Levelling up policies must address the problem of social mobility as much as geography
Geography is back in fashion. Long seen as the preserve of middle-aged men with elbow patches, it’s now centre stage with the prime minister’s talk of levelling up poorer regions. The problem with Britain’s elite belatedly returning to geography is that they don’t seem to grasp its complexity.
I keep being told the problem facing the “red wall” seats in the north and Midlands that swung to the Conservatives from Labour in 2019 is that all the young people leave for university or work. But young people in those seats are much less likely to leave. It’s this lack of mobility that defines England’s new political battlegrounds.