A Hard Look at UK Economic Recovery Fantasy and Strategic Weakness – John Gelmini

United Kingdom: stamp

United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the article entitled “Ignore the hype: Britain’s ‘recovery’ is a fantasy that hides our weakness”, by Will Hutton |and published in The Observer. Here are my own views.

To my mind, a recovery that produces no export growth, no search for alternative sources of energy and no nuclear power stations, no roads, no airports and little or no inward investment is not a recovery at all, so to that extent I find myself agreeing with Will Hutton for perhaps the first time.

Boris Johnson some months back in the Daily Telegraph said that UK PLC could not go on just
blaming the EC for its problems and had much more work to do.

Will Hutton is right to point out that the private sector also needs to raise its game because many of the problems identified in the 1994 Competitiveness White Paper, prepared for the then Michael Heseltine, as the President of the Board of Trade, are still with us.

Those were, and indeed, still are:
–Too few directors with formal management training, knowledge of finance or long-term thinking ability
–”Indifferent management quality”—This was a Civil Service phrase referring to the comparison between some overseas bosses and our own
–400 world class companies, versus 250 at the time, versus the German figure at the time (2000) versus the German figure now (more than 2,500)
–Low levels of worker education at a pre-university level via the State Education system (then we were 28th in the world, now we are 44th)
–Over reliance on financial services and banking–Today the City has been eclipsed by New York since November 2012 and is set to be relegated to 4th position within 3 years by Singapore and Hong Kong which will be numbers 1 and 2 by 2016.
China already has the fastest growing and largest bank and 3 of its insurance companies are on track to be the biggest in the world with Price Waterhouse Coopers advising on the optimum target operating model blueprint for China Merchants Group, the biggest of them all
–Too much reliance on imported food, while our own farmers are driven into bankruptcy and 100 suicides a year
–Productivity the lowest of the G7 by an average of 16%
–No discernable means to close a trade gap which has existed since 1982
–An uncompetitive tax regime with inbuilt and excessive waste which drives businesses and wealth offshore so that too little is invested here and too much is invested offshore to the benefit of our strategic, military and economic competitors
–Too many rewards for failure and too big a gap between bosses pay and those at the bottom with inequality widening and not improving
–Poor worker health and increasing obesity, diabetes and dementia
–Falling numbers of IT, engineering and scientific graduates and rising numbers of youngsters wanting to be instant celebrities, footballers and budding Hollywood film directors
–A nation with people in it who imagine that the world owes them a living and constant holidays

John Gelmini

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One response

  1. Pingback: Political cowardice stops us from solving our wretched housing crisis | Will Hutton | Comment is free | The Observer « Dr Alf's Blog

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