Tuesday, 11 May 2021

You can see why people assume London is full of pretentious wankers.

From the Evening Standard:

[Re-elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan] vowed to “work day and night” to deliver “safer streets” saying: “On crime – we’ll continue to be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. This includes putting even more police officers on the streets at the same time as investing record amounts in new opportunities for young Londoners.”

This is especially bitter - he's the one who took the police officers off the streets in the first place.

"The key thing is to make sure our city recovers. It’s the biggest challenge our city has faced since the Second World War, and that’s what Let’s Do London is about - getting our city back on its feet after the awful 15 months we have had, and try to bring our city together and our country together.

"We have got to avoid this culture war which is tearing our country apart. We have got to make sure we have the Brexit scars healing and we ought to try to bring people together. My mission in the second term is to bring our city together.

"Next Monday restaurants will reopen, many theatres will reopen. On June 21, fingers crossed, our city will return to a semblance of normality. It’s going to be an amazing summer."

... he insisted he had a "decent mandate" overall, having secured more than 1.2m votes. "I didn’t realise I secured the biggest vote ever received by a candidate, other than myself, of course, in 2016," he said. "But also I discovered I have got the biggest majority, other than myself in 2016. Quite a decent mandate, if I say so myself."

City Hall promised “the biggest domestic tourism campaign the capital has ever seen” to help London’s economy get back on its feet as Covid restrictions are eased. There will be a series of one-off events, outdoor film screenings and late-night openings under the London Lates initiative to ease social distancing.

None of that really means anything to a normal voter, does it?

As contrast, from Politics Home:

[Re-elected Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham] used his victory speech to accuse the Prime Minister of failing to deliver on his promises to areas like Greater Manchester... He pointed to a perceived "widespread cluelessness" in government as to what "levelling up", and offered to spell it out for Johnson.

"Here is where I can help you, Prime Minister. Let me define it," Burnham said. "It can't be achieved by scattering funds across a few favoured places.

"It can be achieved when you give millions of people in a city region like this one a modern, affordable public transport system, when it costs the same to catch a bus in Harpurhey as it does is Haringey. £1.55, not £4 or more that people pay here".

He continued: "Levelling up is achieved when you give all people the dignity of decent work and wages that don't have to be topped up by visits to the food bank, and when you have the kind of jobs here which mean our young people don't have to move south to get on in life, which I had to do 30 years ago."

I've no strong opinion on Andy Burnham one way or another, but at least he says real things that actually mean something and are within his remit as Mayor.


DCBain said...

Londonistan: the nation's armpit.

MrMC said...

Khan 2015:

Sadiq Khan today promised to drive down the use of stop and search by the Metropolitan Police if he is elected to City Hall.

Khan 2018:

Sadiq Khan to 'significantly increase' stop and search in London

Mayor says targeted use of powers will get weapons off the streets amid rise in stabbings

Lola said...

Burham - talking bollocks though. "Levelling up is achieved when you give all people the dignity of decent work and wages that don't have to be topped up by visits to the food bank, and when you have the kind of jobs here which mean our young people don't have to move south to get on in life, which I had to do 30 years ago." No-one, especially government, can 'give' anyone any job unless that job adds value. What Burnham needs to say is how do we make his area productive. How do we increase production. of course as that means 'not socialism / welfarism' or similar he's not going to say that is he?

Pablo said...

Burnham is a supporter of LVT though, isn't he?

mombers said...

How about giving the police a mandate to deprioritise prosecution of the cannabis trade as far as possible without getting Westminster intervening? Will go a small way to breaking the violent cartels that prohibition has created

Mark Wadsworth said...

DCB, London's fine actually. The pretentious wankers aren't representative of the people who live here.

MC, yes, exactly that.

L, Burnham might or might not know how to achieve it, but at least he makes it clear what he'd like to see, goals we can understand and probably agree with. Like cheaper public transport.

Even if you don't get Georgism, it must be clear that the whole tax and spend system is hugely favourable to London.

P, yes, a very mild supporter.

M, that's a good idea anywhere in the country.

Lola said...

MW - Cheaper - aka subsidised - public transport? Now, you know full well where those subsidies will end up. :-)

Lola said...

And he's (deliberately?) making an error about food banks. Most users are not down to low wages but down to benefit payment failures. Both as to quantity and timing. I have read.

