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SpannerInTheWerks
5th Dec 2013, 14:29
'You're a small country only fit for tourists and students!' according to one Chinese newspaper.

Although the newspaper apparently backtracked later on the orders of the Chinese Government, the statement is all too true.

What pussies we are.

My Grandfathers must be turning in their graves to think what they fought for - a World being dominated by the very countries we fought to overcome.

Maybe if Germany and Japan had 'won' WW1 and WW11 the World (and the UK) would be a more prosperous and culturally balanced place today?!

mixture
5th Dec 2013, 14:31
Great Britain 'Great' no more ... ?


Get your backside over to Wikipedia and look up the meaning of "Great" in the context of Great Britain. It wasn't some politician/monarch on an ego trip. :)

GB is a developed nation, not a developing country. Thus it makes sense that the industries that were dominant when your old man was alive fighting the war he could bang on about for years to come have now moved to the developing countries.

GB can adapt and will thrive in its new position in the world. The UK is in a better position than many European countries to do so given the dominance of London in the financial world.... money being the foundation of all business plans gives the UK a head start.

The SSK
5th Dec 2013, 14:35
And Britannia's not doing a very good job of Ruling the Waves today

toffeez
5th Dec 2013, 14:36
Hitler and Hirohito had clear ideas about foreign cultures. Exterminate them.

SpannerInTheWerks
5th Dec 2013, 15:06
given the dominance of London in the financial world

But with all due respect the service industries don't produce real wealth in a country - that's the place of primary industries such as coal, iron, steel, textiles and the like. You can't employ the workforce in finance.

Britain is fast becoming a nation of two societies - the financial 'technocrats' and the unemployed masses for whom work will never come.

You can't build a nation on finance, but on employment and earned income that is then re-invested in the secondary and tertiary industries.

The Chinese newspaper is correct - people come to the UK to get what they can - not to give but to take. Education, healthcare and unskilled jobs.

No one, I suspect, has any complaint about people coming to Britain to invest of either their skills or their wealth, but unfortunately this is not the case.

There is a serious undercurrent of discontent which seems to be fuelled at every turn by media reports of attitudes and actions contrary to the good of the nation.

Andy_S
5th Dec 2013, 15:13
GB can adapt and will thrive in its new position in the world.

I agree.

This is an interesting counterpoint to the ongoing discussion in the France....Business thread. There are many problems in the UK, many things which could and should be better and many ways we let ourselves down. But one thing we do have going for us is that we're adaptable. We don't live in the past, we don't have any feeling of entitlement about our place in the world, we move and change with the times.

It's funny how so many other people want to come and live here. Including Chinese!

mixture
5th Dec 2013, 15:14
We don't live in the past

Other than the minority few who still like to go on about the war. :}

Captivep
5th Dec 2013, 15:15
I've never understood the view that "real" wealth only comes from making "things" as opposed to providing services.

10 paid for a bag of coal is intrinsically no different to 10 paid for, say, a piece of advice.

If real wealth can only come from tangible things, then why is Google worth so much?

And anyway, what on earth have Japan and Germany got to do with a comment made by a newspaper in China?

Andy_S
5th Dec 2013, 15:17
But with all due respect the service industries don't produce real wealth in a country - that's the place of primary industries such as coal, iron, steel, textiles and the like.

And how many of those are financially viable in the UK in the context of a global economy?

That's what I mean. We recognise we can't compete in these industries, so we're smart enough to let them go. We move on.

Captivep
5th Dec 2013, 15:20
Adam Smith and David Ricardo both explained the concept of comparative advantage very well...


Comparative advantage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage)


As you say, Andy, things move on.

mixture
5th Dec 2013, 15:22
But with all due respect the service industries don't produce real wealth in a country - that's the place of primary industries such as coal, iron, steel, textiles and the like. You can't employ the workforce in finance.

Aaah ... but I would suggest that is an incorrect view on matters.

The whole point is that the UK needs to adapt and learn to thrive using knowledge based industries. The old days of large workforces in big dirty factories is long gone.

Finance, technology etc. is where it's at these days, and increasingly so going forward.

The UK needs to get back its innovative spirit and leave it to other people to build what the UK invents or sell them the services to enable them to do so :)

G-CPTN
5th Dec 2013, 15:22
It puzzled me when I went to live in Denmark - that the major employers were in service industries rather than manufacturing.
Of course there is manufacturing in Denmark (maybe more now than in the 1980s) but the impression that I got was of a society that existed mainly to serve itself.

