Bless Prime Minister David Cameron. As United States President Barack Obama said recently, he “must be doing something right”. Obama was referring to the British economy and he was, of course, talking bullshit. It may well be that the snake-oil salesmen of the Number 10 Policy Unit can make some of the numbers appear promising, and that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s recent vocal training has helped him to lie to Parliament more convincingly, but here in Sheffield it’s difficult to discern any improved prosperity.
It is as well to remember what the “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom actually means. It is an arrangement to use Britain as a US military base in Europe and a source of Plutonium for their nukes. Also, Obama occasionally uses British bases for “extraordinary rendition” (aka kidnap and torture) to that holiday camp in Cuba that he promised to close when he was elected.
Obama may well have more charisma than the entire UK government front bench put together, but he is still a corrupted liar, and his judgement is not to be trusted.
I am not an economist (not that qualified economists know what they are doing either), but a simple barometer of the prosperity of a city is its shops. Most people will not even remember, but Sheffield used to have two Marks & Spencers and, infamously, lost one to Meadowhall when it opened in 1990. As widely predicted, all the shopping centres in South Yorkshire suffered as a result of the out-of-town displacement and Sheffield as a shopping centre has declined ever since thanks to the wider reaches of neoliberalist economic policies.
Depending on which side of the centre you fall, Meadowhall is either the zenith or the nadir of Thatcher’s Britain. You can probably guess which limit I would choose.
So here is a little bit of citizen activism. I will be tweeting to George Osborne and David Cameron a photo of an empty shop in Sheffield on each of the 100 days between now and the General Election on May 7th.
You can follow me here:
and they will also be published on my anti-Tory VOTE PLEB blog here:
For those of you with local knowledge, I found them all in the city centre or on London Road, Abbeydale Road & Chesterfield Road (because I live on that side of the city) and went no further out of town than Lidl / The Broadfield.
I didn’t even go to any of the deprived areas.