Spreading growth and prosperity

          I want more people to have jobs. I want more jobs to be better paid.

          One of the myths perpetuated is that the “right of centre politicians”  in the UK want cheap wages. Ironically it is we who want to limit immigration to give people already resident here more chance of a job, and to keep wages at a better level for the employee.  It was Labour who relaxed our borders, encouraged large numbers to come, and created strong competition to keep wages down for many jobs. This is something Unite as  a Union would wish to change, as do Conservatives.

        The main positive way to create better paid jobs is to drive forward higher productivity. If we work more effectively we can be paid more.  Higher productivity does not necessarily mean working harder. It can be done by  working smarter. It may mean providing employees with more computer and machine power to assist them with their tasks. It may mean better training. It may simply mean managers and employees sitting down together regularly to review how jobs are done, to identify ways of doing them better. Doing it better may mean faster, smoother or more easily. It may mean taking longer but cutting the wastage and failure rate.

          Quality is not the enemy of lower cost and higher productivity. It is the friend. Doing things right first time saves time and money overall, even if it apparently takes longer and costs more compared to dashing and getting some wrong.

           Nor do Conservatives want to favour the few and the south at the expense of the many and the north. All governments that I have witnessed in the UK during my adult years have wanted to create a better balance between north and south, between London and the rest.  All have tried a variety of policies, some different, many the same. The main emphasis has been on creating more public sector activities in the regions away from London, and pursuing a regional policy which seeks to subsidise jobs and enterprise in the slower growing and lower income areas. Well intentioned though these policies are, there is no evidence that they usually work. The list of lower income higher unemployment locations in 2013 is very similar to the lists in previous decades.

           So what does work? Our past tells us that a cluster of talent, skill and competition can work. The Potteries became the centre for ceramics, and the North East the centre for shipbuilding and steel in their day. Now the Thames Valley has a useful cluster in hi tec industries, and London in financial and business services.  The question is what can other great cities develop as their special expertise?

              The past tells us that  a transforming entrepreneur or two can make a huge difference to a city.  The Potteries owed a great deal to Wedgwood, and then to a range of talented designer-potters in subsequent decades and centuries. Twentieth century Us success owed a great deal to dynasties of the Rockefellers and Carnegies. Great cities have to live with the riches and talent of the few, as they can produce jobs for the many.

            The past tells us that government rarely transforms a city and creates that energy and dynamism that success needs and breeds. What government can do is ensure taxes are competitive, transport links good, the potential workforce well educated. Modern industry does not need a large amount of low cost labour. It needs limited numbers of dedicated professional managers, engineers, designers, salespeople and the rest. Above all industry in the UK needs a new generation of Brunels and Dysons, Wedgwoods and Bamfords.

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  1. Old Albion
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    A shame you mentioned Dyson at the end. He shut his factory here and sent his production to the far-east.

    • William Long
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      You put your finger on a crucial part of the answer though perhaps not in the way you intended. One of the fundamental economic drivers is the law of supply and demand: Mr Dyson moved his production because there is, or was, a greater supply of labour in the Far East than here and therefor it was cheaper. The workers in the North have a good deal of the answer to the North/South divide in their own hands, and their failure to apply it is behind the failure of all Government initiatives so far, to solve the problem. There is an oversupply of Labour in the North of the UK compared with the South, and the South Esat in particular. If the Northern labour force recognised this and cut their price they would soon find industry moved North. The fact that Grangemouth will reopen is testimony to this. The Government could with differential employment tax (NHI) rates.

      • Handbags
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Dyson moved production abroad because the local Malmesbury council refused to give him planning permission to expand his facility.

        As one local resident said ‘they don’t have the brains they were born with’.

        • sm
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          I’ve been a frequent visitor to Malmesbury for more than 20 years, and I can confirm this fact. Houses have been built on the land that Dyson wanted to expand to, but the High St is falling to bits commercially because the local Council has been so blind to the town’s long-term needs.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Working for less than minimum wage and apart from housing in general what is cheaper? There would be less industry as there would be less money. In general many do not earn much above minimum wage already and are receiving benefits to bring their incomes up to liveable standards. If costs are cheaper for businees in the north by lower rents then why are they not already there. They are in fact as how do all the shops and services that are in the south are also in the north charging the same survive?
        Cut you own wages.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Off you go Baz, ranting away, now accusing a top UK guy who employs hundreds and has invested millions in this country, of wanting to pay staff at below minimum wage levels.
          Just what proof have you got to suggest such things.

          Try running your own business and see how far you get.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            William Long claimed that people in the north of England should lower their wages so they can compete with workers in the Far East. Bazman was correct to point out that this wasn’t viable because of just how little people in the Far east earn.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink


          You’re just tedious now. As I’ve pointed out ( with links to the evidence) on more than half a dozen times LESS THAN 5% of the workforce are on minimum wage.

          Still I guess that is what socialism stands for, made up facts

          • Bazman
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Try Googling low paid Britain and stop trying to pretend everyone earns 26 a year. They do not by any means and the shortfall in wages is picked up by the taxpayer in the form of benefits. Subsidies for low paying companies in effect. As you say socialism.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


            I don’t need to google it , I collect the real time data on employment for a living, its what I do every day. You’re right not everyone earns £26k as its the average an awful lot of people earn a lot more.

            As I said less than 5% are on minimum wage

            I do agree with you though that the madness of socialism paying benefits to take it away in again in taxes is insane

          • Bazman
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            A lot of people earn a lot more, but unfortunately for your communist fantasy an awful lot more earn less and this is a so called democracy… Ram it.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink


            Try finding out how averages work and also please either provide evidence that there are a large % of work force on minimum wage or stop posting your inane drivel. Ram it indeed

          • sjb
            Posted October 31, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            Bazman wrote: In general many do not earn much above minimum wage already and are receiving benefits to bring their incomes up to liveable standards.[1]

            “4.8 million Britons (20 per cent of all employees) earn below the Living Wage.”[2]

            The ‘Living Wage’ was defined as £7.20 (£8.30 in London), which was £1.01 higher than the national minimum wage.[3]

            20% satisfies the ‘many’ criteria[4] and £1.01 (or £2.11 in London) is not much above the minimum wage.

            [1] October 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm
            [2] http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/low-pay-britain-2013/
            [3] when the research was carried out; NMW £6.19 (adult rate)
            [4] e.g. if UKIP poll 20% in next year’s Euro Elections I am sure it will be classed as “many vote UKIP”.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink


            The minimum wage is DIFFERENT to a “living wage” which is arbitrary , however even taking your figures of 4.8 million
            it means that 25.2 million people earn MORE than a “living wage” now I’m not sure what your concept of many is but I know what mine is. EIGHTY % earn MORE seems like pretty many to me

            Who cares what UKIP poll and why is this relevant to the drivel you’ve posted?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 31, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink


          You claim to work in metal bashing and you claim 50 hours a week at it . You are in Cambridge area. The going rate for low end metal bashing jobs is £14 per hour in that area so that means you are pulling down roughly £35,000 per year, so why exactly are you also claiming benefits?

          If you aren’t earning the going rate in your area then you are incredibly bad at your job or you’ve managed to find the very worst employer you can, or both.

          You have no credibility at all

          • Bazman
            Posted November 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            There is a lot of poor people on low wages and benefits in Britain and no amount of newspaper surveys are going to change thsi reality. This is not North Korea and we have access to lots of sources of information that can be cross referenced. Fortunately most live well or reasonably well and whether they are on befits or in good jobs this is largely down to the state providing infrastructure and education to facilitate companies to exist and produce here either for the state of the market in some cases both.
            If you are looking for a new job at the cutting edge of the capitalist free market libtard, MacDonalds has a lot of work on Saturdays I’ve heard.
            Ram it.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            The state doesn’t have any money to provide infrastructure.

            Its actually the other way around companies and their workers in the private sector create the wealth that the state then takes in order to supply infrastructure for society.

            I notice you completely failed as usual to actually address the points I made to you. So I take it that I’m right. You earn £35k pa you don’t have state benefits and all the total bull that you post is pure Labour Party (word left out ed) rhetoric.

            I’d rather work (in a mindless job ed) than have a thought process like yours.

            If you’re looking for a new job at the cutting edge of socialist Keynesian markets you could always work Sundays as a car park ticket warden

          • Bazman
            Posted November 2, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            Not taking much from a number of large corporation who pay little corporation tax by clever accounting are they? Sending the money offshore and by paying taxes in countries they do not operate in and so on. Not paying the correct tolls as you want everything to be tax free and tolled, how do you square that one off?
            You can earn up to 60 k and still claim child benefit and tax credits. If you are working and disabled in some capacity you can also claim for this no matter what you income is.
            Obviously rent need to be paid to.
            You may not like this but it will still remain true.
            This allows fast food job and car park attendants to have jobs even if they have children and are disabled.
            What would you like to do to stop this state of affairs. Which clearly discriminates against able bodied men and why should the state tax anyone and especially large corporations providing work to pay for it?
            Ram it..

