Our crackpot energy policy is scuppering British manufacturing.
[…] Labour relations have not been an issue at the beleaguered foreign-owned steel plants. Some might therefore wonder whether the British at work find foreign managers far more congenial than the Anglo-Saxon variety brought up in our still class-ridden society.
But that ignores the impact of 30 years’ experience of a different framework for labour relations after the reforms of the 1980s.
It does therefore look as if steel’s plight is at least partly due to dumping, which the Chinese president’s state visit conveniently highlighted. But we must not forget the home-grown and Brussels-imposed costs on industry through an entirely misguided, not to say silly, attack on carbon dioxide emissions to tame global warming.
This portfolio of costs is not confined to steel. It is a burden carried by the whole of manufacturing and there is not the slightest prospect of lightening the load as we run up to the UN climate change conference in Paris in December. Indeed, the whole effort is to get us to abandon fossil fuels for, heaven help us, wind and solar power.
All political parties are responsible for this nonsense and its effect on our economic performance. It is not a blind bit of use extolling the virtues of manufacturing if we unnecessarily increase its costs even to the point of shutting down steel manufacture.
We are told that the Government wants to redress the balance between financial services and industrial production. If so, it is about time it linked a new approach to manufacturing to that of electricity production.