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scepticus

The New East India Company (Uk Plc)

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Or is it a case of the New Northern Atlantic Company? Non-growers can't be choosers.

"In 1690, Thomas ‘Diamond’ Pitt led an opulent delegation of the East India Company’s Madras factors, bearing their wares, to the Nawab of the Carnatic, the richest man in southern India, with the intention of buying him out. They succeeded, but Pitt had nothing on David Cameron’s delegation. Six cabinet ministers, more than 10 CEOs and God knows how many diplomats are accompanying the Prime Minister. The only person missing is Nick – but that sort of thing is frowned upon by Delhi’s Edwardianly genteel political classes.

As I wrote yesterday, pageantry titillates commercial diplomacy, and Cameron is staking everything on this mission. As the Independent reported yesterday, current Anglo-Indian bilateral trade is worth a little more £11bn a year. That is a very small figure. The Indian consumer market is worth £227bn; it is set to rise to £352bn by 2014. The opportunities for Tesco and Arcadia (hell even Milletts) are vast. But it is Wall-Mart’s opportunity too, and America’s trade with India is three times the size of ours.

Cameron will want to open the Indian market on retail, housing and tax; but open markets work both ways, and the Indians are wary of the government’s cap on non-EU migration. Vince Cable intervened today to calm Indian journalists’ concerns. Paul Waugh has the quote, Cable said:

‘So if we are going to attract more foreign investment, foreign companies coming here – whether they’re Indian, Japanese, American, Korean or whatever – then clearly inter-company transfers of people, access to high-level manpower: these have to be respected. This is a point the Indians are making to us, and they’re right to make it.

‘It’s no great secret that in my department and me personally, we want to see an open economy, and as liberal an immigration policy as it’s possible to have. We believe that, because it’s good for growth and good for the British economy.’

Cable is right. India wants greater access to British Higher Education and health care; companies will want skilled labour to move between jurisdictions in a global economy that becomes ever more fluid; in return, India lowers the barriers to its enormous market and extends its already large investments in British firms. Yet, against this, is the non-EU migrant cap - a protectionist measure that privileges the stagnant internal EU market. I’m not the first to note the contradiction between the government’s commercial foreign policy and its populist immigration policy. (Political cowardice is to blame – if you want to stop mass migration from countries that are short on literacy but long in jihad, do so. Don’t try to cheat the market.)

Cameron has one course of action. Jo Johnson wrote in his must read piece for this week’s magazine:

‘New Delhi is certainly open to the prospect of a revitalised relationship with Britain, the question is how effectively Cameron exploits the goodwill.’

If aid is not on the negotiating table, which I understand it isn't, then immigration must be. And what's the harm? One good turn deserves another. "

Edited by scepticus

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If anybody in the last government admitted to the sordid reality of the ICT scam of the last ten years the public would want em hung, drawn and quartered as a minimum.

But I don't think the cons-libs have any choice but to carry it on because of the global nature of big business. Prince Vince has clearly recognised that.

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Ho hum

Blair launched a similar type of trade charm offensive in China in 1998 accompanied by a large delegation led by Lord Powell, former foreign affairs adviser to Mrs Thatcher.

We still appear to be waiting for the benefits from that particular jolly.

Why do people think it will be 'different this time'

Cameron would probably be better off cutting trade deals with the Turks who at least want to join the EU an entity which rather inconveniently for many Tories and other denizens of the UK remains Britain's biggest trade market

Edited by realcrookswearsuits

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Cameron would probably be better off cutting trade deals with the Turks who at least want to join the EU an entity which rather inconveniently for many Tories and other denizens of the UK remains Britain's biggest trade market

He's doing that too.. both of them by the look of it:

Cameron began a four-day foreign tour in Ankara last night that will also take him to India, accompanied by Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer John Varley, Vodafone Group Plc CEO Vittorio Colao and more than 30 other executives from U.K. companies, as he seeks to put trade at the center of British foreign policy.

Cameron In Turkey

I'm not sure I exactly understand the need for unhindered migration between trading nations. I can't think of any countries that allow automatic citizenship to trading partners unless as member states of the same nation (as appears to be the aim of Europe).

Why is completely free migration necessarily a prerequisite for free trade?

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The news items this morning are ridiculously parochial. The Indian government doesn't care about its' citizens migration desires any more than our government does about ours. A free market Anglo-American style means one way traffic - we open our borders (to the benefit of our piggie corporatists looking for cheap labour) while they remain protectionist. How many auto manufacturers did the Japanese allow in the 1980s?

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Vince Cable sucking up to the Indians. Relaxing the rules on the abuse of intra-company transfers will kill off an already dying IT employment market in the UK. The Indians don't value the relationship as much as the UK thinks as one poster pointed out it will be very one-sided. In yesterday's FT it was reported they would much rather have a "special relationship" with the US where their trade is much greater then with the old Imperial power.

Edited by pl1

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Hang on though, I am dumb, but we outsource all our jobs to India, and then they want to come here?

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Members of the Indian ruling caste want to be able to live in the lower Thames Valley alongside the Russian Oligarchs, Lebanese arms dealers, Greek shipping magnates etc.

The resulting affect on Joe Bloggs or Joe Patel is not relevant to them.

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Not quite on topic, but it hasn't been mentioned, I am disquieted by Daft Dave's enthusiasm for Turkey joining the EU.

I see no benefit to Britain apart from another source of cheap migrant labour.

The statistical certainty of Istanbul being wiped out by an earthquake in the foreseeable future seems to be a downside risk best avoided.

Turkey has a far from stable and less than democratic internal politics.

Europe has enough problems why, the question really, does Daft Dave want to add to them?

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Europe has enough problems why, the question really, does Daft Dave want to add to them?

