The news that two mayoral candidates have accused the prime minister "of preparing to abandon the government`s much-vaunted northern powerhouse policy" is hardly surprising, but it does suggest that Labour actually believed the Tories` promise (Morning Star,02.09.16). Their accusation should be that it was never a serious idea in the first place, but a last minute wheeze, devised by Osborne, to win some votes before the 2015 election; at that time no-one expected an outright Tory win, least of all the then chancellor, so such pledges could easily be forgotten in a coalition government. Everyone should have realised the Tories investing in the north of England was a non-starter, especially after five years of making draconian cuts to northern councils` budgets.
The same applies to the NHS, and the Tories promising a "seven day health service"; for them it was a no-lose situation. Election defeat or coalition would mean the idea could be dropped; victory, on the other hand, could lead to the situation we have today. Jeremy Hunt would enforce new contracts on over-worked and over-stressed junior doctors, leading to inevitable strikes, so that he could claim more privatisation of the NHS was essential. A seven day service, but with the same funding for the current five day one, is an impossibility, and Labour shoud be shouting it from the rooftops!