived areas in the hope that people will be sufficiently skilled to fill them, or skilling people up with the danger that they\’ll take their new skills and move to the areas where the best paid jobs are. All good flexible labour market theory, but it doesn\’t help the deprived areas.
     
    Sorry for taking so much space to state the bleeding obvious, and providing no solutions. Maybe I\’ll become a polititian.

  31. Stuart says:

    Some people say the Conservative party will be the next goverment. With announcements like that they ain\’t got a chance. The north is full of friendly, talented and respected people. Maybe the conservative \’think tank\’ should get of there back sides and visit the north….Oh I\’m forgetting they daren\’t go past north of Watford they might get nose bleeds.
     
    What North and South divide 🙂

  32. Jayne says:

    I\’ve just come back from a holiday in Blackpool for a week and I loved it and im from a tiny village in North East Scotland so take that conservatives! Central Pier is my 2nd home! 😛

  33. colin says:

    God helps us if the Conservatives go back to Downing Street – making accusations like that, about it being grim up North! That\’s just typical of the Tories – they talk through their backsides and its all more than rubbish. Cameron says they\’re in touch with the people – utter bunkum! The country\’s still getting over the Thatcher years up here – another Tory Government would be suicidal – end of story. So many lives, families and communities were destroyed, thanks to the blinkered visions of the Conservatives. Labour had a heck of a job, tidying up and sorting out the mess the Tories made and left. Now Cameron\’s motley crew are ready to create havoc again. No, I\’m a Northerner – I live in Bolton, Lancashire – and I\’ll always be a Northerner – I\’m proud of my roots. If anyone offered me a million quid to move down Sarf – I\’d tell \’em to forget it and where to get off! We have great country and scenery up here – and HILLS and MOORS and MOUNTAINS as well as lots of seaside resorts!!! Unlike pancake land down there! No thank you, you can stick the South! 

  34. ben says:

    Iff the report is true then give the North independent government and let us fend for ourselves. We could make a canny living from supplying the south, we have the ports, the gas industry, the steel industry (whats left of it because of the EU), the petro-chemical industry and we have even supplied this country with the PM\’s of late (JOKE) ; this report realy shows up just what the think tank or should we say the advisors to those who would be in power and where our money is being wasted (TAXES). Growth in the south depends on and relies on growth in the north and it just goes to show how much these people are out of touch with the real backbone of this country. We in the north are survivors, we have had to be because of decissions made by southerners and to say we should go and join them is a pat on the back for the calabre of northern workforce so why carnt the existing southern workforce meet the challenge, mabe they need an exercise in survival.

  35. Christopher F. says:

    I don\’t care which party subscribes to this report. The fact is, we are supposed to live in a democracy. That means that the government do what the people tell them to do, NOT the other way round. Who the hell do they think they are, to even CONSIDER rounding-up all us Northerners and herding us down south like cattle?
    Clearly, the politicians want the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales all to themselves. Most of them are Scots anyway, so they\’ve already got Scotland.
    Nobody is going to uproot their families, sell a house and buy another, and get their kids into good schools while not knowing which are good and bad, when we all know that the average job only lasts about 3 years these days. If the politicians can promise us well-paid CAREERS down south, then some of us Northerners might look into it.
    The Tories have just shot themselves in the foot, and Labour are rubbish. I shall vote for the BNP at the next election, and I don\’t care who knows it.

  36. Yorkshiretraction says:

    I am quite dissapointed to hear once again the negativity against areas of the UK. Creating a culture of low standards, failure and \’doom\’ can all too easily be created. I personally can\’t agree with the North being any worse than other areas of the UK. I do agree that areas such as Scunthorpe, Hull and even Blackpool have suffered under investment for their social needs, however why simply talk them down?
     
    There needs to be a solution to this – not simply a large closing down sale.
     
    Parents, schools, police, local councils and industry need to work together (I know, how impractical) to set standards, create opportunities and improve geographic areas to at least match the rest of the UK.
     
    Lets look at Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. All cities in the North, all hugely successful and have regenerated themselves from the end of the big industries in the 1980s to financial and cultural capitals outside London.
     
    What needs to be tackled are the stereotypes and prejudice about any area other than one\’s own postcode.
     
    If the conservatives have indeed produced such a report which effectively \’writes off\’ anything above Watford Gap then they have not done themselves any favours in time for the next election.
     
