Save our steel

The tsunami of closures and sackings which the Euro has unleashed on the southern economies of the zone has now washed up as a wave of closures of heavy plant here in the UK. We do not suffer the intense misery of the fixed exchange rates and EU managed budgets afflicting Greece, Spain and Portugal, but we are suffering from the dear energy policy and from the lack of EU action over fair trade in steel.

I have often warned of the threat of EU policy to energy intensive business in the UK. Our aluminium industry has already been dealt bad blows, and our petrochemical and chemical industry is struggling. Today the threats to steel are large. Redcar has been closed. Llanwern and Scunthorpe are under review.

The steel industry has made three requests of the government at its Steel Summit this week. The first is to get our energy prices down. Under EU rules this is difficult or illegal. However, Germany subsidises her heavy industry to combat this problem. All the time we remain in this job destroying body we may need to do the same. The subsidies are needed to offset the high costs of energy built into the energy policies. The longer term solution is to have our own cheaper energy policy based on more modern gas fired power stations and based on the extraction and creation of more of our own energy.

The second is business rate relief. This too would be a possibly legal way of assisting our industry at a time of cut throat competition from abroad threatening to destroy our domestic capacity. Taking a smaller percentage in tax now would be better than attempting to sustain a higher percentage of nothing once the plants have closed.

The third is anti dumping cases where foreign suppliers are dumping. Proving that is never easy , but as the custodians of our trade policy the EU could at least try to do that to help.

The UK is going to need a lot of steel to build cars in our successful motor industry, to modernise and expand the railway, to add to the stock of taller offices and flats in our main cities, to sustain our oil, gas and petrochemical industry and for many other uses. This is worth fighting for. It once again highlights just how much damage to jobs and living standards some EU policies do.

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123 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Are you the only politician who has noticed that “the dear energy policy” is causing this distress and this heavy blow upon heavy blow to our prosperity in this country?
    Yup.

    And why is the EU so very anxious to wreck even more people’s lives? Well, let me explain: it is the Global Warming Scam which Labour (the party of the worker and the Trades Unions) brought in under Mr Miliband in the UK government and which is so warmly supported by the RSPB (Somerset Levels), Greenpeace, and the like in Brussels. It is now part of the built in common sense of both bodies and it stinks.

    If the Conservatives pretend to be the party of the working man, they must listen to your extremely realistic and sensible advice – not tomorrow or by 2020 but yesterday!

    Let’s see if they do.

    • Rita Webb
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Do you think people are daft? Look where it gets its money. Look who it gets to represent itself in Parlaiament. It’s economic policies are detrimental to the ordinary working man. It will either enable his job to be sent abroad or flood the labour market so he can hardly get a living wage. While his savings are whittled away by their ZIRP. It only wins elections because Labour consistently picks leaders that are of such low quality it makes them look competent.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood has not been the only politician speaking out on this. UKIP MEPs have been highlighting this for a considerable time, and there has been a lot on the UKIP website from Jonathan Arnott, local MEP for Redcar area (Oct. 12 posting), and Janes Collins, UKIP employment spokesperson. Roger Helmer (UKIP spokesman on energy and industry) has also been very vocal and active on this issue.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        They are the only party talking sense where energy is concerned and agree with you that Roger Helmer’s blog is excellent. UKIP don’t get credit when it is deserved.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Peter Lilley and Graham Stringer know about the problem too and maybe a few others. Even the Germans seem to understand which side their bread is buttered and their barmy green politicians are not protesting about dirty coal stations and bungs for their ungreen industry.

      But when it comes to slapping an anti-dumping order on the Chinese, Giddy has just been enjoying himself in China and offered them £2bn and an order for Chinese rails, if they are interested in lending us the money off balance sheet, and there will be a dinner this week with the Chinese president and possibly Charles the Green there. And, oh dear, there are those Chinese nukes too.

      • stred
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Just thought of a new term for the Treasury’s expensive off balance sheet ‘hire purchase’ government investments. CFI- Chinese Finance Initiative or Chifi.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        The UK government cannot slap an anti-dumping order on imports of Chinese steel into the EU, that is a matter for the EU. Just as the UK could not decide to accept cheaper low energy light bulbs made in China when the EU had put in place anti-dumping measures on behalf of all the EU member states.

      • Peter Stroud
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        You are absolutely correct about a Peter Lilley and Graham Stringer, both are scientifically qualified (rare examples in the Commons), and both are AGW sceptics. The ridiculous, fanatical acceptance of the current Manmade climate change led energy policies, is killing the heavy industry in the West, though, as already stated: Germany seems to have solved the problem of avoiding the trap.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      They are one and all the same. They all support the global climate change baloney. Cameron signed us up to EU co2 targets until 2030. The same day it was publicised that he wouldn’t pay the £1.7 billion, which he later did of course.
      The msm don’t mention the climate change and costs of energy in their reports of the steel industry and heavy industry under threat. A coincidence or EU Government manipulation?
      We don’t have a sovereign democracy any more. Please wake up. The legacies have us given up to Merkel, Junker etc. They decide as is increasingly reported and dithering Dave does as he’s told! As Merkel keeps telling EU members they will have their quotas of the invaders she invited!

      • Timaction
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Closure of heavy industry in the UK is Government policy as they can’t have lower co2 emission’s and heavy industry. Full stop. Cameron and other legacy party leaders have signed us up to this unproven nonsense. They are simply exporting jobs abroad who will produce more CO2 in a different part of the planet. It’ll make the fools feel better and us poorer as they ship the steel and other co2 intensive products back using fossil fuelled ships!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 19, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Exactly

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Mike, couldn’t have put it better myself!

    • yosarion
      Posted October 21, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      The one thing that know one seems to mention is prior to this dumping of steel the Chinese also devalued its currency , bot know one seems to think this is a contributing factor, Hey Ho I guess the price of new Nuclear power plants will be cheaper on the balance sheet for now.

  2. Rita Webb (Mrs)
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Sorry but you are barking up the wrong tree here. Its not the EU but your neo lib globalised economic agenda thats the cause of the problem. Norway is often held up as an example of being what its like to be without the shackles of the EU. Erm well how is its aluminium industry on getting even with the advantage of very low cost hydro-electric power? Similarly whats happening with Australia’s aluminium business? If you are willing open your borders up to a serial currency manipulator and dumper like China what can you expect? How is a worker in the West going to compete with a low cost Asian counter part whether they are in or out of the EU?

    • dumpling
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I have recently returned from Norway and I am told that HEP while once cheap is now more expensive than in the UK.

    • forthurst
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      “how is [Norway]’s aluminium industry on getting even with the advantage of very low cost hydro-electric power?”

