Monday, November 21, 2011

Why doesn't Britain make things any more?

This is such an interesting post by Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian. It reflects on the decline in manufacturing - de-industrialisation -  in the UK, which by any comparisons is significant (66%). It particularly focuses of the past glories industry in the north-east and the angst and uncertainty of what has replaced these industries. Some quotes from the article to whet your apetite:

"There is a popular argument which holds that all the rot in the British economy began in 1979. I don't believe that. Nor am I spinning a tale of leonine industrialists being led by Westminster donkeys. Pearson Engineering's Tom Clark has a good story about how the firm's previous owners used to handle industrial relations. Every time the workforce went on strike, which was often, one of the Pearsons would buy a new Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and drive through the picket line, waving two fingers at his own staff."

"The real charge against Blair and Brown is that, rather than focus on this problem of underpeforming managers and shareholders, they chased the fantasy of the knowledge economy. In their wake trailed a whole phalanx of propagandists."

"Last year, we British bought £97bn more in goods from other countries than we sold to them – the biggest shortfall since 1980."

"..or you hear American economists arguing that free trade may have reduced salaries for blue collar workers in the west, but they can now buy cheaper Chinese imports. In other words, you may have lost your factory workshop – but at least you've got a pound shop."

Click here to read the full article.

No comments:

Post a Comment