In the 1970’s, Ted Heath, his fellow politicians such as Tony Benn, civil servants and unions etc, had first destroyed the aircraft industry, then the ball-bearing industry, fishing, then the car industry, and were in the process of following up with the shipbuilding industry and others. And helicopters. And the political destruction of GEC (employing 250,000 and the biggest company on the FTSE ). And we’re still doing it. Just three examples among hundreds of thousands of others: ARM, Cadbury’s, almost Unilever, now Vauxhall and British Steel. All huge world class industries. Gone! Squandered to feed politicians ego. Idly doing nothing.
Note: Industries were being softened up years before their actual death or dismemberment or sale.
Britain was the sick country of the West. Going downhill rapidly. And still is!
At the time there were three glaringly obvious things wrong with us: taxation, unions, and government interference. Industry was and still is to this day the perfect golden-egg-laying goose.
Government after government deliberately and with malice and stupidity either did nothing or made it worse. Successive governments seemed to believe and still do that the hysteria of Union leaders and Labour party MPs were the voices of the people. It was easy. Civil Service and a lot of substandard but noisy Labour MPs allowed the trap to be sprung.
In 1974 we joined the Common Market. Ted Heath and the establishment had already virtually destroyed Britain. They could see no other way out. They had no appetite. Brexit shows that they’re still failing. However, the 2016 Trade Union capture of the Southern Rail fiasco shows that they still have no clue. Nothing has been done or even discussed. They’re still just hoping it’ll all go away. Politicians have learned nothing.
From 1975 till now the EU managed to destroy all our Fishing, High Tech Manufacturing etc and left us with fraudulent finance, sandwiches and low tech cars. And industries made up of vices like gambling and drugs. And foolish bureaucracies such as compliance, fair trading, crime prosecuting services, regulators. Quangos to the left of us and NGOs to the right, and charities with sympathetic names to entice the weak minded.
From 1960 to 2000, the EU was flexing its muscles, and constantly making things more difficult. Making and selling British goods of world quality and technology world wide became more and more impossible. It became easier to sell goods to Papua New Guinea or Argentina than to Europe, but it became more difficult to make them. Staying in the EU became the soft (in the head) option instead of solving the real problems.
The real problems were taxes (obvious and hidden ), regulation (needed, but botched) of the financial sector, legal sector, education etc, and crazy Unions, their power structure, their corruption of purpose and power, by politicians of all parties. At least Cameron and Osborne tried to bring some sanity back. Some unions by the seventies were already moving on from the old model, but politics stopped all that.
We come to the crux of the matter. The three things wrong with us. In simple terms they were Taxation (tax kills companies ), Unions, Over-Government. Some new and simple ones can now be added for the future: Globalisation, feral banking/fiscal management, education, and (a mixed blessing ) the financial sector. Into this mix, Ted Heath, by arrangement with the EU, threw ‘The Abolition of Price Maintenance Act’ which purpose , despite the name, was to destroy manufacturing in Britain and replace it with Retailers Heaven: importing rubbish and selling cheap with no responsibility, no monetary or economic understanding, nothing … just take the money.
Every year this act destroys things a bit further and delights politicians with its absurd GDP consumerist measure. Destroy it and we gain in quality, curtailing the internet retailers who are basically smugglers and parasitical. GDP is increased (bad), but hides the fact that GDP/ person (GDP/C = per capita or living standard ) is dropping. Another example of proud politicians boasting while destroying.
GDP announces to the world that we are here to be screwed.
The world wants to trade with us, and always has. The Government doesn’t care. Governments hope they might be helping. They aren’t. At best only rarely or rather only as unintended consequences.
Chapter and verse on these matters are simple but need to be taken one simple, single step at a time. But they can be treated using simple project management tools or, if you prefer, simple maths tools or, preferably, by common sense and thought.