When Margaret Thatcher was in her pomp, northern football fans travelling to away games in London would be taunted by home supporters waving wads of £10 and £20 notes. The brutal repartee of the terraces expressed a fundamental truth of the Thatcher period: the north suffered the worst of the deep recession and high unemployment of the early years; and it benefited least from the eventual boom of the late 1980s.
In 1985, explaining why she believed regional planning in Britain was a non-starter, Thatcher said: “If we try to discourage development and economic growth in large parts of the south of England, in the hope that it will happen in the large cities in the north, we risk losing them altogether.”
Left to its own devices, the British economy rebalanced irrevocably to the south. Employment in the manufacturing industry, vital to the north’s wellbeing, slumped, falling from 7.1 million in 1979 to 4.4m in 1993. Services and the booming City eventually took up much of the economic slack, but the good times were happening in the south…
(..’if convention is the arbiter, then it’s also the antagonist. I see creativity as the consequence of an action one has to execute in order to assassinate the orthodox..’)