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Unless the people in the north of England want to earn much less than minimum wage for doing skilled labour they will remain unable to compete with people in the Far East who will work for less than £1 per day.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          Ah the bowl of rice a day per wages myth for everyone in the far East again Uni.
          You have plainly not been to any of these fast growing nations.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

            ‘Middle class’ in these countries can be a few pence day. Don’t get any ideas large swaths are earning 26k a year because you are dreaming and trying as here to clam poverty does not exist.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            But you not comparing like for like Baz.
            Relating everything to dollars or pounds isn’t realistic in China for example, where the purchasing power of “a few dollars a day” is much higher than back in high cost USA or Europe.
            As you say “a few pence a day can make you middle class”

            And I have never said poverty does not exist in these nations.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            Bazman & Uanime5

            Before either of you post any more of your nonsense about earning.

            This report ( and its in the leftie Guardian too) should show you that you both speak total drivel about earnings in the UK


          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            This is a fantasy. What can you buy for these few dollars? To live like a westerner you need western levels of income. In Russia for example everything is about the same or more expensive. Living costs such as accommodation are cheap, if you want to live like Russian that is. Russian vodka and cigarettes are cheap, western expensive. Everything is either more expensive or the same. Anything you can find cheaper like petrol or utilities which are about the same, will have to be paid out wages of less than the dole here. Russia is a second world country with less choice in the shops and more expensive even for cheap T shirts and the like worse quality too. Chinese earn even less and see Russia as wealthy. The standards you are talking about are rich or western if you like. They have the double whammy of high prices and low wages in general and even if you are rich life is harder than here for other reasons.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

            You keep moving the goalposts with your replies Baz.
            What has Russia got to with it?

          • Bazman
            Posted November 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            If you want to live like a westerner you need western levels od income anywhere in the world. You can live like a local for pennies. This is what you are confused with and what Russia has to do with it. A hard and brutal life not The Good Life from your allotment. The allotment is a necessity even if you just want to spend money on drink.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

            Only if the cost of living is the same as in the West…which it is not

          • Bazman
            Posted November 2, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

            The cost of living like a westerner is the same across all countries. You do not seem to understand this. What would be cheaper in these these second and third world countries that enable you to live a first world lifestyle? Food? Nope. Accommodation? Nope. Cars and appliances?Nope. Utilities? Nope? Accommodation? Definitely nope. In all cases if you do not have western level of income you will be doing all of the above like a local or not at all. many Russians live on less that 30quid a month often in middle class occupations, such as teaching and doctors, after rent is paid. you can buy food, drink, run a car on this easily as all is much cheaper than here? No they are not. Often more expensive than Tesco. Beyond your comprehension I know, but true. I’ve lived it. Like Marie Antoinette did as a French peasant I might add.
            The usual method of slaughtering chickens in Russia is by starvation it seems. Unless you have western money that is..
            Ram it.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 3, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Baz you really have a blind spot on this
          Do you really believe China has the same costs of living as the UK?
          For example
          You would live very well in Gambia on the UK’s min wage.
          You are actually saying you need the same number of pounds euros or dollars to live well in The Congo as in London?
          There are numerous studies on the web best to have a look before embarrassing yourself with this nonsense.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 5, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            You would live like a local on better money than most of the population on UK minimum wage, a westerner even, but a poor westerner. Tell us what is cheaper in these countries that allows them to live like kings on dole money? You just cannot believe how poor they are. A pot noodle or some other western beer or product is a real expense and treat for them maybe enjoyed once a month. Much of the diet is vegetables and not by choice. You no doubt see people on benefits living like Tsars here, but the reality is also different. The constant grind in both cases. In Russia life is hard and short especially for men, what few there is that is. Nice looking 30 something woman are few. They go from teen to old very fast. Looking good whilst young to attract rich men helped by the veg diet, but not for long..
            Is all of this this due to the same living standards and cheap living for less than westerners? Or poverty?

    • Gina Dean
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Please get your facts right Dyson wanted to expand his factory in Malmesbury, the council would not let him. So the only alternative was to go overseas. Same with the engineers he wanted to have taught in Bath they blocked him at every level.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed government just getting in the way of jobs and prosperity as usual. While wasting much of senior management time in the process.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Mmmm! Mmm! your’e right. chunter chunter…. He left to lower labour costs, to be more near his suppliers and increase profits. Dyson stated that they requested planning permission to expand the factory to increase vacuum cleaner production, but that this application failed. However, the local government says that no such permission was ever sought, as the land Dyson planned to use was privately owned and the original owner did not want to sell. As Dyson was the major manufacturing company in Wiltshire outside Swindon, this move aroused some controversy. A year later, washing machine production was also moved to Malaysia.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

            You need to do some research on this Baz
            You don’t really know what you are talking about.

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            Again this nit picking for personal argument and winning an argument rather than looking at the whole case diverts, and is a display of power for powers sake…..Dyson smyson …

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Well as you can imagine Margaret I don’t agree with you.
            The statements made by Baz and Uni are often so wrong they need challenging.
            Im not saying I’m right but I do feel my opinion is worth stating.
            If you or anyone else feels its wrong them feel free to explain why.
            Re Dyson No one is claiming they did not move production out of the UK but no one should blame them either.
            To survive in a very competitive world economy they need to base their production in the best location.
            If they did not and their rivals did they would be uncompetitive and you would buy a rivals product.
            Then if their company closed down, all the many people employed by Dyson still in the UK would be lost too.

      • peter davies
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


        I never knew that! i always assumed it was the usual well trodden path of going for the cheap labour in the far east.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      The reference to Dyson is not a shame but a clear indicator of the facts of life in todays world. Production will only return to the UK if certain conditions are met.

      The first is a motivated workforce ready to learn and acquire new skills that technology change brings (the Grangemouth strike reveals a deep attitudinal problem) .

      The second is a competitively priced and reliable energy supply (the closure of energy intensive businesses indicates the second deep problem).

      The third is a simple, competitive and fair tax structure (the over reliance on foreign investors and the need to resort to subsidies to persuade them to invest indicates the third deep problem – as does the decision by companies like Bamford and Ineos to locate their HQs outside the UK).

      I agree with JR`s analysis of the need for motivated entrepreneurs to lead a recovery to match that of earlier eras. Unfortunately the UK does not yet provide the full range of conditions

    • Timaction
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      We can’t control our wages via border controls whilst we are in the EU and David Cameron cannot see anytime when he would support our exit.
      It is reported that the EU now costs the Country £118 billion annually with its net contributions and regulatory burdens. This figure does not consider the net costs of EU migrants, health, housing and education. All this for a £50 billion trade deficit. I wish Mr Branson from Necker Island would understand!!

      Reply The official Conservative position stated b y Mr Hancock on Any Questions (and shared as a view by Mr Cameron) is that of course the UK has to be prepared to walk away if the rest of the EU declines to negotiate.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        Mr. J. Redwood MP said;
        ” . . . UK has to be prepared to walk away if the rest of the EU declines to negotiate. ”

        I sincerely hope that that is not the view of the Government. It would most unwise, indeed reckless, to simply walk away from our legally binding agreements with our European Partners’.

        There is only one recognized means by which the UK can withdraw and obtain a new relationship with the EU, and that is by negotiated settlement which would follow an letter of withdrawal using Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

        Reply Of course out withdrawal would be done legally following a No vote.

        • APL
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          JR: “Of course out withdrawal would be done legally ..”

          The legality or otherwise of our withdrawal is a fiction. We simply need to renounce the treaties. An instrument approved by Parliament and signed by the Head of State would be a sufficient and legal document.

          Now if you are saying, successive Labour and Tory government have over the years brought this country so low that we now have to kow tow to all an sundry …. well, yes.

          But let’s not pretend it has anything to do with ‘legallity’.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Malaysia isnt the “far East” is it? its Asia

      The problem is its hard to do manufacturing here for reasons we have already discussed, the cost of power, the expense of leading edge anti pollution kit needed, etc.

    • REPay
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Dyson keeps all the design, marketing and management here and sends back more tax to the exchequer than when they had production here because he has been able to compete and expand internationally.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Centes of work/competition usualy evolve around a number of natual factors, not some pre planned government dictat or idea.

    Ironbridge (the centre of the start of the industrial revolution) because of its unique raw materials, the potteries because of clay, mining communities because of coal, shipbuilding and trade because of deep waters, it was normal for skills to be passed down from father to son.
    Then people moved to areas where there was work, to improve their lot.

