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We're not part of the EU 'banana' Views of the North.

YOUR correspondent Alan Marsden (Views of the North, January 20), asked "why it is conscionable to build an island in the Thames estuary to create a hub airport but unthinkable to develop a hub airport in the North".

I advise him to look in the direction of the EU. There is a swathe of territory in the EU which is known colloquially as the "banana". This area contains the largest and richest concentration of industrial/ commercial undertakings in the EU.

This stretch of land begins in the London area (arguably the most affluent), takes in the Paris basin and continues north-eastwards to Brussels, then to the commercial centres of the Netherlands and thence to the prime financial/industrial regions of Germany such as Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Since the end of the Cold War, Berlin has to be added. The shape vaguely resembles a banana, hence the nickname.

This region attracts the bulk of EU and international investment in the same way that a magnet attracts iron filings. This is the place where investors get the best returns on their money.

In the Bible, there is a verse which states, "Unto them that hath, shall more be given." Here the reference is to Faith. One could, however, adapt this verse to the above, but substitute Profit for Faith. This explains the plans for the suggested Boris Island and is the reason why there is no money for English regional airports or investment for the much-needed dualling of the A1 to Edinburgh. To be blunt, we live in the wrong place!

With regard to the hope that Olympic money will regenerate the east end of London, I would like to think so.

Alas, history tends to show that Olympic games, however memorable and enjoyable, tend to leave a trail of white elephants in the shape of neglected facilities and amenities and major debt in their wake.

J FLETCHER, Chopwell
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 21, 2012
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