April newsletter note

Author: Liam Booth-Smith   |  

This note from the Chief Executive is from our April newsletter. You can read the newsletter in full here and register to receive it straight to your inbox on our homepage.

The late AA Gill said that if you want to anger someone write about where they live. Having run the gauntlet of England’s local drive time radio I can confirm he’s correct. Our recently published report The Making of an Industrial Strategy (details below) didn’t pull any punches. Thankfully, most of you like that sort of thing.

Putting aside matters of local pride (including my own), we labelled some places as either stuck or stifled. Most of the feedback suggests we got this right, however some have taken issue. Christopher Hitchens once remarked that his hate mail was often about stuff he’d never actually written or if it did appear on the page, was so divorced from context as to be rendered meaningless. To those who’ve offered reasonable thoughts I’ve replied personally. To everyone else I’m going to re-send a copy of the report with a simple request ‘please read it’. I joke, ish.

With the industrial strategy report we’ve begun to share ideas about something we’re calling neo-localism. Simply put this is our view of a post Brexit localism. The idea in a strapline; how places and communities can have more control and influence over the effects of globalisation.

There a few things to say on this. Firstly, yes a neologism can be irritating but we need a hook to start talking about the future of localism and if it isn’t new, and you don’t want it to be old… Secondly, I know we’re likely to take a hit for being pompous but I don’t care. I run a think tank which, amongst other joys, is basically a license to be (a bit) pretentious. I’m prepared to run the risk of racking up points to get the discussion going. Finally, we’re promoting the concept alongside research work so that people can see the practical policies which give life to the broader idea. Localism needs an intellectual future which is politically relevant. We can’t do this on our own, so I hope you’ll help us.

There you have it, Localis is now a neo-localist think tank.

Liam Booth-Smith