Marr has called the so-called Northern Powerhouse "thick" and "patronising". Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty
Show Hide image

Johnny Marr calls the Tory "Northern Powerhouse" thick and patronising

The Smiths guitarist and perennial Tory-botherer has tweeted his disapproval.

It's the moment we've all been waiting for: Johnny Marr has given his thoughts on the so-called "Northern Powerhouse" and - surprise - he's not a fan.

The Mancunian guitarist asked if Cameron and Osborne "actually think that people in the north are ok with the term" and accused it of being "patronising and thick".

The remark follows a previous attempt to ban David Cameron from liking The Smiths:

The Newstatesman.com's in-house token Northerner has voiced general support for Marr, although notes that the term is quite good for mocking one's partner next time he attempts DIY.

I'm a mole, innit.

Getty
Show Hide image

Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The most politically charged of the culture minister's responsibilities is overseeing the BBC, and to anyone who works for - or simply loves - the national broadcaster, Karen Bradley has one big point in her favour. She is not John Whittingdale. Her predecessor as culture secretary was notorious for his belief that the BBC was a wasteful, over-mighty organisation which needed to be curbed. And he would have had ample opportunity to do this: the BBC's Charter is due for renewal next year, and the licence fee is only fixed until 2017. 

In her previous job at the Home Office, Karen Bradley gained a reputation as a calm, low-key minister. It now seems likely that the charter renewal will be accomplished with fewer frothing editorials about "BBC bias" and more attention to the challenges facing the organisation as viewing patterns fragment and increasing numbers of viewers move online.

Of the rest of the job, the tourism part just got easier: with the pound so weak, it will be easier to attract visitors to Britain from abroad. And as for press regulation, there is no word strong enough to describe how long the grass is into which it has been kicked.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.