Opinion – David Cameron in wellies won’t mollify flood victims in the north | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian – John Gelmini

Dr Alf probably knows in his heart and soul that anyone who lives north of Watford Gap might as well be living in Outer Mongolia as far as the Prime Minister and his elite friends are concerned. The exception might be someone like Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons Den who is worth £100 million GBP.

Money that should have gone into dredging rivers, beefing up bridges and strengthening vital infrastructure has been diverted into unknown places, overseas aid and other highly questionable national spending. There are major problems with value-for-money, effective procurement and pervading chummy relationships between politicians, bureaucrats and business people. This has been going on for many years from when I was a young child of 3 made to holiday in the Lake District once a year so it transcends the Prime Minister and includes people going back as far as that great Edwardian gentleman, Harold MacMillan.

David Cameron is now marking time until his next big job which the Bilderbergers (much more than a friendly gathering of people who like to talk in private as some think), have promised him.

20 years ago less than 18% of road fund licence and Petroleum Revenue tax was spent on the roads and the figure today is even lower. One does not have to be a financial wizard to see that what is collected in taxes isn’t all spent on servicing debt interest on the deficit and ought to be paying for a lot more infrastructure than we actually get. Singapore delivers services for £1 GBP compared to our £3GBP yet no-one looks into why that is or how they manage to be so efficient.

The North has been abandoned in favour of sharp-suited hedge fund managers and Conservative Party donors. The serious money is pouring into Cambridge near where I live because it is regarded as the innovation and biotech powerhouse and the crucible of robotics and nanotechnology.

Other than that it is London and the “cordon sanitaire” of the M25 that gets the attention.

The North of England is for our lords and masters a “faraway place about which we know very little” populated by blunt speaking folk who wear flat caps, speak gruffly and are in effect “outlanders” who should be grateful to pay their taxes.

John Gelmini

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