      From Norsk Hydro’s 2014 Annual Report:

      “It is a healthy development that aluminium demand exceeds
      production and has started eating into the large inventories in
      the world outside China. It was very satisfying that higher all-
      in metal prices and lower costs enabled Hydro to report its
      best ever quarterly result in 4th quarter of 2014 since
      becoming a pure play aluminium company in 2007, with
      record contributions from Primary Metal and Bauxite &
      Alumina.”

      • Rita Webb (Mrs)
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Not much fun for their Aussie employees who had their plant mothballed

        • forthurst
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          So you are arguing in favour of being the owner rather than owned. Exactly. A lesson which our treacherous politicians will not learn even if we become buried in a mothball mountain as foreign capital determines the ebb and flow of our prosperity.

          • Rita Webb (Mrs)
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            No, no, no. Have a read of Sir James Goldsmith’s “The Trap”, You can hardly expect otherwise if you put the First World into direct competition with the Third. Going back to the aluminium biz check the “Chicago Tribune” website (unfortunately JR moderated my link) and you will find an article on how China is undercutting the rest of the world, even Russia. Do not believe everything you read in annual reports.

          • forthurst
            Posted October 19, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

            I am perfectly well aware of James Goldsmith’s view of neoliberalism; as to company reports, they are issued within a framework of law which as far as I’m aware does not apply to the MSM.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 19, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            Rita Webb

            So we shouldnt believe everything in an audited annual report but we should believe everything we read in an American newspaper. Oh Ok.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            Libbie & Forthurst you both need to brush up your knowledge on what the auditors responsibilities are with regard to the accounts and the promotional guff that also goes into an annual report

  3. margaret
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    This is why we shouldn’t shrink the steel industry. Imports are good whilst they are cheap, but then those who we rely upon suddenly get the message.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      They plan in decades our lot of the Westminster fools in weeks!

  4. alan jutson
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we should do as Germans do and not what they say for a change.

    Put the UK interests first and do what is necessary to retain some of this vital manufacturing capacity.

    The Greens have remained consistently silent on this issue I note.
    I wonder what their solution would be ?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      The Greens answer to everything seems to be more and more ‘renewable’ energy and open door to as many migrants as would like to come and live here – the more the merrier, for them.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Mr Cameron is now getting the feeling that by remaining in the EU, he is trying to tie the Country to a dying corpse.

    I like all of our so called partners in the EU, I wait to see what his actual demands are going to be when he eventually lists them.

    Guarantee they will be nothing like the original so called proposals/demands, and will amount to nothing more than some watered down trivia.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      “I wonder if Mr Cameron is now getting the feeling that by remaining in the EU, he is trying to tie the Country to a dying corpse.”

      I think you give him too much credit, Cameron is the product of a system that turns out people well versed in how to play Westminster games under the over all control of Brussels who set out the policy frame work. He is there to represent Brussels to us, while pretending to be person leading the country. As such it doesn’t matter to him that he has tied us to a dying corpse, as long as he gets to play his irrelevant games.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      He listed the general headings on the news the other day. Does it include freedom of movement restrictions? No, a few untried or costed benefit restrictions. So the Eastern European invasion will continue. Fishing or agricultural policy. No. Criminal Justice powers? No. Leaving the EU HCR? No. The man is and always has been a spinner without a backbone. His party needs to remove him if they are serious about real change and the EU. Cameron has no incentive to do so as he is leaving fairly soon!
      It will, as it was predicted by the only honest and patriotic party, be much a do about nothing and certainly no fabled treaty change!

  6. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Listening to an earlier interview with Geoffrey Howe last night it sounded very similar. Slight change of actors and as usual no lessons learnt.

    I guess asylum seekers(?) won’t be able to get work in the Steel industry amongst others shortly. However, 84 Bishops want much more fit young refuges(?) to be accommodated and so does Sturgeon. Seems very easy to say and attracts much applause…how is it executed. Is their any form of accounting or at least brain engagement before they say/push these things? It does indeed sound pig headed. Unfair on pigs really, lets say just ignorant.

    The constant harsh goading by the SNP is very difficult to ignore and comes over as a distinct threat. Not unlike the new-ish Labour party.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s OK for Sturgeon to say that because they would not necessarily stay in Scotland. Any more than those rescued from the sea and landed in Italy necessarily want to stay there, but they have more problems getting themselves into England.

    • dave roderick
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      let the bishops and the migrants all move to scotland give scotland inipendance and build a big wall on the scotish border problem sorted

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Indeed once again we have the EU and our government shooting its industry (and its tax base) in the foot, exporting and destroying countless jobs.

    But Cameron is a believer in this catastrophic warming religion and the EU agenda, or has he changed his mind now? He loves posing for silly PR photos with huskies in the Arctic. He loves being in the EU. He like wasting taxpayers money on grants for pointless, intermittent and hugely expensive offshore and onshore wind turbines and PV farms.

    In short he has no understanding of the engineering, science or economics of energy production and no understanding of the inevitable negative economic effects of such high energy prices, dictated by halfwitted government decree.

    How may elderly unable even to keep warm too?

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      First thing on the tele this morning, the bishops have said we should take another 30k refugees, as it is getting cold and they said two children died last year. Lets hope they have heaters this winter, but what about the thousands of old folks here who can’t afford to heat their badly insulated and draughty homes?

      In case of cuts this winter, in which case boilers will not operate, I am considering buying twenty 12v car batteries and linking them in series, then switching off the main intake and plugging into the boiler ring main during cuts. This would cost about£700. Any advice from engineers here please?

      • Martyn G
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Batteries are direct current (DC) and your boiler operates on alternating current (AC) and thus would not work. For light electrical AC loads such as timers and for short periods one could use a large leisure battery and an invertor to change its 12 or 24 volt DC into 230 volts AC – cost perhaps £200+. That said, you would need a qualified electrician to advise you as to the practicality of doing so – tampering with your mains supply is both illegal and hazardous.
        You mentioned Bishops & Immigrants/refugees and it gave me a splendid idea that might enable them to be housed.
        Billeting Orders! It has been done before (WWII) so why not now?

        • stred
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the advice re the inverter and transformer. I knew about the a/c problem but forgot to mention it. I have a new large capacity car battery, which I bought when wrongly advised by the rescue service after my car conked out. This should keep the boiler fan and pump going for a few hours. I am not sure a UPS would last through a power outage.Also have a friend who is a very good electrical engineer. We may go into business when the Smart grid turns out to be not so smart.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        You will need to convert to a/c. No need to by all those batteries. Go for a ready made standby UPS which would provide limited power for your boiler (providing everything else was switched off). Or have it wired into your heating system via a change over switch.
        I think power cuts will be the nemesis of the legacy parties as they are all culpable and stupid.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        You need an inverter 12 dc to 240 v ac or just a generator.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Just get a diesel generator. After all, this will be our governments answer to power cuts. Diesel generators!!!! So good for the planet!

