I was speaking at an event in the City yesterday. The occasion let me reach an audience that I might not usually engage with, and as a result I am accepting that it would be inappropriate to disclose the identity of my hosts. But under the Chatham House rule, which applied, I can discuss comment made unattributably.
A number of messages came back to me. One is that bankers are most fearful of a hung parliament on 13 December. They don’t want Corbyn, but they fear more uncertainty most of all.
Economically I’d suggest that there was little understanding of multipliers on display, although there were some exceptions.
Green has not permeated this far, by and large. If it has, it’s thought to be Tesla.
And the idea that people will leave the U.K. (or let’s be honest, small parts of London) because of tax seems real, when tiny numbers actually will, at most, based on precedent.
But one thing that almost inevitably became obvious is how limited the horizons of those in the City are. They can discuss ‘red walls’ in the Midlands, for example. But when I discussed the significance of the SNP / Tory battle in Scotland for Johnson and that during the night of 12/13 December looking at the Borders and the areas around Aberdeen might be wise if a view on Johnson’s real chances is to be sought this was like a revelation.
The City might know that there is a world beyond commuter zones. But it’s awareness of it does really feel very limited. And that’s worrying given the massive economic and social significance of all these areas, not least as they impact on the City.