Tag Archives: regional development

We need to focus on things which tangibly improve lives

Terraced housingAre we barking up the wrong tree?

I have wondered for a while if we are focussing on the wrong things, particularly where the EU is concerned. For the record, I want to remain in the EU. I see it as a flawed institution, run by the same cadre of neoliberal capitalists as those who run this country and most of the other countries in Europe. It has, however, two things going for it. The first is the possibility of deeper co-operation across national boundaries. The second is that it has woven into it a thick texture of human rights which the neoliberals, despite their best efforts, have been unable to unwind – it was after all woven in before they came along.

But when I look at this country’s biggest problems, the EU is neither the problem nor the solution. The media cacophony remains completely confusing as to why people voted to leave. The people who voted leave are equally confusing, and there are massive attempts to shut down debate by taking offence if suggestions are made that, for instance, cutting immigration will not solve any problems other than the fragility of some people’s sense of national identity. Taking back control does not take back control, but meely hands it to different members of the neoliberal elite. We still need to identify and solve the problems which have caused such disaffection with the political process.

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Opinion: Heseltine report puts the State back on the hook for helping lead economic recovery

The lack of a joined-up growth strategy has been this Government’s Achilles heel. This week’s report from the Heseltine Review finally provides one. Some on the Tory backbenches will urge David Cameron and George Osborne to ignore many of the recommendations, and the swathes of evidence standing behind them, in favour of abdicating responsibility for the economic recovery to the private sector. Jacob Rees-Mogg predictably caricatures the findings as favouring a 1960s approach to regional development – his preferred course being deregulation. The Heseltine Review embodies …

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