By far the largest employer in the city of Odense was the hospital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odense_University_Hospital) IIRC, and I see that the regional crown goes to the Department of Social Services and Labour (http://en.welfaretech.dk/members/odense-municipality-dssl/).

Torque Tonight
5th Dec 2013, 15:25
Maybe if Germany and Japan had 'won' WW1 and WW11 the World (and the UK) would be a more prosperous and culturally balanced place today?

Probably not so culturally balanced if you happen to be Jewish or anyone else deemed untermensch (which covered pretty much everyone except Germans). I believe the grand plan was for healthy British men to be sent to Eastern Europe as slave labour and the rest of the British people to be exterminated. What an ignorant comment to make.

SpannerInTheWerks
5th Dec 2013, 15:38
Finance, technology etc. is where it's at these days, and increasingly so going forward

Precisely - so where does that leave the 'masses' who have no qualifications to work 'in the City', but would historically have found manual work in the 'dark Satanic mills' of the old England?

The World might have moved on but, unfortunately, the majority of the British people are unable to - and are now in competition from our European neighbours who are able to work in the UK, thanks to the EU.

ArthurR
5th Dec 2013, 15:42
I am going to wait for Krystal and Chips to arrive, his comments should be nearly interesting.

tdracer
5th Dec 2013, 15:44
I don't know if this applies to GB as much as it does to the USA, but I saw an interesting chart recently regarding manufacturing in the USA.

Despite all the complaints that we don't "make anything anymore", it turns out the percentage of the USA GDP from manufacturing has remained roughly constant since just after WW II. What has changed is the workforce - due to automation, the percentage of the workforce dedicated to manufacturing has dropped dramatically - as in by a factor of five.:eek: Outsourcing has occurred largely in the production of items that are labor intensive and don't readily lend themselves to automation.

It would be interesting to see what a similar chart would show for the UK.

toffeez
5th Dec 2013, 15:46
At least they now know why they should have paid attention in school and done their maths homework.

mixture
5th Dec 2013, 15:51
Precisely - so where does that leave the 'masses' who have no qualifications to work 'in the City',

Amazon warehouses ? :E

Cleaners,call centres, hotels, shops, cabin crew on aircraft, airport security....

There will be jobs available for the less qualified, but the long term goal needs to be improvement of basic education, obviously.

rgbrock1
5th Dec 2013, 16:13
And now a word from a colonist. (Unsolicited of course but who cares?!)

I believe that Great Britain is still just that. GB, in my view, still has an awful lot going for it. As here in the U.S., GB has its share of problems mostly caused by members of the huggy-fluff crowd. But that's just a small part of it.

Perhaps, it is true, that the British Empire is not as far-reaching as it once was. But which empire cannot say the same? However, GB is still a very strong world power with a lot of say in world affairs.

We all have our share of our problems. But we are free (relatively), robust and economically sound (relatively). GB still has a lot going for it. Don't lose sight of that.

SpannerInTheWerks
5th Dec 2013, 16:16
Cleaners,call centres, hotels, shops, cabin crew on aircraft, airport security....

All jobs are valuable, but we're talking millions not thousands of additional jobs to provide the employment required.

There will be jobs available for the less qualified, but the long term goal needs to be improvement of basic education, obviously.

Yes, but we'll then end up, in theory, with everyone with a degree and only those with a Masters or better employed - the jobs will still not be there!

Dash8driver1312
5th Dec 2013, 17:21
I'd stick my head up above the parapet to suggest that the countries defeated in the name of peace, freedom, insert corny feel-good noun here don't exist any more. The 3rd Reich and Imperial Japan are gone, as is the Churchill administration and isolationist USA...Modern Deutschland and Japan are vastly different beasts, so let's get off that horse once and for all...

flash8
5th Dec 2013, 17:28
'You're a small country only fit for tourists and students!'

Not even fit for students given that the government has made it extremely tough for them to even get here.

I'd argue don't drop the 'Great' also drop the 'Britain'... this country is unrecognizable from even ten years ago, and none of it for the better.

Most Towns and cities comprise of a squalid set of Betting, charity, Poundland and Wonga shops coupled with the Supermarket Cartel, associated wide array of beggars and huge swathes of people from countries far far away gibbering in esoteric languages.

Let's not mention the doubling of energy prices, proliferation of zero hour contracts, ineffectiveness of the police and judiciary, clampdown of personal rights and freedoms with complete surveillance and the rise of PC to an extent the indigenous population feel complete disenfranchisement.

