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 ?