astrophysics, Broad Marsh Bus Station, D2N2, English devolution, Evan Davis, grey squirrels, London economy, Mind the gap, Nottingham Creative Quarter, regionalisation, road kill, Stuffed animal businesses, Tasmania
Joel is a bright eyed and bushy tailed aspirant young business man who has been dealing in rare squirrels ever since he was 12. Red ones, green ones and even yellow ones imported from the toxic forests of Chernobyl have all passed through his doors to grateful customers ready to part with their hard earned cash in return for a pristine stuffed Sciurus carolinensis, niger or vulgaris.
Business is so good that Joel is considering scaling up his operation and taking on the larger stuffed rodent dealers who have collared the market and are based in London as this is where the majority of lovers of stuffed dead animals live and earn their fortunes.
And fortunes they do indeed earn in that there London as we all know only too well. The fact that London has attracted the most metallic of minds, the biggest budgets and the highest amount of road kill in the Northern Hemisphere (beaten only by the roads of Tasmania when it comes to world rankings) means that it has become a hugely magnetic attraction for those of us who like to while away our time filling aforesaid road kill with a variety of sawdust and silicon implants.
The London Magnetic Effect is based on the argument that if you want to get ahead, you’re best off getting a head (or two) of the competition trophied fairly and squarely in the centre of your mantelpiece, attached firmly to a large iron spike liberated from the Tower of London.
So, Joel is currently tempted to succumb to the electromagnetic radiation which is emitting from our glorious capital. His eyes are glazing over, his nose is twitching and his ears are beginning to glow green with the siren call of the Lorelei of London Bridge.
What is the young man to do? Follow the magnetic call of one of the greatest cities in the world and inadvertently contribute to the steady seepage of talent, influence and investment south? Or hold his nerve steady, reaffirm his commitment to his native Nottingham, set up an all singing all dancing e-commerce website and take on the London rodent dealers from the safety of his own workshop?
For those of us who are trying to shield our communities from the London Magnetic Effect we naturally hope for Joel to don a suit of London-Kryptonite armour, stand his ground and contribute to building a counter Tesla-tron which could shield future generations from almost certain meltdown in the black hole that London can so often become for the young squirrel dealer.
But we know too that the London effect is persuasive, inexorable and thrilling and that given half a chance and a penthouse flat in Putney on a £200k salary that we would be one of first on the coach out of Broad Marsh Bus Station, lured by the hum and stench of London road kill.
The London Magnetic Effect is indeed a powerful one but one day in the not too distant future, the regions of the UK will re-discover their own magnetic resonance and re-establish their own solar systems of energy, mass and influence.
Joel will then be faced with the unenviable task of selling dead rodents to the burghers of Cardiff, Liverpool and all the other major cities in the economic firmament and will be able to retire gracefully knowing he has contributed to the prosperity of his community and the country as a whole. The London Magnetic Effect will be a thing of the past, of interest only to the astrophysicists who study the light emanating from dying civilisations.