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British Manufacturing in Decline and Not Competitive by Alastair Agurtter

British Manufacturing in Decline and Not Competitive

Figures have been released by the Office for National Statistics, that manufacturing was down at the start of the new year in January by 1.5%, spelling further gloom for the United Kingdom Coalition Government.

So what is going wrong and now 4 years in since the banking collapse, how can things improve, for the fortunes of Great Britain, the World's very first modern era Industrial Nation.

In truth, there are too many problems to list, but the one common denominator that surrounds all the problems and ones that have been building for over 30 years, is Greed!

Another aspect to the problem, has been the inability for change. This does not necessarily relate to the countless thousands of manufacturing businesses of the past, or of today.

The inability to change and to be able to read the storm clouds, has been the Captain of the ship and in this instance, National Government and the Politicians.

In 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was elected, Great Britain did have a significant manufacturing base. Taking the leisure and sport industry, 94% of goods produced were British made, in an 11 billion pound a year market, in the United Kingdom.

The problems then were successful businesses were fractured across tables, by Unions and Management. Never the twaine could agree, or rationalize the long term objects, for growth and success.

Constant strikes and disputes, led to radical reform by the serving Government of the day. The other problem at the time was the Country was in fact bankrupt. So drastic measures were implemented to bust the Unions and to address the financial health of the treasury.

The clear message sent out then and many recall, was from Norman Tebbit, advising the UK, to get on their bikes for work. As a result of this culture and attitude, Great Britain was no longer an evolving caring society. But one of changes overnight, was to I am all right Jack and to hell with the rest of you!

Many policies changed as a result and where emerging Nations that had adjusted and read the storms, capitalized on the Nation's state of desperation. South Korea and Japan, as just two examples, began to flood the UK with foreign imports, at a far lesser price, than goods could be manufactured. As these new emerging economy enterprises, had full backing and support off their Governments and central banks.

As a result of the British Government unable to adapt and read the future storm clouds, taking the leisure and sporting goods sector industry, that was producing 94% of products, in an 11 billion pound market. After 1982, the manufacturing output to this sector by British Manufacture, was less than 7%.

The disparity of lost income tax revenue to the Government, as a result of the radical steps taken, left a shortfall to the treasury coffers just taking this industry of 87%, but the damage was widespread and across every part of manufacturing.

Jobs were lost, as we all know and manufacturing on any large scale by Great Britain was finished. Emerging from that environment, became an Island of retailers, with foreign imports. Money was simply leaving the shores of this Country, to land in others.

The remaining producers on an industrial scale, assets critical to a Nation in time of war, was sold off for short term measures, to balance the books of the treasury and serving Government. Oil was sold, along with Telecoms, Electricity, Gas and Water.

Emerging from this fire sale, the markets emerged with a dog eat, dog culture in the London Markets and Stock Exchanges. Deriving from that, was a new banking era of commodities, currencies, futures and more.

Great Britain, was now not only an Island of retailers, but also speculators and bankers. As technology come to the fore, more sophisticated bundles were created and developed, including credit default swaps. The technology of the day, was advancing in this instance to eventually teach a harsh lesson. The scales and balance to life, that helps modern society keep on an even keel, was not being applied. This leading us to the eventual day in 2008.

We as a human race and especially the British create things, it is in the DNA of the specie and we are good at it. But rather than the British Government reading the signs then, they created an environment that would see continued demise to a Great Nation.

The Blair period initially, has merits of good policy, for they had thought them through, for being in opposition for almost a generation. It was a natural thing for the British electorate, to finally oust the looney right. Politicians are guilty of getting drunk on success, they naturally assume if one policy works, all other ideas will also. Sadly, this is not the case and as a result, Labour became just as mad and reckless, in the end with members of the looney left.

In 1979, the Thatcher Government had an opportunity to fire up British Industry, with the advancement of technology and backed by the Government, bringing online many millions of CNC machines, auto capstans and other machinery.

But instead, done exactly the same, as previous and past Governments. Made bad decisions and could not read the conditions, and after tinkering, left the British people to their own devices.

Sadly, nothing has changed in the past 30 years regarding action by National Governments. What has happened, has been the emergence of this "I am all right culture" spreading into every part of our society, so we have become a less caring Nation, that lacks ambition and vision.

Today in times of crisis, we are totally reliant on our American brethren to operate with us in the theatre of war.

Our decline as a Nation, began to significantly gather momentum from 1979 and where I believed, we reached the lowest point as a Nation, with the Callaghan Government (Lib Lab Pack).

In 2008, after the banking collapse, it was in fact a watershed period for the Nation. It was in fact an opportunity for a Coalition Government, to actually deliver what it said it would achieve in the interests of the Nation. This starting with the banks and never again, allowing such a Nation to fall so low, by so few!

The hope was to see the real economy get fuel injected funding, to fire up the furnaces of manufacturing and technology. But sadly and now 4 years on, the Country is facing economic and social collapse and the only benefactors of this whole tragic story, appear to be the bankers again, as they squabble today and announce, that they do not get paid enough.

4 years on we have no manufacturing, today's figures released announced further decline. Over the weekend, the Construction industry figures were published, resulting in another down turn in that industry sector of over 7-1/2 percent.

Only now today, the Government are talking about housing, but 400,000 houses could of been built these past four years. Also, now taking about getting money to small and medium businesses (manufacturing), 4 years on and only now still discussing it and with countless thousands of businesses with great ideas in technology and manufacturing gone!

The great tragedy now, is that with over £375 billion being lent to banks, none of that money has reached small and medium business, to develop and create a future for the Country.

The best analogy I can give, is its like giving your teenage Son £200,000 to get a Job and buy a house. But he comes back home penniless, without the Job, without the house, but a Maclaren and has no petrol and cannot afford to insure the vehicle, or run it.

The above analogy I think is just about right, regarding what has been done again. I hear the Bank of England say "Oh we can't just lend to any business", but yet they lend the whole of the Country's wealth, to a handful of Banks, who have been guilty of rigging the Libor, Money Laundering, Fraud, PPI Insurance the list goes on, and as I mentioned to a solicitor today, as we plan to sue two of these banks. "Why is none of these crooks going to prison".

The Government in 2009, had an opportunity to pave the future of the Country with wealth again, for all folk and the kids having jobs. But sadly, the money has not reached our small and medium businesses, or has the Government had the foresight or strength, to use brut force to ensure it is done.

It appears, everyone wondering around in Westminster are discussing the problems and to the wrong people I might add and doing absolutely nothing.

As Churchill once said, "We need more War, War and Less Jaw, Jaw" and I am sure, if he were alive today, in such a crisis. There would of been real action and a few home truths discussed, in the Commons.

For Britain to recover, the damage appears to be so grave now, it will take a herculean effort to bring businesses back from the brink, and now more investment and lending is needed than ever before for businesses to grow.

There is currently a myth in the financial World that businesses are cash rich, this is not the case. The only enterprises in such a position, are large Corporate Entities and many are foreign owned. These businesses will not deliver the the urgent drive and need now for growth.

Small and medium businesses are more flexible and imaginative, as they have been abused for many years from lack of support and become further creative as a result of having to live and exist from adversity.

Related Book: My England A Broken Nation by Alastair R Agutter

Written by Alastair R Agutter
Last Modified and Updated: 25th April 2013
Alastair Agutter Author and Writer

Black Rule