    We are now in different times, there is nothing unique about a computer, other than it must be supplied with a fast internet connection.
    People do not have to move to improve their lot, because many are happy with what they have given the State will provide.
    House prices and the cost of moving restrict movement for those who would like to move.
    The workplace is now changing so rapidly, that working in one industry, trade or Company throughout your life is now rare.
    A Government subsidy in one area, often with tax free benefits for a few years, or guaranteed rent free periods, gives it an unfair advantage over an existing businesses in another, and thus puts that established business at risk.
    Like wise prepack administration, where a companies debts are wiped away at a stroke so that they can continue, often under the same management or ownership.

    Long term businesses evolve naturally, all they need is the right climate to make the risk worth the reward.

    • REPay
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Our raw materials comprise largely our people, so it is important to have an education system that produces talented people. The focus in education over the last forty years has been largely on social engineering and giving more people less valuable pieces of paper. The results are evident from international league tables.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


        Would certainly agree with you about education failing generations of kids, who are not fit to work after their so called education has finished.

        The problem always seems to be government policy.

        If they simply got out of the way took away all subsidies to encourage firms to move, we may get a level playing field.
        Companies would then make up their own minds where best to set up business.
        In addition most small businesses start with self employment, but successive governments of all types do not like self employed people beause they have a mind of their own.
        hence more obstruction to overcome by the very people who can create jobs.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    This is not going to be a popular statement.

    Here where I live all the innovation actually came when the Chapel split off from the moribund old Church. Wisbech is not a big town, but it was us who started off the national Trust and made up the lion’s share of the abolition of slavery.

    The Methodist movement has a lot to do with the working class working. Religion made sense of the world and also of industrialisation too. Believing that people are equal and that they need helping and need to be working in their correct, godly place really helps.

    The government wants votes. That is how it works. So there is a huge amount of good will, of course. But there is also a lot of useless anger there too which hinders. And a lot of, frankly, sheer incompetence too which often goes unremarked. It is a very blunt instrument compared to, say, Bill Gates of Mr Jobs.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Quakers were also the force behind the development of many industries and businesses – for example several banks and firms such as Cadbury and Rowntree.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink


        They also tended to look after their workers, with company built and owned houses at sensible rents etc.

  4. lifelogic
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Indeed a new generation of Brunels and Dysons, Wedgwoods and Bamfords. But also some real competitive advantages over the rest of the world. Dyson had to move his production to Malaysia. The modern versions of these men probably move abroad if they have much sense.

    What is needed as everyone but Cameron, Davey, Greg Clarke types know is :

    Cheap (non green religion) energy, easy hire and fire laws, banks and access to capital that actually functions, fewer regulations, a BBC that was not such a lefty propaganda organisation, fewer lawyers, a better legal system with more certainty, a better balance of risk and thus less bent litigation on whiplash, employment matters etc. and easier planning laws.

    Above all a state sector that is nearer to 20% than the current 50% and one that does something useful occasionally for a change some decent school and hospitals that actually work.

    Unblock the roads (from the endless red lights, bus & bike lane and parking muggings, and “environmental” area and the large island road blocks, allow some more runways. Abandon the AGW religion adapt if and when needed should be the approach. Simplify the tax systems for all so fewer tax advisers, less time wasted and fewer lawyers needed.

    More engineers, sales people and scientists and fewer lawyers, PPE graduates, civil servants, bureaucrats, EU parasites and quack AGW warming priests.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Excellent piece by Delingpole, as usual, on the difficulties for husky-hugging, greenest government ever, vote blue get green Dave, in getting the country back to any sort of reality on energy (or on the EU or size of the largely parasitic and incompetent state sector).

      Especially give that Cameron threw away the elections and has lumbered us with the bonkers Libdems, Huhne, Davey, Clegg and Cable types.


      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic–Yes, Delingpole’s latest is gr8 even by his standards–not to mention the links off it. Why doesn’t Peter Lilley have more prominence somewhere somehow for voting against the CCA, with only four others? And besides, why aren’t the green left wing loonies agitating for more repeat more of that lovely CO2 just in case–given the hyped up guff about heating bills–there is a warming effect (which there is not)? What a mess we are in.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and high polar ice level too at both poles now it seems too.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        I believe Cameron can get out of this fix. His line should be: 1) mankind must in the long term find alternatives to hydrocarbons as they are a finite resource (to be spun as a robust reaffirmation of his original position; 2) ‘the facts have changed so let’s change our opinion’. It seems global warming isn’t the clear and present danger we thought it was in 2008, clearly it hasn’t happened at the rate forecast, so we’ve got longer to sort ourselves out. Also consensus research (words important) shows that we won’t experience net negative effects from global warming, even at the IPCC’s average rate, until the end of this century; 3) happily we have a wonderful potential interim solution with shale gas, lets allow that to go ahead (no need for subsidies or tax breaks); 4) in view of the above the climate change act will be repealed, all green taxes and subsidies abolished and UK consumers will have access to the sort of cheap fuel US consumers do. It is a U-turn, but with the LibDems and Labour (with a few noble exceptions such as Graham Stinger MP) locked into global warming fanaticism, it could be an election winner.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Yes but he has rather stuffed himself by giving away the last election and lumbering us with the Libdems.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Certainly the last think the north needs is private sector non jobs, paid at rates well above the local going rate (often double including pensions) and all paid off the backs of over taxing the ever fewer still in productive work.

      It causes little but harm and unfair competition for local talent. The talented just leave or get a job taxing the rest of us, designing camera systems to mug motorists or working on blocking the roads with anti car traffic lights, bus lanes and huge pointless islands. Or perhaps they become lawyers, work for the BBC or get a job as an MP, MEP, civil servant etc. and make matters far worse.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Danny Alexander just now on Marr something like:

      We are not going back on green energy but will make sure customers are not paying one penny more than they need to.

      Yeah sure, and how on earth can you do that Danny when wind and PV can cost 6 times the value of the intermittant energy produced – do tell please?

      Then he goes on to knock aggressive tax avoidance. Surely given that dopes like Cameron, Clegg and Danny insist on wasting the vast majority of government revenues on daft things like green energy, the EU, HS2, electric cars, road blocking, pointless wars, overpaid bureaucrats and countless other insanities, it seems to me that legal tax avoidance is one of the most moral things you can do.

      You can always spend the savings on sensible charities doing things like Bill and Melinda gates for example or expand your business with it and make it more competitive and thus create jobs.

      The morality is surely in what you do with the money Danny. On this basis the coalition have very little morality and is best starved of funds until it changes.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Easy hire and fire laws? You will not leave this chuntering alone will you? You have yet to say why we do not already have this and cannot can you? Fired for complaining is what you want or for anything in fact. Lower costs by a race to the bottom in taxation and environmental concerns with less services and low wages to compete with the third world. Will not work in this country as the population will not accept such poverty in one of the richest countries in the world, so how will you force them?

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

        For Bazman: Please explain to me why the UK unemployment rate is 7 point something %, whereas the average in your beloved Yaaropean Union is about 12%. Then tell us – if you dare – why we would be better off being like them.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          Most countries in the European Union also have below average unemployment levels. Of the 27 states only Bulgaria, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Greece have over 12% unemployment.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            Hint for you Uni, is the word average.
            Some above, some below.
            Neither of you answering the point raised as usual.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Averages are pushed up by large numbers. The clue is in the word ‘average’ and mathematical principals such as averages. Usually in the real world there are fewer higher numbers.
            Ram it.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink


            I guess you cant handle facts. There are 30m people employed in UK there are 1.5 million on NMW. That s is roughly 5% so NINTY FIVE PERCENT 28.5 million earn MORE than NMW

            I know it ruins your argument but thats the problem with you class warriors you don’t deal in facts

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Now you are apologists for levels of unemployment in the EU that are higher than the 1930’s depression.
            It amazes how supine the labour movement and trades unions are faced with these figures.
            You can nit pick over the word “average” as long as you like but the EU “isn’t working”

          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            You are denying there are huge levels of poverty in the UK. Millions of children don’t live in below standard housing with low wage parents and poor nutrition? You are living in dream world if you believe this and should move to North Korea. Blaming the poor for this or comparing them with third world peasants will not wash. Much of this country lives well, but much of it lives badly and telling us that as not many earn NMW makes this hardship non existent is a lie.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            Your reply is a nonsense Baz
            Where did I say there is no poverty in the UK ?
            Where did I say poverty was the fault of the poor?
            Stop making it up.

  5. Mark B
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Immigration – You are all as bad as one another. What concerns me most though, is ‘mass’ immigration and ‘mulch-multiculturalism’. (favours integration ed)
    The centre and the north of the country have always been the industrial part of the UK, much like the Ruhr is to Germany. The difference is, the Politicians in Germany are not Arts, Literature and Political Science Graduates, but Engineers, Doctors and Scientists. It is odd, that the most successful Conservative Politician of the Twentieth Century was herself a Scientist, but her Conservative predecessors and successors not. Dr. Angela Merkel herself has a science background and I think this helps Germany because they have people with a better knowledge of what science, engineering and business need, like cheap energy.

