Do not talk to me about the London Bubble
Nick Harkaway

Well said! Just like the EU, London makes a big contribution financially to the parts of the UK that hate it most. You mention Cornwall’s hope that Westminster will plug the EU grant gap (along with Wales, and the so called Labour heartlands). Where do they think Westminster will turn to get the hard currency. If it happens “quantitative easing” cannot be the whole answer and anyway is likely to make the plight of the poor worse leading to price inflation that benefits will fail to keep up with. I’m not putting out the argument that money flowing from London to other areas could or should lead to outpourings of gratitude from the regions. It makes me worry, not from stinginess but because of increased dependency.

I found a legendary article in the Observer, on attitudes to Europe in Ebbw Vale, quite enlightening in the end. Standing on a new road, beside a new leisure centre and new railway line, a youth asserted that the EU had never done anything for the area except take money and send immigrants even though there were none to be seen. After I got over myself scorning the obvious stupidity, I remembered what was missing for this man. The spending was missing an important target. He needed a job, some dignity and some hope for a future should he have children. Dependency is worse than inequality any day of the week.

That being said, I hate the ridiculous accusation that London is somehow synonymous with Westminster (the palace and the borough), Kensington and millionaires’ row in Hampstead. I have had contact with a primary school in inner London, whose children had over one hundred different languages among their parents. Yes its dammed tough for the teachers to give these kids equal opportunity but they are doing their damnedest and not whining about it.

Here’s the thing for those London haters who want a Trump wall. Stagnant and declining populations generally cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Most migrant communities generate commerce and small scale industry. Its a start anyway. If there aren’t enough houses demand that they be built, don’t point at strangers as the reason. There weren’t enough houses in Cornwall to hold its population before the first foreigner set foot there. Same with jobs. Get more people! People are good! People make things happen. That’s the message from a far from perfect London.

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