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Letter: A gardening analogy to explain levelling up

September 22, 2021


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The Financial Times has recently had much to say about the British government’s “levelling up” agenda, although I have yet to come across a description of what levelling up means, or entails.

I do, however, have some thoughts, based on practical experience (“Haldane to lead No 10 levelling-up task force”, Report, September 20).

I have been undertaking some landscaping in my garden, which has entailed levelling. I have found that in order to level “up”, I have had to take from high ground in order to raise low ground. The alternative would have been to purchase soil, thus allowing me to raise the lower level without depleting the upper level.

However, limited resources mean I would have had to borrow, or charge my day-job clients more to purchase the soil.

Metaphorically speaking, levelling up thus seems to involve either taking from the high ground to raise the low ground, or purchasing soil to raise the low ground, without depleting the high ground.

With reference to the government’s levelling-up agenda, the latter can perhaps be viewed as akin to increasing taxation or borrowing.

This is a rather unsophisticated analogy I admit, but perhaps it can serve as a starting point for government.

Martin Hewes
Hewes & Associates
Haslemere, Surrey, UK

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