    Your last two paragraphs are pretty close to my own views. I would however like to add, that we also need a change in attitudes to work, types of jobs on offer and the attitude of and to those who may occupy the lower paid sector. Just because you do not have a University degree does not make you worthless to society, and the opposite to that is also true, in my opinion. To give an example: Nurses, Ambulance, Firemen and the Armed Forces command my greatest respect, especially the Armed Forces at this time of year. More so than some Politician or Civil Servant, people, if our kind host can forgive my comment, are people who we can do without. Those who actively save and protect lives we cannot.

    Government and its bureaucratic monster therefore, needs to get the hell out of the way and stop stealing from the productive part of the economy.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Good point on the science thing. MT was a rare breed in that she not only had the science background but the legal one which gave her added analytical and communication skills – something which scientists often lack.

      Add to that the ministerial experience made her a formidable person for that role because she just seemed to have the right blend of all the qualities that are needed.

      Contrast with all those since, law and PR seems to be what they have…… Apart from Gordon Brown who apparently was an economist – that worked well then……..

      We do need more of the science types in parliament who don’t just follow the crowd like sheep to fit in with the likes of the EU/UN/BBC

    • Mark B
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      I have to say, the censorship is getting a bit, well sensitive here.

      Expecting immigrants’ to assimilate is not a taboo subject. And as for ‘people’, I mean the same sort of ‘people’ that Belgium managed to do without for many months and we for about 2 weeks in 2010.

      Happy ?

  6. Roger Farmer
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “Quality is not the enemy of lower costs and higher productivity”. This could have come straight from the mouth of Professor Deming and the resultant QS9000. A philosophy ignored in the USA ,UK, and Europe, but taken up in Japan. The history of the automobile industry is the result. Now QS 9000 permeates just about every industry and those where it does not just bumble along.
    Industrially the new name on the block would appear to be Graphine. Can it’s genesis into the manufacture of product be eased into areas around a hundred miles from London or more to boost their economies. A task that politicians could help facilitate.

    • Roger Farmer
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Apologies, for Graphine read Graphene.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Can be a stagnating paper chase where employees work for the system. Japan has problems with this.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Do tell us Baz
        When you are a consumer spending your hard earned money, do you prefer good customer service or bad customer service?
        Do you prefer to buy a product that is of good quality or not?

        Concentrate on the customer.
        Not what you as an employee wants.

        • alan jutson
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink


          Know nothing about Qs9000.

          But ISO 9000 is simply a paperwork system which records the process from start to finsh.

          It has absolutely nothing to do with Quality.

          Indeed you can have ISO 9000 approval for the worst product in the World, as long as the system can prove that that is the case.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

            Its now much more to do with ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction and trying to continually improve as an organisation.
            The latest version is a lot different to the original 5750 and just writing down what you do and stating your quality or customer satisfaction was poor would not get you approved today.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          If applied correctly, to badly performing companies but most often is not. The stifling of ideas and not being very applicable to the service industries is a problem you cannot pretend it does not exist. Advanced Japanese companies are reported as having thsi as a problem. They already know what is good and bad and why this is so.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            There is no reason having a quality management system should stifle ideas

            Most new certificates are for the service industries and have proved effective at reducing waste as well as improving customer service levels.

            You regularly demand permanent jobs Baz and companies with certification are rarely ones who go out of business.

  7. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Largely agree.

    I would add that-

    “So what does work? Our past tells us that a cluster of talent, skill and competition can work”

    -can still be true, but is no longer the whole truth.

    Where an activity does not require a physical “cluster”, talent and skill and collaborate via video conferencing and the like. But for this to be really effective we do require very much better video conferencing facilities to be readily available throughout the whole country, and this requires a fibre optic internet connection everywhere. This is the infrastructure improvement in which we should be concentrating.

    • David Price
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      You still need clusters even for hi-tech work

      Working people aren’t mobile enough for this to work across many kinds of job/activity. The clustering is more to do with the opportunity people then have to move easily between organisations, develop new skills and work across disciplines. This is why you have Silicon Valley (Computing), the Thames Valley (Computing), City of London (Finance), Richardson – Texas (telecoms).

      This is of benefit to companies as well since there is a large pool of skilled people available, if they can be tempted away from their current role. Tele and video conferencing facilitates interaction but it doesn’t fully address the need for access to flexible employment opportunities.

      By all means establish ubiquitous broadband but the main focus should be to facilitate new businesses in terms of reduced regulations, incentives for R&D and local councils that embrace clustering rather than windmills and football academies.

      Is it the case that whereas domestic rates go to the local council business rates instead go to central government, if that is true then there needs to be a change to incentivise local councils and residents to support local business development.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        I am old enough to remember when business rates did go to local councils, and the disaster that came as a consequence. Local councils (OK, some, but enough for it to be significant) want more money and they could get it by hiking the business rate – businesses do not have a vote. They did this to the point where they killed the businesses, so central government removed the ability of local government to kill their local golden egg laying geese.

        • David Price
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          good point – greed and idiocy operates at all levels

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    “It [an economy] needs limited numbers of dedicated professional managers, engineers, designers, salespeople and the rest. Above all industry in the UK needs a new generation of Brunels and Dysons, Wedgwoods and Bamfords.”

    Net migration means that it is most likely these sorts of people we are losing. People rarely leave Britain without being self-funded, skilled or talented as nowhere else in the world will feed you for free. The same cannot be said for many of those coming here.

    Local taxi drivers are in battle with the council over an influx of taxi drivers issued with limitless numbers of licences. So even the last resort, the last fall-back for people who have lost their jobs (mini cab driving) is denied them.

    When we were told we’d have to compete with the rest of the world we understood this, but we did not expect to find ourselves in competition for our own citizenship.

    A decent standard of living is unsustainable under these circumstances – the first stage its collapse is happening and we see it in the cost of housing and the extraordinary measures being extended to the distressed younger generation (help-to-buy and low interest rates.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      And it was the Tories who opened the door by signing up to the Maastricht treaty.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        John Major with his “one of impost on the energy companies” and his “I don’t have a shred of regret about entering the exchange-rate mechanism”.

        Still no apology from this pathetic man, how on earth were the party so stupid as to ever elect him? Mind you all bar three Tory MPs failed to vote against the climate change act so anything can happen.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        John Major with his “one of impost on the energy companies” and his “I don’t have a shred of regret about entering the exchange-rate mechanism”.

        Still no apology from this pathetic man, how on earth were the party so stupid as to ever elect him? Mind you all bar three Tory MPs failed to vote against the climate change act so anything can happen.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Rest assured that we are only taking the brightest and best.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Including my own IQ, Denis (not Dennis – sorry !)

  9. JoeSoap
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Can’t disagree with anything there.
    The issue is how to achieve it.

    I’d suggest allowing schools and universities to

    -select and teach the top few in their field (it could be soccer, sculpturing, engineering, pretty well anything which has a valuable unique selling point) in a way which encourages them to think freely, instead of tick-box,
    – allow them to pursue their key interests in a fully funded environment, as per state maintained schools and universities, on the basis that they stay here and work afterwards,
    -employ teachers without any reference to the politically-correct ideals of today, but instead to teach manners and respect for folk who have achieved and gone before,
    -for non-academic pursuits pay good tradesmen to take on apprentices in the same way as you should be paying universities to teach the next generation without leaving them a debt burden,
    -encourage folk to stay here after qualifying by removing the student debt issue and reducing income tax for sub-35 year olds

    There are so many things which could be done to drive this agenda, and at this time I don’t see Lib Lab or Con offering them, or ever likely to.

  10. Magnolia
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Increased ease of movement of people results in the successful areas sucking out the ‘talent’ from the less successful which in turn sets up a negative feedback loop.
    This needs to be counteracted.
    A good quality of life in environmental, social and educational terms could do much to hold on to home grown ability but if riches are to be gained in moving to the capital or the South then, in this modern world, modern wealth and ease of transport make it easy to support and visit family and friends from a distance.
    I believe that so-called un-productive areas should have their tax rates slashed.
    In return for the quid pro quo they should also have their state support levels cut in direct proportion to the tax advantage.
    This would help to drive the unproductive to the more productive areas where they might be more successful and would help to make it worthwhile for the talented to stay put and make a go of it in their home area.
    The northern city of Leeds has been waiting for a tram or other system to ease congestion along its main commuter routes for over thirty years.
    Government of all hues have ignored this fundamental requirement for the North.
    Private enterprises that benefit from the lower tax rates should contribute, on a voluntary basis, to the increased welfare needs within the local area.
    Welfare should be privatised through tax cuts.
    These are just ideas.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Your idea has no chance of working. If you state support to these areas then everyone will try to leave, including the productive. There’s also no guarantee any businesses attracted to these areas will produce enough jobs for all the people who are suffering because of the lack of state support.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Investors have to be incentivised to develop and create businesses – and , hence , create employment . The inhibiting feature in this country is tax and energy costs ; in the past it was heavily influenced by restrictive work practices and the Unions . I suggest that the Government ( and Local Governments ) should adjust their regimes to make it internationally attractive ; the world is a much smaller place than it used to be . Products can only sell if they are respected , competitive and supported .