Drop the 'Britain' as well please.

perthsaint
5th Dec 2013, 17:31
Japan won WW1.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
5th Dec 2013, 17:34
I've just been asked to take up an old job in the UK. I'd love to help them out, but I've just worked out the 36,000 salary would give me less take-home pay than the minimum wage job I was offered last week out here. OK, I have to factor in flights home, but the cost of living/taxes in the UK are ridiculous now. And Canada has a fine health service too.

sled dog
5th Dec 2013, 19:42
In August 2014 I will have been out of the UK for forty years, and have never regretted a minute of it. The UK is going down the tube, due to unrestricted immigration, etc. Small island mentality springs to mind. But, I still have a small union flag sticker on my car, and wear my ( modest ) medals on Remembrance Sunday. What has happened to the land of my birth ?

flying lid
5th Dec 2013, 21:17
still have a small union flag sticker on my car

I have a large St Georges cross on mine !! (A 40 yr old Rover, handcrafted in Solihull).

Give it 10 to 15 years. China will be a hell hole. Shortages of energy, food, & clean water will be their downfall. The bigger you are, the harder you fall.

As to our future ? (England that is) - well - we shall survive, "KBO" as Sir Winston once said.

Lid

Lonewolf_50
5th Dec 2013, 21:24
So long as one can go to a pub in Great Britain and get real ale, the Great will remain in Great Britain.

End of. :D

TomJoad
5th Dec 2013, 21:24
Maybe if Germany and Japan had 'won' WW1 and WW11 the World (and the UK) would be a more prosperous and culturally balanced place today?!

FFS get a grip:ugh: Your Grandfathers would be climbing out of their graves to slap you on the head if they could hear you say that.

TomJoad
5th Dec 2013, 21:26
. What has happened to the land of my birth ?

Maybe it moved on and you didn't. Don't know just thinking.

TomJoad
5th Dec 2013, 21:28
So long as one can go to a pub in Great Britain and get real ale, the Great will remain in Great Britain.

End of. :D

Spot on :D:D:D:D

B Fraser
6th Dec 2013, 07:05
I have been trying to think of examples of China's contribution to the world. So far, I have come up with the following.

Tea
Fireworks
Crispy duck
A branch of medicine that relies on tiger penises and has never eradicated a single disease.
Power tools that last an entire day before burning out.

and that's as far as I can get. I think these small islands we call Great Britain can stand tall in comparison.


I will say that they work incredibly hard and will make a meal from what they can find. I was in a Chinese restaurant recently and there was a sign on the wall that said "Cum for breakfast". Well I suppose they'll eat anything. :bored:

Capetonian
6th Dec 2013, 07:22
Britain colonised large parts of the world and left them better off as a result, although many may not agree with that.

China is now taking over large swathes of Africa and exploiting them mercilessly. They will neither enrich the economy nor improve life for the locals.

It is a pity that Britain has become a shadow of its former self under a succession of left leaning governments, as a satellite of the EUSSR, and a recipient for the scum of Europe in particular and the universe in general. In many places the unspoilt British traditional way of life carries on, and that deserves the accolade of 'great'. There are places in the UK where I sometimes feel that little has changed. Thankfully. I am in such a place this week.

AtomKraft
6th Dec 2013, 07:39
Great Britain achieved much. But it's over now, at least Empire-wise.

England's lost- at least for the English.

There's hope for Scotland, but have we got the balls to grasp that nettle.

radeng
6th Dec 2013, 08:22
Spanner has a point. There are only so many lower skill jobs, and not everybody has the ability to design high technology. Even an engineering degree is no guarantee. About 6 years ago, the company I worked for were looking for RF integrated circuit design engineers in an EU country where a cellular manufacturer had recently laid people off. We found that although they had degrees and 'experience', that 'experience' was sitting in front of workstation and running simulations that they were told to simulate. No idea of why, or what the results meant - it seemed that if they could see lightning and hear thunder, they were taken on.

In the end, all R&D in Europe stopped and it's all done in California now - they reckoned it was cheaper to employ an engineer in San Diego at $120k a year than one in the UK at 50,000 a year. Says a lot for our taxes....

If everyone has a degree, it's like Gilbert and Sullivans' 'Gondoliers' - "when everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody".

vee-tail-1
6th Dec 2013, 08:51
Extraordinary complacency by those who think a country can prosper by running its economy on the manipulation of money.

A successful country makes useful things for itself and to trade with others.
It grows most of its own food and imports little from elsewhere.
It educates its people to provide the appropriate skills and understanding to create those useful things and healthy food.

