The Square Mile has been given the go ahead for a new runaway economy just south of the City. Announced as part of plans to boost both local and national fortunes, the aim is to revitalise the Thames through the introduction of Labour’s new generation of flying fancies. Nicknamed ‘The Nude Eel’ this clearly Keynsian approach to investment in infrastructure is largely unsurprising in principle but represents a departure from that of just insuring bad debt and nationalising banks – another 100,000 departures in fact.
For 100,000 is the number of homes that will need to be repossessed in order to make way for this third economy which aims to replace the Decimal one built in 1971. Outline plans indicate that it will be set to take off in tandem with the 2012 Olympics and will be officially known as British Eurospace. It is not clear at this stage to what extent it will link with the Euro and the European Central Bank or in fact whether it will mark the closure of the Sterling concession for good.
Utilising the stretch of the Thames between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge, construction of this new economy will require a complete overhaul of the banks and involve the compulsory sale of Southwark Bridge – it is hoped that a US buyer can be found – and that this in turn will offset the cost of burrowing needed to link the banks around the Thames to the real world.
Concerns over the levels of burrowing required, bridging finance and toxic impact on the economic environment, have hampered previous attempts by government and business partners to present what is, in their own minds, an essential alternative to the UK’s ailing fortunes.
This astonishing marriage between the Old Lady and the Old Father is viewed by city analysts with mixed feelings especially as regulation will pass to a new city watchdog, OFTLOSS, instead of the FSA. Treasury sources indicate that the thinking behind this is key, as OFTLOSS will bring together expertise from the cattle markets of the airline industry, familiar with handling terminal problems whilst at the same time being able to ignore the baggage of the past.
Early indicators are that all hedges will need to be removed from the square mile to allow for a level playing field. This fact has fuelled concerns of opponents with regard to those large areas of the plan that will be overblown.
Few will be brave enough to predict the long term impact on GDP and other economic indicators or how many new jobs will be directly or indirectly created. However, it is known that an alternative central lender will be located on the South Bank – to be known as the Slate Modern. This is by no means a flight of fancy as STOL [Seriously Tight On Lending] and VTOL [Very Tight On Lending] vehicles have already been designed to operate from this Spender of the Last Resort.
The plan will not only benefit the capital and the south-east as it has the potential to create jobs in Northern Ireland where these vehicles are to be constructed – it will be the ideal launch pad for the locally-built, high payload Short Seller which has the range to bomb in the European Markets.
Alternative sites for the new economy have already been considered and dismissed: extension of facilities at Standstill in East Anglia was ruled out as hedges have already been removed; Southend International was deemed to be too far down the river already and lastly Prestwick Airport is viewed as too heavily associated with the domestic room freshener market to be a credible force in Europe.