Why?

A thriving steel industry will be vital to the Green Industrial Revolution. Labour will support our steel through public procurement, taking action on industrial energy prices, exempting new capital from business rates, investing in R&D, building three new steel recycling plants

From the Labour Party Manifesto.

Why? The country’s fine with steel recycling plants, We have plenty of them too. It’s basic steel plants, from iron ore, that we’ve not got. And shouldn’t have anyway.

47 comments on “Why?

  1. You could be right about steel smelting, but without one we’ll be well and truly fecked the next time the Krauts play up. But then you’re in Portugal, so are safe.

  2. “You could be right about steel smelting, but without one we’ll be well and truly fecked the next time the Krauts play up. But then you’re in Portugal, so are safe.”

    Why would they play up? What possible interest does Germany (or anyone else) have in invading the UK?

  3. Not needed is the reason why – cushy jobs for life for their supporters

    .
    BBC Question Time: Viewers promise to ‘switch off’ as panel ‘full of Remainers’ announced

    Venue: Bolton – 58% Leave

  4. Come on lads – you know full well they’re appealing to Little Englanders, obvs!!

    That, or the massive NUM (etc) rump

  5. Soviet era joke is that a nail factory tasked with producing 5 tons of nails a week met its target by producing one 5 ton nail each week.

  6. “A thriving steel industry will be vital to the Green Industrial Revolution.”

    Presumably also a thriving coal industry and a thriving oil & gas industry too — since those solar powered steel plants don’t seem to have much of a track record.

    Putting sarcasm aside, an inherent part of the “Free Traders” credo is that there will never again be another war. Is it possible that 70+ years of relative peace have led “Free Traders” to forget 6,000 years of documented human history? In just the same way that people who have never seen the 100-year storm build homes in river valleys? Just saying there may be a longer-term cost from the short-term savings of getting all your steel from China.

    Getting realistic — this from Labour is the same as Tory promises of Boris’s BRINO and tax cuts and higher spending and a bridge to Ireland. We all know these politicians are lying about most things. What we don’t know is which things they are NOT lying about.

  7. In Soviet Union a chap goes to buy a car, 10 year waiting list for a cool 1.5L Lada. Asked the salesman if the car could be picked up either in the morning or afternoon.
    “It’s 10 years, surely if you wait for 10 years it doesn’t matter what time of the day it will be?” – salesman said.
    “But the plumber is coming in the morning”…

  8. Putting sarcasm aside, an inherent part of the “Free Traders” credo is that there will never again be another war. Is it possible that 70+ years of relative peace have led “Free Traders” to forget 6,000 years of documented human history? In just the same way that people who have never seen the 100-year storm build homes in river valleys? Just saying there may be a longer-term cost from the short-term savings of getting all your steel from China.

    No point having internal steel industry if you don’t also have an internal iron mining industry though, is there? You can’t smelt the iron if you don’t have ore. So you are suggesting Britain goes back to mining iron too, despite only having low quality deposits? And you’d better have Molybdenum and Chromium mines too.

    Self-sufficiency has been tried by many modern countries. It is economically ruinous. The best defence is a strong economy, rather than lots of loss-making heavy industry to try and stay self-sufficient.

    If there is a war. Or rather when, the shooting will be over well before Britain’s steel runs out. Modern warfare isn’t a prolonged affair.

  9. Excavator Man – what do we need 3 more steel recycling plants for?

    If the Krauts play up having steel recycling plants won’t matter regarding the military. Who need to use what they have already purchased, not what will be available to use in several months or years after ordering.

    Pretty sure military equipment requires a bit more than recycled steel too.

    The era of long wars ended decades ago. Besides the Korean War (one of the longer modern wars) with massive stockpiles on both sides, usually its short wars lasting days or weeks. And all that can be used in the war is the equipment on hand that’s been issued or stockpiled at the point of use, for artillery shells for instance.
    Germany decided to Invade the UK they’d be onshore within hours and could drive the length of the country in a day.
    Pretty useless steel recycling plants then?

    They may be of some use if say we invaded a country and occupied it, war being over and replacement equipment needed. However the manufacturer of the equipment is better buying whatever raw materials they need from the market – not usually a shortage of steel these days plus tons of other stuff needed.
    Such as when we invaded Iraq for the 3rd time and occupied it. Perhaps in 20 years we’ll invade it again. Not sure how much recycled steel we’d need, probably using drone and self driving equipment by then without much metal needed.

  10. Germany decided to Invade the UK they’d be onshore within hours and could drive the length of the country in a day.

    You reckon! That fine modern fighting force, the Bundeswehr, once Ursula von Leyen – the glorious new Empress of Europe – had finished with it..!?

