Could the economist call for the closing of Palmerston North too?

Palmerston North, and quite a few other hopeless places would qualify under this proposal by The Economist magazine…perhaps even Wellington.

Ministers have been urged to abandon “failing” cities and towns across the north of England such as Hull, Hartlepool and Burnley and concentrate instead on helping the locals to get jobs elsewhere.

The Economist magazine said that despite years of Government money and “heroic” efforts the towns were decaying and it was time for a change in policy.

The globally-respected publication, in an editorial entitled ‘City Sicker’, said the fate of the once confident places was “sad”.

But it urged ministers to forget about using tax breaks or spending money to encourage people to go the cities and towns as it diverted them from areas where “they would be more successful”. 

The Economist cited the example of the Cotswolds, once an industrial engine and now so pretty because “centuries ago, huge numbers of people fled them”.

In a withering verdict, the magazine said: “Despite dollops of public money and years of heroic effort, a string of towns and smallish cities in Britain’s former industrial heartlands are quietly decaying.

“Middlesbrough, Burnley, Hartlepool, Hull and many others were in trouble even before the financial crisis.

It added: “That so many well intentioned people are trying so hard to save them suggests how much affection they claim.

“But these kindly efforts are misguided, Governments should not try to rescue failing towns. Instead they should support the people who live in them.

“That means helping them to commute or move to places where there are jobs – and giving them the skills to get those jobs.”


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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