Compared to Khan Burnham is a saint. But he still thinks that the government spending money will sort stuff out. It won't. It can't. it never has.

e.g. maybe Manchester's time is passed? Maybe it needs to be de-populated. Or, scrapping lots of welfareism will cut the costs of production so that enterprise returns.

But I grant you, a good public administration can and should set the tone. Khan's tone is deceit and despair. Burnham's seem optimistic.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, I agree with all of that except this:

"He still thinks that the government spending money will sort stuff out. It won't. It can't. it never has."

Wasteful government spending is wasted, of course.

But London is heavily subsidised. Governments have to spend money on some stuff - civil service, universities, public transport, whatever. Most of that spending is in London. Sure, it largely goes into land values, but it also crowds out proper production.

It strikes me as far better to try and achieve something like Germany, which has a dozen decent sized regional capitals, all specialising in their own thing and all with their own 'scenes'.

Berlin is just a slightly larger version of a regional capital. In population terms it's equivalent to Birmingham. Frankfurt has a smaller population than Leeds/Bradford.

Lola said...

MW. Indeed. I am not saying no government spending. What I am saying is that the particular mantra of politicians and bureaucrats enslaved to Keynesian claptrap that 'spending money by government on pretty well anything and especially 'production' drives wealth creation' fails, pretty well all the time. Or is wildly over-budget.

It's interesting how the UK has lost its successful regional cities/conurbations. I am not convinced 'it's down to foreign competition working with cheap labour'. I think it's more to do with loading costs onto UK production, bad and demotivated management, rent seeking, a refusal to let stuff die, resistance to change, ridiculous amounts of rules and regulations, bad money, confiscatory taxation etc etc. And the evidence is that if you do stop doing all that and get out of the way, enterprise flourishes. Look at Hong Kong.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, agreed to all that.

The 'Keynesian money multiplier' is nonsense, it's the left wing version of 'tax cuts always pay for themselves', which is equally nonsense.

Lola said...

MW. The 'tax cuts always pay for themselves' is interesting. I take it that you mean that as a result of tax cuts the economy grows and the cash take recovers/remains the same?

That assumes that all the lovely tax was spent wisely and well. Which the evidence is that it would not be, mostly.

OTOH by cutting taxes and leaving people to make their arrangements with their own money, probably does 'pay for itself'. Even if the State gets less.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, some govt spending truly adds to GDP, i.e. indirectly by having law and order, or a well educated workforce, without which there would be much lower GDP. All the money that Doris is fire-hosing at his mates is down the toilet.

Same with tax cuts, there is a Laffer Curve and some tax cuts do pay for themselves. But it's not a general rule. And there's always the likelihood that the higher net incomes just go into land values.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, warming to my theme...

1. A sensible govt does a cost-benefit analysis. If spending £1 more on law and order or education or transport etc boosts GDP by more than £1, it's worth doing.

2. The spending itself is not a benefit, it is a cost, duh. The benefit is the benefit. Things can be worth more or less than they cost.

3. So if copper and teachers were willing to work for free, the boost to GDP would be the same.

4. Clearly, coppers and teachers need to be paid properly (and I suspect they are underpaid). But if you increase the wages to more than is needed, that does not increase the value of the benefit or the boost to GDP, and if funded out of income tax, VAT and NIC, it depresses it.

Shiney said...

Mark, Lola (and all the rest of you chaps)

AT LAST!!!!!!

We're back on track talking about something sensible, i.e. how to make the country work better for everybody, rather than Covid or Warble Gloaming.


Best regards

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sh, making the country work better was always my key theme.

Fixing the tax/subsidy/spend system is part of that. But how to deal with (real but not as bad as they make out) Covid-19 is part of that, as is not bothering to deal with non-existent Global Warming.

Bayard said...

"This is especially bitter - he's the one who took the police officers off the streets in the first place."

If he hadn't taken them off, he wouldn't now be able to get the credit for putting them back on.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, it's an elegant flip side to the Tories paring back police numbers from 2010 onwards and now expecting credit for reinstating them.

Bayard said...

Mark, I think that's what you call "chutzpah".

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, that's racist. It's a Yddish word, which leads us on to the whole "Labour are anti-semitic" vs "Tories are Islamophobic" crap. That was Indian Bicycle Marketing at its finest.