London-based asset stripping firms make life tough for the rest of the country - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: David Collins, Skelmanthorpe.

The headline of Chris Burn’s article about Professor Sir Michael Marmot and the health crisis comparing the UK without London was very interesting.

Mississippi was brought to its knees following it being on the losing side in the American Civil war. Northern state carpetbaggers went south and took what little was left after the war. Mississippi has not recovered even now.

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When you look at modern Britain we have our own version of carpetbaggers. There are a significant number of London-based businesses who buy and sell businesses as if it was an everyday commodity. They operate these with London highly paid directors and staff.

Water companies have been urged to do more to tackle pollution. PIC: Rui Vieira/PA WireWater companies have been urged to do more to tackle pollution. PIC: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Water companies have been urged to do more to tackle pollution. PIC: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Asset strip the business, load it with new debt and then sell what's left. The same goes for privatised businesses; these were generally run effectively without a profit motive. Now we have the added cost of more London-based staff and directors making them more expensive for no benefit.

We have created artificial markets in utilities and other services. We are now paying the price for this. Already we have paid the price for rail privatisation several times and steel subsidies with no noticeable benefits.

Next will be utilities led by water where vast amounts have been withdrawn from the service by way of dividends, bonuses and huge London salaries. What do we get? A much worse service than at any time since the great stink in the 19th century. These utilities are either going to walk away or come cap in hand to the state.

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No chance they will be able to go to their shareholders for more investment which is where they should look.

No UK party when in power has made any significant attempt to right this. For lack of backbone and honesty with the voters.

The most galling side effect is that these London carpetbaggers are now buying up property, particularly houses and paying London prices thereby keeping the rest of the country with limited choices.

Rant over.

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