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So the election campaign has officially started

It feels like it has never stopped.

I have always felt that politics is vital, except that these days there doesn't seem to be any real benefit in voting for any of the parties.

Some, if you are properly human, should be avoided, but the rest are as bland as supermarket muzak.

Whoever gets in will make little difference to the north-east.  They might set up a token funding organisation to give a brief bloom to our stagnant pond, but the real power, money and interest will remain in the south-east.

Then, when their small area of the country starts going too fast again, with their over-inflated markets, they will put the brakes on the economy, just when the rest of us have just arrived at the bottom of the down-turn.

There are plenty of companies who take full advantage of any government hand-outs, but they usually just inflate their own prices and pass little benefit on to the customer, in terms of value for money.

The so-called austerity measures have not really happened yet.  The north-east has already been hit hard, but it is likely to be hit even harder in the coming years, irrespective of the parties in power.

The north-south divide has never been more obvious, but there is also a growing old-young divide.  The old have the property and money, and are pandered to by the politicians who do not have the political courage to invest in the young, even when their election slogan is 'Education, education, education'.

The north-east has to build its own future - based on education, cooperation and quality.  Apprentiships that don't exploit, education that really strives to innovate and pass on useful skills and information.  Investment in local, long-term initiatives that can deliver quality and value beyond any profit motive.

It doesn't need handouts from Westminster, or watered down, toothless talking shop gimics.  Let's vote for full, economic, political and geographic independence.  I'm starting to dig the trench tomorrow.