The return of Tarzan: Heseltine swings into action aboard the 13.23 from Euston
There is something slightly ironic about the supposed great and good of London getting into a first-class train carriage to Birmingham to persuade the locals about the merits of more local democracy.
Coach G of the 13.23 from Euston yesterday was full of the Westminster elite heading off to encourage Brummies to vote "yes" to a directly elected city mayor.
At the centre of attention and munching on a banana was Lord Heseltine. Age may have greyed his locks and he no longer holds elected office but he still eclipsed the Cities minister, Greg Clark – tipped for promotion to the Cabinet, but who yesterday didn't have a prayer of competing with Tarzan.
Mr Clark was asked why, if the Government was so keen on city mayors, it was refusing to give them any more powers than the council leaders they would replace.
Lord Heseltine intervened. "No, no, you're asking the wrong question," in patrician tones. "If I put the question another way, do you think Alex Salmond sits in Scotland and says, 'Oh, I wonder what powers they are going to give me?' He doesn't say that at all. He says, 'This is what I want and I'm going to fight for it'."
Lord Heseltine has done more for British cities than any other politician of his generation. "I was brought up with the old slogan that what Manchester thinks today, the world will think tomorrow," he said. "That has gone out of local politics and it is got to come back if we are going to see the regeneration of our great cities.
"The great driving force was the great provincial cities and the entrepreneurs who built them. But the wealth-creating element of the cities which were fundamental to them has been replaced by an almost exclusive priority on welfare provision. What the Government is trying to do is to recreate the entrepreneurial zeal and enthusiasm."
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say representatives
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Kate Upton nude photos leak: Model's spokespeople 'looking into' authenticity of indecent images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-Office D...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, WPF, WCF, ASP.NET, Prism...
£8 per hour: Randstad Education Leeds: The Job Creche Assistant to start asap ...