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Ash4781

Paul Mason's Report On Newsnight

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Did anyone else watch Paul Mason's report on Newsnight last night?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2010/03/whats_wrong_with_britain_part.html
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/newsnight/
[quote] "All items of value have been removed," reads the sign on the boarded-up Flag and Whistle pub, the first thing you see when you leave Margate railway station. For large parts of Britain the phrase sums up the state of things.

I have been on the road for the best part of two weeks trying to look beyond the financial crisis at the structural problems affecting the real economy - travelling from Margate in south-east England to St David's in west Wales - and back.Along the way I have been asking people - what is wrong with Britain and how do we fix it?[/quote]

I found it an interesting report touching on the rebalancing that is needed. Edited by Ash4781

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[quote name='Ash4781' date='30 March 2010 - 08:25 AM' timestamp='1269937522' post='2451773']
Did anyone else watch Paul Mason's report on Newsnight last night?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2010/03/whats_wrong_with_britain_part.html
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/newsnight/


I found it an interesting report touching on the rebalancing that is needed.
[/quote]

I particularly liked when he pointed out that many politicians and journalists are based in metropolitan centres (usually London, obviously) where the hustle and bustle of city life seems largely unchanged, but out in the towns all the factories have gone and all there is for young blokes to do in places like Stoke is to join a boxing club and punch each other in the head.

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[quote name='gimble' date='30 March 2010 - 09:05 AM' timestamp='1269939957' post='2451832']
I particularly liked when he pointed out that many politicians and journalists are based in metropolitan centres (usually London, obviously) where the hustle and bustle of city life seems largely unchanged, but out in the towns all the factories have gone and all there is for young blokes to do in places like Stoke is to join a boxing club and punch each other in the head.
[/quote]

I did crack a wry smile when the voice-over said something like: "if we could harness this creativeness and energy then stoke could be...."
The image overlayed was just a room full of young men punching inanimate objects (punch bags) repeatedly as though it mattered.

All the Vox-pops "We need them to give us some jobs" who "them" are that will rain employment from the sky into the laps of these people i have no idea.

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[quote name='gimble' date='30 March 2010 - 09:05 AM' timestamp='1269939957' post='2451832']
I particularly liked when he pointed out that many politicians and journalists are based in metropolitan centres (usually London, obviously) where the hustle and bustle of city life seems largely unchanged, but out in the towns all the factories have gone and all there is for young blokes to do in places like Stoke is to join a boxing club and punch each other in the head.
[/quote]

+1

It was a really insightful, thoughtful piece. I loved his take on the metropolitan "bubble" - where baristas go out and shop in their lunch breaks, eat a takeaway and believe they're part of some cool Britannia effect in exchange for earning minimum wage.

Mason was also very smart in detailing the way that Britain gambled everything on a financial service economy concentrated largely around London - and somone made the point that this was a regional economy standing in for a national one. The shots of Stoke's empty industrial wasteland and people on the seafront in Margate (railing against immigrants) rammed it home. Britain is in decline after 13 years of stupidity in which Labour have cut almost all our productive ties. It was a really bearish report, I thought - quite depressing in its sense of how the UK is no longer a world leader in anything except debt. The talking head who pointed out that social mobility was collapsing and that only law and banking were careers that could promise "success" was particularly downbeat.

Tonight's follow-up report - judging by the trailer - looked a lot more happy clappy, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps kind of thing... But anyone with iPlayer should definitely watch the first.

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His blog is well worth reading... 85 comments on last night's item

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/

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[quote name='Super Ted' date='30 March 2010 - 10:15 AM' timestamp='1269940549' post='2451851']
I did crack a wry smile when the voice-over said something like: "if we could harness this creativeness and energy then stoke could be...."
The image overlayed was just a room full of young men punching inanimate objects (punch bags) repeatedly as though it mattered.

All the Vox-pops "We need them to give us some jobs" who "them" are that will rain employment from the sky into the laps of these people i have no idea.
[/quote]

You seem to have ignored the central point ( in order to make a silly patronising comment about ordinary Stoke people) that one "think tank" bod made.

He constrasted the industrial revolution with its decentralised capital, a period during which people were prepared to take a risk on "making and developing things." The UK became a world leader. So industrially we had the equivalent of the Star Ship enterprise, whilst everyone else was still at the donkey and cart stage.

