Sunday 4 August 2002
The dominance of London is a major cause of so many of the UK's problems. John McTernan is quite right to point out how condescending are the "metropolitan" media elite when they deign to report on or, horrors, actually have to visit the "provinces." But McTernan is wrong to suggest more public investment in London. It has too much already. In the UK, the central government collects and allocates 87% of all "public" spending. In the US, it's a mere 18%. Our EU neighbours typically collect around 50% at the centre. London's dominance is not the result of market forces. Britain's unique degree of government centralisation at one end of a long, narrow country harms all of us. The proper libertarian solution is to cut out at least 90% of government activities. If we won't do that, let's move the capital to Glasgow.