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Does the South East need its own party?

3 December 2012

4:00 PM

3 December 2012

4:00 PM

Kelvin MacKenzie wants a British version of the Italy’s Northern League. His aim is to have a Southern Party that would push for home rule for London and the South East and oppose fiscal transfers from the South East to the rest of the country.

The piece is classic MacKenzie polemic. But it does speak to the growing regionalisation of British politics, a subject that Neil O’Brien addressed for us in his final piece before becoming an adviser to George Osborne.

Outside of London, Labour only have four MPs in the South East and in the European elections, Labour came fifth in the region — behind even the Greens. For their part, the Tories are on the verge of extinction in the urban north and hold just two seats in the North East.

This political polarisation is one of the reasons that we appear to have entered an era that will be characterised by hung parliaments and narrow majorities. If the various bits of the country continue to grow apart politically and economically, then the fabric of the country will become increasingly stretched.

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