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Planet London

12 April 2012

6:02 PM

12 April 2012

6:02 PM

In his cover piece for this week’s magazine, Neil O’Brien describes the
great divide between London and the rest of the UK. One of the main differences he highlights is in their economies. He says:

‘In inner west London, economic output per head is £110,000 a year. In an important sense, these people are not living in the same country as the inhabitants of Gwent or the Wirral,
whose output is just a tenth of this.’
In fact, London is set apart not just from those two poorest areas, but every other area in the country. You see, the second richest area — Edinburgh — has an output per head of
£35,000 — just a third of inner west London’s. And the third richest area? Inner east London.
This difference between the economies of London and the rest of the UK is staggering. As Neil goes on to say,
‘If you flew in to City airport, visited Canary Wharf, and flew out again, you would think Britain was a tremendous economic success story. But London is like a Potemkin village for visitors;
its population does not represent the UK at all. Years of trying to help the regions keep up, with quangos and development agencies, have failed not just because their policies are duff. They
have been trying to fight the overwhelming gravitational attraction of the capital.’

You can read the whole of Neil’s piece in the new issue of The Spectator, out today, or on our Facebook page.
And you can hear him discuss it further on our new podcast, The View from 22, here.


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