    • bigneil
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “How many elderly unable even to keep warm too?”
      I’m nearly 64 -born and bread here, worked, and contributed till I had to retire at 60 through injury. DWP awarded me £3.01 a day -( £21.07 a week) for one year – to live on. After that I was told I qualified for – NOTHING. This meant I had to rely on my small works pension. Last xmas the temp inside my house was 8C – -yes – -eight – – – and xmas dinner was a sandwich of crisps. – – -and this xmas will see no difference.

      Compare this with the way illegal immigrants are treated – put in hotels, 3 meals a day provided, no electric bills, no water bills, free TV, free wifi, rooms cleaned etc. Then the govt add on £35 a week “spending money”. – -nearly forgot – -and apparently chauffeured round the country in stretch limos, if that report was true.

      I would say it makes me feel proud to be British – -but I would be being “slightly ” sarcastic.

      • stred
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Neil. Is it because you own your house, and therefore are what is called capital rich/income poor, that you receive no proper supplementary benefits? How long until you get your OAP?

        When I am looking after myself, I resort to cheap convenience meals and can recommend spam and chips, which hardly costs anything, with supermarket’s own brand baked beans or frozen veg. Crisps are quite an expensive snack, although tasty in sandwiches.

        The cheapest way to keep your house warm is draughtstripping and blocking redundant chimneys, as heat losses from excess ventilation can exceed conduction. Film covers over window also works, to provide insulation and draught sealing. Green deals are very expensive in comparison.

        As water meters are coming in, bills are going up. I have 3 properties where this has happened. One way to keep having a hot bath for aches and pains, instead of a shower in a cold room, is to save the water then cover the bath with bubble wrap to keep the water vapour in and let it go cold while heating the house. Then use the water to flush the toilet all day, using a bucket.

        Don’t let the ******* get you down.

        • margaret
          Posted October 20, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          I have been in similar situations with 2 children. I am 64 now and things have improved. I am on my own and still worry about costs. I have had a new boiler fitted and it is so warm, I fall asleep with the heating on and then stress.
          In past years I have heated one room and stayed under a duvet.

          As Stred says we are penalised if we have struggled to buy our own homes and take pressure off the state. This mentality is wrong.

          If you live anywhere near Bury you are welcome to come for a meal at Christmas time if you are facing crisps and a sandwich.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic – What is the point of making our manufacturing environmentally friendly only to close it down and outsource the work to dirty factories in the Far East ?

      Subsidy has long been anathema to the Tories.

      Withdrawal of subsidy from British industry might have worked since Thatcher, had subsidy been withdrawn in the form of welfare too.

      “But that would have been too harsh to do at the same time”

      No. That should have been the whole point of it. What sense did it make to turn us into a thriving welfare society ?

      Look at the state of our economy now. And the fact that millions of pushy young blokes are fighting each other to get here because we give away free money.

      etc ed

  8. Richard1
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    It is ironic to hear leftist politicians From Labour and the SNP wail loudly about this and blame the government when of course the principle reason heavy industry in the UK is fast becoming uncompetitive is the green crap policies these same leftists have foisted on us.

  9. lojolondon
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    John, you continuously refer to ‘legal’ ways to make our industry work, saying “this is difficult or illegal” – “this is possibly legal” etc. This is the UK Parliament we are talking about – how did we ever come to a situation where a decision made by the British parliament on behalf of British people is “illegal” ?? – It beggars belief, and any British leader or representative democracy would be turning in their graves as such a situation! The referendum can’t come soon enough for us!

    Reply We came to this bad position by the UK voters voting for the EEC in 1975 and by electing pro EU Parliaments for much of the time since.

    • matthu
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      “We came to this bad position by the UK voters voting for the EEC in 1975 … and by electing pro EU Parliaments for much of the time since.”

      That would be the Conservative Party, Labour and the Coalition government then?

      • matthu
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        I would say that we came to this bad position because governments we elected deliberately misled the electorate about the nature and importance of various treaties.

        • Timaction
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          This absolutely correct, FCO 30/1048 from 1971 spells out the lies and spin that the legacy parties have told the British people who trusted their politicos to tell the truth about treaties they were signing us up to. Many of them under Tory leadership as well as Labour, supported and conspired with by the Lib Dems. Only UKIP have told the truth and continue to spread the word far and wide. We still have the legacies leadership lying about the supposed benefits or risks with their remain proposals. It is and always has been about the creation of a single superstate by stealthy incremental treaty change. They can’t and won’t tell the truth in any campaigning, but we will!

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      And what happens when a Eurosceptic party comes along? The entire British and Unionist Establishment along with a biased and partial MSM, rounds on the party and attempts to destroy it with smears and lies about the leaders and members.

      So much for democracy, ok as long as the people support the right parties.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Correct. Even the party which is most often found loudly proclaiming the benefits of competition doesn’t like it when a new party starts competing with it for votes, and will do whatever it can to destroy that competitor.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. The British public were misled and you know this very well John. I am disappointed in your reply. Spin and lies are all we seem to get now.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The EU did not start the damaging legislation and policies that are doing so much harm to our industries and businesses they are just perpetuating and expanding them. We have the well intended if the very misguided to thank for that. These people are made up mostly from those on the political left; the eco-loons, the progressives, the statists, cannot mind their own business brigades and the like. Aided and abetted by politicians, bureaucrats and other vested self interest groups who care not how good or bad their actions are only in justifying their own existence and keeping power so as to impose their ideology on the rest of us.

    Relying on central control to decide what is in our best interests is not working as it is inflexible and relies on the dogma of the few that does not reflect the empirical evidence of the many. Whist we have the governments that we currently have the damaging process of losing more and more of our businesses(and not just businesses but many other things as well) to foreign competition will continue unabated. As the saying goes “you cannot fight City Hall”.

    The answer of course is to get rid of City Hall or at least diminish it’s power and in our case the start must be made by quitting the EU. Then to reduce the roles that government do and to reduce the influence of the well intended and the rest and make more decision based on what is practicable and prudent. But then there will be snow in hell before we go down that path.

  11. agricola
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    We are amongst the highest cost countries for industrial electricity in the World at $0.154 per Kw Hr. In Europe we are only bested by Germany at$0.1921 and Italy at $0.2101 I know not what scams they indulge in to subsidise their industry, perhaps you could enlighten us.

    UK $0.154 Kw Hr.
    USA $o.10
    Canada $0.0811
    Sweden $0.0787

    I imagine the USA is low due to fracked natural gas and Canada, Sweden due to hydro-electric power. EU countries vary from $0.1921 to $0.1008 dependant on natural resources and how green they wish to be.