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Investors need to be incentivised to hire and train Brits, it needs to be at least as expensive to hire and train staff imported from abroad. At the moment all the tax perks and so on encourage imported labour over hiring Brits.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Investors have to be incentivised to develop and create businesses – and hence create employment.

      Indeed whereas in reality employers are just mugged and milked, this by endless regulations, taxes, the absurd complexity of these taxes and regulations, daft employment laws, planning laws, dis-functional banks, discrimination laws, expensive religious energy laws, no retirement laws, maternity and paternity laws, new pension rights laws, high employers NI, gender equality employment laws …………

      • Bazman
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Which employed laws and which are daft. Why do repeat this religious chant that you cannot justify? Feelings do not trump facts. Where are your facts?! As the pay becomes more unequal in this country expect more to leave. Why should anyone work to make the rich even richer with no reward for themselves. Again how will you force them too? What you expect is a country of Neo Serfs.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

          You have never employed anyone so how can you have a clue how much red tape employers have to put up with whenever they want to employ another person?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            You must be a gift to any employer.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            I wasn’t thinking of offering you a job, so don’t worry.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Even my alarm clock would not work for you.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Well that’s something we can both agree on then Baz for a change.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Germany has more manufacturing industries than the UK but higher tax rates and energy costs, and more powerful unions. So it seems that tax and energy costs aren’t that inhibiting.

      • ChrisS
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        You may well be right about the headline rates of income tax but the differences are marginal and if you add in National Insurance, our overall employment taxes are actually much higher.

        On the subject of energy costs, the foolish rush to expensive renewables and the closure of the nuclear program is only just starting to hit German Industry. The full impact will only hit home over the next five years.

        In the meantime, firms like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen/Audi are expanding into China, India and Brazil but the cars they are selling in those countries are not made in Germany !

        Add in the fact that increasing use is being made of Polish plants to produce cars for the European market and the real situation looks very different to the one you are trying to present.

        But, that’s nothing unusual for you, uanime5, is it ?

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          1) What “may” happen in 5 years doesn’t change what’s happening now.

          2) BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen/Audi are setting up branches in China, India and Brazil because if these companies import all the parts from Germany and assemble the cars in these countries they can avoid import taxes on cars. This is the normal way companies avoid import taxes.

          3) Are jobs being lost in Germany because of the plants in Poland or are these Polish plants being used to supply lower cost cars to European countries that can’t afford to buy cars made in Germany?

          It seems ChrisS that you have confused common business practices with some sort of crisis.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 3, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink


            Stick to socialism Uanime5 you haven’t got a clue about business, import taxes or sales. Your comment about German car factories in C I B is laughable and just naive .

            Your point 3 is total gibberish

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        You ought to go and listen to the interview Jack Straw gave on Sky News this morning. He had something important to say about those like you who oppose the extraction of shale gas. Seems like you’re in the minority (I wonder why?)

        • Bazman
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          We will see how much these shale gas fantasists like it when they are facing some of the problems caused by fracing.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            Tell us what they are then Baz, and balance it with how many might benefit from cheap/cheaper energy.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            Back to the already discredited earthquake and tap water on fire loony left wing fantasy again, Baz.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Cheaper energy because of fracing in this country will never happen and why are you all so confident about the pollution effect. Ah like you are were about the horse meat scandal blind and fatalistic belief in the purity of large corporations to do no harm. Horse meat is not bad etc. Completely missing the point that it could have been anything. Yeah. right…That is not to say that fracing in certain applications and circumstances will be ideal, as it will, but not you freebie fantasy by any means. Banned in France. I wonder why as the French are not known for this sort of thing. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            Horse meat?
            How did you jump to that!

        • uanime5
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Did Jack Straw mention Poland and the problems they had extracting shale gas? Did he also mention that even the oil and gas companies that will benefit from fracking don’t believe that shale gas will reduce UK energy prices in the same way they reduced US energy prices?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            Polish horse meat and fracing are related. Count on it.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

            Some extra capacity of energy available to us in the UK would be nice Uni before the lights go out.
            You just go on about the relative price of our new found gas via fracking.
            I’m more interested in keeping warm and UK factories open.

  12. lifelogic
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Now we have Tory chairman Grant Shapps saying:- BBC could face cut in licence fee or even be forced to compete with other broadcasters unless it rebuilds public trust.

    What about it taking a sensible line for once on quack greenery, the EU, the size of the state sector, tax levels and the absurd enforced “equality” agenda? But Cameron put the complaisant, pro EU, fake green, soft left, state sector think, history Balliol College graduate, Lord Patten as chair of the trustees – what did he expect of this man but exactly what he got?

    • Bill
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I was in Oxford for a conference a year or so ago and picked up a student magazine. I was dismayed to find that, instead of incisive comment and fresh ideas from bright young minds, I might have been reading a hand-out written by the BBC’s publicity department. It was awful.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Indeed I am hugely depressed when I listen to teenagers and undergrads on Global warming they have nearly all swallowed the guff hole. No one seems to think for themselves any more they just learn and regurgitate “facts” usually theBBC type of facts.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          Never come up with any sensible sources to refute it though have you? Facts are no what you and the like of you are about, though you demand them of others. Harrumphing and feelings are not factual.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            Just keep believing the party line Baz
            Just a bit worrying that the actual figures do not now match the predictions made years ago.

  13. Bob
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I want more people to have jobs. I want more jobs to be better paid.

    You might have your wish if the government taxed our income and our spending rather less.

  14. stred
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    One way to ensure transport links are good would be to remove the wasted time paying at the Thames Crossing. The Highways Agency has decided to install number plate reading technology from October next year. The £2 bill will then be sent each time by post and drivers will have a day or two to pay online or at a shop. As most foreign drivers will not bother to pay and British drivers who are legitimately registered will waste more time paying each time, this does not really help. The idea of just not charging, as in Scotland, or charging by a small increase in fuel duty, seems to be unthinkable to the bureaucrats at the Agency and the Treasury. Of course, when it was built, the tolls were to be only until it was paid for.

  15. Acorn
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I would put in a good word for you JR, but I was advised they are looking for younger kids with open minds. http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/10/uae-financial-heads-woo-london-city-bankers/#.Umz_xVO3DTA .

    “There is some consideration of what a bleak future for economies like the UK will look like. King [HSBC boss] describes a future where the country has to rely on selling the family silver to get by. That means flogging houses to foreign individuals and companies buying Western firms on the cheap. Such stagnant societies are fairly boring places with the exception of some violent clashes as they become more divided between the rich and poor.”
    http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/10/book-review-a-economic-horror-story/#.Umz80lO3DTA .

    BTW The new Dubai World airport is open on the first of eventually four A380 runways. “A strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, Dubai World Central (DWC) is a master-planned aerotropolis …”

    Imagine living in a country with a government that had “strategic initiatives”. Yeh but, what about HS2 I hear you say? Forget it, HS2 is dead, or will be, when Dave can find a reason to blame Millipeed.

    Reply Very thoughtful of you, but I want to stay in the UK.

  16. Bazman
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    One of the ways growth and prosperity could be spread is for companies making millions in profits and paying an elite in the company millions is to pay higher wages for the lower members of staff and stop using revolving door recruitment and threats as company policy. Many smaller less profitable ones do. Radical I know.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink


      Not radical at all, but a commonsense action to keep a good and stable workforce, which with a bit of luck are more loyal and understanding than a revolving door policy.

      It was the very policy I used to employ when using all subcontractors.
      Pay them well, and on time, but demand quality work in return.

      Savings also made on constantly having to recruit and train new staff.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        As a ‘suby’ myself good rates are a must for good work, punctuality, honesty and even loyalty. Which employment laws are going to stop me from driving off without as much as a rammit? Works both ways and anyone telling me that it does not will not get my work. Maybe as the country uses more neo serfs this will change as will house ownership by the likes of myself becoming outlawed to prevent this.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          It strikes me you need to find a decent employer Baz.
          There are some of us out there.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink


          Last week you told me you were employed on such a low wage in the metal bashing industry that you also were able to claim benefits. Now you claim to be a subcontractor. Make your mind up. (allegation left out ed)

          • Bazman
            Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            Anyone can claim child tax credits if they earn less than 60k and have a child and can also claim universal child benefit. I’ve got a decent employer at the moment Got paid at full day rate to fix a rubbish bin as it’s a bit slow at the moment. Last employer was OK too.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink


            At last something I agree with you on. All benefits should be stopped to people that don’t need them and taxes should be lowered.

