Yes, yes, that’ll do it!

Britain’s run down coastal resorts should be saved by the Government appointing of a “seaside tsar”.

More politics! More bureaucracy!

The British Hospitality Association said massive investment is needed to regenerate poverty stricken coastal communities.

MOAR TAXES!

That’s how economic development always happens, isn’t it?

44 thoughts on “Yes, yes, that’ll do it!”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    if only they could guarantee some sunshine that would help. Perhaps a bit more global warming would do it?

  2. If the cheaper seaside resorts (like those in Essex) hadn’t been used as a dumping ground for benefit monkeys and astlum seekers, it might help…

  3. By the way, I’ve abandoned work on my book, “Free, Safe And Prosperous: A Manifesto For Brexit Britain”. I’ve now started work on “Even More Of The Same: My God We’re Screwed”.

  4. “It has called for tax incentives to encourage investment in coastal towns where businesses are struggling to cope with the burden of national insurance and 20 per cent VAT.”

    I suppose lowering these two never crossed anyone’s mind?

  5. “The British Hospitality Association said massive investment is needed to regenerate poverty stricken coastal communities.”

    Then the BHA can set up its own task force and raise the investment monies privately.

  6. @BiND

    No,no! Nothing good can ever come from Global Warming Climate Change. All possible effects must be wholly and completely negative. Because: SCIENCE.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ve just been reminding myself about the 1976 heatwave and drought. As soon as the Govt appointed Dennis Howell as minister for drought we got massive thunderstorms. Perhaps May should appoint a minister for lack of sunshine?

  8. Perhaps the seaside towns should compete with each other. Then again, the minimum wage and high employment taxes takes the rug out of entry level jobs being created, so it’s not necessarily the fault of the towns. The idea of one investment policy for all is just horrible though.
    It would be nice if in a few years fisheries policy was devolved to councils which have coastline, then we’ll have more diversity.

  9. And yet, renting a cottage for a week near Lyme Regis is more expensive than renting a cottage 20 or 30 miles from Le Touquet.

  10. Don’t worry Henry, the free market Tory Party are already committed to raising the minimum wage to unprecedented heights. I look forward to them awarding flags of convenience to Continental fishing fleets shortly to ensure stability and continuity.

    There will be plenty of green jobs sorting rubbish in recycling centres (stay away from the walls!) for the natives.

  11. Have I got this right?

    The people involved in the industry, who know most about it, don’t want to invest in it.

    So they want the government to set up a body that knows a bit less about it, to persuade or force people who know a lot less about it to invest in it.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    “It would be nice if in a few years fisheries policy was devolved to councils which have coastline, then we’ll have more diversity.”

    Not a bad idea. Tim did something a while ago on Australia giving the fishing industry ownership of the fishing grounds and it seemed to work. Its certainly a way of getting round the Tragedy of the Commons problem and the barmy fishing quotas that mean dead fish was being thrown back in if they were outside their quota.

  13. Peter the Great couldn’t save Rhyl, let alone some party hack.

    Anyway, something is already happening which will be a bigger boost to Britain’s seaside towns than any pointless political stunt – the devaluation of the pound.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Well, it worked for the British film industry.”

    I think I’ve related this tale before, but for newcomers.

    When one of the civil servants I was working with was moved to the BFI Policy Unit in DCMS I expressed incredulity that there was such a body I was informed by a senior civil servant that with out it there wouldn’t be a British film industry.

    My comment that if the people didn’t want it why are we wasting their taxes was met with a blank stare.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Anyway, something is already happening which will be a bigger boost to Britain’s seaside towns than any pointless political stunt – the devaluation of the pound.”

    Foreigners aren’t daft enough to visit our seaside towns on holiday.

  16. Maybe the unemployed could be given a grant to have a holiday in a seaside town. This would “stimulate” the economy in a true Keynesian manner.

    “Come to sunny Southend On Benefits!”.

  17. An investor might well need government support to buy up a tract of land in fragmented ownership.

    Let’s say there’s a parade of tacky seaside shops, each with a separate owner. Along comes a big investor who wants to create something bigger and better (posh hotel, casino, outdoor mall, yacht club, aquarium, whatever). The existing owners aren’t compelled to sell; indeed if their livelihoods depend on their shops, they’re unlikely to sell at all. Even if the shops are merely rented, piecing together a deal with multiple landlords can take a long time. A single truculent owner who refuses to sell at any price can block the entire deal.

    In the corporate world there’s the notion of a squeeze-out: if you can get 90% of shareholders to sell, the remaining 10% have no choice but to follow. For a property developer there’s no such option. Enabling land takeovers under a 90% (or even 80%) rule would do a lot to boost run-down areas around the country, not just at the seaside.

  18. “Come to sunny Southend On Benefits!”.

    That’s the problem. Take away the B&B tourists and you have lots of cheap HMOs for people on benefits.
    There are nice bits of the coast, there are always nice bits of anywhere, but in general the British coast can’t complete with sunnier places abroad if you want cheap and cheerful bucket and spade. The generation that associated the coast with holidays and retirement as a nice long holiday at the end of the pier are almost extinct now, their children probably planned a retirement in the aforementioned sunnier places abroad.

