Daily Archives: August 13, 2008

Jim Pickard

David Cameron must be spitting tacks. The Tories’ favourite think tank, Policy Exchange, has put out a report urging the government to – in effect – abandon the north.

Why bother using money to prop up dying conurbations on the fringes, the report asked this morning? Wouldn’t we be better off concentrating on London, Oxford and Cambridge? The latter two university towns could expand in the way that Manchester and Liverpool (pictured below) did in the 19th century, it argues.   Read more

Jim Pickard

The parallels are uncanny.

A party, in crisis after years in power, deposes the politician who has dominated domestic policy for the last decade. Read more

Jim Pickard

About four years ago the Conservatives hired Rothschilds, the blue-chip City bankers, to examine options for tolls on Britain’s motorway network. It would have been an enormous privatisation, bringing in something not far off £100bn, according to someone involved with the project at the time.

In a real piece of blue-sky thinking, the tolls would have allowed a Tory government to cut road tax across the board. As a result, the fiscal system would no longer penalise old dears who only use their cars to drive to the supermarket once a week – but hit those who drive thousands of miles every month. Read more