Monday, 20 December 2010

"Completely seized up"

Those are the words of Tim Jeans of Monarch Airlines:
Tim Jeans, the managing director of Monarch Airlines, called for a reassessment of Britain’s transport capabilities. “We have not coped well. The infrastructure — not just at the airports but the road infrastructure — completely seized up.”
Way back in 2002 I gave one explanation for the UK's inability to sort out transport:
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.
So yes, we should cut back the overcrowding in the Southeast by eliminating vast amounts of government activity. Of course, the powers that be are never going to do any such thing. Neither would they countenance moving the capital to, say, Manchester, never mind Glasgow. The chaos will continue.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comment made on previous template:

james higham
They might do a South African or Dutch thing and have different capitals for different purposes.

23 December 2010, 13:54:14 GMT