    Sweeping across England waving firing their broomsticks at us…

    Having crossed over with no submarine support and just 4 operational fighter jets. OK, a few sea worthy frigates to be fair. Or perhaps they used the Channel Tunnel or the usual migrant smuggling routes – that would have made more sense…

    🙂

  11. Gavin Longmuir,

    “Putting sarcasm aside, an inherent part of the “Free Traders” credo is that there will never again be another war. Is it possible that 70+ years of relative peace have led “Free Traders” to forget 6,000 years of documented human history? In just the same way that people who have never seen the 100-year storm build homes in river valleys? Just saying there may be a longer-term cost from the short-term savings of getting all your steel from China.”

    I’m not saying there will never be another war, it’s a question of circumstances. What would Germany gain by invading the UK?

    Back in 1939, while tractors and fertilisers were still reasonably new, and you didn’t have efficient roads and refrigeration, arable land was very valuable. The aristocracy were super rich just from owning land for crops. So, expending a load of blood and treasure was worth it to grab bits of Eastern Europe. That’s what all war was about for 6000 years.

    Along comes post-1930s agriculture and the rules change. Land isn’t worth very much. And that’s a global phenomenon. War is almost non-existent. Where does war exist? The middle east which is mostly non-industrial and a land-based economy (the land being oilfields), Afghanistan and a few bits of Africa.

    The reason there’s no war on the horizon is that the incentives changed. Maybe they’ll change again and war will be something people want to do again, but that won’t happen overnight.

  12. @Andrew C – November 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Soviet era joke is that a nail factory tasked with producing 5 tons of nails a week met its target by producing one 5 ton nail each week.

    As with most jokes, there was a large element of truth in it… A chap I worked with many years ago had an uncle who ran a soviet-era furniture factory. They were tasked with producing a certain weight of furniture every quarter, so if they were behind on production (not an uncommon problem owing to the russian propensity for turning up at work pissed into near-insensibility) they simply made heavier furniture… Tales of tables with 3-inch thick solid oak tops etc were a regular thing… 🙂

  13. Why?

    Because it’s more manufacturing, good “solid honest” jobs not office jobs for fairies and ponces, trade unions, more funds for Labour extracted from the wages of workers, industrial strife and secondary picketing, adversarial class war politics.

    God, we need to ensure it really is “grim up North”.

  14. I understand the war in Afghanistan is 18 years old and still running. I’d argue that, because of nukes, people are too scared to go straight for the throat nowadays, so they just piss away the soldiers’ lives and the taxpayers’ money indefinitely.

  15. I’m not a sufficient economist to claim causality, but increased free trade is correlated with decreased wars. If you can freely buy your stuff, why spill blood to steal it? One of the arguments put forward for Japan declaring war on America was that America wouldn’t sell oil to Japan, so Japan saw its only option was to nick it.

  16. If you subscribe to the appropriate conspiracy theories, that’s also why America declared war on Afghani… oops, Iraq. Operation Iraqi Liberation.

  17. BoM4. Gavin

    “Along comes post-1930s agriculture and the rules change.” yeah but it was Hitler’s drive for self sufficiency in all things that lead to the war being about conquest. Switzerland did/does fine trading without producing everything. I’d say it’s as much an understanding of economics as it is the underlying economic changes.

  18. PF – until we have a reason to stop them they can dock at a UK port. Declaring war before invading is not a requirement. Heck, we declared war on Germany without invading then didn’t declare war on Russia for doing the same thing as Germany.

    jgh – the US has not declared war since 1941. They merely invade places and occupy them.
    Iraq invasion was over pretty quickly, the occupation lasted years and achieved little.

  19. That idea of lebensraum was a constant of German strategic thinking from the 1880s onwards. Nothing original to Hitler about it at all.

  20. I reckon Gavin has a point. It seems the last couple of decades of offshoring, outsourcing and labour importation have attrited Yank defence capabilities to quite an alarming degree – they’ve lost a lot of indigenous capabilities to manufacture critical components, have an unknown number of fake Chinese chips in their warships, planes and missiles, and are increasingly prone to intelligence theft from the hordes of inscrutable Chinamen now resident in the US and Canadia and jamming up engineering courses at yoonis.

    Wars aren’t fought over land, they’re fought over memetic and genetic dominance. “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    That said, when European War 3: The Legend of Merkel’s Rapists, finally does kick off, it’ll either be a multi-decadal NornIron style fourth generation war as insurgent forces gradually wear down and replace the state (think Tower Hamletisation meets the Yellow Vests), else a brief few hours of atomic Bonfire Night.

