Economic success is generally measured in terms of growth rather than positive outcomes for people and places. Although the key metric of growth, 'Gross Domestic Product' (GDP), is increasingly recognised as a poor proxy for human progress, it continues to drive fundamental decisions about the way we manage and grow our economies.
"Education. Education. Education." This was the cornerstone of New Labour, a platform for unprecedented levels of social mobility, which helped prepare the way for Tony Blair's landslide victory in the 1997 general election. So why are we still in a situation where 83% of Oxbridge students are from only 400 elite schools? The answer is complex.
We still live in an education system that is geared towards and favours men; be that reserving a place for an Etonian at King's College, or providing a boy's school with more funding. Now that we have equal educational rights, these age old agreements need to be revised, reformed and ultimately repealed.
In England two cities define its historical intellect and culture like no other: Oxford and Cambridge. The latter, home to the University of Cambridge ordained in 1209, has received scientists, literary figures, politicians and royalty for centuries (including Charles Darwin, Lord Byron, William Pitt and the current Prince of Wales).
The election itself will inevitably focus on issues that matter most to voters - from jobs and housing to wages and welfare. But it is less well recognised that the election in 2015 will be determined primarily in our urban areas, and that the fortunes of each of the major political parties depend upon how they perform in, and help support, UK cities.