Amidst a turgid, dreary and special interest laden report, The Smith Institute, the world's last remaining centre of Brownite thinking, unwittingly nailed the reasons for the North's economic problems:
In the three Northern regions, in the boom years of 2000-08, the majority of the new jobs came directly or indirectly from public funds.
The Labour government, under Brown's chancellorship, borrowed money and spent it on creating public sector jobs. There were no "boom years" outside the public sector in places like Bradford. For a few moments it felt that way but it was a chimera.
Public sector jobs were better paid, had better pensions and (seemingly) offered better prospects. Voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises were sucked into the government's maw where juicy morsels of grant and contract were served up. The private sector - unless it was simply delivering public contracts - stood no chance.
The North's economy is in such crisis because of that false dawn, because the Labour government conned us into believing that the solution lay in an ever larger and ever more inefficient (and ineffective) public sector. They were wrong and we're paying the price.