            Glad to hear you confirm that you aren’t actually on the minimum wage so all your posts were just bull. Thanks for being honest at last

  17. Gary
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Stephen G Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi of the BIS concludes :

    “In this paper, we study the complex real effects of financial development and come to two important conclusions. First, financial sector size has an inverted U-shaped effect on productivity growth. That is, there comes a point where further enlargement of the financial system can reduce real growth. Second, financial sector growth is found to be a drag on productivity growth. Our interpretation is that because the financial sector competes with the rest of the economy for scarce resources, financial booms are not, in general, growth enhancing. This evidence, together with recent experience during the financial crisis, leads us to conclude that there is a pressing need to reassess the relationship of finance and real growth in modern economic systems. More finance is definitely not always better”

    In other words , keep printing the money and keep decimating the productive economy. But still, many cannot believe their eyes and when they see the entire economy outside of London, the non-financial economy, collapsing, they call for an increase in more of the same inflate(borrow) and “redistribute”. It is like hammering your head against a brick wall to cure a headache.

    The solution to a problem is to stop that which is causing the problem. STOP the inflation and financialization and get through the great unwinding of the credit bubble. It will be hugely painful but the alternative is eventually worse. But, politicians cannot bring themselves to do the right thing and so we plough on to the end.

  18. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    This is precisely Jack Straws argument in favour of HS2.He is probably correct in his assumptions that it will connect faster and more efficiently , but as we all have experienced similar reasoning , where faster , bigger and better was posited as the solution to financial expansion and greater wealth, we have learnt that the money is fast tracked to the few and the rest have to budget very carefully with loss of jobs and lowering of standards , freezing of wages , cutting on photocopying , not replacing old computers etc. The staff have to pay because there will be permanent debt which the high salaried managers take, to cut the workers wages even more to get out of debt and reduce the deficit. We have to learn experience.
    I have just come home from Rhodes , where the big strings of hotels were luxurious .I could find little fault with the attention I was given by most staff and the freshness and variety of food, surroundings and swimming pools and leisure, then walking around the town reality began to kick in, with broken down houses , smaller desolate bankrupt hotels. The comments were why doesn’t the EU leave us alone we want the Drachma. The turmoil is not the same as in main land Greece , but the anger is there . I had to make a point that I was on their side and many in the UK felt the same.

  19. Iain Gill
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes well said John.

    Its not just “productivity” its also having the best skills (and protecting that), having the best intellectual property in all sorts of ways from production techniques to controlling software (and protecting that), and understanding that buyers of our goods and services are hardly ever looking to the UK for the cheapest goods and services. Rather the UK normally competes with innovation, higher quality, newer technology, more stablity, and so on.

    One of my problems with the political class is they have totally failed to help protect our leading intellectual property, and have been complicit in handing it over to lower cost base economies.

    Another problem with the political class is they encourage a race to the bottom in wages and quality imagining that they need to compete on price only, hence all the (outsourcing ed) This is a poor strategy because potential customers just see us go for the cheapest and start discounting the quality too, they think hey if the UK themselves is happy with the cheapest low quality they can get why should we pay for higher quality. Bad set of political and business decisions because the quality of our output drops and we are left trying to compete on price only which is a no hoper against other economies without our welfare state and so on.

    I have several times in my lifetime seen the “energy and dynamism that success needs and breeds” produce true world beating excellence that attracted a premium price on the world market, the problem is in each and every case the hard won intellectual property has been handed over to our competitor nations by the government or the multi-nationals.

  20. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Agree with just about all that you say but none of this is going to happen so long as we have the current crop of politicians running the country. They are in the grip of the ‘diversity, equality and fairness’ fanatics and their powerful lobbying groups and they appear to feel comfortable there.

    If, as seems likely, Labour win the next election then possibly the boil will come to a head and can be lanced but until then it will be business as usual with Dave the manager.
    At present the Conservative Party is almost indistinguishable from the other main parties. It will take some dramatic economic event such as that in 2007/8 to make any impact at all on the political system here.

    As for immigration, it will continue apace as anyone who publicly opposes it is vilified. Reducing it is wishful thinking and will be (strongly ed) opposed by the hard Left and the Lib-Dems.
    The French have a very powerful Left-wing but even they have managed to maintain some semblance of balance. Marine Le Pen’s party would never have been allowed to expand and prosper in our country. The success of her party is a sign of health, contrary to what we may be told here.

    In the short term, all that can be achieved by your government is to attempt to lower taxes and liberalise employment legislation to a small degree. They don’t have the guts to achieve more.
    The Grangemouth dispute shows what can be achieved by firm action and resolve in the face of seemingly intransigent unions. How would you deal with the forthcoming Fire Brigade strikes and would you introduce a ‘no-strike’ arrangement?

    Reply Gross and net migration is down from the peak levels, and the government is taking more action to cut it further.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Nowhere near enough! We’re still harnessed to the EU, and shackled by Labour’s ‘open doors’ policy. We need to take back control. Half-hearted measures just won’t do.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      migration is not even counted properly, so how could you possibly make that claim. and thats in the legal side, in the illegal side of migration i doubt its down what makes you think otherwise?

      we are still running with massively more immigration than the people want, if it exposes anything its how inadequate our supposed democracy is when faced with the collective group think of the politically correct classes.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      The Grangemouth dispute reminds me of a dispute between a French union and steel plant. It ended with the steel plant agreeing to the unions demands and agreeing to build another steel plant after the French government threatened to nationalise the steel industry if the dispute wasn’t resolved. At least in France the government is prepared to stand up to big business.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Is that the same hugely in debt, high tax, low growth, high unemployment, declining in world and EU league tables France that I keep reading about Uni?

  21. forthurst
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    “Above all industry in the UK needs a new generation of Brunels and Dysons, Wedgwoods and Bamfords.”

    …and William Morrises and all those nameless people who created our own steel, shipbuilding, machine tool industries etc. What we do know is that it was governments with their belief in Bolshevism and its ideology of central planning using the taxpayer as business angel and white knight in cohoots with trade unionists who ensured their ultimate demise.

    An entrepreneur has just saved the chemical engineering industry at Grangemouth by ensuring that that industry did not follow the same path as the shipbuilding industry; once an industry has switched to lossmaking with continuous public subsidy, it is doomed because the changes necessary to make it competitive again become more difficult as time progresses and as the entrepreneur told some idiotic interviewer, a cash injection is not an investment unless it generates a return. (n.b. Network Rail). Governments, unfortunately have not learned their lesson: banksterism is the new perennial patient receiving huge taxpayer subsidies to remain afloat and now with a virtual guarantee, including the help to sell houses at even more inflated prices scheme, that the taxpayer will protect their toxic loan books before any consideration is given to the needs of the wider economy.

    “The past tells us that government rarely transforms a city and creates that energy and dynamism that success needs and breeds.”

    The reason that governments are hopeless at creating added value and very good at destroying it, is that it is run by Arts graduates. A typical entrepreneur is a problem solver, therefore someone who is very likely to be deterred from going to university in order to induct factoids for three years. Governments should do what private entrepreneurs cannot; the problem is that their objectives are frequently diametricaly opposed: the entrepreneur setting up in e.g. high tech wants very clever people who have been educationally fast tracked simply because they are very clever but governments have wanted to ensure equality of educational outcome even if it means dumbing down our previously academically rigorous school exams; the entrepreneur wants cheap energy but governments want to save the planet, entrepreneurs want better transport links but government wants a white elephant rail line because the EU has planned it for them etc.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      The problem with Grangemouth was that the company seemed content to run the company down, then demand that the Government give them a subsidy to pay for improvement. So all privatisation did was privatise the profit and socialise the loss.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        What nonsense Uni.
        The owners were prepared to invest a further £300 million into the plant in return for some changes to working practices and employment contracts and a modernisation plan.
        They are losing million every week and this is mainly because of uncompetitive prices for energy in the UK.
        It was said that their business uses more energy than the City of Liverpool.

  22. APL
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Adam Fleming BBC reporter: “Is David Cameron going to get any powers back?”

    Mr Barosso: snigger.

    Johannes Laitenberger: “No!”

    Where now, Mr Redwood your policy of renegotiation?

    Reply What I want is a referendum, which means if they offer us nothing we simply vote to leave.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Well we shall see with all the political parties and the BBC in favour of rule from Brussels I am not so sure. They will give a fig leaf or two and it will go through I suspect.