     

  37. Unknown says:

    Hello,
     
    I have been following this story for a few days and there has always been something that has confused me, and that is the number 986. It confuses me becuase that is the size of the UK from head to toe realistically its tiny georgia for example is about 350 miles across and was seen as so small Russia could just walk right in without answer?
     
    i\’m not sure why this report thinks moving to the south would be the be all and end all but personally i think its the wrong way round. for example if you where to set off from Hull on the M62 and travelled to Manchester it would take around about 2 and a bit hours, now i\’m not 100% sure but if someone could tell me how long it takes to travel through london i imagine it would be a similar time.
     
    My point then however diluted in my mini rant is simple we are a tiny little country it doesnt take very long at all to go from north to south by plane, train or car so why must i ask in an age where everything is done over email and conference calls do companies have to be in London?. For example if something major happens how do you go about telling people run round the corner perhaps…i think its more likely text, call or email and with the environmental up roar and carbon footprints we are going to continue to be developing these areas. So i really cannot see why spending money in the north on affordable housing (which you could build more in the north as its cheaper which would therefore mean more government money) is just not the right option?.
     
    I apologise if this rant doesnt really flow as it should but in the end as a p***ed off northerner i\’m writing this with passion…..which bring me on to another point about the south (i\’m only kidding)

  38. Barn says:

    Same old nasty Conservative Party. Sold the gas, electric etc to the people who already owned it but is now mainly in the hands of foreign companies, shut down the coal and steel industries (mainly in he north). If we let the jokers back in whats going to be left, bugger all!!!!!

  39. Unknown says:

    Hey let\’s move from the North where there are mountains and mere\’s and good shopping to somewhere like Luton or Basingstoke…not many offers for Luton which is just a dull grey town of no repute, nor quality, Basingstoke – the Egyptian tomb of England. love a lot of the people in Basingstoke and friendlier than most nice,nice Northerners – but Luton is the Pitts that connects with berg – nothing going whatever – rumour had it once people lived there and they were nice and then it just vanished into overspill culture from everywhere!.

  40. colin says:

    Anyone who votes for the Conservatives at the next General Election should have their heads seen to! It\’s just a pity that where I live – we\’re only limited to three parties – Tories, Labour and Liberals! None of them much good! No wonder the BNP\’s hot stuff over in Blackburn – breath of fresh air! I\’ll bet such a party over here in Bolton would be given the big thumbs up – someone that can talk common sense and LISTEN to the people. Unlike the Tories who make up tales to spout at conferences and local meetings, to scare the public into voting for them. I reckon the Muppets could run the country better than Cameron\’s lot!

  41. John says:

    Well, well if its not another piece of Northerner bashing by the southern softies acting as Tory minions.
    Wasn´t it a former Chairman of the Bank of England and staunch Tory who told us that it was fine for Northerners to be out of work and destitute as long as the southerners had a good standard of living! Surely he should have been locked up and the key thrown away for that comment?
    I worked in various areas of the North of England for 36 years. The people were largely hard working and honest. With the demise of the chemical industry in the UK I was forced to move south to find work. What a difference! The people I worked amongst were totally self interested, arrogant and very greedy. It was a tremendous culture shock and after only 2 years there I decided it was time to leave the UK. It is clear to me that the greedy southerners will drive the British economy into recession and probably into depression if they can make money out of it. They will do it without conscience.
    Much has been said about home rule for Scotland and Wales and who can blame either nation for wanting total independence from England. However, England is clearly divided between North and South. The North will never get a fair deal until it has a parliament of its own.

  42. Brenda says:

    Artois
     
    Have lived in the North now for 25 years , after living in the South for 26 years.There are beautiful places and ugly places in both areas, just as there are decent hardworking families and on the other hand total scumbags in both areas as well.
    Crime is an issue in both areas, as is traffic congestion, there is poor quality and good quality housing in both also.Employment, and lack of the same  is an area which which touches everyone wherever they live.
    So what is this report really about?
    Another money wasting pile of paper, a diversive load of rubbish , or some individuals trying to improve their personal kudos by making their mouth go in a pot stirring way. My own personal view is this report is a total load of (you can put your own word in here if you wish!)

