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economic situation is dire


ianrobo1
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Wasn't it much cheaper to import coal from abroad than mine our own? Wasn't that one of the reasons why the coal industry declined? (plus the desire to break the unions)

Its never quite as simple as that. The government of the time gave figures based purely on tonnage. That isn't the whole story with coal though, there are many different grades of coal based on its calorific values (the heat it gives off), British coal in the main was of a very high value, the prices quoted for the imported coal were usually Polish prices (still communist at the time), trouble is Polish coal was low calorific value so it was much cheaper. You had to import much more coal to cover what we lost. Even after it was all over and only Tower Colliery still existed in Wales, it was producing coal for the local Power Stations, but it was still of such high calorific value that they has to import Polish coal anyway, because the Welsh coal was burning at too high a temperature for the power stations to be able to cope with on its own.

In other words, that argument was bullshit.

 

 

You say it was never as simple as that, but then proceed to give an overly simplified answer, that ignores the fact that the coal industry was massively subsidised and loss making.  It needed modernising to make it competitive internationally, but the NUM refused.  I know that's again overly simplistic, but there was a lot more to it than just cheap Polish imports.  The price of coal on the world market as a whole was much cheaper than that of the UK.

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You say it was never as simple as that, but then proceed to give an overly simplified answer, that ignores the fact that the coal industry was massively subsidised and loss making.  It needed modernising to make it competitive internationally, but the NUM refused.  I know that's again overly simplistic, but there was a lot more to it than just cheap Polish imports.  The price of coal on the world market as a whole was much cheaper than that of the UK.

I was merely responding to a point about imported coal being cheaper, didn't really want to go in to the whole Miners Strike thang again.

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I was merely responding to a point about imported coal being cheaper, didn't really want to go in to the whole Miners Strike thang again.

 

Although the details of the dispute are probably irrelevant in this particular argument, the miners strike does represent a fundamental issue as regards politics.

 

That issue is about which workers are expected to be exposed to market forces and which workers are not.

 

So miners and postal workers are forced to be exposed to market forces, while farmers and elite workers are considered sacred and have to be protected.

 

This is glaringly apparent for workers employed by the state: doctors and nurses protected, lower-level staff considered low-hanging fruit for privatisation.

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The sale of the steel industry was suspect too.

 

We were told it was losing big money and had to shifted to the private sector.

 

It turns out that the industry had been investing in the future.

 

We were making the best steel in world.

 

The Germans and the Japanese had been left behind, delegations from both countries came to see how it was done.

 

Then it was sold before it had a chance to recoup the investment.

 

 

Privatisation failed to demonstrate the case made by the privatisers that private companies are always more competent than state-owned ones – that private bosses, chasing the carrot of bonuses and dodging the stick of bankruptcy, will always do better than their state-employed counterparts.

 

This is quite interesting reading.

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Brilliant post by Xann re. the steel industry - an excellent example. No. my post wasn't aimed at "going into the whole miners strike", it was a comment on our economy where it now seems that the old 'balance of trade' figures are rarely quoted. As we don't actually make much these days (compared to ,say, 30 years ago, they can't look that rosy and the altruistic Thatcher destroyed a whole industry at one stroke. I pass various coal-fired powered stations in the Midlands and they have tonnes of coal piled up; to my simple mind something doesn't make sense.

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Just about ALL coal was cheaper, low-calory Polish coal and otherwise.

 

What I find weird, is how just about all coal was cheaper, yet we were exporting it.

Guess we must have been exporting it at a loss?

 

 

We were producing it at a loss

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Just about ALL coal was cheaper, low-calory Polish coal and otherwise.

 

What I find weird, is how just about all coal was cheaper, yet we were exporting it.

Guess we must have been exporting it at a loss?

 

 

We were producing it at a loss

 

 

Yet in 1980, of the 128,000,000 metric tonnes produced, nearly 100,000,000 mt's was for use in nationalised power stations and nationalised industries. So this 'loss' is not quite that clear cut. It's a bit of a paper exercise, like when British Gas sells itself gas at a price that means they have to put up prices.

 

But we could toss the figures back and fore all evening I guess, with little chance of anyone changing their mind.

 

We now import a significant portion of our fuel from Russia and middle eastern states. That's a massively risky way of pursuing the 'cheapest' deal.

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Giles Fraser on debt write-offs, starts at 1 hr 48 mins here (lasts for 3 mins).

Takes in Socrates, the Bible, Judaism, Graeber, Syriza and Merkel. Worth a listen.

It didn't do much for me, to be honest.

Socratic dialogues always seemed rigged and there is no way he would win an argument on VT.

Tbf has anyone ever won an argument on VT ?

 

 

If I had 20p for every time I find myself pitching an argument I'm not really 100% behind and wondering 'how did I get here?', I'd have £1.60

 

No you wouldn't, you'd have £1.80.

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We now import a significant portion of our fuel from Russia and middle eastern states. That's a massively risky way of pursuing the 'cheapest' deal.

 

If only we could mitigate that risk by laying waste to those countries, acting as protector or destroying their economies.

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The Financial Services Consumer Panel says of itself

 

We are an independent statutory body, set up to represent the interests of consumers in the development of policy for the regulation of financial services.

 

It has now appointed to its panel, to represent our interests as consumers, a former MP who had to resign for fiddling expenses, and a former lawyer for RBS, which must be in the running for the award for most corrupt UK bank, and whose directors even Vince "Doormat" Cable is calling to be prosecuted.

 

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has appointed former Royal Bank of Scotland lawyer Mark Chidley and former Labour MP Kitty Ussher to the panel.

 

The pair will begin their three-year terms as members of the panel on 1 February.

 

Ussher was the Labour MP for Burnley from 2005 to 2010, and served as economic secretary to the Treasury between 2007 and 2008.

 

In 2009 she resigned from her ministerial position after evidence emerged that she used her second home to avoid paying capital gains tax during the MPs expenses scandal. 

 

She is currently managing director of the research consultancy Tooley Street Research.

 

Chidley is a solicitor specialising in banking and finance law. From 2002 to 2005 he was director of group legal services at RBS, and since then has been a partner at DLA Piper.

 

His main focus on the panel will be on issues facing SMEs.

 

The new members have been appointed following the departures of Debbie Harrison and Fiona Fry.

 

Consumer Panel chair Sue Lewis says: “I am delighted to welcome Mark and Kitty to the panel. They both bring valuable experience and knowledge of the different ways in which financial services policy can have an impact on consumers, and I look forward to working with them.

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A City Where Everyone Works, There is No Police, and the Salary is 1200 Euros.

 

Marinaleda

 

 

"They all thought that the market was God, who made everything work with his invisible hand. Before, it was a mortal sin to talk about the government having a role in the economy. Now, we see we have to put the economy at the service of man."

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I've got a horrible feeling they are going to be made an example of.

 

Perhaps they should start with small symbolic actions. Get a few hundred bus loads of volunteers and quite literally drive them to Germany and tell them they are there for the better life. Pointing out the other 1,500 coaches will be along in a month, then another 1,500 buses every week until something significant changes.

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