The contempt David Cameron holds for the North East was crystal clear on his recent trip to China.
He flew to Beijing and Shanghai, at our great expense, as Prime Minister of the whole country.
His stated aim was to drum up business and create UK jobs.
A very laudable venture you would think, especially with the dearth of jobs we have in this area.
Yet he took with him more family, friends and Tory donors than he did business leaders from the North East.
Just two of the 131 seats on the plane were allocated to people striving to create jobs in this region.
But Cameron found room for his wife’s stepfather, a space was found for the president of his own Witney Tory Association, and another place went to a big Conservative fundraiser.
Joining the party was his holiday chum, and also aboard was a former Downing Street employee of his.
So to hell with job hunting for the work- starved North – why not have an old boys’ outing instead!
The two men from the North East who did make it – internet entrepreneurs from Gateshead and Sunderland – were outnumbered by Cameron’s friends and family list.
I appreciate not everybody wanting to go on these trips will be given a ticket.
But of the 131 seats allocated, 75 were from London, with another 17 for the Home Counties.
Who you know, not what you know, counts in Cameron’s crony capitalism.
China’s a booming economy, and our people deserve a chance of cracking the market.
We might never expect favours in the North East from the Tories.
Now we don’t even get fairness.