  43. Elodie says:

    For God\’s sake; get a grip. who in their right mind would make recommendations like that. we have far too many rude malicious people in the south already. The cretins we vote for to run this country have gone too far. When are the people of this country going to take it back for the people? No wonder British citizens are leaving in droves. Thank god I am already well out of it. Bon Chance fools.

  44. Trevor says:

    As someone from the North West of England I find it sad that the south is so insular, you only have to look at the national weather, if it\’s raining over london it\’s news worthy, but get a flood up North Oh it might get a few minutes of news but only after some celebs wedding of drug habit, and don\’t forget some people are still waiting to get back in there homes, if that was to happen in london it would be classed as a national disaster.

  45. Mark says:

    I moved up from the North 5 years ago because I couldn\’t afford to buy a house. The mortgage company offered me 3.5 x my wages which worked out at £66,000 which would\’nt have bought me a garage even back then. So i moved up North where I could have bought half a dozen houses at the time. So could this idiot who advises Northerners to move down South let the Northerners know what amount of debt they should expect to get themselves further in to by making the move, because if I decided to move back down South  the price i\’d get for my house now, wouldn\’t even get me a garage. Could they let us know what would happen to the north once all the Northerners have left? Whats is there motive behind this comment? there must be a get rich scheme behind this motive for some Southerner. What have they found up here in them there hills of the North, is it gold or oil, or maybe they\’ve found an alien? sorry they\’ve already found that one he goes by the name of David Cameron. Still there must be an alterior motive for this suggestion.

  46. Mark says:

    Sorry was supposed to read moved up from the south 5 years ago,  well what would you expect from a thick southerner

  47. Zoe says:

    I think someone is trying to get our backs up.

  48. Unknown says:

    I am from the North West but have lived and worked both in the South and the North.  I spent two years living in the South East and commuting into central London.  I couldn\’t wait to get back.  I lived in Streatham (sh*t hole) and then St Albans (pleasant but boring by day yobbish by night).  I found the whole commuting thing in London horrendous, the summers were oppressive on the tube/train and the transport system is close to collapse.  Manners have gone out of the window with the rush to get a train seat.  Yes there are more jobs in the South, but do like I did, get some experience there and then get back home quicksticks.  I would suggest building a high speed rail link with the North and Scotland – if we invested in Infrastructure and made London 1 hour away by high speed rail link, investment would flow out of the South.  Commuters could move further out from London and still be accessible to the capital.  However, it is unlikely this will happen – what with the Channel Tunnel rail link, St Pancras redevelopment, millions spent on the Tube, Crossrail and the Olympics, there is no money left for the rest of us.  Who to vote for when you have got South East loving idiots on both sides? 

  49. colin says:

    I think the BBC have the right approach – by upping a lot of their studios and moving to MEDIACITY here in the North West! They\’re smart – after all, \’Life On Mars\’ and \’Ashes To Ashes\’ were filmed nearby and there\’s lots of cracking great scenery to be found as well as friendly people always ready for a chat or a laugh. The \’Top Gear\’ team are switching the Blackpool Illuminations on this Autumn – certainly a favourite crowd puller! No wonder we\’re attracting film and TV companies – desperate for fresh changes and ideas. We may have cheaper housing up here – but at least we can afford them. Cheshire can give London a good run for its money, in the rich league – it\’s where a lot of footballers live who play in the Premier League and quite a few TV and Film celebrities live too! Long Live The North!

  50. Graham says:

    Although I agree that the research was demented and blinkered, to say the least, I don\’t see how this can be compared with Norman Tebbits much maligned comment "get on your bike". What should he have said, "ok there\’s no work where you live but that\’s allright, just sit at home on your ar** and we\’ll pay you to do so", which is pretty much what this present poor excuse for a government does. Believe me I know what I\’m talking about as I\’ve been there, made redundant many years ago and out of work for months I said enough is enough and moved from the North to the South. Later on in life after changing jobs several times, to avoid being made redundant again, I emigrated. Subsequently after returning to this country although I was hoping to get a position where I could be at home with my family every evening and every weekend this was not to be and I now travel constantly within the UK and abroad. My point being is that you are either like many in this country who are happy to be  no hopers and sit on there fat a**** while being supported by those who do work or "get on your bikes". 

