Once again I must express my thanks to Cafe Hayek for pointing me towards a post on the econlib.org site by David Henderson. In it, Mr. Henderson tells of the activities of James Michael Curley, a four-times elected mayor of Boston. Apparently this 'worthy', by means of taxation and redistribution, maintained a stream of cash towards his impoverished Irish immigrant constitutents and an equally constant stream of vindictive abuse aimed at the wealthier citizens, thus helping them to decide to move on somewhere else. The result is that he 'shaped' his city electorate and thus ensured for himself a long cycle of re-elections. Mr. Henderson suggests that much the same is now going on in California.
Here, I would suggest, our domestic political poltroons conduct a sort of counter-Curley campaign with exactly the same result. As Brown & Balls, the broker's men, demonstrated in large swathes of the north of England, it was only necessary to redirect rivers of government money into large local or national government quango organisations with huge payrolls and furnish them with enormous budgets of their own to disburse in their areas and, hey presto, you have a solid Labour electorate that will 'withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous' Tory efforts. Even those, like local businessmen, who might normally be inclined to vote Tory will think twice when they realise that all local wealth and jobs depends on the largess of these giant quangos on their doorsteps.
The result can be seen in this rather neat illustration from The Coffee House:
Fraser Nelson describes it as "Tricolour Britain" and suggests that the great divides are strengthening.