Also our 18th century forebears only had pamphlets to find out "what worked and what didn't" whereas today we have the internet and can find out "what works" even faster.

Now capital seems to be more centralised in the hands of crony capitalists and City Bankers., the result is that social mobility has ground to a halt and money no longer goes into the hands of thousands (millions) of entrepreneurs who are prepared to risk all. Also an over reliance in mini bubble economies that only occur in big city's such as London. The so called "Starbucks" phenomenon.

Looking forward to tonights follow up, though not hopeful on the solutions, until the "too big to fail" types are bankrupted and failed and capitalism is allowed to work properly again.

And of course no politician is prepared to engage with the voter as to where the jobs for their children are going to come from. Just about everyone I speak to with kids is concerned about this. Most effective routes to the "top" being through the City or legal profession. The result is that the next generation will almost certainly be poorer than the previous.

Paul Mason is a rarity amongst BBC reporters. He actually "gets it." As he pointed out we can't survive alone on "supermarkets" and "call centres." Edited by SirStirlingSlumlord

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The UK has deeply rooted structural unemployment, and I have no idea how we re-skill to get create wealth again...

Apologies if this vid was posted before, sums up the causes and effect on our once great industrial cities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr-zc1BB3sk

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Yes Paul Masons reports are heads and shoulder above everything else being reported at present.
This is the real Britain and its very scary. What jobs will there be for our kids?
Nobody knows.
This is globalisation and the consequences of 20 years of neo liberal policies.
But its not what we were told was going to happen.
We were told we were going to benefit from neo liberalism and globalisation but the reality looks very different.
The politicians have been seriously mistaken beliving that high finance and the knowledge economy was going to provide everyone
with a living and they have no plan B. They can only keep on trying plan A again and again and again because they cant admit they were wrong.

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[quote name='SirStirlingSlumlord' date='30 March 2010 - 10:52 AM' timestamp='1269942727' post='2451914']
You seem to have ignored the central point ( in order to make a silly patronising comment about ordinary Stoke people) that one "think tank" bod made.

He constrasted the industrial revolution with its decentralised capital, a period during which people were prepared to take a risk on "making and developing things." The UK became a world leader. So industrially we had the equivalent of the Star Ship enterprise, whilst everyone else was still at the donkey and cart stage.

Also our 18th century forebears only had pamphlets to find out "what worked and what didn't" whereas today we have the internet and can find out "what works" even faster.

Now capital seems to be more centralised in the hands of crony capitalists and City Bankers., the result is that social mobility has ground to a halt and money no longer goes into the hands of thousands (millions) of entrepreneurs who are prepared to risk all. Also an over reliance in mini bubble economies that only occur in big city's such as London. The so called "Starbucks" phenomenon.

Looking forward to tonights follow up, though not hopeful on the solutions, until the "too big to fail" types are bankrupted and failed and capitalism is allowed to work properly again.

And of course no politician is prepared to engage with the voter as to where the jobs for their children are going to come from. Just about everyone I speak to with kids is concerned about this. Most effective routes to the "top" being through the City or legal profession. The result is that the next generation will almost certainly be poorer than the previous.

[b]Paul Mason is a rarity amongst BBC reporters. He actually "gets it." [/b]As he pointed out we can't survive alone on "supermarkets" and "call centres."
[/quote]

Yes. Absolutely.

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[quote name='Super Ted' date='30 March 2010 - 10:15 AM' timestamp='1269940549' post='2451851']
I did crack a wry smile when the voice-over said something like: "if we could harness this creativeness and energy then stoke could be...."
The image overlayed was just a room full of young men punching inanimate objects (punch bags) repeatedly as though it mattered.

All the Vox-pops "We need them to give us some jobs" who "them" are that will rain employment from the sky into the laps of these people i have no idea.
[/quote]


a job is something you get yourself and do, not have given to you

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[quote name='SirStirlingSlumlord' date='30 March 2010 - 09:52 AM' timestamp='1269942727' post='2451914']
You seem to have ignored the central point ( in order to make a silly patronising comment about ordinary Stoke people) that one "think tank" bod made.

