On a macroeconomic level the UK is very constrained. High levels of national debt hinders reductions in taxation, which could be used to stimulate the economy. The risk of higher inflation limits the effectiveness of interest rates to enable growth. A further quantitative easing program could lead to a much greater devaluation of the currency.
With high levels of debt, high rates of taxation and a desire to avoid another quantitative easing program, the British government must look for other ways of funding itself. An expansion in its own business operations and generating its own income could be the best way, it could also avoid the need for further cuts in government expenditure.
Liverpool is a proud city with some of the finest civic buildings in England. A couple of weeks ago I was in the opulent setting of one of these, and I was angry. Standing in the finery of St Georges Hall I was reminded of the once-great wealth of this trading port. And, as I shared a platform with its current Mayor Joe Anderson, I was angry.
Maximising the opportunities presented by these assets will not just benefit the North. Nationally, this will ensure the plentiful supply of low carbon energy and a renaissance industry at a time when it is needed most. But whilst the drive to power this industry exists in great quantities in the North, the region nonetheless needs a strong national framework and policy continuity.
For me, a closeted teenager in the '80s, it was not a good time to know you were gay. Besides the hysteria whipped up by the AIDS scare and manifesto promises for cracking down on the 'promotion of homosexuality', the realisation that shocked me most was just how much people like me were hated by mainstream society.