Thursday, 24 December 2015
London the Greed
Vince Cable said that London is “a giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country”. Simon Jenkins,in an article on The Guardian lists some of the greedy as well useless project London benefited herself, from the crazy and unsustainable Garden Bridge over the Thames (£ 100mil and rising), the new West Ham Football Team's ground (well above £ 700mil), or the absurd ideas of a "Bicycle Highway" and of a "Floating Cycle Lane". Not last nor least the CrossRail 1 and 2 projects, respectively 15 and 27 billions of pounds, which only purpose is to move working people out of the city and let them crawling every day along the tunnel till their jobs. Forget the idea that money are given to London because London can create jobs and so make more money. London is creating jobs because she's receiving money. Depriving the rest of the country of investments and infrastructures London drains life from the other regions, forcing people to move to London (busting the house market), keeping the rest of the Country into the impossibility to produce what it needs (making it a perfect market for goods produced in or imported through London). Any investment is finalized to benefit a specific economic aristocracy whose interests are set in London.
To find out how much UK is London-centric just open Google Maps. Select Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire. It's a not unimportant centre, it's Red Bull F1 Team's headquarters, which position is roughly midway between Oxford and Cambridge, two other centres not lacking in importance. The last one is at the vertex of an isosceles triangle, with Oxford and London at the two ends of the triangle's base. Now check the directions between all these centres using public transports. Milton Keynes-Oxford (less than 30 miles) requires an hour and 35 minutes via bus (you need to change coach, in Bedford I think, since there's no direct link) or even 2 hours via train, since you need to head off North till Coventry and then going South again. Milton Keynes-Cambridge (not even 40 miles) requires more than 1 hour and an half, since there's no direct link at all and you need to travel down to London town and then up again to Cambridge. The same if you want to travel from Oxford to Cambridge or vice versa (roughly 66 miles): down to London and then up again Northwards in a journey which will take 2 hours and an half roughly. The other way round through Birmingham is not to mention at all, taking the double of the time. Instead, travelling to London from any of these towns will not take an hour in all. I think this picture of the UK Railways network, shaped like the spokes of a bicycle's wheel with the Capital city as its fulcrum, explains clearly why you need so much time to move between cities different than London and what Vince Cable and Simon Jenkins mean when talking about London.