He constrasted the industrial revolution with its decentralised capital, a period during which people were prepared to take a risk on "making and developing things." The UK became a world leader. So industrially we had the equivalent of the Star Ship enterprise, whilst everyone else was still at the donkey and cart stage.

Also our 18th century forebears only had pamphlets to find out "what worked and what didn't" whereas today we have the internet and can find out "what works" even faster.

Now capital seems to be more centralised in the hands of crony capitalists and City Bankers., the result is that social mobility has ground to a halt and money no longer goes into the hands of thousands (millions) of entrepreneurs who are prepared to risk all. Also an over reliance in mini bubble economies that only occur in big city's such as London. The so called "Starbucks" phenomenon.

Looking forward to tonights follow up, though not hopeful on the solutions, until the "too big to fail" types are bankrupted and failed and capitalism is allowed to work properly again.

And of course no politician is prepared to engage with the voter as to where the jobs for their children are going to come from. Just about everyone I speak to with kids is concerned about this. Most effective routes to the "top" being through the City or legal profession. The result is that the next generation will almost certainly be poorer than the previous.

Paul Mason is a rarity amongst BBC reporters. He actually "gets it." As he pointed out we can't survive alone on "supermarkets" and "call centres."
[/quote]

+1

That's an accurate assessment. What happened to all those entrepreneurs that started those factories? What happened to their children? I think most left the country, certainly most of my old school chums left in the mid/late 90s. Wish I'd done the same now.

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[quote name='Si1' date='30 March 2010 - 11:29 AM' timestamp='1269944955' post='2451987']
a job is something you get yourself and do, not have given to you
[/quote]

Well Paul Mason interviewed a Stoke lady. She started work at the potteries and then did the full cycle of employers including a stint at Creda which also failed. Its now pound shop work for her I guess.

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[quote name='Mugwump Boy' date='30 March 2010 - 10:16 AM' timestamp='1269940578' post='2451852']
+1

It was a really insightful, thoughtful piece. I loved his take on the metropolitan "bubble" - where baristas go out and shop in their lunch breaks, eat a takeaway and believe they're part of some cool Britannia effect in exchange for earning minimum wage.

Mason was also very smart in detailing the way that Britain gambled everything on a financial service economy concentrated largely around London - and somone made the point that this was a regional economy standing in for a national one. The shots of Stoke's empty industrial wasteland and people on the seafront in Margate (railing against immigrants) rammed it home. Britain is in decline after 13 years of stupidity in which Labour have cut almost all our productive ties. It was a really bearish report, I thought - quite depressing in its sense of how the UK is no longer a world leader in anything except debt. The talking head who pointed out that social mobility was collapsing and that only law and banking were careers that could promise "success" was particularly downbeat.

Tonight's follow-up report - judging by the trailer - looked a lot more happy clappy, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps kind of thing... But anyone with iPlayer should definitely watch the first.
[/quote]

Truly excellent stuff.

One of the best, if not THE best, the BBC have got.

His reports should be going out primetime just before and after party political broadcasts. He gets straight to the heart of the problem and his delivery is laced with an implicit disdain for our ruling classes. (I'm actually a little suprised Baron Mandelschild allows the BBC to let him go to air).

Britain needs to bulldoze Canary Wharf, implement capital controls and trade tariffs with Asia punto pronto and kick-start factories making sh1t again for our own consumption and to put all these young kids back to work.

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[quote name='Red Kharma' date='30 March 2010 - 10:45 AM' timestamp='1269945940' post='2452005']
Truly excellent stuff.

One of the best, if not THE best, the BBC have got.

His reports should be going out primetime just before and after party political broadcasts. He gets straight to the heart of the problem and his delivery is laced with an implicit disdain for our ruling classes. (I'm actually a little suprised Baron Mandelschild allows the BBC to let him go to air).
[/quote]

Memo to Paul Mason - don't go hill-walking or take your dog for a run in the woods...

