If I was a suspicious sort, I’d look at the coverage of the recent strange think tank report and say that something was a little fishy.
The coverage I heard on the radio (which was all BBC stuff of differing flavours) was saying that the suggestion was that people would be made to up sticks and move south, and that public funds wouldn’t be spent on northern cities, which had no future. Vernon Kay was particularly keen on pushing this and getting Righteously Indignant about it.
My thinking, and I thought this without reading the report, was along these lines: think tanks are, on the whole, fucking stupid things and come up with a lot of fucking stupid ideas. But they’re not generally in the lines of suggesting forced migration. The BBC, on the other hand, has a fantastic track record of misleading over such things. So I’ll take their coverage with a pinch of salt and reach my own interpretation, to whit, that the think thank suggested that if economic growth is being driven in the south, then people will move to the jobs in the south, and that the infrastructure in the south needs improving. The big cities in the north would then lose people, and thus would need less investment.
That was my thinking, anyway. And it wasn’t right; having read the executive summary I find that they’re not quite as cold and calculating as I was.
But that hasn’t stopped the media frenzy. No, that continues unabated. And the annoyance that will be felt in the northern cities, and in the residents of the south that were originally from the north, will continue to be stoked. Why would this be, do you think?
Certainly not because of this little sentence that has been creeping into the BBC coverage:
Policy Exchange, a registered charity, has been described as Mr Cameron’s favourite think tank.
Ah. So my latest thinking is this: if the BBC can get the words ‘Policy Exchange’ to be linked with the name ‘Cameron’, then they can smear the first while appearing to be neutral on the second. Which means that they’re not being politically biased at all, no sirree, but they can happily kick the Tories.
Not that I’m paranoid at all, you understand…
UPDATE: Vernon Kay is now on another rant, this time entitled “Take that, Tory think tank”. Actual quote. That was fast…