    • APL
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      JR: “What I want is a referendum, which means if they offer us nothing we simply vote to leave. ”

      We know they will offer us nothing! Why do you keep deluding yourself otherwise?

      And even if they offer something, it’ll be less than we want, and be clawed back later.

      Reply You may be right. However, the public needs to see whether the rest of the EU is sensible and gives us a decent deal, or whether they are as you think. If the EU refuses to negotiate sensibly, then winning the referendum for Out should be quite easy. Winning a referendum for Out with no attempt to have a new relationship might result in a vote to stay in an unreformed EU. How would you like that?

      • APL
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        JR: “EU is sensible and gives us a decent deal,”

        There is no need to negotiate! We simply leave the EU – invoke article 50 and resume our membership of EEFTA.

        We get the trade arrangements, without the political interference. What is it you don’t like about that arrangement?

        You can thus safely contradict your colleagues in the Tory party like Ken Clarke who will immediately;
        a) do his best to split the Tory party and ..
        b) threaten that we will loose 3 million jobs and get stuck in the slow lane, yada yada yada — with the facts that;

        1) On this topic, Clarke is a liar and knows it.
        2) we will stay in the European free trade area and keep the benefits of tariff free trade within the borders of the EU.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

      You should all give yourselves the chance to read Senor Barosso’s article in last Friday’s Daily Telegraph, under the headline “We are determined to make EU laws more business-friendly”. Bearing in mind that this is the head of the European Commission writing, it is one of the most hilarious examples of Satan rebuking sin that you’re ever likely to come across.

      “……. In the most ambitious push to date, we have screened all EU legislation under our REFIT programme and have proposed ways to make EU law lighter, simpler and cheaper.

      ……… We have made real progress. Since 2005, the Commission has repealed 5,590 laws. Between 2007 and 2012, the administrative burden on business went down by 26 per cent, cutting costs by £27.4 billion. We are helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), for example by easing the requirements for recording equipment used in lorries, enabling e-invoicing for VAT, simplifying rules and fees for SMEs in the chemical sector, and proposing a new standard VAT declaration.

      [But who passed the laws in the first place? And is the reduction net or gross?]

      ……… EU laws often replace 28 sets of national legislation, cutting red tape.

      [Yes, but at the expense of their sovereignty]

      ……… In the end, useless laws weaken necessary laws. And we simply cannot afford a framework that weakens Europe’s capacity to act where it matters. Where more integration and more regulation are needed. we will take the lead.”

      That last sentence spoils it a bit. Roughly translated, it means that the EC will scrap some of the petty stuff, provided that we join the Euro and sign up to a European Army and a European Public Prosecutor.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    As with everything else your party has been as bad as the other two triplets and made things worse than they needed to have been with their insane ‘green policies’ and subservience to their masters in the EU.
    Christopher Booker’s column in today’s Telegraph is worth a read, under the heading : ” ‘Green Dave’ Cameron as much to blame as ‘Red Ed’ Miliband for energy crisis. Our energy mess has also been deliberately brought about, through the Government’s own policies ”

  24. Pete
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Can’t agree that government rarely transforms a city. There are many cities right across the world that have been transformed from vibrant, wealthy success stories to utter basket cases by ludicrous policies inflicted on them by criminally ignorant politicians. One of the most extreme examples being Detroit. Rampant (words left out ed) waste by city politicians coupled with stupidity on a massive scale by unions has left the whole place a wasteland. This level of ineptitude and greed has never been quite matched by British cities but they’ve given it a good try. If, or rather, when our bunch of economic retards in Westminster are forced to drastically cut the bloated public sector in order to stem the slid of the pound and soaring interest rates we may well see several UK cities in big trouble, particularly the ones that currently have over 50% of their economy reliant on public cash. I think the chances of them being completely transformed is very good, just not quite the sort of transformation they will like.

  25. Neil Craig
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Almost certainly the easiest way to increase productivity is by getting government out of the way. 90% of electricity prices. at least 75% of housing, 86% of childcare costs, & the destruction of the total productivity of around 8 million workers is destroyed by regulatory parasitism.

    Unfortunately it is not just the “left” who produced this – all 3 state approved parties did and are still enforcing it. UKIP being the only exception.

  26. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    And now I see (in the Sunday Torygraph) that the revival of the Great Central (which I have rooted for for ages, including here) is being given attention, and about time too because it has about a thousand advantages, obvious to everyone except our joke of a Government, and no discernible disadvantages. Yet another example of Cameron’s terrible judgement that he hasn’t started to see the light on this, instead letting Ed Balls gain the benefit, which it takes skill to do.

  27. Bill
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Agree. We could (a) do more to ensure the universities are geared to innovative research and (b) ensure the schools have a place in the national curriculum for business models rather than soft-edged Citizenship stuff. In respect of (a) we ought to have a recognised road leading from the generation of world-beating ideas to access to finance for the development of practical businesses. In respect of (b), there is much that could be done along a “Dragons’ Den” evaluation of design, software and technology ideas.

  28. uanime5
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The main positive way to create better paid jobs is to drive forward higher productivity. If we work more effectively we can be paid more.

    As most people get paid per hour they generally don’t get paid more if they’re more productive. Thus they have little incentive to be more productive because it usually doesn’t benefit them.

    High productivity can also lead to job losses. For example if a company can increase the productivity of their office staff by 50% by upgrading their computers, they can fire a third of their staff (reducing the company’s salary bill) and go back to the original level of productivity. Companies are especially likely to reduce staff levels as productivity increases if the amount of work they have doesn’t increase at the same rate as their productivity increases.

    Reply What nonsense! Most real wage gains, of which there have been many over the last century, have come from rising productivity.

    • Bob
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


      “if a company can increase the productivity of their office staff by 50% by upgrading their computers, they can fire a third of their staff (reducing the company’s salary bill) and go back to the original level of productivity.”

      Are you suggesting that we would benefit from less efficiency?

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        In this scenario the employees benefit from less efficiency, which is why they have no incentive to be more productive.

    • ChrisS
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Wrong yet again, uanimeg5 !!!

      Let’s assume a well run company does increase the productivity of their office and their manufacturing staff by 50%.

      If their staff are valued and worth retaining, the company can reallocate them to expand production in other areas. This may not always be possible in a shrinking market but in a growing economy as we now have in the UK, a company will do everything possible retain its good people.

      The resulting extra profit will benefit the, staff, the shareholders and the Treasury.

      Even more important, if this is repeated across the economy and we have a proper Conservative Government committed to reducing the size and efficiency of the state, tax rates will come down more quickly.

      That is a Virtuous Circle.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        What happens if the company doesn’t have enough work for these employees to do now that productivity has been increased by 50%? Oh that’s right they’ll be fired. If the employee cannot get another job that will pay the same amount then they’ll spend less in the local economy, which will cause problems for local businesses. So it’s not a virtuous circle.

        Also the savings may benefit the business but they will not benefit the treasury or shareholders unless they’re declared as a profit. If the company keeps the extra money as a cash reserve or uses it to give the management bigger bonuses then only the company and the management will benefit.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          If they keep refusing to improve and get more efficient, the other businesses in the world will out perform them and eventually all employees will lose their jobs when the company closes down.
          Their customers will move away and choose a cheaper and better place to spend their money.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      A Luddite argument uanime5, but I take you point of not killing yourself to raise productivity as a hourly paid worker unless you are sharing the profits. This chestnut of keeping the business afloat is just that. A factory I worked at for a number of years was closed and the work spread around other factories despite it being the most efficient and profitable one. That was facts from the char mans own mouth by the way to about 50 of us in a room. They could not wait to tell us of loses and why we should have no pay rise, but when large profits were being made could not say how much and needed the money to invest in previous unrelated pay talks before that. Similar nonsense at a shipyard in the early 90’s

      • David Price
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        If you wanted equitable profit sharing did you never consider buying shares in the company that employed you?

      • Bob
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        ” That was facts from the char mans own mouth”

        Are you sure it wasn’t the char lady?

        • Bazman
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          No. He was a man in a proper expensive suit and a cut glass mans voice.

          • Bob
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            “No. He was a man in a proper expensive suit and a cut glass mans voice.”