    Our extremely gay, feminised, NO BULLY PLZ forces aren’t up to the job of fighting a prolonged shooting war against anyone more organised than a handful of inbred boyfuckers, not that they achieved anything in Afghanistan.

  21. Martin

    PF – until we have a reason to stop them they can dock at a UK port. Declaring war before invading is not a requirement.

    It’s a fair point, especially as the broomsticks might not arouse quite as much attention as they wander through customs…..

    Actually, I’ve seen some argue that that’s happening already, invading without declaring war, and whilst insisting all along that their motives are entirely “peaceful”….

  22. BF: It’s always Grim up North. However the Grim does change. I came from one bit of Grim that was becoming Grimmer (loss of cotton industry), and is well Grimmer than that now. My daughter lives in another that wasn’t that Grim yonks ago but is now definitely into Grim for modern reasons.

  23. @Steve

    ‘Our extremely gay, feminised, NO BULLY PLZ forces aren’t up to the job of fighting a prolonged shooting war against anyone more organised than a handful of inbred boyfuckers, not that they achieved anything in Afghanistan.’

    There are plenty of boys willing and even happy to do the needful. But the political will isn’t there, and soldiers do tend to have to follow orders, or quit, or run a coup. When the political will changes, and it will, watch out.

  24. “Along comes post-1930s agriculture and the rules change.” yeah but it was Hitler’s drive for self sufficiency in all things that lead to the war being about conquest. Switzerland did/does fine trading without producing everything. I’d say it’s as much an understanding of economics as it is the underlying economic changes.”

    But the people supported him in huge numbers. There’s plenty of would-be Hitlers out there, but they don’t get anywhere.

  25. “That idea of lebensraum was a constant of German strategic thinking from the 1880s onwards. Nothing original to Hitler about it at all.”

    Indeed. It had broader support than just the Nazis.

  26. Interested – I wouldn’t advise any young fella who likes a ruck to join today’s British Army. It’s a thankless, shitty job. No wonder recruitment has been in the toilet for years.

    BoM4 – IIRC, the Nazis weren’t even that popular. Hitler lost the 1932 presidential election by a landslide. Their best performance at the polls was 44% after the Reichstag fire in 1933 (and that was with tens of thousands of armed SS thugs “monitoring” the election, Third World tinpot stylee).

    Yuge numbers, yes, but even after losing a cataclysmic world war, the humiliation of occupation, years of murderous political street violence, a Communist takeover of Bavaria and the worst economic depression in history, a majority of sausage-munching Boschies looked at Hitler and thought “Nah, fuck that guy”.

  27. Steve,

    + 100 % likes and subscribe buttons on the yellow peril angle.

    The Chicoms are a very bad combination of characteristics (Han dominated traditional imperialism plus even more cynically ruthless bastard commie totalitarian leanings). They have exploited the West’s greed and liberal naivety brilliantly and we will soon pay the price if we don’t put them firmly in their box.

    It might be too late; I’m not sure Trump is enough and he doesn’t have long left come what may.

    I agree also that war is primarily due to human nature, not economics and logistics.

  28. Steve,

    “BoM4 – IIRC, the Nazis weren’t even that popular. Hitler lost the 1932 presidential election by a landslide. Their best performance at the polls was 44% after the Reichstag fire in 1933 (and that was with tens of thousands of armed SS thugs “monitoring” the election, Third World tinpot stylee).”

    It was the elite that fucked things up in Germany. The Centre Party supported the Enabling Act after Hitler made them some promises. Of course, having got the Enabling Act, he didn’t have to deliver, and then banned them. Twats.

  29. Back in the early days of flight, the theory was “The bomber always gets through”. And the expectation was that bombing the enemy’s industrial facilities would quickly end the war.

    When that was tried in WWII, it was a failure. So both sides moved to bombing civilian areas, in the expectation that blowing up people’s homes would make them want to surrender. But that did not work either. Londoners reacted to the Blitz by becoming more bloody-minded about fighting to the end. Same with the German people and the Japanese people.

    There is an expectation that the next war will start with a whole lot of big nuclear bangs. But no-one will surrender. All the combatants will quickly run out of their limited supplies of slow-to-replace high-tech gear, and then it will be back to bullets — or swords. The arsenal of [whatever] will ultimately prevail, and today that is China.

    Agreed, there is no need for war. Trade is better — although one could argue that trade the way China does it is preparation for war. But history tells us war will come anyway. Whether it is worth the UK investing in industrial facilities now to forestall the inevitable conflict? That is a whole other question.

