The Tories face an uncomfortable truth, namely, that urban regeneration is meaningless without the regeneration of communities. And with communities comes social cohesion, and with that comes a collective understanding of the real problems and the real enemies. And after the abject failure generations of Conglomerate Great Redeemers to deliver anything but inner city decay, drunken orgies and a workforce of shelf-stackers, some of the enemies are clear, and they also happen to be friends of the tory party and their defunct dogma of Free Market Worship.
Tory funded, market-worshipping political WonkTank ‘Policy Exchange’ condemned Liverpool and other minor British conurbations to extinction in their report ‘Cities Unlimited’ and are promoting mass-migration to new purpose-built developments on green belt land in Chipping Norton, Maidenhead and Guildford.

“Many of Britain’s towns and cities have failed – and been failed by policy makers for too long. It is better to tell uncomfortable truths than to continue to claim that if we carry on as we are then things will turn out well. Just as we can’t buck the market, so we can’t buck economic geography either. Places that enjoyed the conditions for creating wealth in the coal-powered 19th century often do not do so today.”

This is the ideology of the same Steam Age it pretends to be burying. Which is the same schizophrenia which makes David Cameron hijack the word community for propaganda purposes. He clearly doesn’t understand either community or modern society, if he did he would realise the dilemma he is making for himself. If he does understand, then he is simply lying through his teeth.

Doktor Oliver Marc Hartwich, German chief economist of Policy Exchange appeared on daytime TV today to claim that:

“Canary Wharf, financial services, that’s where the opportunities of the future are.”

And that people in Liverpool are desperate to work in Canary Wharf, and should be encouraged to relocate. That would apparently solve the problems created by the wilful, needless devastation of the industrial areas inflicted by the policies of Margaret Thatcher, Keith Joseph and other revered tory witchdoctors. All of which makes the most visionary forms of communism look as practical as erecting a deckchair – financial services being a universally acknowledged source of mass employment with a fantastic record of creating happy family life and vibrant, friendly communities. As in the case of Guildford, for instance.
As long ago as 2004 Guildford won double honours in a report by the government-backed Giving Campaign, as both the richest and the meanest town in Britain. The losers in this competition were places such as Newcastle, Blackpool, Motherwell and Liverpool, but with poor old decrepit Sunderland clearly last. These defunct northern hellholes are also in disgrace for just not being unfriendly enough. Sheffield University’s Friendship Report apparently rates Yorkshire as the least unfriendly place in Britain. The obviously need to learn the lessons of the sterile ratrace suburbs of the affluent, financially serviced south, where neighbours never meet, and the hospitals are among the worst in Britain, according to this year’s The Healthcare Commission report.

The Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Cardiothoracic Centre Liverpool NHS Trust were rated second and third best respectively.
Bottom of table was Ealing Hospital NHS Trust in London, with a patient score of 65.06.
Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust (Croydon) and Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Hackney, right next to Canary Wharf) also made it into the bottom three.

David Cameron finally woke up to the problem and called the report ‘insane’, possibly because he was touring the north at the time, and didn’t want to be stoned in his carriage like Wellington after Peterloo, possibly because of the effect on property values in his leafy suburban hinterland. But if he really believes what he says, why does his party continue to support the lunatics who dreamt up this Thatcherite relocation of the Kulaks, and the ideology which created it? The uncomfortable truth is that Policy Exchange are the real tories, Cameron is just NuLabour with a Nu Haircut. Same cage, different circus.
Policy Exchange was set up in 2002 by Nicholas Boles, until recently London Mayor Boris Johnson’s chief of staff. Say no more, and say it loud.


And now it turns out that the brilliant Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich doesn’t think London is worth relocating to in the first place. It’s too expensive, inefficient, the IKEAs are all wrong, the chips are the wrong shape, and the whole place is just not German enough. Just the sort of place to dump millions of resentful, lonely, unemployed northerners. So he’s off. He’s had enough and is going to cause trouble in Australia.
 The monumental blunder of his entire view of the world is his assumption that, allowed enough ‘freedom’, the market will generate a stable, law-abiding, harmonious community. And that healthy communities are only ever a bonus, a benefit of succesful capitalism. That the social duty of the workforce is therefore always to obey the demands of the market and know their place and be grateful.
 The truth is now the opposite. A genuine, functional community is now a marketing point for a workforce. A commodity in its own right. And in a world which has heard of email, thank you Doctor Hartwich, distance from London and all its horrors is not a problem for business. Proximity to London and its wasteland of community values, with all its crime and bitterness, is.
In a desperate age when the discovery of iron ore in Yorkshire would trigger mass migration, and the steam engine was the wonder of the time, Dr Hartwich’s dogma may have been a brutal necessity in the progress of industrial capitalism.
This dependence on locally sourced raw materials is largely over, except for one, the workforce. Businesses will have to learn to ‘source’ the most important raw material first. And that is the workforce. And the happiest workforces live in healthy communities.

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