    In terms of steel, we in the UK need to decide whether it is strategically necessary to have our own industry or to be dependant on imports. We already have to import much steel that we need because we have failed in the past to invest in it’s production. When I see the litany of abysmal failures in government decision making I am not holding my breath.

    If in some damascene moment government starts to think intelligently then they have to deal with the points you mention. Cease praying at the altar of the green religion, put an end to business rates which are a tax on jobs, and tackle dumping via the WTO. Most of this adds up to a rapid exit from the EU, membership of which stands in the way of UK action.

  12. Mark B
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    You need to look at the Climate Change Act and the fact that the UK Parliament ‘Gold Plated’ what was EU legislation.

    You also need to look at your negotiating skills when it comes to building new energy plants. We could do better with a smaller but more numerous sealed nuclear reactors like those in our submarines. These are built by, Rolls Royce and would help to preserve jobs here in the UK, keep both technology and production here and would help lower the cost of Britain’s nuclear submarines.

    I am against any sort of subsidy to industry. You end up with a situation where the industries can then threaten government for more money less they close it down. ie crony capitalism.

    We seem to be heading back to the days of the 1970’s and all the troubles from them. Big bullying unions, far-left wing Labour, inefficient, dependent and non-cost effective industries, over supply of labour, rising public and state debt, and the specter of power cuts.

    All we need now to complete the picture, is for the bin men and grave diggers to go on strike. Oh, and flaired trousers 🙂

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    While foreign nations have a long view and protect their industrial base in the difficult times, the laissez faire addicts of the British establishment couldn’t care less, with the result after our industrial base is turned into a waste land and productive jobs are turned into zero hour contracts stacking shelves, our political classes wonder why we hemorrhage money funding a massive current account deficit.

  14. JoeSoap
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The poor old steel industry has suffered in 2 bouts of flu in the past 50 years.
    In the 80s the strong pound (oil, banks, high interest rates) clouted the industry badly throughout Europe. The French and Italians learned how to support their industries, the Germans specialised and boosted domestic demand, whereas we (rightly or wrongly) let it go – we had lower domestic demand anyway and a free market philosophy.
    Now the industry is suffering from the reverse of a free market philosophy – your government has increased labour costs (minimum wage, taxation), increased the cost of living and the cost of remaining on land and in business through pumping up asset prices, sky high business rates for larger premises -against the free market, and is manipulating upwards energy costs as you indicate above.

    Far more steps are needed on wider bases than you indicate here –

    Business rates need to be GOT RID OF, government spending needs proportionately to REDUCE, giving businesses the chance to invest that money in the UK and therefore annihilate the need for welfare spending at these levels.

    Silly NEST, minimum wage and other nannying employment laws need to be consigned to the dustbin.

    Immigration needs to be controlled domestically according to the needs of the indigenous population. Anything else is tantamount to us denying the battles our ancestors fought for independence from foreign powers.

    Manipulation of property prices here by silly government schemes, propping up banks and property assets rather than business assets and ideas needs to stop.

    Only then can we start to think about industries such as steel being able to thrive in a worldwide-competitive environment.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      PS 2nd sentence -and the steel industry was clouted badly throughout Europe….

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Sounds a bit socialistic, JR. I feel sure that Mrs Thatcher would have had none of it, she would have said that the UK steel industry was uncompetitive and should be shut down. After all the City could probably make up for it by devising complicated “financial products” instead of real products like steel.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      The existence of The City and their current and future vested interests in the developing world prevents the Western World from holding China to account .

      China routinely violates patent laws and steals protected I.P. yet no Western Govt will dare do anything about it .

      They e-mark products which they export to us even though the products do not comply with the relevent European and British Standards and are sometimes a danger to the operator .

      The U.K. has already sacrificed the indigenous I.T. industry to Indian outsourcers by designing an I.C.T. visa scheme which is intended to be abused .

      The authorities sacrifice Thames siders in Oxfordshire , Berkshire , Middlesex and Surrey so that the important people in London will not suffer flooding without any sort of cross-charging between councils .

      Now they are talking about using taxpayer guarantees to ensure Chinese nuclear powerplant manufacturers and operators make a killing on defective power stations just to help British banks in China and dealing the RMB .

      Pretty soon there will be no real industry left in the UK thanks to The City of London .

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        It certainly grates to hear people speak of the “financial services industry” and “financial products” when so many real industries making real products have been driven out of the country.

        • A different Simon
          Posted October 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          The financial services industry has grown past the point where it has become parasitic .

          Normally a parasite will not kill it’s host but that seems to be what is happening now .

          Governments want citizens who are demoralised , brow beaten and financially insecure . Banks want strong balance sheets .

          What better way to achieve both than to puff house prices so people are under the kosh for a mortgage they can’t really afford and sell the private pensions which don’t work ?

      • stred
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        They are all having a slap up big dinner tomorrow, charged to the UK taxpayer.

  16. Martyn G
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Do we actually have a sensible energy policy? Not so far as I can see and already the warnings are being given that if it is a hard winter, government will be asking (or demanding perhaps?) high users of energy (factories and the like) to shut down to conserve consumption so that lights and heating can stay on in houses.
    The continuing madness of closing power plants is utter folly – who in their right minds would do that before ensuring that replacement sources of energy are in place and running. Truly, we are ruled by people bereft of common sense and utterly out of touch with the real world.

  17. Ian wragg
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    What’s all the fuss about. It is government policy to decarbonise the economy which means turning the clock back 300 years. It’s no good wringing your hands when for the past 20 years you’ve had a series of idiots in charge of industrial and energy policy.
    We have a chancellor who welcomes Chinese dumping whilst encouraging them to invest in new nuclear stations. What’s wrong with issuing bonds so we can enjoy some of the returns.
    HS2 will probably be 80% foreign procured and then subsidised by the hapless taxpayer.
    The chickens of your stupidity are well and truly coming home to roost.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg ,

      Perhaps these infrastructure bonds should be made a mandatory component of funded public sector pensions and a partially funded state pension .

      That way the older generation helps the younger generation .

      If the civil servants and MP’s understood their future depended on these things they might start to act in the countries interest .

  18. Tad Davison
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    And yet the EU enthusiasts such as Salmond and a host of others on the opposition benches who squawk the loudest about government intervention in cases like the closure of the Redcar steel works, consistently fail to make the connection between our uncompetitive industries and high energy prices, because of the UK’s membership of the EU.

    This shows in graphic relief that the place is run in a socialist centric way, and why the UK needs to get out of the EU altogether. The rest of the world, especially China, must be laughing at us, because they will ultimately gain from our closures, and with a steel works, once the ovens are shut down, that’s it – finished.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Quite right Tad and don’t forget poor old Scotland covered in wind turbines because of Mr Salmond’s obsession with wind! Nicola Sturgeon is no better and wants the wind industry to be continued to be subsidised while other industries collapse.

