Category Archives: Industrial

Northern Powerhouse v Midlands Engine

Traditionally Birmingham has been known as the ‘second city’ after London.  For the last 20 years Manchester’s star has been rising and it now makes a valid claim to be second city.  The Northern Powerhouse seemed to support this call … Continue reading

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Donald Trump President of the USA and Brexit storm

On the 20th January Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the USA.   Coupled with Brexit it’s a perfect storm for those of a liberal bent.  Although there are those who say the liberal thinkers brought it on … Continue reading

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Brexit progress September 2016

Nearly 3 months after the EU referendum the UK position is still largely a blank page with the heading Brexit: Some Knowns We have a new PM and with that we got a cabinet with 3 pro-Brexit members in charge of … Continue reading

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North West Plastic Bag Factory Closure

A packaging company in Nelson, East Lancashire, has closed due to cheap imports of plastic packaging and the 5p charge on plastic bags.  Some 50 manufacturing jobs lost in an area that needs jobs.  Bad news.

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Trident Nuclear deterrent?

A decision is due on replacing the existing submarines for the Trident nuclear weapon system.  These submarines are built in the North West of England. Those who support it believe it is a deterrent and weapon of last resort that … Continue reading

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EU referendum question

North West England has a lot of experience of working with other European countries in the aerospace and the automotive industry, also the travel industry and many others. A point made by several politicians is that the EU will be … Continue reading

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Visit of Xi Jinping to the UK, investment and steel price

This week the big news is the visit of the President of China, Xi Jinping, to the UK.   Chinese investment in UK nuclear power is one of the main topics and a contract will be signed for Hinckley Point … Continue reading

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Trident replacement?

The North West has an interest in the Trident replacement.  The submarines are built in Barrow and an alternative solution may involve aircraft from Lancashire. Nuclear weapons are a horror there can be little doubt.   They are unanswerable in conflict … Continue reading

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Companies not paying tax might not be all bad

On BBC Question Time last week one of the panellists got loud applause for saying companies should pay the tax they owe.  A figure of £35 billion was mentioned. That is a lot of money.  Is it true?  What would … Continue reading

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Mind The Gap, BBC

Interesting ideas from Evan Davies in his documentary ‘Mind the Gap’.  Relating the rise of London to the slow pace of growth in the rest of the UK.  Evan attributed this to clustering, the magnetism of people and ideas and … Continue reading

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Energy Logic

Energy companies make 4% profit, supermarkets 5%.  Energy companies rip you off, supermarkets save you money. Energy companies are to invest their profits in billions of pounds of new generating capacity every year, but energy prices are to be frozen … Continue reading

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Scandalously low UK content of windfarms and much more

Yesterday’s Times contained an article saying only 20% of the value of windfarm manufacture was retained in the UK and that £10bn is to be spent.  This would result in £8bn being spent overseas. Looking at various other articles it … Continue reading

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Life as we know it in the big office

Many years ago an elitist at work showed me a drawing he’d done of potential career paths.  At the time it seemed improbable to me that people would have a 60 degree upward trajectory while others would never get off … Continue reading

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High Speed Rail, HS2 Business Case Questioned by NAO

This week the National Audit Office (NAO) questioned the business case for HS2.  If this is so important you might wonder why it’s taken so long. The main question seems to be how much work, if any, businessmen do on … Continue reading

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Lest we forget the 70s

I was driving behind a Rover 25 today and recalling the design failures of BLMC and Rover. There are great cars of the past like the Mini and Rover 2000, two of the best looking cars in the 60’s.  Not … Continue reading

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Transport in a whirl or is it the modern norm

Overall there seems to be a lot of untidiness and uncertainty in the government’s transport policy. Perhaps they could smarten up their act. Last week we it was announced First Group have been selected for West Coast Main Line contract, … Continue reading

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Weetabix goes Chinese

The Chinese government owned food company, Bright Foods, has bought 60% of Weetabix.   Is it the loss of the iconic name of Weetabix that makes us anxious, rather than another ‘British’ company being sold overseas. It may be hoped … Continue reading

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Bring on High Speed Rail and East London Airport

Last week there were two bright thoughts on transport. The first was to start HS2 in the north and build it towards the south. The second was to build a new London Airport in the Thames Estuary on the Isle … Continue reading

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Nuclear Power or not

If you were to imagine a worst case scenario you might say a nuclear power station would be hit by an earthquake, followed quickly by a tsunami. People would say don’t be ridiculous how is that going to happen. But … Continue reading

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Cadbury Profits move to Switzerland

The penalty for letting national treasures move into foreign hands has been highlighted by the decision of Kraft to move Cadbury under the wing of its Swiss low tax centre.  This can be done it  is said by moving just … Continue reading

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