London- Saviour of Great Britain or Drain on Resources? Vince Cable vs Boris Johnson.

London- Saviour of Great Britain or Drain on Resources? Vince Cable vs Boris Johnson.

London- Saviour of Great Britain or Drain on Resources? Vince Cable vs Boris Johnson.

Now more important than ever before is the debate surrounding London’s effect on the national economy. In the run up to the general election, David Cameron has insisted the country’s economy needs to be “rebalanced” echoing Vince Cable’s sentiments that London is, “a giant suction machine draining life out of the rest of the country”. Boris Johnson, the adored, sometimes baffoonish but nevertheless charming London mayor, disagrees entirely with this notion claiming that “London is helping to drive job creation and growth outside the capital as well as in it.” Arguably Cable is speaking for the whole of the UK and Boris for one city.


Boris Johnson’s following, is another prime example of the popularity of the London bubble waning. Without the feel good factor and patriotism generated by an event such as the Olympics, Boris is unlikely to maintain his adoration especially as tension grows over government cuts. The statistics of London spending speak for themselves. Ed Cox tweeted that per capita spending on transport infrastructure works out to; south west £215, north east £246, Yorkshire and Humberside £303, north west £839, London £4985. This regional disparity is striking.

Mr. Cable always sounded good in opposition but then the realities of government expose the realities of what is actually achievable. A look at statistics of economic progress and inward investment and census data, Londonia v. the Rest of the UK show both politicians to be just that – politicians. Solely interested in enlightening the proletariat that they claim to represent through the dispensing of self intuitive pearls of wisdom.


It rather saddens me (as I am a Northerner through and through, always will be as I throughly love Yorkshire) that it’s a funny thing about London and the South. It does provide and support a very high proportion of the jobs and taxes that keep the rest of the UK above water. I am unsure whether this is the result of self fulfilling prophecy or a vicious circle in which the more investment London receives the greater the international investment and expenditure in the capital. This rise of London to a global city will eventually mean that if the cycle isn’t addressed soon, somewhere like Liverpool or Manchester can never compete. London and the South may be a long way away from getting the balance between support and drain right, but it would seem that Cable, would happily kill the golden goose, eat for a day, and then wonder why he was starving a week later.

And now to end this rather heavy discussion with what I think is the quote of the century from Mr Boris himself; “My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.” Perhaps this is where the magnetism of London lies, in an ability to be self effacing and successful at the same time, a true cornerstone of what it means to be British.


Text: Lucy Whittaker.