Friday, 11 October 2013

Do you believe in Hull?

When I first saw these adverts I wondered if perhaps it was some silly campaign to drum up support for the City of Culture nonsense then I pondered the possibility that Hull was suffering from ontological insecurity? (After all Hull is no longer even in the worst 50 cities in the UK. If Hull's not crap then what is it?) Truth is neither of these was the case as it happens; this is just the latest gimmick dreamt up by the God-botherers desperate to rustle up some trade by saying Hull is a wonderful place (truly God works in a mysterious way).
Anyhow on a more serious note (am I ever frivolous?) it is reported that the Government is being urged to forget about failing towns like Hull (where I live) and Hartlepool (where I was born) and a host of others. Instead of pouring money into these places (did I miss out on this somehow?) the Government should help people to in effect abandon them or rather move to places where there is employment (the clever ones are doing this already, it's been going on for years). This help involves improving regional transport infrastructure instead of building the grand projects such as High Speed Rail.  In a thought provoking article that has got the Hull-lovers snarling and spitting obscenities The Economist magazine states some rather brutal opinions and some equally forthright solutions to perceived problems of high unemployment, poor education and a dependency on benefits. The Economist, of course, does not have to stand for election so it is free to posit politically suicidal solutions. I did, however, take to the idea that these empty cities would become like the Cotswolds in a few hundred years time because of the people fleeing them, now there's something to believe in.

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