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Not perfect - but a start; Letters.

PROFESSOR John Tomaney is a wise and learned man. He is also rather selective in his use of bible quotes. Journal readers on Tuesday were told that North of Tyne devolution is comparable to the story of Esau, who sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage, a thin gruel. John tells readers that 'here endeth the lesson'.

Except, as is often the case in both politics and religion, the lesson does not end there. Perhaps John didn't read further in to the Book of Genesis, or he would have seen that Esau, after accepting, in his weak condition a thin offer, goes on to rebuild, to be a power of his own, with a tribe that has its own destiny in its hands.

That same selectiveness is on offer to readers in answer to the question, why was a devolution deal signed for the North East? I signed the North of Tyne devolution deal so the region with the highest unemployment in England has the chance to create more and better jobs.

What is on offer to the North is not perfect, nor comprehensive.

But it is a start, a chance for us to turn around the narrative that this region is one in decline.

The one clear lesson from the story of Esau and Jacob is that they were never able to get along and work together for a greater good. Let us hope that is not the story of our region also.

NICK FORBES , Leader of Newcastle City Council

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 11, 2018
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