  30. When that was tried in WWII, it was a failure. So both sides moved to bombing civilian areas, in the expectation that blowing up people’s homes would make them want to surrender. But that did not work either. Londoners reacted to the Blitz by becoming more bloody-minded about fighting to the end. Same with the German people and the Japanese people.

    In the Shortest History of Germany one of the reasons given for Germany’s rapid economic rise after WW2 was that hundred’s of thousands of civilians killed in the bombing (many in the least Nazi areas) but only 6.5% of factory machinery was a total write off. Furthermore, the way in which inflation was tamed was by giving out the 1:1 to business and only 1:15 to civilians. Businesses were well capitalised but the population was now poor and willing to work long hard hours.

  31. “And the expectation was that bombing the enemy’s industrial facilities would quickly end the war.

    When that was tried in WWII, it was a failure.”

    Except it wasn’t tried. Britain had a pathetic little bomber force when the war started. If they had had a few thousand Lancasters, they would have easily ended the war in 1940.

    England was at the limits of the German bombers’ range. German bombers were tactical, not strategic. Damage to England was slight.

    American bombing of the continent was inaccurate. They never followed up. Target selection was awful. Speer asked after the war why the Americans never bombed the electricity generation plants. Rubble in the street, but they had electricity.

  32. ” The aristocracy were super rich just from owning land for crops.”

    I suppose that would be why land was being abandoned as utterly unprofitable in the 1930s then………the opening up of the Mid West of America to agriculture meant that farming in Europe was being eaten alive by US exports by the 1930s. Cheap grain from the US decimated UK production. There were no super rich farmers in the UK then for sure.

  33. @Excavator Man

    Only USA would defeat UK; China probably could, but too far away; Russia couldn’t unless nukes used

    .
    @Chester Draws November 21, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Spot on

    @Martin November 22, 2019 at 12:10 am

    +1
    Falklands won quickly with 1960/70s tech
    GW I effectively over/won in 12 hours with 1970/80s tech

    @PF November 22, 2019 at 12:37 am

    +1

    Do the Krauts fly on their broomsticks?

  34. Pcar

    “Sherelle”

    Interesting, thanks for that, I’ll have to watch it. It’s a shame, because I generally like her DT articles.

  35. Strategic bombing works. But has to be so overwhelming as to break the spirit of the target population.
    WW2 no country had sufficient bomber force to do that – the army was used as a means of occupation causing surrender – not long term bombing.

    Our single most successful strategic attack – by the dambusters – was never followed up. Caused a lot of initial damage, then damage repaired.

    The most important element of having bombers is morale. You can strike back at the enemy directly, at his country, at his people.
    Causing damage is secondary.

    Now if US decided to wipe out a small country, say the size of Belgium – they’d spend months getting supplies together before bombing begins. And with the size of the US Air Force it would take well over a month to work.
    Something the size of Russia – forget breaking their spirit, too big a country. Bombing by planes would take decades or centuries.

  36. Martin: “Strategic bombing works. But has to be so overwhelming as to break the spirit of the target population.”

    We can’t be so sure about strategic bombing being able to break the spirit of the target population. Certainly, it did not work in the case of Germany, nor in the case of Japan. About the only place where strategic bombing might be argued to have worked was in Europe’s strange aggression against Serbia, which used precision bombing against the essentials of modern life — destroying electric transmission lines, water treatment plants, sewage plants, bridges. Close to a case of literally bombing the Serbs back to the Stone Age.

    In contrast, at the end of WWII, almost every city in Japan had been burned & flattened — and yet the people still were prepared to fight a US invasion on the beaches and to the death. It was the Emperor’s judgment which ended the war, not the people’s spirit breaking.

    Of course, culture and national pride was much stronger in 1940s Japanese than in today’s Brits. Europe today is more at risk from the enemies within than from any potential enemies without — and no UK steel plant can fix that problem.

  37. Pcar

    Fair enough. Can one put it down down to nerves – it was her first time… Or maybe she’s simply not too quick on her feet, in which case hopefully she’ll simply play to her strengths in future (ie stick to writing)…

    Otherwise, I feel dirty, listening to so much utter, utter shite. Burga and Chucka (and not forgetting Brucey), just fucka right off.

    (Sorry, couldn’t get past half way)

  38. And, as we have all said before on here, hardly surprising that there are so few from our side turning up for these gigs, given the obvious bias – why do it? Ecks, for the love of God, get a move on…..

  39. @PF

    QT: It was fun watching Northern Lefties mauling Burgon (& Corbyn) and Chukie

    Con. guy was surprisingly good, didn’t stick to Party soundbites; SNP (Bolton??) hag a waste of space

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