Now You See It, Now You Don’t



This morning the BBC were trumpeting on the radio some research by a think tank called ‘Centre For Cities’ that said London was growing much faster than other UK cities as the much vaunted ‘Recovery’ left them behind as economic also-rans…presumably hinting they were being ignored or abandoned by the Government.

The BBC said it was an independent think tank, but admitted that it had been set up by Labour peer Lord Sainsbury…the man who donated nearly £20 million to Labour.

Apparently…. Centre for Cities was launched in March 2005 as part of IPPR and became independent in November 2007.


So independent of the IPPR now…Labour’s very own think tank?

The Chief Executive of Centre for Cities is……


Alexandra Jones

Chief Executive

Alexandra worked as a private secretary for the Permanent Secretary at the former Department for Education and Skills and as a researcher at the Institute for Public Policy Research.



What’s odd, apart from the ‘independent’ label is that after trumpeting this ‘research’ early on in the day, it being the lead story on the news bulletins, it suddenly vanished….almost as if someone responsible had come on shift and pulled the story as  headline news….due to it being a Labour Party stunt?


There is no doubt London is massive compared to other regions but this story has been knocking around for a long time now….so why is it being pushed once again…the thought that the Coalition’s ‘Recovery’ is leaving other regions behind?  Will Miliband be announcing a new policy on cities in the next few days?

Who knows…at least it seems to have been pulled by the BBC as a lead story…or as a story at all in fact on the radio….after being bombarding us with it early on it vanished.


The story seems to ignore some other truths about ‘the Regions’…the streets may not be paved with  gold but things are moving:

Record growth for business activity

Business activity rose at a record rate in the West Midlands in December according to the latest purchasing managers report for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. West Midlands private sector companies reported increases for the eighth month in a row with the rate of expansion the strongest in the 16-year-old survey’s history.


This is from Manchester which they tell us is doomed:

It’s double joy for regional growth

Experts said the two per cent growth estimate for 2013 represents some of the strongest figures since the QES began.

Greater Manchester’s economy grew twice as much as predicted in 2013, a study out today reveals.

A total of 623 businesses were quizzed between November 11 and December 4 2013 as part of the QES – the largest of its kind in the country.

The Chamber also said international sales and orders have increased on every measure with manufacturing performing better abroad than in the UK.


This is from the Guardian:

Manchester’s boom shows what can be achieved when councils work together

The city centre has seen a 40% increase in private sector jobs, and one of the UK’s largest expansions in recent years



So why is the Centre for Cities claiming, and the BBC reporting this:

Manchester ‘underperforming’



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8 Responses to Now You See It, Now You Don’t

  1. chrisH says:

    Yes, this one was dredged up by the BBC to try and paint Cameron as a southern softie who has starved the chippy northerners of much needed butties.
    No matter then what happens-if a Tory might get any credit for it, it`ll be seen as boasting, elitist, leaving the poor behind, populist…and back to the Nasty Party parking space as ever.
    Shameless liars, stirrers and seekers after the last rancid chicken in the shop…not to eat mind, only to paint green and moan that it wasn`t done in primrose pastel by a paid professional…and filmed by an equally needy, greedy cameraman and Beebhack on twice the salary!


    • john in cheshire says:

      Maybe they’re trying to formulate an argument for abandoning the Salford site and returning to their own nest in the south?


      • Buggy says:

        Sorry, john: they’re infesting your (general) patch now, you lucky so and so ! We don’t want the sods heading back down this way. Evvvvvvver.


  2. M says:

    Yes I commented on the story on the BBC website stating that last week when government figures were announced stating that avergae wages had increased, the BBC spent all day at every opportunity questioning the validity of the figures and implying that the government was lying, yet what was said in this report was accepted as gospel truth no questions asked. BBC bias at it’s best.


  3. Jimbob says:

    over the past 4 years of clearing up Loony Brown’s/Ed Ball’s mess the BBC lines of attack have been ;-

    2010 – 2012 – “tories are cutting too far, too fast and too deep”
    early 2013 – why don’t the Tories “have a plan for growth”
    late 2013 – nothing is being done to stop “the cost of living crisis”
    2014 – this is the wrong sort of recovery, is not sustainable and is happening in London and the South East only.


  4. Deborah says:

    Funnily enough saw the same report on Channel 4 news and googled them to find out who funds them. £800k a year from Lord Sainsbury’s Foundation and quite a few donations from those hard up councils (many in the £10-20k region) which are not in shire counties.


    • Philip says:

      Yes – Lord David Sainsbury (deceased) lives on through his many charitable foundations. He was also Labours ‘Science’ Minister (under Blair’s term) and the largest single contributor to the Labour party funds (8%) he was pro GM foodstuffs, pro Aids charities and pro social-change agendas (in line with BBC) , i.e. ‘Common Purpose’ notably and the ‘Centre-for-Change’ were set up in 2005 (so no surprise that the BBC would use data as directed and related to Labour causes).


  5. Robin says:

    Sainsburys headquarters is based in Holborn , London .