Some valid points, but I have a couple of issues.
"There are other reasons too, mainly the lack of a property-owning obsession v cheap rents, banks that *lend*, keeping staff onboard."
You may find out over the coming period that the German banks are in an absolute shitload of woe. There are reputedly big problems stored up in the Landesbanks (effectively state backed by the regions) and I believe the big players (DB, CB, Allianz) will have more than a touch of exposure to Greece etc. That they are lending now is merely a function of the EUs continued back-door banking bailout a.k.a. loans to Greece, Ireland, Portugal et al. Who do you think owns the shit that they are paying coupons on? More money in the door, may as well lend it given projections for manufacturing. Only problem being the dependency on China for the exports.
As for British manufacturing - it wasn't killed by any party but by its own poor management and shitty quality (which may have been caused by the former). Ever increasing costs didn't help it. Which would you rather have had back in the day, a VW or something from British Leyland? The Germans have manufacturing because their attention is to detail, quality, craftsmanship, and reliability. The only British manufacturers that really had that were the niche car manufacturers that got bought up because they had no scale.
The demise of British manufacturing just proves that if you're not offering something extra (higher quality, attention to detail etc) then you will compete with the sweatshops and you'll never win that race to the bottom. There's only so much Government can do before it falls foul of interfering in the market and getting a call from the WTO.
That said, I would love to see it rise once more, as it is needed to give diversification to the tax base, but we have to be a lot smarter about it should the chance come round again and, given the state of sterling, it just might.