Just how ridiculous is it that the man, John Cridland, who is going to bring out a government-funded report on how to revive the economically run-down regions of the North of England says that its recommendations are only a “leap of faith”? In this scientific age there couldn’t be a more ridiculous statement. Leaps of faith are for religious revivalists and their credulous converts, not for millions of poor people who are subsidized by the taxes paid in London and the south-east of England.
Cridland’s report will recommend that road and rail links are built between the main cities of the north — Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and the like. This has been conventional wisdom for some years now ever since Jim O’Neill’s “Northern Powerhouse” project said the same two years ago.
What does science say about the matter? Firstly, the evidence is clear that Northern England is deprived because young people of any intelligence and initiative at all migrate to the south — and stay there. Secondly, children of outstanding ability in any unusual skill are identifiable at puberty. Thirdly, we should thus be building specialist secondary schools where encouragement from mentors (not teachers) and competition from peers are available. Fourthly we need specialist scientific universities to follow up the special schools.
If that were done the northern countries of England would have a chance of attracting multinational corporations which could start to stem the migration tide towards the south.