London needs to buck up its ideas and start investing in the north before it starts clamouring for its own king/queen, as newspapers in the region are pressing for a "revolution" in the way the north is treated on their front pages.
The Power Up North movement saw over 33 papers and websites join together to call for change in the way the government treats northern communities, with its list of demands including (via Manchester Evening News):
- Deliver a fundamental shift in decision-making out of London, giving devolved powers and self-determination to people in the north
- Commit funding immediately to make Northern Powerhouse Rail a national priority
- Overhaul the region’s road and rail network as a part of a wider environmental plan, with devolved funding and powers
- Put full weight behind a bespoke Industrial Strategy for the north of England to enable every sector of the economy, from manufacturing to farming, to flourish
- Make additional investment available for the north’s schools, colleges and universities to boost skills training
- Set out a programme to build a new generation of social housing and affordable homes
- Accelerate investment in the north’s digital infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, and support creative industries
- Commit that the government’s ‘shared prosperity fund’, intended to replace EU structural funding, be fully devolved in long-term tranches to enable strategic decisions of scale rather than areas having to bid in for smaller amounts, piecemeal.
"The north doesn’t just need its fair share of investment but also substantial new devolved powers, building on the growing success of devolution in Greater Manchester," tweeted Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester.
Basically, it wants better treatment from the south who's too busy with its own bollocks, and not paying enough mind to things like infrastructure, people, and White Walkers up north.
The publications also want to see the next Prime Minister bestow cabinet status to the post of Northern Powerhouse minister, with all of the powers that entails, as a sign of good faith that the region's concerns are being acknowledged.
"Regional inequalities between London and the rest of the country are not only vividly apparent in everything from life expectancy to transport investment and wages, but they are also felt, keenly, by people here," writes the Manchester Evening News, adding, "Our demand is not new, but the imperative for it to be heard has never been more urgent." [The Guardian]