Dad and I took a walk down Into congleton town centre this morning. As I said yesterday, I couldn’t bring my powerchair up, so Dad pushed me in my manual. I don’t think I had been into congleton town centre for over ten years, since moving to London, and I must say it was quite a trip down memory lane. At one and the same time, it was pretty much as I remembered it from my childhood, yet also very different. The street layout is much the same, of course, but the place is slowly losing its life. For example I remember the town market being a bustling, vibrant place, especially on a Saturday morning, yet today it seemed half empty. I couldn’t resist mentally comparing it to what I’m now used to down in London: you can hardly move for people in, say, woolwich or Stratford markets at that time on a Saturday.
And where east London is now dotted with cranes and construction sites, my childhood home town seemed abandoned. There are lots of new houses being built, but no infrastructure. The place seemed in desperate need of investment, and dad told me that, where so much money is going into the south east, hardly any is being invested in places like Congleton. It’s a problem I have been becoming aware of for a while: it’s certainly true that, outside the London bubble, people feel neglected. And as others have noted, that leads to feelings of resentment which give rise to cataclysms like Brexit and a Tory government.