Twice in his article, Simon Jenkins describes Osborne`s "northern inititiative" as "sincere", but where is the evidence to substantiate this (Osborne`s vanity projects spell doom for the north,25/02/16)? Far more likely is the point that "northern powerhouse" was clearly an election vote-winning wheeze, which appealed to a Tory party thinking itself, at best, to be a partner in a coalition government post-May 2015. Then, of course, the Lib Dems could be blamed for its shelving. The Guardian recently reported that 83% of the government`s "£300m relief fund will go to Tory-run councils", mostly in the south; this is not simply deplorable, but indicative of the ridiculous bias this administration shows for southern England (Council cuts: PM accused of buying off MPs,10/02/16).
With none of this extra money designated to help the "five most deprived councils in the country", all of which unsurprisingly are in the northern half of England, and with none of the proposed improvements in transport even off the ground, this ludicrous sham, and any suggestions of Osborne`s sincerity, must stop
Osborne`s "decision to step up austerity" has little to do with economics, as demand will be further reduced, and everything to do with his Tory leadership claims, especially as rivals have been hogging the news recently. (Independent,27/02/16). Just as Nicky Morgan`s threat to appoint an American union-baiter as Ofsted chief has nothing to do with improving education, and Johnson`s decision to run with the Brexit team having no connection with principle, Osborne is making sure the Tory party does not forget who makes the so-called "tough" decisions!