  19. Alan Wheatley
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    If, as is being said, China is dumping steel on the World market because of its own over-production, one thing we can be sure of is that the UK, under this Tory government, is going to do nothing to stop it. After all, Osborne has gone cap in hand to China to get them to fund our infrastructure, and the last thing this top political calculator will want is to undermine the chances of getting it.

    So, the prospect is not only that China will fund our nuclear power plants, but also that it will have so ruined our steel industry that the specialist steel needed to build them will not be coming from the UK but from China.

    I think it is appalling behaviour from successive governments that the UK has gone from being the World leader in nuclear power generation to having no capability to do it ourselves. AND this is despite the fact that we must still have at least some nuclear expertise because of the nuclear deterrent and the nuclear reactors in our submarines.

    What a cock-up!

    PS: I should add the the Main-Stream-Media, particularly the BBC, do themselves no credit by their pathetic coverage over many years of these strategic national issues.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s an EU decision, not a UK government decision.

      https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=eu+steel+anti+dumping

      You see, by working through the EU we get more clout than we would if we were isolated and friendless, provided of course that other EU countries agree with us and the EU eventually gets round to doing something about it.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Indeed, Denis, how right you are. But UK government(s) decisions have been flawed long before this particular dictate from the EU.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Germany seems to be able to do what it likes when it likes – viz coal fired energy instead of nuclear and , subsidies wherever and whenever they are appropriate . We must do the same before Brexit ; we can not wait for the tide of competition to push us into the sidelines . The provision of steel is a core need to much of our manufacturing industry and it must be available at a competitive price ; whether this is achieved by subsidy or by some other means is neither here nor there .

  21. oldtimer
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The UK`s stupid energy policy is undoubtedly a contributor to the problem faced by the steel industry, and other heavy users. Of course shutting down industrial users was one of the objectives of the coalition set out in its Carbon plan – signed by Cameron, Clegg and Huhne. I hear that it is still policy to shut down industrial users in order to keep electricity supply flowing to other consumers; quite how those businesses are expected to stay competitive in such circumstances is a problem that has not appeared on the government radar – the financial rebates offered will not be enough.

    Germany, after Merkel peremptorily shut down its nuclear industry, is investing in new coal fired power stations (including, it seems according to another poster here some weeks/months ago, equipment dismantled at the late Didcot coal fired power station!).

    While on the subject of CO2, I draw you attention to this talk given by Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace (though no longer a member) at Lord Lawson`s GWPF. Link here:
    http://www.thegwpf.com/28155/
    There is also an excellent forward by Freeman Dyson on the state of so-called “climate science”. It should be required reading for the present government.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes oldtimer they are certainty using the station and step up transformers from Didcot. Another point is Germany is building lignite fired power stations which is the filthiest fuel on earth. It doesn’t matter because Angela does as she wants. 4th coming indeed.

  22. Kenneth
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I agree that this terrible damage to our steel industry could have been avoided if we were not subject to eu regulations. However, this is not the fault of the eu. It is our fault for maintaining our relationship with it and for many more damaging socialist policies.

    We must face the fact that, in order to maintain popularity, political parties must cow-tow to the opinions of the so called ‘liberal elite’ which dominate mainstream media.

    The Labour Party, to its credit, has temporarily rejected this idea and has moved towards communism. The Conservatives have responded by concluding their conversion to New Labour. Suddenly the Conservatives are in favour at the BBC and Labour are the bad guys.

    Sooner rather than later the Labour Party will ‘come back to the fold’ and this will leave the Conservatives out in the cold. All those lost jobs and damaging socialist policies would have been pointless.

    Until we tackle the dominance of one voice in the media, this drift toward socialism will carry on and more lives will be ruined.

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I prefer cheap energy controlled by us and anti-dumping controlled by us. Leave the EU now, not in 2017.

  24. dumpling
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The media emphasise the fact that steel prices have dropped through the floor, but so has the price of the main raw material iron ore by 70%. This gives even greater credence to the argument that the high energy price is the main reason for closures and relocation abroad where cheaper energy is available.

  25. Bob
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “business rate relief. This too would be a possibly legal way of assisting our industry at a time of cut throat competition from abroad “

    Repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 would be another legal way of saving the UK from economic suicide.

  26. A different Simon
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    John ,

    British Institutions typically invest overseas in developing countries .

    In order to protect their investments overseas they must handicap British industry to eliminate the competition .

    Sadly they have the influence to do this and their main tools are the established political parties and the EU .

    The impoverishment of Westerners is no accident .

    Cameron and Westminster (and the people in Brussels too) are just doing what they are told by the global elite .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 19, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      There’s a lot in what you say.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        It’s like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” : –

        “don’t sleep , they come from you while you are sleeping”

        We’ve been hollowed out without realising it .

        This week Cameron and Osborne are holding a closing down sale .

        Contracts for a completely contrived development (HS2) to be handed to China so it can fulfill it using brought in Chinese labour .

        To what end ?

  27. miami.mode
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    It’s a simple choice – you do or you don’t.

    If a large industrial operation such as a steel works closes, it’s extremely doubtful that it would ever open again.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    The subsidy of production industries in the emissions-compliant/carbon taxed west:

    I see no other way (except through reduced consumption) of making the emissions targets work than by subsidising emission compliant/carbon taxed factories.

    It makes no sense closing them down and then giving the business to ‘cheap’ and dirty factories in the East.

    In any case. The subsidies won’t stop if our steel factories close. Whole benefit towns will be funded as they were in the former mining districts.

    Far better to subsidise skilled work than subsidise idleness and indolence as we have done in the past (a policy now world famous and drawing millions to our shores.)

    I see that the Tory’s degrading of apprenticeships has hit the news. Someone prominent has pointed out that making coffee should NOT class as an apprenticeship.

    This sleight of hand has been as befitting of Nu Labour as it is Blue Labour.

  29. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The topmost reason highlighted by UK Steel producers and British exporters in general prior to Media political massaging of the question and answers was the over-high Pound Sterling. Not energy costs per se.

    Wrong to blame the EU. It is predominantly a Conservative Party initiated and continued export of our manufacturing industries. Remember the late Mrs Thatcher’s hoot about uneconomical coalmines? She bought from General Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski , the Polish Red Army Commander in preference. Then she thought our steel workers were also uneconomic and exported much of our steel-making capability by building steel mills in Brazil in partnership with Communist Czechoslovakia and according to BBC World Service at the time, signed an agreement in addition for “the exploitation of third markets ”
    The real question for the us in regard to steel is “Do we want a Steel industry? ” YES
    In regard to the EU there is not ONE simple question but FOUR

    1. Do we want the EU to have UK Sovereignty? NO
    2. Do we want the Conservative Party to hold UK Sovereignty? NO
    3. Do we want the Labour Party to hold UK Sovereignty? NO
    4. Do we want UKIP who desire to become Lords and Ladies to hold UK Sovereignty? NO

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Parliament is sovereign, we just need to make better choices at the ballot box.

