and address what is the sharpest decline in manufacturing of any advanced economy over the past 30 years,
And my comment there:
Umm, excuse me, but what decline of manufacturing?
Manufacturing output is well over twice what it was in 1950. Heck, it was higher when Maggie left office then when she entered it, higher when Major left than when he entered.
There has been a decline in manufacturing employment, yes. But then there’s been a decline in manufacturing employment right around the world. Really, the whole world is losing manufacturing jobs. Even China is losing manufacturing jobs.
There has been a decline in manufacturing as a percentage of the economy as well: but as manufacturing output has been growing this just means that the other sectors have been growing even faster.
Oh, and manufacturing as a percentage of the UK economy? At 12%? It the same as France: in fact, it’s pretty much slap bang on the global average. Around and about 12% of the global economy is manufacturing.
So what is it that everyone is babbling on about?
We’ve actually got quite a serious problem here. Vast numbers of people really do seem to believe that we’ve had some collapse of manufacturing in the UK. And they’re all making plans to do something about something that hasn’t happened.
If they were instead asking “what do we do with dim Northern boys now manufacturing is too productive to need them” then at least they would be asking a question about something that is actually happening: however stupid their answers were.
But running around trying to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist is simply stupid or politics: but then I repeat myself.