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[quote name='SirStirlingSlumlord' date='30 March 2010 - 11:32 AM' timestamp='1269945132' post='2451993']
Well Paul Mason interviewed a Stoke lady. She started work at the potteries and then did the full cycle of employers including a stint at Creda which also failed. Its now pound shop work for her I guess.
[/quote]

Exactly. I grew up in a town near Stoke - it has been utterly devastated over the last couple of decades. It used to have a big British Steel plant -gone. It used to have numerous pottery and fine china manufacturers (Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, just about any well-known British brand). But they outsourced all of their mass production to Asia/Indonesia. Then they started to consolidate as profit margins went down. Now none of them are British owned and there's hardly anything left in the UK apart from the name. That happened just over the last decade during the mass private equity / M&A binge.

I don't know what it was like for the mining towns in the early 80's but I imagine it is similar to what has happened to Stoke. The local businesses have collapsed faster than new ones have arrived to replace them so there almost literally are no jobs for people to do.

Telling people to 'get on your bike' just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

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[quote name='Si1' date='30 March 2010 - 11:29 AM' timestamp='1269944955' post='2451987']
a job is something you get yourself and do, not have given to you
[/quote]

That implies there is an economic gap available to you where you can move in, add value to something with hard work, and sell it. Farmers occupy the gap between land and hungry mouths, factory workers sit between raw materials and people who need machines, doctors between sick people and good health etc. Where is the gap that all these millions of young people can usefully step into?

I think the problem is that there is no gap anymore because the raw materials (land, buildings, energy, transport, wood/metal/foodstuffs etc) are so expensive and your potential customers have no spare cash to pay you with. Your customers are poor because they are spending so much of their wages on land/buildings/energy already so they have little spare to pay somebody else to add labour to things for them.

If you want to create opportunities for work again you need to get people's spending on raw materials down again, especially spending on land. When residential and commercial property is inexpensive for everybody to buy/rent you will likely find that many business plans can fly which were impossible at 2006 prices. Edited by Dorkins

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[quote name='Mugwump Boy' date='30 March 2010 - 12:00 PM' timestamp='1269946806' post='2452024']
Memo to Paul Mason - don't go hill-walking or take your dog for a run in the woods...
[/quote]

No danger of that. He wil get kicked upstairs! They will just promote Paul mason to BBC1.

Steph Flanders went through "death via promotion." Her insightful economic "pieces to camera" on late night Newsnight, were transformed into the similar drivel that Peston knocks out for a living, on mainstream news.

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[quote name='efdemin' date='30 March 2010 - 12:12 PM' timestamp='1269947538' post='2452046']
Exactly. I grew up in a town near Stoke - it has been utterly devastated over the last couple of decades. It used to have a big British Steel plant -gone. It used to have numerous pottery and fine china manufacturers (Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, just about any well-known British brand). But they outsourced all of their mass production to Asia/Indonesia. Then they started to consolidate as profit margins went down. Now none of them are British owned and there's hardly anything left in the UK apart from the name. That happened just over the last decade during the mass private equity / M&A binge.

I don't know what it was like for the mining towns in the early 80's but I imagine it is similar to what has happened to Stoke. The local businesses have collapsed faster than new ones have arrived to replace them so there almost literally are no jobs for people to do.

[b]Telling people to 'get on your bike' just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.[/b]
[/quote]

People are getting on their bikes alright and going to places like Australia and Canada.
They had get up and go and they got up and went. But that doesnt help the UK much.

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it was a good piece and said a lot that needed saying. But why [i]now[/i]? I would have lot more respect for Newsnight if they'd broadcast this, say, 5 years ago. But at the time they were too busy being the cheerleaders for the housing-bubble driven debt economy.

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[quote name='efdemin' date='30 March 2010 - 12:12 PM' timestamp='1269947538' post='2452046']
Exactly. I grew up in a town near Stoke - it has been utterly devastated over the last couple of decades. It used to have a big British Steel plant -gone. It used to have numerous pottery and fine china manufacturers (Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, just about any well-known British brand). But they outsourced all of their mass production to Asia/Indonesia. Then they started to consolidate as profit margins went down. Now none of them are British owned and there's hardly anything left in the UK apart from the name. That happened just over the last decade during the mass private equity / M&A binge.

I don't know what it was like for the mining towns in the early 80's but I imagine it is similar to what has happened to Stoke. The local businesses have collapsed faster than new ones have arrived to replace them so there almost literally are no jobs for people to do.

Telling people to 'get on your bike' just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.
[/quote]

The question I ask then is where does the economic benefit transfer to?