We in gB do none of the above.

In addition our population is increasing way above the sustainable carrying capacity of our country.

We are heading for disaster with resource shortages, racial conflict, and civil disorders.

When the supermarket shelves empty, and riots break out in the multicultural cities we might remember....

You can't eat money. :hmm:

radeng
6th Dec 2013, 10:28
Vee-Tail,

There is a supposedly true story about a civil engineering job in India, where the British consulting engineer went to the site. He wanted to know why there were so many people with pickaxes, shovels and wheelbarrows, and no JCBs or bulldozers, because they would be so more efficient.

He was told "It's simple. Machines cost money to buy and money to maintain. These people are glad to have work, they aren't as expensive, they don't break down and specialist training isn't necessary. So it's cheaper."

Now we have the situation in the UK where it seems that people don't want work that is hard and/or low paid - so we get immigrants to do it. Seem to remember it happening in the 1950s and 60s with immigrants from the Caribbean, too.

Your predictions don't sound that far out to me. The question is when will this happen.....

B Fraser
6th Dec 2013, 11:29
Vee-Tail,

The Swiss seem to be doing ok on just the basis you describe. They're not a very happy lot but check the exchange rate of the CHF !

vee-tail-1
6th Dec 2013, 12:57
There's quite a few people in my area who think like me, and are trying to prepare for what might come.
There is a largish communally owned settlement nearby. Lammas ? A Pioneering Ecovillage in West Wales (http://lammas.org.uk/)
The local council have given permission for relaxation of most usual planning rules, so long as the community demonstrate off-grid, renewable energy, and sustainable lifestyles. This has resulted in exquisite homes using local timber, cob walls, turfed roofs, lots of insulation, loads of glass and passive heating. Electric vehicles, horse & cart, etc. Small windmills and solar panels are everywhere while there is an interconnected local energy share system. This incidentally produces more energy than the super insulated homes can absorb, so on my visit some of this surplus free energy was being dumped. The community would like to export their surplus energy to the grid, but can't do so because they would be breaching their off-grid contract with the local council ... I guess bureaucrats will always win whatever.
Most (but not all) of the residents are well educated middle class and young. I was called in to give advice on a hydropower problem. The Gilkes turbine was vibrating horribly and appeared liable to self destruct. I spent a day with three '30 something' young graduate engineers who were trying to sort it out. They were dealing with machinery which was designed in the 19th century, built in the early 20th, and connected to 21st century electronics. The fault lay in a complicated mechanical speed governor which had badly worn parts. It took these youngsters some time to figure out how the mechanism worked. But then they were quite flummoxed by the fact that every part had been craftsman made by hand, and nothing was interchangeable. Indeed each part was marked to ensure it only fitted with a similarly marked companion part. The people who made this machinery are long dead and there is no one around to say how much wear is permissible, and how to connect a machine with generous speed tolerance to a modern bit of precision electronics. Craftsmen like clockwork watch makers are long gone, replaced by CAD / CAM .... design and manufacture by robots.
Perhaps radeng's Indian example is the way to go if ordinary people want meaningful jobs.

flash8
6th Dec 2013, 20:10
people don't want work that is hard and/or low paid - so we get immigrants to do it.

Have to disagree.

Immigrants have depressed wages to the extent that the indigenous population seeking a job have to compete with foreigners for rock bottom wages and conditions.

Nine out of ten unskilled Jobs in the UK in the last 12 years have gone to foreign workers.

Wages have been kept suitably low (so low in fact that the vast majority of minimum wage workers actually receive benefits of one form or another from the government!).

And it's a myth the UK has many indigenous workers who don't wish to work ('Scroungers' in Tory parlance) usually iterated by those who know no better (and the Daily Mail).

flash8
6th Dec 2013, 20:53
If everyone has a degree, it's like Gilbert and Sullivans' 'Gondoliers' - "when everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody".

Good quote radeng.

50% of young people go to University.
50% of those that go to University* graduate with a 2.1 or above (40% 2.i, 10% first) satisfying minimum entry requirement for PhD.

Therefore 1 in 4 youngsters have a decent degree and are PhD capable!

wtf :confused:

*Excluding dropouts that range from 2%-20% at most Uni, but often this is not for academic reasons so my figures stand in concept.

radeng
6th Dec 2013, 21:22
But what are those degrees IN?

accountancy with dance', 'Sports field management' are typical. Very few universities have Social Science degrees worth much - unless Brunel has changed, a Social Science degree from there really had to be earned, but that doesn't apply in a lot of places.

