Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dumping Ground

Oh dear, the Chinese have been dumping cheap steel on the market. But why not, it’s their steel? And if there is a market for it isn’t that how trade is supposed to work; supply-demand and all that? When it comes to competition it appears the little yella-fellas are winning; I suppose it is all Margaret Thatcher’s fault. It usually is. Labour is attacking the Conservatives for allowing this to happen and for honouring the Chinese president with a state visit, but the close-downs at Redcar and the layoffs by Tata in Scunthorpe are almost certainly just bad timing... unless they held off until now to make a point. Certainly the state visit wasn’t just cobbled together in a few weeks.

Coal, cars, ship-building... all but gone. But didn’t Labour preside over much of this anyway and wasn’t Blair’s government all about putting the heavy horses out to grass and letting the money men in? It’s all very well mounting protests at the loss of manual jobs and the ‘destruction of communities’ but what did Labour ever do to rebuild those communities, other than put them all on welfare forever? And what was Labour’s contribution to the wholesale ‘cultural’ assault on communities such as Rotherham and elsewhere, where concerns over massive expansions in segregated immigrant communities were dismissed as racist?

What are the rules here? Loss of a thousand jobs in Labour heartlands bad, bad and all the fault of the Tories, but importation of hundreds of thousands of unskilled labour to do all the work in Labour heartlands good, good and feel the diversity? Overwhelming public services by unprecedented and unchecked immigration is good news, but making a few hundred steelworkers unemployed is apocalyptically bad? There has to be some committee making these position decisions, surely? What happened to the coopering industry? Were there riots on the demise of the steel-rimmed wagon wheel trade? Who gave a fig for the gas-lighters or turned out to march for lead and tin? Or were those industries not emotive enough, not sufficiently photogenic enough to arouse a guttural whine from Labour’s collective soul?

And while weeping for the steel, Labour is simultaneously denouncing the establishment’s nurturing of potential inward investment worth £billions and many thousands more jobs, which will typically go to yet more wonderful immigrants because Labour wants its own people to wallow in their hurt to make a point. Mounting its high moral horse, the party of perpetual opposition will cheer on the moochers and wreckers and reject out of principle deals that could dwarf the losses.

"There's some lovely filth over 'ere, Dennis!"
Steel[workers] recycling plant...

You can’t have it both ways, Labour; you don’t get to have a moribund system of state control with subsidy of failed industry and progress at the same time. When job losses loom you need your work force to be educated and adaptable to be able to retrain and take up new roles and while you may mourn, for a day, the demise of the old you have to embrace the new. Oh but, ‘education, education, education’ was only ever a slogan and just as with any surpluses to requirements the newly unskilled steel workers will be piled high and sold cheap in the market of cheap labour created by the EU. It’s not just the Chinese who are ‘Dumping down’.

1 comment:

  1. It's only dumping if the Chinese are selling steel here below what they'd charge in China. As an internationally traded commodity that's pretty unlikely (if anything I'd be surprised if the Chinese didn't charge domestic buyers less to protect their domestic market from imports, eg by imposing tariffs on imported steel).

    Cutting the energy taxes and business rates here might make British steel competitive (but listen already to the howls when saving a few thousand jobs translates into making big cuts to the benefits of millions to pay for it). Otherwise what is really being clamoured for is massive subsidy. Which is something that to its credit the EU won't allow even if we were foolish enough to think that protectionism was the way to prosperity.