1. Do we get better quality pottery? Nope
2. Do we get cheaper pottery? Nope.
3. Do our asian workers enjoy western salaries and social provision, pensions, health and safety? Nope.
4. Do the increased profits/taxes from globalisation flow back into the loosing or gaining nations? Nope
5. Does overal tax take on the loosing country increase.

Indeed, the globalists seek to detach themselves entirely from the jurisdiction particular states, yet seek protection using their right to trade freely, benefit from our contract law, and ensuring the rule of law, law and order, law of property, copyright, trademarks is sustained and honoured.

Just an increasing amount of cream is skimmed off for a smaller elite that is getting richer beyond the dreams of avarice, whilst the remaining indigenous population are taxed into ground, paying for the enforced idleness of the remaining population. And the next big idea for scimming is of course the trading of carbon allowances. You think the Chinese are going to pay for their carbon allowances?

People will need to start acting for themselves. Bypassing the "tapeworm economy" and the state entirely.

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[quote name='Fudge' date='30 March 2010 - 12:37 PM' timestamp='1269949022' post='2452094']
People are getting on their bikes alright and going to places like Australia and Canada.
They had get up and go and they got up and went. But that doesnt help the UK much.
[/quote]

I guess so but only those with skills that Oz and Canada want - i.e. those who can get jobs (or retirees with a big pot of cash). I moved out of the area to Cambridge because there's nothing much in the NW in the industry I work in. Would have preferred to live on the outskirts of Manchester than the outskirts of London, but heyho.

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Paul Mason is likely to get a slap from the BBC's bosses in 10 Downing Street. Painting a picture of devastated towns in Labour's industrial heartland is, as he knows full well, completely and utterly verboten.

You can go round this in circles over and over again - and nothing will change.

We cannot compete with asian manufacturers because in this country ...

The cost of a factory is too high.
Business rates are too high
Wages are too high
Health and safety legislation places high costs on business
Too much money has to be spent on administration to satisfy government demands

Add it all up and with regards to making anything ordinary - like clothes for example - we cannot compete with a sweatshop in Bangladesh.

One of the biggest costs in UK manufacturing is staff. And staff need a certain (high) level of wage to make it possible to, amongst other things, PUT A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS.

High house prices do a lot more than force young people to take on massive debts to transfer to the generation before them. It makes every single thing we make or do uncompetitive.

High house prices are absolute madness. Complete, stark raving madness.

Question: How do you destroy the competitiveness of an economy most effectively?
Answer: Inflate house prices with high levels of debt causing wage demands to rise to pay for all that debt.

As it says in my signature, High House Prices Poison Everything

Money spent servicing mortgage debt would be better spent creating demand in the economy and/or working for lower wages so we can compete in a global economy.

The UK is a basket case. High wages and high property prices. Something has to give eventually. Edited by Let's get it right

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[quote name='efdemin' date='30 March 2010 - 12:12 PM' timestamp='1269947538' post='2452046']
Exactly. I grew up in a town near Stoke - it has been utterly devastated over the last couple of decades. It used to have a big British Steel plant -gone. It used to have numerous pottery and fine china manufacturers (Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, just about any well-known British brand). But they outsourced all of their mass production to Asia/Indonesia. Then they started to consolidate as profit margins went down. Now none of them are British owned and there's hardly anything left in the UK apart from the name. That happened just over the last decade during the mass private equity / M&A binge.

I don't know what it was like for the mining towns in the early 80's but I imagine it is similar to what has happened to Stoke. The local businesses have collapsed faster than new ones have arrived to replace them so there almost literally are no jobs for people to do.

Telling people to 'get on your bike' just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.
[/quote]

I suspect Tired of Waiting just orgasmed.

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Banks need to focus on investing in productive industries, steel, ship building, aircraft manufacturing etc and not derivative scams

Reopen the steel works, use the production for high quality big idea projects, how about starting with the high speed rail link but link all of the cities, rebuild the bridges that were lost in the winter floods in steel etc.

Britain has the ability to produce virtually everything we need so we should be manufacturing for our own markets first then exporting to the rest of the world

With the investment required to replace the nuclear power stations that will close in the next decade we could employ thousands of people.

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