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Getting somewhere: How the Tories leapt ahead of mainstream economists to give towns their due

Political necessity has forced Boris Johnson to notice that towns want to be taken seriously, as distinctive places. It is high time economists caught up

Nigel Farage on the campaign trail in Bolsover last year. Images: © LINDSEY PARNABY, Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Even the faintest acquaintance with economic history is enough to know that the passage of time is important—a factory worker in the earliest days of the industrial revolution was lucky to have shoes and hungry most of the time, whereas a factory worker today is more likely to feel pinched by the cost of running a car or a Sky TV subscription. Why? Societies develop new technologies, learn how to do things…

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