top of page
Recent Posts
Featured Posts

Leeds v Manc, Government & BBC Bias. The Economic Truth

Should you wish not to wade through my chuntering rant, the economics are highlighted in red below.

Prologue: What follows is the script for a film I never made, proving that, contrary to BBC (hereafter known as the Manchester Marketing Board) and government propaganda, Leeds is, unquestionably, ‘the economic powerhouse of the North’. I argue this to still be true, even though I’d estimate the political bias of those two institutions to be worth billions of pounds to the Manchester economy over that of Leeds. The film was to be a development of an article I wrote for Sabotage Times in response to the lovely Evan Davis’s ridiculous, fictional two part BBC film Mind the Gap.

Due to time and other projects, I’m never going to get chance to make the film but with the constant, recent, nonsensical chuntering of deceitful Osbourne and his BBC collaborators I thought I’d better put the basic economics, that they lie about, back out there.

The essay, also includes a quick shufty at the incredible governmental and BBC Manc bias. It affects our lives; the Leeds train line electrification was moth-balled for purely political reasons, while the Manchester electrification was never in question. Electrifying the line between Manc and Liverpool rather than Leeds would have been politically motivated, economic insanity… And before anyone says, ‘Yeh, but they’re investing in the new Southern entrance to Leeds train station’ bear in mind that just the roof of the revamped Manchester Victoria station is more expensive than the whole Leeds development, or at least equivalent, and the whole Manc revamp is £44 million compared to Leeds £17 million.

The economic facts I cite later were from 18 months ago but, frankly, I haven’t got time or energy to dig around for another two weeks and they’re still relevant as I doubt they’ll have changed significantly, even with all the extra cash the government and BBC constantly pump into Manchester.

Beauitful Leeds skyline snapped by Mick

Here we go, the script as was.

We as a nation have been brainwashed by the BBC to think of Manchester as the UK’s second city. Can I just tell you that the city of Manchester is less than half the size of the UK’s actual second city, Birmingham? Leeds is half again the size of Manchester; Glasgow and Sheffield are certainly bigger, and it can be argued that Bradford is also larger. By population, Manchester is the UK’s sixth, seventh or even ninth city.

Yet whenever anyone at the BBC lists big UK cities they always start, ‘London, Manchester’; they often simply stop there; sometimes they add others. But that’s a lie, propaganda the BBC have been peddling for at least five decades. Who knows why? That’s for another time. The UK’s biggest cities in order are London, Birmingham and Leeds, yet you would never hear that factually correct list and you would never hear a BBC list of big cities that left out Manchester, yet they almost always leave out bigger cities like Sheffield, Glasgow and Leeds. This is a direct insult to those other British cities, and it matters.

Graphic from Mind the Gap: Evan must’ve been pulling his hair out when he saw that techies added a

simple population graphic that destroyed two hours of silly propaganda.

The BBC hate Leeds, Glasgow and Birmingham. Maybe hate’s too strong a word, they treat Leeds (the actual capital of the North) with the same arrogant, ignorant disdain as they do Bristol, Newcastle, Swansea, Glasgow, Sheffield, Coventry or Hull. They disrespect all the great British provincial cities barring Manchester, which in government and BBC land, as their investment and output show, is the only city, outside London, that counts.

When the BBC Manchester Marketing Board do general reporting that could be done from anywhere, it’s almost always Manchester, Salford or London. Have a listen to 5 live or watch BBC Breakfast – it’s scandalous. 'I’m at a nursery in Salford’; ‘I’m on the streets of Manchester asking people if ghosts should have the same pension rights as the living’.

Some might argue this BBC Manchester bias is simply about location, time restrictions and workloads. I think it’s about prejudice and lazy journalism, and it means I never hear my favourite UK accent on the Beeb cos they never report from Nottingham.

The BBC is a huge organisation so why not use the BBC in Hull, Bristol, Sheffield, Swansea, Glasgow or Birmingham to do some of these straightforward, general vox pops or perhaps travel somewhere and get to know the nation? The UK isn’t just London/Manchester/Salford, and how long would it take them to get from Salford to Sheffield, Leeds or Liverpool? Maybe an hour?

I’m now going to turn my ire to Evan Davis and his ridiculous, dishonest Mind the Gap programme, a glaring piece of Manchester-loving BBC propaganda. The programme looked at how the rest of the UK can compete with the economic powerhouse of London. Constantly name dropping Manchester, he managed not to mention Leeds at all in the first programme, leading to his very biased conclusion in the second that only Manchester could compete with London and is really the UKs second city (which the cheeky Manc scamps have started officially, if completely inaccurately, calling themselves) which when you look at the economic evidence is simply preposterous, it’s as real world as the Wizard of Oz.

With Evan being the former economics editor of the BBC and the programme masquerading as a study of the UK’s economic landscape and trends, you’d have thought he could’ve used some economic smoke and mirrors to peddle his myth. Perhaps a few dodgy facts and statistics. You’d’ve thought so, wun’t you?

I’ve been through the programme with a fine-toothed comb, and what’s the evidence that Evan offers up to defend his assertion that Manchester is the UK’s only economic powerhouse that could compete with London? I’d describe it as non-existent.