Skip to main content

Chinese Takeaway?

I can't say about I'm happy about the current bowing and scraping (or 'kowtowing' in the word borrowed from the phrase 'kau tau' in Cantonese) to the Chinese by our government.

The welcome bestowed on Chinese leader Xi Jinping grates on a day that has seen more redundancies announced in our own steel industry, with cheap steel dumped from China as their own demand has slowed down being blamed as having a serious impact. Add to that human rights issues in many regions such as Tibet, the undermining of the special arrangements agreed jointly between Britain and China for Hong Kong, frequent episodes of cyber-espionage, and you have to ask the question is this the sort of partner with whom you want to develop a close relationship.

Yes, taking a top line view, the supposed £30 billion of business and trade sounds great. But at what price? Should we not be supporting our own industries to compete, encouraging our own people to develop their businesses? Yes, some jobs may appear in some areas where our new Chinese partners are building new generation nuclear power stations(that in itself is a bit of a worry). But I bet few of them will be heading towards Scunthorpe, Redcar, and Lanarkshire which are facing economic ruin due to the loss of their steel-making plants. All the talk about a 'Northern Powerhouse' will be sounding a bit hollow on the streets of Scunthorpe tonight.

The problem is that fundamentally this government has an inherent down on our own big industrial manufacturing. Certainly back to the days of the Miners' strikes back in the '70's, if not before. I would argue that if we had invested more in our core and strategic industries back then and continued to do so since we would now be significantly stronger economically. That is how you fundamentally create your wealth. Germany never stopped doing this, manufacturing there is held in far more respect there than here, and look how strong their economy has been over the years.

I have no problem with trading with China. But I can't help thinking that as their economy has slowed down they are looking to spread their wings overseas and by investing into a willing - and I would say gullible - partner they are seeing big benefits themselves as they seek to increase their power and influence around the globe. As a country we have no long-term industrial strategy for developing our own industries and the Chinese have been able to exploit this. We have no guarantees they will use manufacturers in this country to supply their plants and I fear that ultimately this is going to be bad news for us all.

This could be the biggest Chinese takeaway ever....


Popular posts from this blog

The Best Buffet Bar None....

One place I am definitely looking forward to visiting again when they re-open is the Buffet Bar in Stalybridge. And whilst it will be great to pay a visit as soon as it is possible, that first visit back to the famous bar on the Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield trans-Pennine route will no doubt stir up in me a huge dose of mixed emotions.... Stalybridge Buffet Bar is one of the few remaining Victorian railway station buffet bars left in the country, and is probably the best-known. I started visiting the bar regularly in 2006, when my job meant I was working about a mile and a half away in Hyde. Back in those days, the bar was owned by John Hesketh, who had spotted the potential of the rambling old Victorian station buffet as a real ale mecca. It had originally opened in 1885, and had meandered on over the years quietly serving customers on the trans-Pennine route, but back then it was not known for its beer. John's idea of a good selection of real ales in an atmospheric bar cr

The Town That Thinks It's A Village....

My time has been a bit limited recently for venturing too far afield, so last weekend I made the short journey to Elland to check out a few of the town's pubs and bars. Here's what I found.... Elland is a small market town in West Yorkshire, located between Halifax and Huddersfield beside the River Calder. It goes back a bit, being recorded as Elant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and over the centuries the town grew as a result of the woollen industry, with the town becoming home to several large mills. The coming of the Aire and Calder Navigation and the railways further helped the growth of the town. The subsequent decline of the woollen industry in the town meant that there were a number of empty mills left standing, and those that didn't burn down were put to other use, such as the home of Gannex, the now-defunct textile company whose raincoats were worn by the rich and famous, including former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. More recently, several mills have been converte

A Calder Valley Ale Trail - UPDATE August 2020

T he definitive guide to the pubs and bars that line the railways in the towns and villages of the beautiful Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, now with an update in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.... August 9th, 2020. The idea for a guide to the pubs along the railway line along the Calder Valley came about as I got fed up with people going on about the Ale Trail from Huddersfield to Stalybridge. I reckoned that the scenery along the Calder Valley was generally more attractive than its southerly rival, and whilst there were some excellent pubs along that route, there were equally some mighty fine pubs in Calderdale. And there was clearly a demand for such a guide: the number of page views I have had for this blog, which has been updated a few times over the years, is several times higher than my next most popular. I had been thinking for some time though that it needed a fresh look and a re-write; the inserted sentences and deleted entries means that it doesn't quite flow