THE FOURTH OF JULY

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Reliance on imported goods is a vulnerability - although the UK is anyway incapable of supplying all materials required. The standard of, or quality, of living is now dependant on services, not the material goods, that we use - eg: healthcare, education, entertainment, retail, etc.
An excellent point;

I’d argue that the single most important thing today for the quality of life is a reliable electricity supply.
Our dependency on the far east manufacturers for the supply of critical semi-conductors is a major vulnerability that no party seems to admit to or have a plan to resolve.
It would be highly prudent for a future government to make a major investment in some fabrication plants in the UK, along with the educational support needed. It would improve national infrastructure resilience and provide good well paid jobs.
It should also be partnered with investment in recycling plants to recover and reuse the rare materials used in things like batteries and solar panels that will start to fail on a regular occurrence within the next decade.
Not cheap in the short term, but vital in the long term.

The whole ‘free market’ solutions that the libertarians think will be an answer only work on a fair and level playing field. That’s obviously not the situation now or for the foreseeable future. Governmental intervention seems the only answer to security and quality of life now.
 
Bitterness is not a good quality.
Nor is gullibility.


Screenshot 2024-06-17 at 07.09.50.png
 
Bitterness is not a good quality.
Brexit supporters are a very bitter bunch, they have been screaming hatred towards the EU for years and years.

Sadly their hatred is built on falsehoods, because they haven’t taken the time to learn about the structure of the EU, how the SM works nor UKs role and influence in the EU.

Here are a few well used falsehoods:

“we are controlled by Brussels”
“unelected bureaucrats”
“EU is protectionist”
“EU is shrinking”


Brexit supporters who still believe those slogans after 8 years will never change their minds, the U.K. will have to wait until their numbers dwindle until they are no longer relevant. (Sadly media billionaires and lobby groups are still out there pushing the lies).

Brexit hasn’t had majority support since 2018

The reason this is important is because the next government will start incrementally rebuilding a relationship with the EU chipping away at Brexit trade barriers weve saddled ourselves with.
 
Our dependency on the far east manufacturers for the supply of critical semi-conductors is a major vulnerability that no party seems to admit to or have a plan to resolve
EU has been working to solve this, with plans to get €80b investment in manufacture.

“Intel supports the European Union's goal to reclaim 20 per cent of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity by 2030”
https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...lif., March,of-the art packaging technologies.




Currently the Taiwan Semi Conductor Manufacturing company has something like 75% of the Narket in advanced semi conductors. If China were to take over the island the globe would have a problem.

 
Currently the Taiwan Semi Conductor Manufacturing company has something like 75% of the Narket in advanced semi conductors. If China were to take over the island the globe would have a problem.
I think Ed Conway's excellent book 'Material World' talks about this and mentions that the major factories have self destruct systems in place to prevent the machinery getting into the wrong hands :eek::eek:

It's quite scary that so much of what we rely on in modern life is so dependant on very few highly specialised manufacturing plants and suppliers.
The first couple of pages of this is interesting;
https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/14378/pdf/
 
with the "talent" that will make up the cabinet. Come on, Rayner in any position
Angela Rayner has played a key role in Labours “new deal for working people” which includes reversing anti union rules, ending fire rehire, reform of zero hours contracts, collective wage bargaining.

Angela Rayner has managed to get a higher min wage rate for carers on the Labour manifesto.


You may mock her as untalented, but she is working to help those in poverty and she is a million times better than Rees Mogg, Gullis, or 30p Lee who are awful grifters
 
If China were to take over the island the globe would have a problem.
We have a problem already, China has not got close to reaching it's full potential and is still growing and developing whilst us in the west have reached exhaustion and stagnation. Chinas advantage is in it's population and their desire to progress and are willing to work for that goal of achievement whilst if we are honest you cannot say that the UK workforce loves working .

reform of zero hours contracts

But for some they are really good as you get flexability in choosing your hours whilst for some employers they are abused.
 
Chinas advantage is in it's population and their desire to progress and are willing to work for that goal of achievement whilst if we are honest you cannot say that the UK workforce loves working .
Tell that to the Foxconn workers jumping off the building (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides).

They have a large population, with many young people moving from rural to industrial areas in seek of work. That large supply of labour (combined with exceptionally lax protections for workers) results in high productivity at low cost. None of which is good for the poor sods being exploited of course.
 
China has not got close to reaching it's full potential and is still growing and developing whilst us in the west have reached exhaustion and stagnation
The West is made is mostly mature economies, whereas China is an emerging market.

I’m not sure why you think the West has reached stagnation, the EU for example has about 40 gigafactories being built, Intel are building semi conductor factories, the U.K is the fastest-growing European nation in terms of the digital economy, the U.K. is a major hub for startups, especially in fintech and tech industries generally.

China has a major real estate problem, with something like 65 million empty properties for sale, Evergrande a massive Chinese property developer is bankrupt owing $450b

whilst if we are honest you cannot say that the UK workforce loves working
Have you been reading Britannia Unchained?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Britannia-Unchained-Global-Lessons-Prosperity/dp/1137032235

I worry you might have bought into the messages pushed by libertarian lobby groups, you seem to think Liz Truss was a real solution to growth.

I think the people of the United Kingdom work extremely hard, I know plenty of people who run or work in small businesses, they all work extremely hard.
 
