Friday, 16 December 2016


Are we becoming just a sad little country struggling in the shadow of a great past? Just look at a news item stating that a sink hole in a village in the south of England has been fixed and the road has just reopened after a year. In Japan, a few weeks before, a sink hole of similar size in a city was filled and the road reopened in a week.

At the turn of the last century Britain had the biggest navy in the world to look after its interests. All the ships were built in Britain. In fact most of the ships sailing in the world were built in Britain. Today the British navy is so small it is counted as an irrelevance by the rest of the world. Most of the ships don't work properly and are laid up in ports. Britain is about to have two new aircraft carriers having just scrapped the last one, but when they are eventually launched there are no planes for them and it looks as though we will have to borrow some from the French. What sort of planning is that? It is obvious from this alone that British politicians really don't give a damn. Britain built some of the greatest ships ever and now 90% of shipyards lay desolate and abandoned. British companies like P&O go abroad to have their ships built.

Until 50 years ago Britain had a car and lorry industry that was up with the best in the world. What happened to that? Both unions and management really didn't give a damn about them either and together they conspired to ruin it. Strikes, theft, no research and development worth the name, incredibly bad management from top down, unions believing they could have what they wanted without ever thinking of productivity and blaming everyone else for the problems of the industry. The workers for blindly and greedily flowing union orders without ever thinking that their jobs might be at risk. Even iconic vehicles like Land Rover, Jaguar and the Mini failed under British management. Bought by foreigners they have returned to success and profit.

Britain used to export to the world just about every manufactured item imaginable. When I was a youngster and living abroad in Africa everything we ever bought had 'Made in England' stamped somewhere on it. Try finding that stamp on anything these days. What is it about the British that they just don't care any more. In Muswell Hill, London, a shop called Really British opened its doors and, in fact, very little is made in Britain, most of it is made in China. In the 70s the government of the day tried a buy British campaign. What they forgot to do is encourage businesses to make British. There wasn't much made in Britain to encourage the locals to buy, but even what there was didn't interest the great British public. They all went for foreign products in general because they were of better quality. The British had given up manufacturing anything of quality.

Aircraft manufacture is another area where the British were amongst the best in the world. You can't find a kite built in Britain today. The first nuclear power station was built in Britain. Today Britain has to go abroad in search of companies to renew them. Even to a country that not many years ago was classed as a third world country like China. Isn't is amazing that Britain calls itself a nuclear power and yet has to go to China, cap in hand, to get a nuclear power station built.

Trains and rolling stock were another British triumph. The best in the world were built in Britain, but that was a long time ago, now everything is imported and anything relating to the railways built in Britain is foreign owned. It's all a sad reflection on Britain and the British today.

If anything good should come of Brexit it is that the British take a hard look at themselves and realize that it's not the government that should be doing everything for them and turning Britain into the nanny state that it's becoming. They should pull up their socks and get back to the inventive entrepreneurs that they used to be. Start inventing and manufacturing again and get a decent economy going. If this doesn't happen Britain will carry on sinking in the eyes of the world.

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