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John Drake

Thatcherism - The Political Debate Thread

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I know what inward investment is, thank you.

Nissan opening their factory at Sunderland was as a direct result of Thatcher's policy to attract inward investment to Britain to replace the outgoing heavy industry. She created Enterprise Zones and secured EC grants also (which St Helens refused due to the ongoing dumbness of its Labour run council and it's touchy feely relationship with Derek Hatton and the scouse militants - we are still counting the cost today).

Oh come on try using facts instead of opinion. St. Helens under thatcher kept all its major industry ( mining at the time wasn't ) it was in the late 80s/90 that Rockware, beechams, Ravenhead and UG left.

I'm not saying the town didn't suffer but it held on

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A threefer!

 

1. The Guardian

2. The talentless Mr Brand

3. A rubbish ghost writer!

 

:lol:  :lol:

too true, although the Guardian can be agood read and I enjoy the crossword.

Just how badly written was that. article

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A threefer!

 

1. The Guardian

2. The talentless Mr Brand

3. A rubbish ghost writer!

 

:lol:  :lol:

I had a feeling you would like it! :-)

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I do think she provides a good scapegoat. 

 

It's been 23 years since she was PM.  What have the PM's been doing since?

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I may not know a lot about rugby league but I do have some experience of the automotive industry.

 

The automotive industry is a complex  global enterprise where the concept of national ownership is now somewhat nebulous. Who owns what and where? who owns the shares and who gets any profit? You probably if you are paying into a unit trust or pension fund.

 

The volume vehicle companies are very much designers and assemblers sitting on top of a global network of tier 1, 2 and 3 sub assembly and component designers and manufacturers.  Dagenham is largely an engine assembly plant for Ford in Europe, for example, but they don't make the pistons. Cinetic Landis in yes..Keighley..is a leading manufacturer of crankshaft grinders.  http://www.cinetic-landis.co.uk/  Huge numbers of Ford radiators are manufactured in Turkey.  The Fiat Sedici and Suzuki SX4 are the same vehicle. Suzuki have had a manufacturing plant in Hungary for 22 years. Toyota in Derby have a target of 80% local European content.  Caterpillar-owned Perkins Engines in Peterborough make thousands of bug and expensive engines a week fir use in Caterpillar and other products throughout Europe.

 

According to the SMMT, the UK is home to seven volume car manufacturers, seven commercial vehicle manufacturers, 10 bus and coach manufacturers, eight major premium and sports car producers, and over 100 specialist brands; eight Formula One teams, second only to Germany in global market share in premium brands, over one million vehicles and two million engines are produced in the UK each year, more than 75% of vehicles manufactured in the UK are exported. see https://www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/uk-automotive-sector/ for even more info that shatters the myths about UK manufacturing.

 

Aston Martin is basically a British car company, owned by ProDrive, with some US money and Ford still have a share too. Use some Ford built engines. I'll be able to tell you more as we are due there later this year but if its anything like the Ferrari sports car factory in Maranello where I spent two days at last year, it'll be impressive.  Ferrari is owned by Fiat, a company that  has undergone a huge transformation since the end of their disastrous tie-up with GM.

 

Oh, and yes , pistons for Porsches made in Basingstoke....where they also make lots of fork-lift trucks.....

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I may not know a lot about rugby league but I do have some experience of the automotive industry.

 

The automotive industry is a complex  global enterprise where the concept of national ownership is now somewhat nebulous. Who owns what and where? who owns the shares and who gets any profit? You probably if you are paying into a unit trust or pension fund.

 

The volume vehicle companies are very much designers and assemblers sitting on top of a global network of tier 1, 2 and 3 sub assembly and component designers and manufacturers.  Dagenham is largely an engine assembly plant for Ford in Europe, for example, but they don't make the pistons. Cinetic Landis in yes..Keighley..is a leading manufacturer of crankshaft grinders.  http://www.cinetic-landis.co.uk/  Huge numbers of Ford radiators are manufactured in Turkey.  The Fiat Sedici and Suzuki SX4 are the same vehicle. Suzuki have had a manufacturing plant in Hungary for 22 years. Toyota in Derby have a target of 80% local European content.  Caterpillar-owned Perkins Engines in Peterborough make thousands of bug and expensive engines a week fir use in Caterpillar and other products throughout Europe.

