Time for an economics lesson, Mr Mackenzie

An avowed Thatcherite, he seems to believe there's no such thing as society

Share
Related Topics

Kelvin Mackenzie, the former editor of The Sun and inveterate controversialist, woke me up with a start yesterday morning.

To be precise, he didn't actually wake me up himself. My brother, who presents a radio show in Leeds, called me first thing to tell me that Kelvin had been at it again. The man who managed to alienate a whole city – Liverpool – had launched an assault on the regions of Britain. In a piece for a national newspaper, Mr Mackenzie was, in fact, promoting the cause of the poor, downtrodden middle classes of the south-east (that's right: who knew?), but in so doing, characterised the rest of the country as feckless scroungers. He seeks the establishment of a Ukip-style political party to represent the put-upon people of the South.

Boris Johnson, presumably because he carries this burden selflessly and is a symbol of the under-privileged South, would be a natural leader, says Mr Mackenzie. "The hard-working, clever and creative people living in London and the south-east [are] giving the rest of the country a standard of living they can't, or won't, create for themselves," he wrote. "The striving classes in the South are overtaxed and overburdened," he argued, and, reading his piece, you get the sense that people in the South pay more tax than those elsewhere.

The reason for the imbalance in tax revenue is, I would have thought, quite simple: there are more jobs in the South, which, since the industrial base of Britain was destroyed and replaced by financial services, is where all the country's wealth has been concentrated. A recent report by the IPPR think tank revealed that, over the past 12 months, the North had suffered disproportionately from the country's economic woes, losing 100,000 jobs. "The double-dip recession has hit the North particularly hard," the report says, pointing to the lack of investment in the region. At the same time, of course, the South had the advantage of the vast amount of money directed towards the Olympic Games, the benefits from which were not noticeably spread around the country.

He complains, too, about the stamp duty house-buyers have to stump up in London's vastly inflated market. Quite right, Kelvin. Something must be done to depress the capital's house prices: I'm sure those who are making millions from selling a two-bedroom flat in Chelsea would agree.

Mr Mackenzie, an avowed Thatcherite, does, it seems, believe there's no such thing as society. "Why should the good people of Guildford have to fund the unhealthy habits of Glasgow?" he asks. Because, Kelvin, we live in an advanced democracy where the better off in society have a civic and moral responsibility to those less advantaged. But the last word, as ever, should go to Mr Mackenzie. "A number of things will happen to editors, normally," he once said. "They either burn out, or turn to drink, or they become a mixture of ego and alcohol."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

English Secondary Teacher

£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: English Teacher needed for ...

Year 3/4 Teacher - Immediate Start

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 3/4 Teacher Needed in Flintshire ...

English Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Take a moment to imagine you're Ed Miliband...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

Letters: No vote poses difficult questions – so why rush?

Independent Voices
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits