3/20/2009

So spectacularly wrong on so many levels

Peter Mandelson took it upon himself today to give a lecture to the few remaining car companies producing automobiles in this country today, advising them to make the right decisions to ensure their futures. I am sure the car industry could barely control their excitement at getting advice from the UK government.

What is clear so far is that the UK government have got it so wrong when it comes to supporting industry in this country during the depression and sadly seems so completely unable to recognise successes in other countries. In the case of the car industry, Britain should be taking a lesson from the Germans.

Our Labour government are handing out the prospect of large sums of money to support car companies and stop them laying off workers, although no payments have yet been made by the UK government. This means the depression is deepening, the prospects for these manufacturers is getting worse, and so we have a catch 22 situation which the money from the UK government will do little to put right. The UK is expecting 500,000 less new car sales this year. That is the state of the hole we are in.

Compare this to Germany where the government is subsiding people who want to sell old inefficient cars and buy new cars to the tine of 3000 Euros (£2500). This means that in Germany this year they are expecting to sell 200,000 more new cars this year than last year.

So perhaps Peter Mandelson should shut up and listen rather than giving lectures.

Update : Iain Dal e-mailed me very late last night to tell me that I had spelt "shut" with an "i". A Freudian slip from me ?

3 comments:

John said...

I mean why would anyone take any lessons from new Labour or Mandelson.

James said...

I thought Liberals knew that a) the bulk of the cars being produced are inefficient as hell and no good for the planet, b) for the first seven to ten years, the embedded carbon costs of even marginally more efficient cars will make things worse, not better, and c) artificially propping up industries on their way out would be a massive waste of our money and d) we could use the same money far far more effectively to kickstart future success stories.

Looks like Merkelism rules, though. And Mandelson probably will "shit up" and listen to the Germans - they floated this insane scrappage scheme last weekend.

jailhouselawyer said...

What struck me about Mandy's comment, "We're not just throwing about money willy nilly" on the BBC1 News, given that he is a former European Commissioner, is that this is precisely what the government is about to do in relation to prisoners votes and the European Election.

I heard Mandy's comment as I waited to see this item on BBC1 Look North. You will note that Tim Iredale stated that no Minister was available to be interviewed. As the Minister responsible for this fiasco is Jack Straw, why wasn't he available to respond to pertinent questions? It wasn't good enough to merely re-issue the well worn pathetic excuse that "Prisoner voting rights is a sensitive and complex issue".

The position is this, if the government does not pull its finger out and allow the 80,000+ EU citizens behind bars to vote in the European Election on 4 June 2009, then prisoner compensation claims for loss of this right will be between £30-£60M.

Therefore, I would argue that even though Mandy was referring to the car industry, the principle is the same in the prisoners votes case. This would be throwing money about totally unnecessarily when all the government has to do is its duty and abide by the European Convention and ECtHR decision and give prisoners the human rights they are clearly entitled to under law.

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