            Must be a sign of changing times, people like that rarely pushed the tea trolley around in the past.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Didn’t see a tea trolley but they are as rare as dumb waiters these days.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 29, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        It may be a Luddite argument but as long as increased productivity brings at best no benefits to employees and at worst harms them the UK shouldn’t be surprised that it has a demotivated workforce. Employers need to make it more worthwhile for employees to be more productive.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Uni it is a prime role for management to explain that continual improvement, increased customer satisfaction and improved efficiency is vital for the long term survival of the business and therefore the safety of everyone’s employment in the business.
          Standing still in a fast moving world economy, is not a good option as you will soon be overwhelmed by your competitors.
          Productivity bonus schemes, profit related pay and employee share schemes all help to wards motivating staff in this requirement.
          Which successful firms have introduced.
          Best chance of a permanent job today is actually with a fast moving and rapidly evolving company.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Obviously some sort of bonus system is the answer look how well this works in banking.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            Well Baz, if “save the world Gordon” hadn’t rushed to bail out the failed banks, effectively nationalising them, which for him was a socialist instinct, then they (the Bankers) would have learnt their lesson.

            I’m surprised you are not in favour of bonus schemes for all employees.
            But I suppose it is predictable as individual bonuses are hated by Trade Union bosses as they want the power of national negotiations.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            It would not have taught them anything only that they got rich by failing. The problem is with bonus schemes is many companies higher management hate to see their employees making money even if it is by their own rules, except themselves that is, so as soon as anyone does the goalposts are moved.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            Gosh you must have worked for some really duff employers Baz
            One day maybe you will find a company that treats you decently and reduces your endless cynicism about the world of work.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Raising productivity can also be a driver to increase business and market share in the sector you are in thus helping secure your own and your colleagues futures – it can also be a driver for the people that get behind this to be seen as the innovators and progress their own careers thus earning more etc.

      @uanime5 – Could I ask where do you get your chip?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Uni is a very balanced person because of a chip on each shoulder.

        • peter davies
          Posted October 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        Care to explain why employees would want to increase their productivity when they won’t get any benefits from it (especially if they have no promotion prospects).

        Even when the company is likely to go bankrupt their only incentive is to keep the company afloat until they can get another job somewhere else.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          My experience in companies I see, is that employees want to improve their own efficiency and that of their company as they realise that is the best chance of secure employment, better promotion opportunity and higher pay.
          Who wants to work for a declining business or one which is losing money.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          What in it for them? Is the question and a fair one too. keeping your job is not enough as often you just loose your job anyway in the revolving door recruitment policy or relocation of work to another area. Often the UK as well as abroad. Another factor to be careful of is just to prove that the workforce can work harder whilst listening to managers telling you that they work from home.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

            Simply that the best companies succeed and grow and take on more staff.
            I don’t hear of Jaguar Land Rover sacking staff, nor JCB nor Cosworth, nor many other efficient expanding UK companies I could mention.
            If you have managers who laze away at home then long term your company is going to fail and all the jobs will disappear with its failure.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            You mean good companies paying good wages. Many are not and getting out of bed for them if you are not desperate is 50/50 at best. Personally I see what they are about and get myself sacked before I get employed if I don’t like what I hear. I only deal in definites. I’ll get back to you in the next ten years is not acceptable and I don’t accept that. No job is a good job from these types.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            Im glad to see you doing that Baz because these bad employers need to change their ways and start treating their staff decently.
            They will find it actually benefits their business to have an enthusiastic motivated well trained skillfull workforce.
            Having seen how these bad bosses can unfairly undercut companies run by decent bosses it needs better enforcement of existing employment laws to stop them.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      But is the increased productivity linked to speculation which commits itself to high amounts of borrowing ? I seem to remember doing well as an insurance broker . Projections for life policies etc were based on current production, index and non index linked. The success of the middle men was sussed , the FSA changed the rules and companies pocketed the money themselves ,which lowered production and this is just the beginning of the problem ,BUT it started from a position of increased productivity.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      U5 said;
      “High productivity can also lead to job losses.”

      I bet the Germans’, the Japanese and the Korean all wish you’d have told them that BEFORE they set a bout their economic success.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        You seem to have ignored that the law in these countries make it difficult to fire employees, unlike the UK. As a result these companies were forced to find alternative jobs for these employees.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps as a result of improvements in efficiency by the employees, these companies grew and grew.
          Therefore no staff were fired, instead many jobs were created in these efficient businesses.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Firstly much of the wage rises have been due to inflation.

      Secondly my examples was to demonstrate why employees are unlikely to increase their productivity; mainly because they won’t benefit from it.

      Thirdly increased productivity has been mainly through automation, which resulted in many jobs being lost. So unless these people were able to find another job that paid a similar wage they didn’t benefit from increased productivity.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        I remember a local engineering company near me where in the 70’s the unions refused to use any new more efficient machinery and went on strike every time management tried to alter old working practices.
        The Unions said they were doing this to protect their member’s futures.
        This went on for many years until the owners faced with mounting losses and reducing numbers of customers closed down with everyone losing their job.

        We live in a world economy and unless we build a new Berlin Wall around the UK we face competition from other nations.
        Becoming more efficient is a way of securing jobs rather than refusing change (painful as that might be at times) which can end in total business failure.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately geology, geography and geopolitics have all worked in the same direction to leave some parts of the country relatively impoverished, and it is difficult to counter the combination of all three factors working together.

    Geology because the old industries were largely concentrated in the parts of the country with mineral resources, and especially coal, not the south east corner of the island, and it is in those areas that their disappearance is still most sorely felt.

    Geography because when we had a global Empire and the emphasis was on global trade by sea it was relatively unimportant where companies were located in the country for the purposes of bringing in raw materials and exporting finished products, but when the emphasis was shifted more to trade with the continent great ports like Liverpool found themselves on the wrong side of the country and companies in the parts of the country more remote from the continent found themselves disadvantaged.

    Geopolitics because the government in London shifted its orientation to Europe and to some extent lost interest in those parts of the country more remote from the continent; allegedly in 1944 Churchill had told de Gaulle:

    ” … every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose … ”

    but within twenty years his successors were taking the opposite view.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      ” … every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose … ”

      but within twenty years his successors were taking the opposite view.’

      You’re dead right Denis, and look where that got us! The thing that never ceases to astound me, is when there is so much evidence that our involvement with the EU has been to our disadvantage, if not an unmitigated disaster, there are still those who want more of it. They absolutely refuse to see the bigger picture. They still keep coming back with the same old distorted view, and refuse to accept there is a better way. I’m sure it’s a medical condition.


  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, another fine mess brewing:


    “The Polish painter who opened a can of worms”

    “Refused benefits when his UK business failed, Piotr Kalisz appealed to Europe. Now his story is at the centre of a case that may cost Britain hundreds of millions”

  31. Terry
    Posted October 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I certainly am no fan of Labour but I too wonder where this growth has come from. Unfortunately, growth is measured by the ambiguous index GDP. If the Government spends more it increases our GDP and that should never be the basis of a National Performance Index. The more we spend, the higher the GDP is a funny way to improve performance. Our exports represent just 32% of our GDP, the Pound is still weak against the Euro but too strong against the US$ -our largest single export market. So where is the real growth?

    I fear this particular growth has been brought about by the extra credit being thrown about by the BoE and that means it has not been earned. If the money has not been earned then it is not going to be productive, just recycled. And that situation cannot be maintained for long. We are living on a knife edge and the blade is interest rates. When our interest rates rise, all bets (Gilts) will be off. We wont be able to pay the interest on our debts – we will be bankrupted and that is a position the Quad are praying does not happen this side of 2015 because it means a massive reduction in the Public Sector is required. And such a surge of job losses would lose the election for them and that is the reason for their not pursuing their original plan to really get to grips with the National debt, brought about by the disastrous Blair/Brown years. Inflation has been kept at bay by wonderful Globalisation but that in turn, is producing deflation and once that gets a hold I fear a depression is around the corner. Things are not as bright as they might now appear.

    Reply I see lots of growth around me – new station, new schools, new homes, more being bought in the shops – and in London high levels of activity in most locations.

    • Terry
      Posted October 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      That is exactly my point, John. The growth you see is Government sponsored growth i.e. Schools, Station even new homes. It is not real growth. That is created by industry and production for sales overseas bringing in earned income. We are an exporting nation and that is where our true growth lies.

  32. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    But not all us scroungers want jobs Johnny !
    As for speeding… HS2 be not the answer !

  33. Peter Martin
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Would it be fair of me to suggest that those who claim to be most in favour of capitalism, including the Tory Party and many of its supporters, have the least idea of how it all now works? For instance can anyone tell me why currencies ( ie Government IOUs) have any value at all now that they are no longer backed by anything tangible?
    There is a very simple easy to understand answer to this BTW!
    Also I might say that these so-called supporters of capitalism nearly always aren’t in support of 21st century capitalism which obviously does work, up to a point, and could work so much better, but rather they support a 19th century notion of capitalism that has been abandoned because it started to not work very well at all and its failure was, arguably, ultimately responsible for WW2.
    There is a lot of modernisation necessary IMO. The Tory party could be the home of those who do advocate for 21st century capitalism but sadly it doesn’t look to be.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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