      • Bob
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        “Parliament is sovereign, we just need to make better choices at the ballot box.”

        The electorate has been dumbed down and gerrymandered.

  30. forthurst
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    “Save our steel”

    …but it’s not ours, is it? Indeed, when we blather about what we will do once we have sloughed off the EU’s shackles, we are ignoring the reality that most of our engineering industry is foreign owned, so our hard won autonomy will be massively constrained. We have allowed ourselves to become a sweatshop economy in which serfs toil all day for foreign owners and then return to a squalid non purpose-built flat after work. Some are more fortunate: e.g. those who work in the massively overstaffed Department for Business Innovation and Skills which provides inducements to foreigners to come here and employ our serfs, whilst filling our Universities with foreigners doing STEM subjects and girlies doing useless arts subjects.

    To what do we owe being the fifth largest economy? Well, we have one of the most successful buy-to-let industries in the world and don’t forget the hedge fund industry (as Osborned so described it) which is crucial for funding the party of CMD, the pretend conservative and indeed everything else.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      We are also supposedly world leaders in demolition (blowing buildings up) which seems fitting for a country that led the world in manufacture then gave it all away ….

      • libertarian
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Ken Moore

        Oh for crying out loud

        I get so fed up listening to people who just cant see the wood for the trees, who live in a perpetual time warp.

        The UK is the 5th largest manufacturing nation on the planet, we lead the world in a number of sectors such as mobile comms, medical technology, aerospace etc .

        Manufacturing has changed just like everything else, evolution happens. Technology has had a profound effect on manufacturing. More manufacturing has returned ( on shoring) to small and medium sized businesses. Robotics, software and 3D are all major components in 21st century manufacturing

        • forthurst
          Posted October 19, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
        • stred
          Posted October 19, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          I am not too informed ,only from folks I know in the sector, but as our steelworks are quite efficient in comparison to FE works and we still will need steel for railways, cars etc, don’t you think it would be a good idea to tax it less and keep the industry?

          • Ken Moore
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            Any right thinking person can see steel is an important strategic asset and capability – except the leadership of the Conservative party who are lap dogs to their eu masters. Add up the costs of sickness benefits, social and family breakdown and the jobs lost in the wider economy..

            We need the high tech jobs ..but also some heavy industry too.

            If we are so advanced and well informed now, why is it a good idea to ship steel from China to the Uk…at the same time as imposing heavy energy tariffs on our steelmakers to kurb CO2 emissions ?

          • miami.mode
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            Ken has responded to you pointing out that we ship the steel from China and I do not have any figures but I did read that large ships are some of the worst polluters on the planet by the use of the very cheapest bunker fuel.

            I believe the EU is trying to phase out bunker fuel on European ferries so despite our general feelings on them they do seem to have some redeeming qualities.

          • Ken Moore
            Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            Indeed container shipping is a filthy energy intensive business.

            Consider that for China to make steel it has to import massive quantities of scrap steel (some from as far afield as the UK). The iron ore also has to be imported.
            The product is then shipped back to the Uk ..this is madness!

            We in the Uk are blessed with large reserves of coal and iron ore but have chosen not to use them..It makes no sense long term economically and environmentally it is a disaster!.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Much of what passes for ‘manufacturing’ here is in fact relatively low skilled assembly operations for foreign owned companies. The BMW Mini for example has only 40% of it’s parts sourced in the Uk. A fraction of these will be actually made here.

  31. William Long
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Once again we have to ask why this common sense view is not being shouted from the rooftops by anyone else? It would certainly drum up a few ‘Out’ votes in heavy industrial areas, perhaps even in Scotland!
    To prevent repetition of this kind of mistake, I think there is a really crying need for a ‘real world prior experience’ qualification to be imposed on would-be MPs of both houses. I would define this as at least five years experience in any commercial or industrial field, including work on the factory floor, but excluding PR, the media or acting as any form of assistant or adviser in the political field. I have an open-ish mind on whether the law would qualify.

  32. ian
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    You say save our steel, I do not remember you saying that in the eighties when your government laid off 155,000 steel workers and was shouting bankers at the top of your voice. Whats the difference today, Yes 155.000 workers and a lot of them put on disablement pensions for life.
    That was 77% of the steel workforce then so that should be about 7000 workers left today

    I do remember about two years ago your government saying that it would shut down industry make sure there will be good supply of electricity for the people in the winter and with more refugees and immigrant coming in this year your government is keeping to if promise.

    Also wet & mad just come back from china with his ex EM fund manager sidekick who could not make it in the fund manager world now on 1 million a year plus pension out of the public funds with sign agreements with china to build and to supply nearly all your big infrastructure and they bring all the men supply and equipment like steel with them.

    You cannot say you did not know, it been years in the planning.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, Ian.

      We don’t need heavy industry anymore. There are coffee shop *apprenticeships* with in-work top-ups available for everyone who wants them, including the pushy young blokes heading this way – that’s if they choose to work, of course.

      I no longer believe government figures be they on crime, jobs – national debt. They are nothing more than Tractor Stats.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        You cannot fail to notice the numbers of young men (looking more and more like thugs) battering their way to the front of the queues for trains into Europe whilst ignoring the women with children. This is what we are going to have to contend with. A load of men who have no respect for women. Wait for the violence to explode in the UK.

  33. willH
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Just why are we lending money to Roman Abramsky to upgrade a steel plant in Canada, as reported the other day? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3255917

  34. petermartin2001
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    We do not suffer the intense misery of the fixed exchange rates and EU managed budgets afflicting Greece, Spain and Portugal, but we are suffering from the dear energy policy and from the lack of EU action over fair trade in steel.

    What is fair trade? In the absence of government intervention in the forex markets trade will always balance. The countries exporting more find their currencies in higher demand and so become more valuable. This makes their exports more expensive and so the volume of their exports decreases. Conversely with the importing countries.

    So the fact that there is a permanent imbalance, on a worldwide scale, indicates that there is significant government intervention everywhere in those forex markets. The UK runs a significant trade deficit of some 5% of GDP. It does that by selling gilts on the international markets, the demand for which forces up the pound and makes UK exports more expensive than they should be according to the workings of the free market.

    So, notwithstanding any arguments about the cost of energy, the higher exchange rate means that it is less economic to produce steel in the UK than it need be.