 

According to the SMMT, the UK is home to seven volume car manufacturers, seven commercial vehicle manufacturers, 10 bus and coach manufacturers, eight major premium and sports car producers, and over 100 specialist brands; eight Formula One teams, second only to Germany in global market share in premium brands, over one million vehicles and two million engines are produced in the UK each year, more than 75% of vehicles manufactured in the UK are exported. see https://www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/uk-automotive-sector/ for even more info that shatters the myths about UK manufacturing.

 

Aston Martin is basically a British car company, owned by ProDrive, with some US money and Ford still have a share too. Use some Ford built engines. I'll be able to tell you more as we are due there later this year but if its anything like the Ferrari sports car factory in Maranello where I spent two days at last year, it'll be impressive.  Ferrari is owned by Fiat, a company that  has undergone a huge transformation since the end of their disastrous tie-up with GM.

 

Oh, and yes , pistons for Porsches made in Basingstoke....where they also make lots of fork-lift trucks.....

yes

at last.

 

I'v read a bit about this as well, and it has been the case  the case even before so called British Rover cars were re badged hondas with VW gearboxes.

 

My wife has a VW Sharan. She thinks she owns reliable german engineering. She doesn't believe me when I tell her that the inferior Ford galaxy, and the even more inferior Alhambra were/are made on the same production line...in Portugal.

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I believe you. I go to the Fiat factory every day. Fiats are made everywhere around the world Serbia, Brazil, China, the USA etc not that many are made in Italy these days.

 

Fiat also make Fords. The Ford Ka is basically a Fiat Cinquecento. It's made in the same factory on the same line.

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I know about the car industry.  The Nissan plant in Sunderland, for instance, was one of the first examples of inward investment attracted by Thatcher 

 

I'm pleased you agree that Thatcher was responsible for turning Britain into a screwdriver economy. It cost a fortune to get these companies to come here. I don't know what Nissan cost but we spent £40M just on groundwork for Toyota in Derbyshire.

 

The head of Nissan is a Frenchman. Whenever a new model comes along he threatens to build it in France unless we pay him a lot more money.

 

All the R&D, engineering, drawings, modelling, patent income etc is done abroad. All the senior management, engineers and technicians are Japanese. They came here because the workforce is highly skilled, cheap and easily sackable unlike the rest of Europe.

 

All the machine tools and every other bit of equipment is built and imported from Japan.

 

All the profits go abroad.

 

When the lifecycle of the plant comes to an end they will go elsewhere.

 

On balance we probably get little benefit apart from the wages.

 

Once you destroy your own industry it cannot be replaced.

 

That is Thatcher's legacy.

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What you overlook is that the car industry is pretty similar everywhere. All car companies are international, they don't belong to any particular country.

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What you overlook is that the car industry is pretty similar everywhere. All car companies are international, they don't belong to any particular country.

 

Try telling the German car industry that, or their chemical giants etc etc. I doubt if the French would be too happy either the lengths hey have gone to a.  ensure it is French and b. to ensure it survives.

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Try telling the German car industry that, or their chemical giants etc etc. I doubt if the French would be too happy either the lengths hey have gone to a.  ensure it is French and b. to ensure it survives.

 

 

Try telling the German car industry that, or their chemical giants etc etc. I doubt if the French would be too happy either the lengths hey have gone to a.  ensure it is French and b. to ensure it survives.

'german' cars are no different

see above about the Sharan, also the Mercedes 4x4 is made in the US, other models are built outside germany also.

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The "French" car industry  isn't surviving though. It's in the ######. Renault is only just hanging on... Renault's Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Swedish truckmaker Volvo AB and Russia's Avtovaz contributed 630m euros to the company's bottom line, up 13% on the year.  Renault is doing better than French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen, which posted an 819m-euro first half loss earlier this week and is in the process of cutting some 8,000 jobs.

Renault forecast global car demand would grow by 5%, but lowered its outlook for the European and French markets. Profit at its core car division fell 35% to 87m euros. The manufacturing arm spent 200m euros in cash as Renault increased vehicle inventories.

 

Classic situation that the UK car industry faced in the 1960s. Poor productivity,  union inflexibility,  uncompetitive products against the competition, and according to my French contacts, a decreasing tendency for the French to but French cars out of patriotism.

 

The "ownership" or otherwise of German and other companies  is also a fading concept. Who controls the company? Who owns the shares? Who gets the dividends? Where is the money spent? In the case of chemicals , where does the feedstock come from.  If a  "german" company buys North Sea oil  who pays teh tex and who gets the tax?  Often "ownership" is  for political or popular consumption. 

