Monday, December 19, 2005

Long Way Home

As well all know, the news in the UK over the last number of years has often involved the ramifications of poverty and exclusion in the North of England. Geographical and demographic factors certainly disadvantage the North compared to the relatively rich and prosperous South.

Well, I have the solution.

Why not compel half the trans-Atlantic flights into London to land in Leeds-Bradford Airport before they fly on to Heathrow or wherever? Just force them to land there. Perhaps create an enterprise zone around Leeds-Bradford thus creating a few jobs in the area.

Of course, viewed from a national perspective the benefits of such a policy might not be totally obvious. After all, any jobs created in the North would likely be offset by job-losses in the South as travellers and the like diverted their trans-Atlantic trips to Paris and Frankfurt. Moreover, the effect of the policy on the North of England’s economy would be pretty limited – limited in fact to the people who worked in or around the airport. And it goes without saying that travellers to London would be hugely pissed off as they wasted time sitting in Leeds-Bradford and wasted money subsidising the tickets of the, say, 10% of passengers who actually disembarked in Leeds-Bradford.

Still, at least the slightly smaller pork(barrel) pie would have more evenly spaced slices.

I’ve arrived back in Belfast from the States after flying into Dublin (via the Shannon stopover).

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