Re: @Rol - vote (with your wallet)
> So you did not study geography. Britain has rather a lot, still, including mineral, agricultural, marine and geographical.
Agricultural: Really? Land area per head of population we have less than Germany, France, and Spain. Much of the UK land is hilly and hard to work and/or gets less sun each year than mainland Europe. Increasingly the only way for a farm to be commercially successful is to make larger and larger flat fields which can be worked by fewer people and bigger machines. UK planning law and geography make this difficult, so instead we pay tax (cost on the rest of the economy) to pay farmers to maintain empty fields and keep the hedgerows looking nice. We may get less than France but British agriculture is still subsidised, so not exactly a shining beacon of successful economics.
Marine. I'll ignore the fact that most of European fisheries have had reducing quotas, and fishing fleets in port for more and more weeks of the year. Yep, gotcha, huge reserves. Not. Or were you talking about North Sea gas, a supply so plentiful and abundant than in the last few years we have become a net importer of gas.
Mineral. UK coal production peaked in the late 1940s, years before competition from gas, nuclear, etc. Seams became harder to work, and so cost to extract went up. Assorted Tin, Lead, and Silver mines have existed on commercial scale, but mostly exhausted by the early 1900s. Scotland had aluminium with the Baco reservoir at Blacklake to power the hydro power, similarly exhausted in the first half of the 20th century.
Geographical. Well about the only thing "geography" is good for in the absence of minerals is walking holidays. If you think you can convince the rest of Europe to come here to go walking, and thus save your economy, then good luck.
In the absence of facts in your post, I suspect I know a lot more about geography than you do. The only way to commercially extract the minerals in this nation and make them competitive is either to pay the workers less, mass-scale automation (and so not employ people anyway), or subsidize them with money from other parts of the economy. I welcome counter arguments ...
P.S. In general I agree with your arguments - in an "ideal economy" (i.e. theoretical communism) everyone works for the greater good and everything is wonderful. Apart from the fact that it doesn't work, we don't live in a communist society, and companies are competitive little buggers.
The only thing "GB PLC" can do to work out of this is to make ourselves more attractive to outside investment, either through lower wages, lower taxes, ease of doing business, or more skilled and motivated workers. The evidence to date is that this is not happening, outside of cases where we do have established expertise (specialty steel, for example). Discussion welcome - but I see nothing in your post which is actually trying to propose a solution.
> A country is made up of its people, rich, poor, hopeless, retired, vigorous, productive.
The same buggers who bitch a lot and then refuse the buy British because it costs a few quid more?
... and for the previous posts w.r.t. unions in Germany and how come they still have a manufacturing base. Unions in Germany for the most part seem to be sensible. For example, there have been multiple instances in the last few years of the unions actually talking to the companies (car companies in this case) and negotiating when a site move was threatened. Cheaper to run a factory in Hungary you say, well how about we cut wages by a few percent and work a few extra hours?
British unions still seem to have the "our way or death, never surrender to the bastards" mentality, which both kills the existing businesses (hello Royal Mail) and is a huge discouragement for any large multinational looking at the UK.