 

e.g  see http://www.basf.com/group/corporate/en/about-basf/index?mid=0

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company – T.With more than 110,000 employees, six fully-integrated sites and approximately 380 additional production sites worldwide we serve customers and partners in almost all countries of the world.In 2012, BASF posted sales of €72.1 billion and income before special items of approximately €6.6 billion.

 

What matters is not which nationality it claims to be but where the money comes from and goes to. 

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Try telling the German car industry that, or their chemical giants etc etc. I doubt if the French would be too happy either the lengths hey have gone to a.  ensure it is French and b. to ensure it survives.

The French have done lots of collaborative projects with Fiat. There are no national car companies any more.

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Oh come on try using facts instead of opinion. St. Helens under thatcher kept all its major industry ( mining at the time wasn't ) it was in the late 80s/90 that Rockware, beechams, Ravenhead and UG left.

I'm not saying the town didn't suffer but it held on

St Helens Council rejected the EC regeneration money.

Derek Hatton and his cronies held sway with St Helens Council at the time (I know, I worked for the council at the time).

Mines closed as a result of Thatcher's policy in St Helens just as they did elsewhere in the country and miners went on strike at those mines just as they did elsewhere in the country, and mining was still considered a major industry in St Helens at that time.  Bold Colliery closed in 1985 and Sutton Manor Colliery closed in 1991. 

St Helens is a small town which was heavily reliant upon its mining and glassmaking industries, the latter being represented primarily by Pilkington, which still has a couple of operations left in St Helens although it is now owned by a smaller Japanese glass manufacturer and last year made 100 people redundant.  UGB (United Glass) closed in 1999 and Ravenhead Glass closed in 2001.  Rockware was based in Doncaster, not St Helens.

Beechams merged with SmithKline in 1989 and was lost to St Helens at that point.

Margaret Thatcher was in power from 1979 to 1990.

Are those enough facts for you?

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The UK has 13 times the number of accountants per head of population than Germany.

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The "French" car industry  isn't surviving though. It's in the ######. Renault is only just hanging on... Renault's Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Swedish truckmaker Volvo AB and Russia's Avtovaz contributed 630m euros to the company's bottom line, up 13% on the year.  Renault is doing better than French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen, which posted an 819m-euro first half loss earlier this week and is in the process of cutting some 8,000 jobs.

Renault forecast global car demand would grow by 5%, but lowered its outlook for the European and French markets. Profit at its core car division fell 35% to 87m euros. The manufacturing arm spent 200m euros in cash as Renault increased vehicle inventories.

 

Classic situation that the UK car industry faced in the 1960s. Poor productivity,  union inflexibility,  uncompetitive products against the competition, and according to my French contacts, a decreasing tendency for the French to but French cars out of patriotism.

 

The "ownership" or otherwise of German and other companies  is also a fading concept. Who controls the company? Who owns the shares? Who gets the dividends? Where is the money spent? In the case of chemicals , where does the feedstock come from.  If a  "german" company buys North Sea oil  who pays teh tex and who gets the tax?  Often "ownership" is  for political or popular consumption. 

 

e.g  see http://www.basf.com/group/corporate/en/about-basf/index?mid=0

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company – T.With more than 110,000 employees, six fully-integrated sites and approximately 380 additional production sites worldwide we serve customers and partners in almost all countries of the world.In 2012, BASF posted sales of €72.1 billion and income before special items of approximately €6.6 billion.

 

What matters is not which nationality it claims to be but where the money comes from and goes to. 

 

 

 

 

I drive a Golf. It's an exellent car. I don't know where it was made.  I do know that VW own SEAT and Skoda.  I worked briefly in the car trade in 2010.  Most of the internal parts on VW's SEAT's Audi's and Skodas are common to all marques.  Our own car is a Toyota - made in Derby and it's another excellent car, if a trifle gutless - but that's our fault not the car's.  We used to run a Fiesta, which I assume are built in Spain. It too was a very good car - S reg.  We got rid to take advantage of the scrap allowance.  But you still see Fiestas of our car's vintage and older running about, in good nick - one blew me off at Gildersome lights this evening :dry:   But I reckon many of the parts these days come from China and are just assembled on site where the vehicles are wanted. I know for a fact that most replacement body parts these days come from Taiwan.

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The UK has 13 times the number of accountants per head of population than Germany.

A lot of conglomerates have their European headquarters in London.

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A lot of conglomerates have their European headquarters in London.

They represent 60m people do they. Or a few none tax paying companies.

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'german' cars are no different

see above about the Sharan, also the Mercedes 4x4 is made in the US, other models are built outside germany also.