    The solution is obvious. Stop selling gilts, save on the interest bill, and let the pound find its own level. Those who say that Britain is “living beyond its means” have to accept that artificially inflating the pound’s value, over and above what it should be is the source of the problem. If government needs some spending money to temporarily replace the loss of revenue from gilts it should just create it, by PQE, until a new equilibrium based on balanced trade is reached.

    Once the external deficit is balanced, the internal deficit will reduce as less money leaves the economy and there is less need for deficit spending by government to replace that lost money. Any deficit spending can then be used to grow the economy rather than maintain the status quo as it is now.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      This assumes every nation does what you want them to do.
      If just the UK agreed to follow your advice I do not see how it would be good for us alone.

      Also you assume trading surpluses are not spent internally.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        The UK government could balance its trade easily enough just by stopping paying out interest on gilts, or if that wasn’t enough it could charge anyone, like Switzerland already charges, for storing their money in Swiss Francs. In other words, whatever it takes to keep ‘hot’ money out of the country. That’s not assuming that any other country does what the UK wants it to do.

        Trading surpluses can’t be spent internally, for the simple reason that, if they were, they’d attract more imports which would mean they were trading surpluses any more!

        • Edward2
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          So who would buy these gilts at the next time of offering after you have reneged on the contracted agreement to pay interest to the lender?

          Trading surpluses can be spent internally.
          My manufacturing company used to export. We sent goods off and received money into our bank account from our overseas customers via direct debit.
          We used that money to purchase things in the UK and help pay wages and salaries.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted October 23, 2015 at 12:57 am | Permalink

            Edward2,

            Your’re referring to export revenues which aren’t the same as export surpluses.

            If export surpluses are allowed to accumulate in the economy they, like any added money, create inflation. So how does Germany handle its 7% (of GDP) export surplus? Fortunately for the German govt, Germans are big savers. They save pretty much all of that surplus. This means that even though German taxes are high they they need only need to be high enough to run a balanced budget.

            If German savers only saved 5% instead of 7% the govt would run a 2% surplus in its budget.

  35. adams
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Your party just like the Lib/Lab are EU fixated . Dictator Cameron should be getting us out of the Climate fixated EU ASAP . No chance of that is there ? You are like someone on the Titanic John .
    You warn of icebergs but no one cares or listens .

  36. Henry Kaye
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    As usual this site contains an abundance of intelligent and seemingly well informed opinions that point the finger in a few different directions. The only people who can possibly take any kind of necessary actions would, I suppose, be our elected Government but with the possible exception of our host there seems to be lack of knowhow or desire to change anything. If we are misguided then would our Government please enlighten us?

  37. Iain Gill
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just expensive energy, it’s also the way the quotas of pollution you are allowed to produce are traded. So it’s not unknown for company A to buy company B simply to acquire its pollution licences, and then transfer those licences elsewhere in its group making company B non viable. It’s also the way mandated anti-pollution measures are far more extreme than in other countries forcing companies to move production abroad rather than incurring the extra expense of the extra anti-pollution kit they would need here, which is just moving pollution elsewhere in the globe and not reducing net world pollution at all (indeed it’s often getting worse due to the flight to those countries with the worst standards).

  38. ian
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I told you on this blog about voting for parties, you are getting exactly what you voted for and like I said before you deserve all you got coming, you never learn. The usa is on the ropes, main street is died on it feet after three hard winter and turning my attention to hear good hard winter ahead and wet and mad budget gone, that bad news for you and if he doze not get the budget under 80 billion I feel that rates will start to move higher because he will start to lose the trust of the market and as for import the same thing, that’s when they will announce that interest rates are going up to make out that it them putting up interest rate not the market.
    That what happen in 2008 rich people withdrew their money from the money markets that the elite and the atm nearly shutdown, it just like blackmail, they will not go that far this time because they nearly took themselves out as well.
    Wet and mad is going to be put in a corner with chose of cutting the poor peoples money or cutting the rich people money who are living on government funds for doing little work and big business that refuse to pay tax and want hand outs from the peoples money.
    You been coned by every government that’s been in office, you paid for their religious wars you have your jobs taken from you over the years with lies, the whole media in on it as well, they get you to hate the people that are not working and say it all their fault and you believe them when you seat back and watched government policy rip your country apart to make people unemployed and still go to vote for more moaning all the time.

    You leave the protesting to hippy like people with rings in their noses because your busy looking after number one with your debts, if you had any sense you would down and stop paying your debts till you get change but wont do that because like being treated like a fool and your raped up in your house prices and toys, they play you like a fine tune.

    • Ted Monbiot
      Posted October 19, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      That rant sounded just like a Dave Spart article in Private Eye ian.
      “USA on the ropes”…come off it.

  39. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Quite simply, the EU has gone mad!

  40. A different Simon
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate that no country in the world is squeaky clean when it comes to human rights , including the UK .

    However , part of me will rejoice if tomorrow , Jeremy Corbyn makes mention of China’s current human rights violations .

  41. sm
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Look at the Redcar votes at the GE, strong Labour then the liberals with a glimmer of hope from UKIP, alas to late for Redcar Steel it seems, cons last.

    Yes its time for SOS, not just Steel but our Sovereignty as well.

    Where will all the steel come from to build UK infrastructure. When we have to do QE to fund fiscal infrastructure, when our real economy contracts as it will and we potentially lose skills hard to replace quickly.

    Note our crazy priced nuclear deals. If we insist on closing older coal stations we must ensure we have cost effective replacements built first.

  42. Ken Moore
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    We all know where the New Conservatives partys priorities lie – social justice, equality for ‘gay’ people, tackling climate change, and helping the world’s poorest. In effect any right on cause that plays well with the Notting Hill set.

    Saving a few thousand jobs in Teeside doesn’t really fit the agenda.

    Peter Hitchens said it well today when he rightly highlighted Cameron’s final transformation of John Redwood’s old party into the new New Labour party. Nail, hammer, head.

    ‘Blairism – its instinct is to lie. It is at bottom a nasty mix of greed, Leninist party discipline, advertising slickness and ruthless, intolerant political correctness. It attracts and promotes power-worshippers.’

    If Mr Osborne cared one jot about manufacturing he wouldn’t have implemented the unhinged climate change act …setting a target that is the most stringent in Europe as Germany goes hell for leather burning more and more brown coal.
    Mr Osborne cares more about appeasing a small but noisy politically correct climate change lobby than he does about protecting a core manufacturing industry. This is no way to run a banana republic never mind the formally Great Britain.

