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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Sep-18 > Spinning wheels

Spinning wheels

Big projects invite big political talk. The “Northern Powerhouse” is no exception. An idea invented by George Osborne, it was a project born of the fifty thousand feet perspective of No 11 Downing Street. You can almost imagine the former Chancellor pointing at his map of the UK: “we’ve got lots of economic activity here,” points to central London, “but we need to move some of it up here,” points to Barrow-in-Furness.

But does it really work like that? That’s a question that goes ignored by the politicians who promote the idea of “rebalancing” Britain. All countries have regional imbalances and it’s not immediately clear whether any other country has succeeded in getting rid of them by laying new railway lines. France, for example, has got stupendously fast trains and has had them for decades. But it hasn’t stopped huge swathes of la France profonde from becoming backwaters. Italy, the United States—in fact think of any country and you’ll find it infested with regional imbalances. Why should Britain be able to find a solution that has eluded all other nations?

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In Prospect's September issue: Twenty-five years after the Oslo Accords, Israeli politician and former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg and journalist Donald Macintyre explore how the idea of a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict has diminished, with Burg arguing that a one-state solution is the only way forward. Jane Martinson visited the offices of the UK’s biggest-selling newspaper—Metro—to find out how it has risen to the top. Adam Tooze charts the ups and downs of the euro and argues that decisions made by the ECB have hampered the currency during its first 20 years in existence. Elsewhere in the issue: Michael Blastland suggests that early diagnosis isn’t all it’s made out to be and that many people have endured unnecessary suffering in an attempt to live longer. Wendy Ide examines the life and work of director David Lynch as she reviews his new memoir, which offers a glimpse behind the curtain.