Less thinking, Vince: more action!
So Vince Cable thinks he might want to 'allow' us to set up a Birmingham Stock Exchange, does he? Thanks, Vince. How very patronising of you.
Stop being The Thinker, Vince. Start being The Actor. Action is what we need.
That's more actual action to bring real, radical, regionalised investment patterns into the West Midlands.
The Birmingham Stock Exchange is an intrinsically good idea. I have often suggested it as 'a good thing' myself.
But only as a small part of a much wider series of radical new structures forcing finance and investment out of London. A restructuring and a rebalancing specifically designed to recirculate finance and investment in a fundamentally different way into the regions. And, by the way, to sustain the recovery and supercharge widespread, sustainable economic growth.
The UK's economic growth has always been hampered by the tired systems of London-led finance. We could have had a much more successful and much more robust economy and industrial base for the last 50 years had our financial, banking and investment structures not been so hide-bound in tradition and based in The City.
When it comes to delivering a Birmingham Stock Exchange, Vince, you might as well deliver the most magnificent, most technically brilliant, most up-to-date model of a British Gas cooker to a house without mains gas. The cooker is undoubtedly and intrinsically a great piece of engineering and design, no argument: but it is fundamentally useless without the rest.
A stock Exchange for Birmingham, yes. But a Birmingham Bank, too. A regional Investment bank, Vince, next door to your stock exchange.
Break up the National Banks and force them to become independent regional banks. I want to see a Birmingham Bank investing directly in businesses and people.
All the wasted bailout money dumped into the national banks should be powered instead into local banks that actually want to invest, staffed with people with a new mindset and new priorities; not worried about the next round of recapitalisations and how they're going to hoover up the next injection of quantitative easing.
Regional Pension Investment Structures that circulate pensions investments into the areas from which the pension money emanates in the first place. Regional Insurance Investment Structures which ensure that money invested by Insurance funds are directed across the economy and in the UK.
We shouldn't have been worried about the effects of the BP oil spill on our pension fund investments (never mind the environmental catastrophe) if so much hadn't been invested in such a company. Our big pensions fund managers do not have enough places to go because the structures are not there to allow them to diversify.
Changing pensions funds Investment rules to distribute investments across the regions and into regional UK manufacturing and industry is another one of those radical steps, Vince.
The current debate about RDAs and LEPs becomes an irrelevance when real action to change fundamentally the way money moves into and around the regions is taken.
I suspect the Stock Exchange idea will float around for a while as an example of Vince being connected to the regionalised, rebalanced economy idea, but will get nowhere.
It's also symptomatic of a coalition going nowhere on this issue. And, to be balanced, the last Labour government had no idea on this either.
Both parties of the coalition in their economic liberalism seem wedded still to the idea that you set up loose structures within which business and the private sector will fill in the gaps.
That simply won't happen when it comes to regionalised, re-balancing economic reform. And that is exactly what our burnt-out, tired UK economy needs. Such wider economic reform has to be directed and created essentially by government, not business.
Vince, you are willing the ends, it would seem, but are not prepared to will the real means. Stop thinking and start acting.