    JR you must sit with your head in your hands..staggered by the stupidity and short-sightedness of the leaders of your party…

    What if there was another great war – where would we find the steel and manufacturing capability to defend ourselves ?
    And we trust this lot to deliver a free and fair referendum…

  43. ian
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Because of this christian ideology and other types of ideology like socialist multiculturalism, people of normal thinking cannot have debate on the future of their country and that includes the unemployed.
    Politician and the media are standing in the way of this country moving forward as it should of done years ago, politics is standing in way of progress of the people of normal thinking not the EU, the EU unelective politician in the european parliament, they just pass law that the politician cannot get away with passing themselves in their manifesto on behalf of the elite and big business.
    The elite and business executive fly in and out of the country on private jet, no passport controls or customs for them, bring in and out what they like and pay no tax and are above the law and treat the people of this country like slaves and look down on them because they make them pay for everything they want and waste all the people taxes on what they like and the people have no say in the matter and top of that bring oversees people as many as you like just to rub the peoples noses in it.
    It not truth that your bound by european laws, your government can brake any european law it likes when it like and as for fines you do not have pay them all crap.

  44. petermartin2001
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I’m thinking a better title might be “save our democracy”!

    Those of us on the left , who are against the EU often use the argument that we’d like to keep the Westminster system where the major parties say what they are going to do and we then vote on the basis of what we hear.

    However, the recent decision to severely cut tax credits is undermining that argument. It just adds weight to those who say “They’re all the same. They say one thing and do another. Who cares any more?”

    So, notwithstanding any counter arguments that the cutting of tax credits might be a good thing, the Conservative leadership should have raised the matter for discussion in April and May instead of keeping quiet about their plans as they clearly did.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I saw much debate about “Tory cuts” to welfare in the pre election debates on TV.
      My local Conservative candidate spoke several times on the huge and expanding tax credit bill and the need for reform.
      So I can only assume you missed this.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted October 20, 2015 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Was your local candidate either David Cameron or George Osborne? It’ s what they say that really matters in the election period. David Cameron is on record as saying he didn’t “want to cut tax credits”. Those of us who are old enough and cynical enough know that this doesn’t mean a thing! But, many voters would have been taken in by what they would have taken to be a reassurance on this point.

        The media, and the pre-election Labour leadership, have been caught out on this one too. They needed to press Cameron and Osborne much harder than they did on their plans prior to the election.

        Reply I offered no such reassurance on tax credits and there was no pledge on them in the Conservative manifesto.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 21, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

          Every single Labour and Lib Dem candidate I listened to in the election run up was going on and on warning about “austerity” and “Tory welfare cuts”.
          The BBC were also regularly talking about cuts and the changes coming on tax credits.
          I cannot understand how you missed it all.

          • petermartin2001
            Posted October 23, 2015 at 1:17 am | Permalink

            I don’t believe I did miss anything but maybe you missed this?

            Question Time ‘Leaders Special’ April 2015

            #1

            Audience member: Will you put to bed rumours that you plan to cut child tax credit and restrict child benefit to two children?

            David Cameron: No I don’t want to do that—this report that was out today is something I rejected at the time as Prime Minister and I reject it again today

            David Dimbleby: You said you didn’t want to put to bed rumours that you were going to cut child tax credits—you meant you did want to put to bed the rumours?

            David Cameron: Yes—we have increased child tax credits.

            #2

            David Dimbleby: “Clearly there are some people who are worried that you have a plan to cut child credit and tax credits. Are you saying absolutely as a guarantee, it will never happen?”

            David Cameron: “First of all, child tax credit, we increased by £450..”

            David Dimbleby: “And it’s not going to fall?”

            David Cameron: “It’s not going to fall. Child benefit, to me, is one of the most important benefits there is. It goes directly to the family, normally to the mother, £20 for the first child, £14 for the second. It is the key part of families’ budgets in this country. That’s not what we need to change.”

  45. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Recent governments seem to have abandoned the concept of strategic industries. Who makes special steels here for example – are they safe, or already foreign owned – and where will we get the basics from now?

    For some time everything here has been ‘for sale’ and most has been sold, with indecent haste – the government and Mr Redwood call it ‘inward investment’ – , and I read today we have the begging bowl out again for even more Chinese money. Is there anything left that we can sell, Cameron and Osborne are perhaps readying our souls and have asked the City spivs to draw up plans. They would jump at the chance, they no doubt already unloaded their grandmothers.

    Just whose nation is it when vast tracts of business, infrastructure and property are owned by foreigners? This government doesn’t protect our vital interests because it doesn’t understand what they are.

    I would like to know if Mr Redwood could let us have a list of strategic industries and how they should be protected.

  46. Maureen Turner
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Have just heard the evening news 19/10/15 and it would appear not only is Redcar to close but the Scunthorpe plant is going to cut its workforce plus another steel manufacturer.

    I write this from north of the border and in 1992 I was working in Glasgow and remember well the closure of Ravenscraig. It was probably the last nail in the coffin of heavy engineering in Scotland’s industrial belt and it wasn’t just Motherwell that suffered but Hamilton, Wishaw, Airdrie and Coatbridge.

    For some reason steel production is the bell-wether of a nation’s economic virility so it would be very unwise to see these companies go under. Ravenscraig was nationalised and privatised three times over in its history but what finally sealed its fate were energy costs – coal and oil.

    Redcar and the others have hit the same problem but this time it is partly self inflicted by our obsession with AGW and conforming to EU emission targets. We send £ 50 million to Brussels each day so would it not be better spent on looking after ourselves for once and nationalise this industry. It doesn’t have to be long term merely a holding exercise until our government can hopefully see the way ahead. I’m not some rabid lefty, quite the reverse but sometimes political ideology has to be put to one side.

  47. ian
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Wet and mad go into battle, when he came into office tax credits were 23 billion a year, now they 30 billion a year, now he wants to cut them back to 25 billion a year, so why did he not put the 25 billion a year limit on before, was it to win the election.
    How is he going to keep it at 25 billion a year with 700,000 people coming in a year now with most of them wanting tax credits, so that means rolling cut every year for people on tax credits because the people leaving the country would not be on tax credits otherwise they would not be able to leave.

    All I see is the government taking on people for 500,000 to 1,000,000 a year and quangos starting everywhere, must be jobs for the boys.

    House of common 10 billion pound bill for repairs coming up, well over 60% of that must be profit for the boys.

    All wet and mad can say is, what can I do.
    Well how about seeing that no one who works for government or gets paid out of government money gets paid over 200,000 a year and cut the pensions back.

    Even if he cut the 5 billion in tax credits it will not save his budget and don’t for get I.N,
    go up next year for workers that have private pensions and company pension from 10.4% to 12% which is 500 pounds a week extra 5 pounds a week and 10 pounds a week on 820 pounds a week in all a extra 5 billion a year in tax.
    So if your on tax credits and self employed quit a big cut for you.

    He has plenty of money coming in for refugees the EU and the boys next year.

  48. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Words (almost) fail me. Is this government seriously going to stand by and watch us turn into a 3rd world country that has no steel making capacity?

  • About John Redwood


    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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