Today I've listened to the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, say that the government wishes to regenerate manufacturing industry and has announced an initiative to start with naval shipbuilding. This is to be much applauded in itself but what does it tell you about the governance we have had over the last 50 or so years ? During that period the manufacturing industries of this country were abandoned by government strategy and enactment in favour of being able to do it cheaper abroad. As always, we sought the cheap option rather than the qualitative one. It would be hard to argue that all industries might have survived this last half century, some would have inevitably fallen by the wayside, but the ethos of manufacturing was spurned and the whole idea of supporting manufacturing became an abhorrent economic travesty: 'Why make things here when somebody in the third world can make it cheaper ?' The government advocates would exclaim. And so, by neglect and disincentive, manufacturing industry fell into ruin and eventual disappearance. What is loosely referred to as manufacturing these days is little more than product assembly of foreign made components without the creative initiatives that are the basis of real manufacturing and real wealth making.
As ever, I'm gobsmacked at how the government (of whichever political complexion) now can inform us that we must get back that which we've lost (emphasis by them on the 'we' element of that statement). Hardly lost ! Successive British governments actually gave our manufacturing industry away and now, with 80% of our GDP reliant on a highly vulnerable financial services sector, they are beginning to realise that in a post-Brexit world we might actually have to start making things for ourselves again. What magnificent wisdom, what perception and what ambition ! Do they really imagine the electorate are so dim ? On reflection, perhaps we are because we keep on voting for the same crass type of individuals to make up our governments. But it nevertheless stirs my ire when I think about how industry - manufacturing industry on a par with that of, say, Germany - could have been developed into a sector that benefitted us all, gave us education, skill, pride, affluence and confidence - and above all, self reliance. But alas, our government betters - and not a few greedy entrepreneurs who saw cheap foreign manufacturing as a way to get rich quick - decided to squander the asset and sell it all off or close it down.
Mr Fallon may not be personally to blame for this demise, but he is of the species that brought it about in the first place. Let us hope this isn't just another sound bite to dupe we clueless dimwits out in the provinces into believing what they say - again.
And on the subject of believing the government, how often have you heard the expression, 'Let me be clear...', or 'We have always clearly stated....' or something along those lines from government officials ? It seems to be the expression of commonality amongst those in Westminster but what they are really saying is that the topic has been much talked of but nobody has made a decision as to what to do but, and by default, if we tell the public it is clear then their dimwit minds will imagine that they've already been informed and will passively walk away from any curiosity. Again, it is contempt toward those who voted them in. But we keep doing it don't we ? I yearn for a new breed of politician who has guts, strength, honesty and style that can create a faith in government. There have been the odd glimmerings in the recent past but nothing seems to be bursting into flames on that front. Perhaps I am a dimwit in being too hopeful !!!