- Friends of the Earth North-west Gathering
- 10:30am-4:30pm Saturday 5th March 2016
- @ Green Fish, Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester
- Free tickets on eventbrite
The Northern Spring is amongst many media outlets who have dealt with some of the issues of the so-called “Northern Powerhouse”, with many highlighting the problems and some pouring scorn, scepticism and ridicule onto the project, journalist Jennifer Williams suggesting that the phrase could go on the political “buzz-phrase” scrapheap along with “The Big Society” – what did happen to that ?
With industry “big-wigs”, “fat cats” and “business leaders” meeting at the £500 per ticket “Northern Powerhouse” Conference in Manchester in February 2016, activists are also meeting in Manchester, the European City of Science, in March 2016, to discuss the situation, the alternatives and what we can do practically, with a simultaneous Friends of the Earth North-east Gathering happening in Newcastle
The “Northern Powerhouse” is a Conservative Party-led attempt to show some interest in the North, but the criticisms are that it only suits very narrow, corporate business interest and relies on terminally declining industry, such as fracking and nuclear power, and an appalling lack of democracy in the guise of “devolution”
One of the biggest problems with the “Northern Powerhouse” is that it does not consider the environment – project “leader” George Osborne has shown no interest in environmental considerations and has even said that we should exploit all fossil fuels that are available to us
Considering the global environment, increased extreme weather, including the recent Northern floods, the COP 21 agreement and that the UK is a member of the Climate Change High Ambition Coalition, then the Chancellors’ comments and plans seem to be criminally negligent
However, we do need to have jobs, energy and housing, and we do currently live in a capitalist society, so what are the alternatives to the “Northern Powerhouse” ? Is there a way that we can grow the economy, increase employment, generate energy, provide housing, and live in a more environmentally responsible manner ?
So far, the “Northern Powerhouse” has not made much of an impact on Northerners – a recent Ipsos Mori poll suggests that only 50% of Northerners have even heard of it! It has also been widely sneered at and dismissed in political circles, especially the Green Party, but politicians who have derided the project have not really shown any alternative vision and presented it to the public with any real clarity
On Saturday 5th March, join the peoples’ debate of the positives and negatives of the “Northern Powerhouse” and how the people can shape the North of England in the future