  51. James Hodgson says:

    Why oh why!!  do we always have this  "Coronation St" approach to anyone who finds fault with our Northern towns?? I was born and brought up in Hull. It could have been ANYWHERE,  I could have been any nationality..,but the difference is I see things as they are, not with this silly and uninformed attitude that so many "working class, and proud of it" types do.
    In case you are wondering if my home was in the leafy avenues, it was not !.It was a very small house with no hot water , or a bathroom. (no telephone..no fridge…no car..)Left school at fifteen.. No qualifications…Went knocking on doors for jobs..
    I am now retired after 50 yrs. of work, bringing up 4 children (my wife never went out to work.)
    Many Northern towns are untidy and run down…and that\’s a FACT..
    and until we get professional people who understand what a priority is, and how to spend huge budgets, (I am talking councilors)
     who in the main are Labour in colour. sadly…this will always be the case…..The City of HULL has a lot to offer, but has it\’s people ?? PS the council is at the moment not Labour, we may even get to see if this council backs winners and not perrenial losers.
    Best of luck to everyone !!  James

  52. Unknown says:

    I\’m from Southern California and have been living in various places in the North West for nearly 8 years. I\’ve been to London many times, but would never want to move there. Central London is lovely with all its old buildings and such, but the people just have nothing in comparison to northerners. And the south east definitely has plenty of poor and disadvantaged areas. It surely isn\’t like it\’s one big pot of gold down there. And I don\’t see standard of living is that much better when it is much more expensive to buy or let there, and for many people, they wouldn\’t be making \’that\’ much more than they would up north. Not everyone would be working in the city would they? London reminds me of the U.S, greedy and materialy driven. I always hope it doesn\’t spread across Britain and just stays down there, or just goes all together, doubtful as that is. I love Northern Britain and would rather be poorly paid and live in the lovely surroundings of the north, than make a bit more, but struggle just as much in an overpopulated, gluttonous region.

  53. colin says:

    \’Many Northern towns are untidy and run down…and that\’s a FACT\’
     
    I have to disagree with James Hodgson\’s above remark about Northern towns being untidy and run down – that\’s very damning! If you look anywhere in big towns and cities – you WILL get untidiness and have run-down appearances. It\’s not just the North but in the South as well. It\’s only when Royalty or VIP\’s are coming that people are motivated to clean and tidy up. Regeneration is a seriously big issue up here, lots of towns and cities are very much committed in keeping up with the times but the fact that the Government tends to be somewhat mean on funds, for example, spending it on the the Olympic Bid in London (anyone surprised?), instead of investing that money north of Watford Gap. Even Wembley Stadium was resurrected when the old one got scrapped. It\’d have made more common sense to have a national stadium more central in the country where everyone could travel to justly, instead of having to trail down to the South – it\’s not fair and very selfish. This will always be an issue – London and the South gets the cream and the rest of the country get the scraps leftover – no wonder as you say Sir, \’Many Northern towns are untidy and run down…and that\’s a FACT\’ – because there\’s no money to be had, when it comes to hand-outs for towns and cities up here – London and the South\’s had it all!

  54. Ben says:

    The great North / South divide, evidently still raging strong. I couldn\’t agree more that some of the above comments made by the Policy Exchange are frankly absurd. The mere suggestion that Northeners should pack up their belongings and head South in search of work, housing and money is just ridiculous and clearly not a well thought out plan, isn\’t the South already densly populated as it is? Sure, there are some run down places up north which could do with a boost of self esteem (i\’ve lived in some of them) but what then happens to these area\’s after half the work force has moved out? Won\’t things fall into an even greater state of dispair.. My own thoughts are this, I\’ve travelled the country like most folk and lived and worked in a few different places (North & South) and I would not choose to live in the South for all the tax credits and milk tokens that the government could throw at me. There\’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little civic pride and i love the North. I don\’t want to fuel the fires of  this great debate but honestly, the North that i have seen is beautifull, the people friendly, and living affordable so why on earth would i want to leave here? There is a great misconception that it is still \’Grim up North\’ well things have moved on, we\’ve evolved slightly since then and as other comments have pointed out, there are good and bad in all area\’s – i\’m sure London has it\’s fair share of these! It\’s quite simple, the suggestion to \’move out of your slums while you still can\’ are the ill conceived ramblings of a twit. Ignore them, stay where you are!

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