Further to my earlier posts here and here, it was a breath of fresh air to watch the BBC 2‘s TV show , The Town Taking on China, reviewed somewhat unfairly on the telegraph here. I’m not in the least bit impressed by the efforts of this single cushion factory. Not really, and its not because their efforts are not commendable. Truly and sincerely, efforts such as these are worthy of praise and much support, and are a good example of the enduring spirit and innovation of British industry.
Its just that it is meagre compared to what would realistically be required to get Britain making such commodities on an industrial scale again. In any case, during the series, someone correctly observed that China has no minimum wage or labour laws, and that gives them a significant advantage over everyone who has. Which is why, while I wholeheartedly support ideas such as that of Hiut Denim, that has begun manufacturing jeans(briefly putting aisde the £230! price tag :-|) in the small Town of Cardigan, in Wales, something more ought to be done, if Britain is to reduce its unemployment and revive its manufacturing sector.
For example, its not beyond imagination, for retailers who buy in wholesale from such companies (Hiut Denim, Caldeira Retail Ltd, etc ) to be provided with incentives for doing so. The point is, if Asia has one over you as a result of a complex number of factors (including the absence of the minimum wage mentioned above) , its obvious to diversify your own industry and use other suitable measures to encourage your own industry. I know British Industry (including retail) relies heavily on Asia, and wouldn’t for once advocate an immediate switch. Instead, to put it in a different way, if China somehow dissappeared overnight, many western economies would be thrown into instant chaos. Disrupted by events occuring thousands of miles from their borders.
That couldn’t possibly be a good thing.
- New Hiut Jeans are Getting a Welsh Town Back to Work (treehugger.com)
- Hiut: Made in Britain and made to last (moroccotomorrow.org)
- We need the minimum wage for under-21s to be raised (liberalconspiracy.org)
- UK manufacturing is coming home (telegraph.co.uk)
- Chinese manufacturing woes ease: HSBC (abc.net.au)
- The minimum wage vote (timesunion.com)
- Minimum wage adjustment should be automatic (blogs.vancouversun.com)