As I pointed out earlier where the car is built is not relevant. We make a lot of cars, but we are a screwdriver economy.

Check out the balance of trade of Germany and Britain.

The Germans may make some cars abroad but the added value is done at home. German cars made abroad can still be made using German machinery. It's where the decision making takes place that is important.

Britain once had the biggest machine tool mater in the world. The biggest type maker in the world.

British owned firms specified these firms. Destroy

one and the rest collapse

The Germans and the Japanese understand this. We are run by people who just want to make a quick buck with no further thought. Happy to flog off the world's largest glass company to a much smaller Japanese one. Would the reverse have been allowed, no. Happy to flog off the world's largest gases company to a German fork lift trucks company.

Maggie and her ilk have condemned this country to terminal decline but the guys raking in the fees are laughing all the way to the bank.

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They represent 60m people do they. Or a few none tax paying companies.

They don't represent anything but they do employ a lot of accountants.

 

I somehow doubt that your "13 times as many" stat is accurate and I'm pretty sure that you couldn't source it but that only seems to be an issue in the other forum.

 

But regardless more jobs is a good thing. If we also employed more miners* than Germany that would also be good.

 

* France closed their last pit last week. There are now zero miners in all of France. That's the reality of that industry.

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As I pointed out earlier where the car is built is not relevant. We make a lot of cars, but we are a screwdriver economy.

Check out the balance of trade of Germany and Britain.

The Germans may make some cars abroad but the added value is done at home. German cars made abroad can still be made using German machinery. It's where the decision making takes place that is important.

Britain once had the biggest machine tool mater in the world. The biggest type maker in the world.

British owned firms specified these firms. Destroy

one and the rest collapse

The Germans and the Japanese understand this. We are run by people who just want to make a quick buck with no further thought. Happy to flog off the world's largest glass company to a much smaller Japanese one. Would the reverse have been allowed, no. Happy to flog off the world's largest gases company to a German fork lift trucks company.

Maggie and her ilk have condemned this country to terminal decline but the guys raking in the fees are laughing all the way to the bank.

GDP per capita is what matters not the size of the manufacturing sector. Britain has done very well in this area from Thatcher onwards. We were considerably poorer than the West European average but aren't anymore. We've caught and overtaken countries like France..

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What matters is not which nationality it claims to be but where the money comes from and goes to.

I can assure you there's a very big difference between being the head honcho and being the head of a regional operational unit. It's not just about where the money flows, it's about where the decisions are taken.

Nothing in the country is not for sale. You stump up the cash, you can have it. It's as simple as that. Doesn't matter what it is. An example - last year there was a very minor fuss about the Royal Train and how much it costs to run. What wasn't mentioned was the fact it's actually 100% owned by the German government through its state owned company Deutsche Bahn. Even if it is literally nailed to the floor, it's still probably owned by someone outside the UK - the M6 toll road is 100% owned by the Australian company Macquarie.

This country is unique in the extent to which we are prepared to sell anything. No other country in the World has allowed ownership of the businesses that make up their economies to be bought out to such a degree.

It started with Thatcher. She wanted us all to own our own houses but she didn't give a stuff who owned our economy.

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They don't represent anything but they do employ a lot of accountants.

 

I somehow doubt that your "13 times as many" stat is accurate and I'm pretty sure that you couldn't source it but that only seems to be an issue in the other forum.

 

But regardless more jobs is a good thing. If we also employed more miners* than Germany that would also be good.

 

* France closed their last pit last week. There are now zero miners in all of France. That's the reality of that industry.

There were several articles in the Guardian in 2009 that were used as the source references. They used sources such as the Financial Reporting Council who oversee accountancy in this country, The International Accounting Standards Board which oversees Europe. In 2009 there were 280,000 accountants in this country, more than the rest of Europe at the time combined.

I didn't suck the figure out of my thumb.

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Britain has done very well in this area from Thatcher onwards. We were considerably poorer than the West European average but aren't anymore. We've caught and overtaken countries like France..

Not sure the data backs up your point.

Go to worldeconomics.com They have a downloadable Excel sheet of GDP per capita figures that you can play with. It shows no significant difference in the France/UK GDP ratio between 1979 and 1991. We did start catching up in 1993 and we finally overtook them in 2002.

There's no question that we were far ahead of France in the 50s, had been overtaken by the early 70s and were ahead again by the 00s but the timescales don't really tally with Thatcher's time in office making much of a difference to it.

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