"Heavy Degrees" in engineering, mathematics, sciences? How many go for those? I don't think too many.....to do those, schools don't get so many passes and so score less, so don't encourage pupils to go for those "difficult" subjects.

Admittedly, there is a strong argument that want to WORK as an engineer, you need an independent income: if you QUALIFY as an engineer or scientist, there's a good chance that somewhere in the financial world, you will get a much higher paid job than in your field.

I was told of one "new" university who didn't even require A level maths to start an electronics engineering course.....

Having had to meet and deal with so many raw recruited new graduates who have not been taught a lot of the basics, I am glad I am retired..........and sorry for them.

For the future of UK PLC, more so......hopefully I'll live long enough to see the decline start, but not finish.

flash8
6th Dec 2013, 21:34
Indeed it isn't only the dumbing down of education but the dumbing down of subjects!

When I were at Uni (Edinburgh) in the 90's for an MSc, Herriot-Watt nearby offered a degree in 'Brewing'.. oh how we laughed.

Ironically the Scientific content of this degree is/was likely stronger (by far) than many Science degrees offered by some of the new Universities.

Media Studies, Cat Psychology*, Rock Music, Gardening, Beauty therapy, 'Business' Studies, Marketing Studies, Aromatherapy, Football Studies, ... an endless list...


*OK I admit I made this one up.... I think?

radeng
6th Dec 2013, 21:36
Flash

Are you sure you made it up?

perthsaint
6th Dec 2013, 21:51
flash8,

I know several people who did the Brewing degree at HW and now own their own breweries.

They're all happy, successful, brew great beer and are optimistic for the future. :)

B Fraser
7th Dec 2013, 07:23
if you QUALIFY as an engineer or scientist, there's a good chance that somewhere in the financial world, you will get a much higher paid job than in your field.

Yep, there's no bucks in geophysical fluid dynamics so I drive spreadsheets for a FTSE 50 company telling them the bleedin' obvious. The boolean logic from my electronics course does come in handy for writing formulae but that's about it.

flash8
7th Dec 2013, 16:40
Flash

Are you sure you made it up?


Flash swears he once hear of a new "Cat Psychology" degree (accredited by the RSPCA) offered by a dodgy University (plenty of those around). But surely must be mistaken... however after looking at these:

BA (Hons) Make-Up and Hair Design
BA (Hons) Make-up and Hair Design | Courses in 2014/15 | Southampton Solent University (http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/2014/undergraduate/make-up-and-hair-design-ba/course-details.aspx)

How do you 'design' hair ffs?

and this:

BA(Hons) Specialist Hair and Media Make-up
Specialist Hair and Media Make-up BA (Hons) - University College Birmingham (http://www.ucb.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/specialist-make-up/full-time/specialist-hair-and-media-make-up-ba.aspx)

he may well be mistaken :)

TBirdFrank
7th Dec 2013, 16:43
I am currently in a discussion about another unintended consequence of call me Dave's new thrusting modern Britain.

In the search for the nasty law breaking tax dodgers and scroungers it appears that the new PAYE regs are going to catch a lot of well accepted and hitherto accepted practices that will now attract the snoopers and the little grey men who know how to destroy everything and create absolutely nothing except misery, closed buildings and less of ehat we have usually accepted as the norms of life

If you are a shoot with beaters, if you are running a local fete or show, if you want an organist for your funeral or wedding, and you as a result "employ" someone in a casual role - and this includes the likes of schoolkids, then you are going to have to put in PAYE paperwork to prove they were both a valid expenditure and that they have "paid" the tax due - even though they are well below any tax threshold.

Lord help us from these parasites who think they have the right to govern over us :uhoh:

flash8
7th Dec 2013, 16:46
nasty law breaking tax dodgers

In start contrast to Dave's friends the "law abiding tax dodgers" such as Starbucks, Amazon and Google, heck what's a few bill(ion) among friends!

Krystal n chips
7th Dec 2013, 17:35
And then we have this, a true vocation which combines maths, science, media and aerodynamics studies......

Darts Academy | stockport.ac.uk (http://www.stockport.ac.uk/content/darts-academy)

Fox3WheresMyBanana
7th Dec 2013, 17:58
How many Darts Academy students does it take to change a lightbulb?

All of them! And they all get a Course Credit for it!

mikedreamer787
7th Dec 2013, 23:09
Hitler and Hirohito

Hitler and Tojo really. Hirohito was just a figurehead
for the benefit of the adoring masses. Otherwise the
Kempei Tai would've had their hands full at home.