Is that an official party political broadcast? :rolleyes:

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Is that an official party political broadcast? :rolleyes:

ack, you're at it again. knock it off.

leave the party broadcasters to themselves and just get on with your non partisan objective analysis, is my suggestion.

otherwise you'll soon find yourself running summer social action camps for wayward teenagers.

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Why is completely free migration necessarily a prerequisite for free trade?

It's not. But it helps drive down British wages, which British governments seem to believe to be a good thing for some reason.

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Is that an official party political broadcast? :rolleyes:

Not really party politics, though I do think Daft Dave is not the solution to this countries present problems.

I was posing a question about what, in political terms, Dave wants to achieve.

I see no benefit in inviting Turkey into the EU. I do not see India being gullible enough to embrace us, we still give them aid, so why change?

In cosying up to India, Daft Dave has slighted Pakistan,the origin of the largest group of our immigrat pnopulation

Does he get diplomacy, or is the agenda revolutionary?

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It's not. But it helps drive down British wages, which British governments seem to believe to be a good thing for some reason.

a falling in real standards of living for british people is unavoidable. Unavoidable.

What can and should be avoided is a fall in nominal terms.

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leave the party broadcasters to themselves

It's not. But it helps drive down British wages, which British governments seem to believe to be a good thing for some reason.

Ok, in response (and to appease Scepticus by being patient with Hilltop) I don't think they necessarily do.

We impose minimum wages, which directly contradict the idea of cheap labour. Labour has a minimum price regardless of where it comes from. If industry is priced out by labour costs, people lose their jobs not take a pay cut.

When Poland entered the EU we were (from memory) the only country not to impose a cap on Polish migration.. unless you are very cynical this was almost certainly incompetence/bad-planning as opposed to malicious design.

Which brings me back around to the reason for the government courting India / Pakistan / Turkey.

We want to sell services/weapons/nuclear infrastructure into India. We want to invest/create trade with Turkey. We need Pakistan as an ally in the middle east.

As far as I can tell, backing Turkey's entry to the EU prior to trade negotiations is a fairly obvious PR exercise to help strengthen our position. It has very little actual effect since the French and Germans are still opposed, but will carry weight as a political gesture with the Turks.

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a falling in real standards of living for british people is unavoidable. Unavoidable.

No, they just need to be more productive than workers elsewhere. But that would take a dramatic change in the British mindset.

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I do not see India being gullible enough to embrace us, we still give them aid, so why change?

We can sell them nukes Linky

And that will just be part of the bargaining chip.

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When Poland entered the EU we were (from memory) the only country not to impose a cap on Polish migration.

No, Ireland and Sweden waived transitional restrictions as well. And it was for the full "A-8", not just Poland.

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No, they just need to be more productive than workers elsewhere. But that would take a dramatic change in the British mindset.

Firstly - can't see how standard of living can be measured in a 'nominal term'. If I can now afford 1 pack of crisp at £1 where I used to be able to afford 2 packs at £1, one can't say that nominally, the standard of living is the same. 1 pack of crisp is 1 pack of crisp, not 2.

I am afraid I agree with Skepticus here - it is not enough to be just more productive, British wages is probably around 5x to 10x those of emerging market, British workers can't be that much more productive. Ultimately, there are more people grabbing the same finite set of natural resources and the law of averaging means those who are down go up and those who are already up go down...

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British wages is probably around 5x to 10x those of emerging market, British workers can't be that much more productive.

Why not?

Sure, so long as Britain remains a tired old decaying ex-Imperial power which considers the NHS more important than productive industry and BTL landlords more important than manufacturing then it will never happen, but there's no rational reason at all why workers in what used to be one of the most advanced nations in the world shouldn't be much more productive than somewhere like India.

I was reading this morning about a plan from the 60s to build Mach-4 airliners to carry troops around the Empire; where did the Britain which came up with that kind of engineering idea vanish to? (OK, I'm being rhetorical, most of it fled to America in the 70s brain drain)

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Ultimately, there are more people grabbing the same finite set of natural resources and the law of averaging means those who are down go up and those who are already up go down...

True, but this has been happening for years.. look at the acceleration of EM wages compared to our own.

As long as we are all getting richer this is not a problem (all be it we get richer more slowly that those in developing countries). The problem comes as global growth slows or even contracts, we in the western world will actually start to get poorer in real terms for the first time in living memory. This will be the point where we really test Particle man's theory IMO.

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Why not?

Sure, so long as Britain remains a tired old decaying ex-Imperial power which considers the NHS more important than productive industry and BTL landlords more important than manufacturing then it will never happen, but there's no rational reason at all why workers in what used to be one of the most advanced nations in the world shouldn't be much more productive than somewhere like India.

I was reading this morning about a plan from the 60s to build Mach-4 airliners to carry troops around the Empire; where did the Britain which came up with that kind of engineering idea vanish to? (OK, I'm being rhetorical, most of it fled to America in the 70s brain drain)

@ Mark : What I meant was of course British workers can be more productive, but not to the extend of 10x more productive.

@libspero:

As long as we are all getting richer this is not a problem (all be it we get richer more slowly that those in developing countries).

But are we? Measuring against how much we spend on essentials as a % of take home pay, or how may loaf of bread we can afford to buy using take home pays.

With BoE advocating inflation, this is just about to get worse for the average man.

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It's not. But it helps drive down British wages, which British governments seem to believe to be a good thing for some reason.

It's a great thing. Encourage the people to get into debt. Then undermine their trade so they can't earn enough wages to pay off the debt. Then just when they're really down, offshore their jobs to India.

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British wages is probably around 5x to 10x those of emerging market, British workers can't be that much more productive.

I think they can. In fact I've seen it in IT. Seen so many offshore disasters in that industry. So many.

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  • 145 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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