RE: kain preacher
Of course we would love to just buy British, but doing so needs to things - Government spending, and a British industry capable of supplying our needs. Thanks to Labour, we have neither.
The end of WW2 coincided with a big swing to more socialist tendencies in UK politics and the mixed curse and blessing of the Welfare State, and a withdrawl from the Empire which was probably the only real source of money that could have funded the bombastic socialist plans. In essence, the Consrvative PM Chruchill had brough such socialists as Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan into a wartime unity cabinet, and they repaid him post-war by stabbing him in the back with alarming speed. The result is we have been saddled ever since with a lumbering behemoth of public service that draws massively on the public purse.
Coincidental with the upsurge in welfare budget was a reduction in our military budget, justified mainly by selective use of science to claim we didn't need a large conventional force. Strangely enough, this did not stop the socialists giving away vital UK tech to the Soviets, like the Rolls Royce Nene which ensured the MiG 15 was so deadly over Korea, and the secrets of the nuke bomb.
The best example of this lunacy is the much derided Defence White Paper from Duncan Sandys, which effectively killed off the UK warplane industry. The Army were smarter than the RAF, and drew up a list of pre-reqs for UK tanks (biggest gun possible, thickest armour possible) which cleverly excluded most foreign designs, using the politically charged reminders of out-gunned and out-armoured tankers from WW2 to silence the politicians. This kept Vickers in the tank bizz, and with the Royal Navy eventually cornering the nuke missile bizz, left the RAF as the biggest loser in the long run.
Having got started, Labour (that's the equivalent of the Democrats for you Yanks) took Keynesian economics to an extreme and set about "nationalising" and forcibly "consolidating" industries, ignoring the historical evidence of pre-WW2 France that showed just how insane this idea was. Finally, for the coup de grace, the socialists then let the unions (Labour's bankrollers) run amok, which ensured the remaining industrial capability was so hamstrung as to be compeletly unable to compete with European companies, let alone American or Asian ones. Anyone with the skills and experience that could jumped ship and started looking for work abroad in a massive brain drain. My own father, an ex-REME engineer, left the shrinking UK industry to work for oil companies in the Middle East as they paid FIVE TIMES what he was earning in the UK, without the tax hit, and with more job security. He did miss the real design work he used to do, but with a family to support it wasn't a hard a choice.
Apart from a brief period of capitalistic freedom under Margaret Thatcher that let BAe recover (and they saw sense and started getting as deep in the American market as they could as soon as they could), it's been downhill ever since. Those of you in the US wondering who to vote for in your coming election may like to review the impact of socialist policies here in the UK.