Tuesday, 20 January 2009

In the beginning

I got the idea from Old Holborn where the blogger quotes Mandelson making adverse comments on British businessmen. So I started wondering about the nature of British business, and British businessmen. To keep it short, and as ethnocentric as possible, it struck me that IF the businessmen operating here were not British, THEN why should they really care about anything except the orders of their foreign bosses. So, Mandelson could be right, in a cack-handed sort of way. Obviously, the next question is: who owns British industry? The question after that, natch, is what happened to the industry we had at some fixed date earlier, like 1945?

So the following was added to OH’s comments section:

Yes, but what is British business?

Take electric power generation, for example, a very strategic British business. A glance at BERR data shows that there were 298 generators in service at the end of 2008 providing an installed max output of 78,024 MW. Of that capacity:

23% is wholly British owned (18,427 MW)
17% is part British owned (12,990 MW)
60% is foreign owned (mostly the big power stations).

"His Sliminess himself, Dark Lord Mandy of Airstrip One, has been charged by the Brown Gorgon with the task of promoting British business. His idea of doing this is to tell us that nobody in this country is any use at running a business"

Well, OK, but did anybody get a chance before the profit-takers got in?

The follow-up will be more on electric power generation, and we will go on from there.

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