China currently produce cheap goods on the back of low pay levels, lax H&S and environmental standards, and a government which strategically and actively supports business.

Our actions in buying their goods, which have become generally of higher quality has supported their growth, and means that higher cost UK manufacturing has contracted.

It would be possible to create barriers (eg: tariffs or standards) to Chinese goods to protect UK businesses. However there are costs:
  • UK consumers would be able to afford fewer products if manufactured in higher cost locations
  • protection could allow inefficiencies to be perpetuated rather than resolved through commercial pressures
Longer term automation, AI, robotic technology, improved product design will reduce the labour content of all products - ultimately towards zero.

Since 1970, manufacturing sector employment has declined from 27% to 9%, the professional sector increased from 14% to 27%, and hotels and catering changed from 11% to 21%. Over the much longer term - in 1800 ~35% of the workforce was in agriculture - now less than 1%.

The point - UK manufacturing will not recover to earlier levels. The extent of human endeavour required to produce material goods society needs/wants will continue to decline.

The best strategy is to accept the reality and invest/focus on those skills that will be of value in future decades - product design, IT, robotics, manufacture of machine tools, etc.
 
China currently produce cheap goods on the back of low pay levels
But low pay does not mean low living standards because it is not about what you earn but what it can buy and our cost of living is getting really silly. Also China like many other asian countries will produce what it can sell, so cheap goods are produced because there is a market for them but they could sell you the best machinery if you are willing to pay for it, they have the technology as shown by there space program and major civil engineering projects. Keeping pace with technology is one thing but trying to catch up is another.
 
The big difference in that contract and the others manifesto's is that it clearly states the biggest problems the Uk is facing and that Reform will fix them but like Starmer it is not clear how. At what point is something so broken that it is nigh on impossible to repair and you have to just accept making the best something from what you have even if it is a three legged donkey with no ears or tail.
 
Angela Rayner has played a key role in Labours “new deal for working people” which includes reversing anti union rules, ending fire rehire, reform of zero hours contracts, collective wage bargaining.

Angela Rayner has managed to get a higher min wage rate for carers on the Labour manifesto.


You may mock her as untalented, but she is working to help those in poverty and she is a million times better than Rees Mogg, Gullis, or 30p Lee who are awful grifters
it amazes me how much stick she gets, they arent even in govt yet and people are dismissing her, compared to the crazy tories britain have had, braverman, patel, ledsom, dorries, truss, the list goes on, she could literally do pipper all for the next 5 years and cause less damage to peoples lives.
 
Since 1990 the share of the UK economy attributed to services has grown from 70% to 81%, while that attributed to manufacturing has decreased from 17% to 9%. Similar to France and Spain. Even in much vaunted Germany, manufacturing now only accounts for 18% of GDP.

The reasons for this are unsurprising - Chinese economic reforms in 1978 transformed their economic output. They had the advantage of low labour and energy costs, limited regard for H&S etc, and a government committed to supporting economic growth internationally.

The UK willingly (as did most developed economies) imported copious volumes of Chinese manufactured goods. Had we relied upon the UK manufacturing for products (TVs, kitchen appliances, tools, now cars etc), prices would have been higher and unaffordable for many. We are the architects of our own manufacturing sector decline through chasing low prices.

Reliance on imported goods is a vulnerability - although the UK is anyway incapable of supplying all materials required. The standard of, or quality, of living is now dependant on services, not the material goods, that we use - eg: healthcare, education, entertainment, retail, etc.

I worked in manufacturing and engineering industries for 20 years. The group had a special steels division who proudly boasted they never lost money during the 1960s, 70s, or 80s - achieved by never investing.

By the 1990s with plants full of obsolete equipment they had no prospect of ever again competing internationally. Their largest site is now a retail park. Traditional manufacturing industry had no future in the UK - high end engineering where science and brain power dominated had potential.

Whether the UK will ever again be pivotal in world trade is debateable. The days of empire upon which the sun never set are firmly gone. Global leadership is transient - Greek, Roman, Chinese, UK, have all shone and later failed.

Back to the politics - will the UK prosper better as part of an integrated Europe or independently - personally I strongly favour integration.

Setting politics aside, this report by the Office For National Statistics shows import/export trends in UK trade volumes and balances for goods and service from 2010 to 2023 and provides an analysis of recent trends in UK trade volumes and balances. Very many more factors come into play - not just Brexit:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nati...onchangesonuktradestatistics/previousReleases
 
I have stopped watching/listening to all the unfounded promises coming out of the mouths of personal power crazy politicians so busy clawing their way up the political career ladder - stress "career" at the expense of people - who are they and what's it got to do with them anyway?
As we approach the dreaded day,I am coming to firmly believe that,whatever party gets in, they be forced to employ a genuine accountant,if there is such a thing at that level, to go through every penny of our money that has been spent already BEFORE putting up taxes -which they willl have to one way or another to even start to carry out their promises. Wales have wasted millions painting 20mph on their roads only to have to paint them out at extra cost. How can it cost millions to carry out this task? What about the money we have wasted on grandiose projects eg HR2. No, it is all about political career advancement by an elite group - "Let them eat cake "comes to mind! Anyway got to go 'cos World War 3 could start today according to the New Nostodamas!
 
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