  19. I dunno. There are bits of Devon and Cornwall that are very nice. They are generally visited by people called Arabella and Charles than people called Shania and Wayne. I wonder if these things might be connected?

    If you want to improve British seaside resorts, first improve the British. If this sounds a bit snobby, fuck off Wayne.

  20. “Foreigners aren’t daft enough to visit our seaside towns on holiday.”

    Some may, but I was thinking more about the British. Cheaper pound makes foreign holidays more expensive.

  21. Interested: The British once had to struggle against adversity–which gave them character.

    While hard times are not esp welcome I believe they are coming anyway. So a British Re-Birth is not impossible. Only statism in general and socialism/Keynesianism in particular are the danger.

    If we can’t afford to holiday abroad anymore there is the British Seaside revival without any lousy state “help””.

  22. I’m told (so it may not be true) that Margate is a bit less crap than it used to be.
    Tracy Emin is no JMW Turner, but it’s often artists that lead regeneration. Examples include Clerkenwell, SoHo and Greenwich Village, St Ives…

    But who needs artists when we can have Mrs May’s five year plan?

  23. Bloke in Germany in china

    I note Andrewm advocating the abolition of property rights using the state monopoly on force.

    I thought most of the world gave up on that, roundabout 1989 if I recall correctly.

  24. “Anyway, something is already happening which will be a bigger boost to Britain’s seaside towns than any pointless political stunt – the devaluation of the pound.”

    If the paperwork to travel to Europe becomes too cumbersome I would expect an even bigger boost.

    Andrew M,

    This is wrong on multiple levels.

    My first reaction was ‘great, now we have a beach resort that is too big to fail’. Queue the never ending government gravy train.

    Next my concern goes to the 10s to 100s of people who would lose their livelihoods. The destroyed businesses might not be the best run but at least the owners don’t have to take minimum wage jobs.

    Neither of these is really important though. The key thing to note is that it is a terrible idea to allow the government to take someone’s property just because someone else claims they can use it more effectively. Once started it is very easy for the system to become even more corrupt. It isn’t long until you have Mugabe or Trump style land grabs. Once the Polish plumber and the Italian electrician lose their businesses who do you think becomes the next target?

  25. “If the paperwork to travel to Europe becomes too cumbersome I would expect an even bigger boost.”

    Any reason why it should? Why should European countries beggar themselves by turning away tourism? They aren’t exactly awash with cash and economic growth.

  26. Many of the remain claims centered on this very idea. What is wrong with exploring the possible results of a vindictive Europe?

    Logically Europe will not impose travel restrictions out of spite. As we are dealing with politicians and their decisions I don’t expect logic to enter the conversation. Therefore the holiday in Spain will become the holiday in England.

  27. Why should European countries beggar themselves by turning away tourism?

    I wouldn’t under-estimate the Eurocrats’ desire for pointless and bloody revenge. Hence why both Merkel and Hollande have shut Juncker back up in his drinks cabinet.

    I mean, it’s hardly going to affect their salaries, perks and expenses, is it? It’s only low-life scumbag can’t-even-vote-them-outers who are going to see their livelihoods trashed. And we just need to look at Greece to see how much things like that matter to the Brussels / Strasbourg enarch nomenklatura.

  28. Bloke in Germany in china,

    No, the world hasn’t given up on compulsory purchase orders. Just ask anyone who lives along the proposed HS2 train line.

    Property rights aren’t absolute. Besides, there is precedent. Our Victorian railways were built by private companies, but they would never have been built had the government not granted them compulsory purchase rights.

    The only oddity is that this power is reserved for the state. I didn’t have you down as an arch-statist. Why not extend compulsory purchase orders to non-state actors, as we already do with shareholdings?

  29. Liberal Yank,

    We already manage to do this when the government decides they want to build a new railway / motorway / airport / whatever.

    Bear in mind the 90% rule: I’m only proposing forcing the remaining 10% to sell up if the first 90% have already agreed. That eliminates the scope for abuse.

  30. Ecks – yep, agreed.

    Everyone else – Europe won’t make travel harder. I take LY’s point that it’s worth thinking about, but we mustn’t forget that, barring Germany, the countries in the EU are somewhere on the continuum of quite fucked to royally fucked, largely as a result of being in the EU.

    Ironically, the closer you get to the royally fucked end of the scale the more important tourism seems to be – as someone who once spent quite a bit of time in Germany perhaps I’m biased, but I doubt many people go there on holiday, whereas I can’t be alone in having spent quite a lot of holiday time in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

    So the idea of (essentially) Germany saying to the Greeks, whom they have bent over and shafted for the last X years (albeit that the Greeks started it with their own stupidity), ‘Sorry, we’re going to take away millions of British pounds from you simply because we feel like being petty cunts to the Brits’ is either i) just not going to fly or ii) merely going to hasten the end of the EU.

    I would have thought?

  31. Sorry, completely O/T, but the title seems sort of apt:

    Jezza’s on the ticket… Speed dials Julia…

  32. ‘The British Hospitality Association said massive investment is needed to regenerate poverty stricken coastal communities.’

    So the coastal communities can have beautiful, new, empty hotels.

  33. Wasn’t there some government led hotel scheme in the 1970s? That’s why British hotels always look like they haven’t been touched since the 70s, because nobody’s spent a penny on them since.

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