Monday, February 27, 2012

Things to Talk About on Your FT Alphaville Fishing Trip: "Ten reasons why Tamworth should be the new capital of England"

You could do the whole Oxford Union at Michaelmas thing: "This House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government" with a segue to:
In tough times we need big ideas – and here's one the whole country can get behind

Every day the government announces a new initiative to steer the country out of recession, each one stupider and more footling than the last. What next? Single parents forced to register as limited companies? National Rolled-Up Sleeves Day? A silver jubilee £10 note with Adele's head on it?

That shower of gormless berks in the cabinet, look at them. Not a clue. Round and round they go on the media carousel, taking it in turns to be interrupted by John Humphrys, jabbering about a "vision for the future". Vision! A SEA CUCUMBER has more vision than this government.

History teaches us that tough times call for BIG IDEAS. Inspirational, forward-looking, optimistic, daring ventures the whole country can get behind. Which is why I am proposing that we relocate the capital of England to Tamworth in Staffordshire. Here are 10 reasons why.
1 London's turn is up. It has been the capital of England since the 12th century. Enough is enough. Samuel Johnson said: "When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." Yeah, no disrespect mate, I'm sure that sentence made perfect sense in the 1760s. But someone looking for a furnished flat in Zone 2 today might put "life" "tired" and "afford" in a totally different order. Let's move the capital city somewhere cheaper. London can continue to flourish as a world class destination for global tourism, centre of banking excellence, playground for foreign gangsters, setting for the BBC's popular Sherlock, etc. A new capital would also neatly resolve the ancient squabble about whether Birmingham or Manchester is England's second city. Let's make LONDON the second city.

2 Tamworth was England's original capital. It would be an inspired act of restorative historical justice to return this unassuming Midlands town (currently home to "the UK's first full-sized real-snow indoor ski slope") to its 8th-century glory. The mighty Offa, King of Mercia and All England, had a palace there, built a bloody great dyke to keep the Welsh out, had the southern ponces of Wessex and Anglia firmly under control for a while and was on excellent terms with the Muslim world. Happy days.

3 It would generate a massive economic stimulus. I've done some preliminary paperwork on this and I calculate it will cost roughly £27 trillion to build a proper new capital city. Imagine the number of jobs created, the construction activity, the sheer economic momentum. Instant recovery.

4 A new geo-political era. Once Scotland goes independent, will Wales and Northern Ireland be far behind?New Tamworth would be much closer geographically to the former United Kingdom than Olde Londonne. Tamworth's bang in the middle of legendary "middle England" so politicians would presumably be thrilled to relocate from Westminster.

5 Rethinking the monarchy. New capital, new palace, a new system for electing the king and queen of plucky little England. Perhaps yearly, by telephone vote. Better still, we could scrap counties and revert to the old Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. Imagine. Seven kingdoms, seven lots of elected royals. A tourism goldmine. There could be paintballing wars and mead-quaffing contests and proper regional television again. God save the kings and queens!...MORE at the Guardian
We mentioned Come fish with Alphaville in the post bestowing today's prestigious Climateer Headline of the Day award.

That made two in six days for the Alphavillians, the first being last week's "Climateer Headline of the Day: Strange Loops Edition"