This week, ‘tis the season for large chunks of the population of any major city to up-sticks and head back to whatever small town they grew up in. Also this week, the racing driver Lewis Hamilton alienated his entire hometown by saying that he always wanted to get out of the slums. Lewis Hamilton grew up in Stevenage.
At any rate: this feels like a good excuse to talk about, for want of a better phrase, shit towns, of the sort people tend to run away from so that they can live in the big city.
To do that, I’m joined by two of my colleagues: Rohan Banerjee, who grew up in Thanet, the Kentish island which has twice now failed to choose Nigel Farage to be its member of Parliament; and Sarah Manavis, a refugee from Dayton, Ohio, who requires an enormous amount of bleeping out. We talk about the economic and cultural forces that drive people to move away from their hometowns, and what, if anything, could make them move back.
I’m about to break off for Christmas, so this will be the last Skylines of the year. We’ll be back in 2019. Thanks for listening – and god bless us, every one.