Shit managers, shit workers, et al
Don't forget the shit unions. Can't speak for the UK, but in the US the unions acquired more and more power over the years to where they went from a position where the unions helped the workers in a big way because they worked terrible hours in unsafe conditions to where the unions were one of the major reasons why things went downhill.
One of the ways unions protected workers in the early days was to require a certain number of people for a particular job, to insure it could be done safely. That was all well and good, but as better methods to do a job were found, the union contracts still specified the old number of workers, and the unions didn't want to give that up even when contracts were renegotiated. They wanted to protect people's jobs to the point that some US automakers had as many of a quarter of their workers being paid to do nothing, because they couldn't be laid off.
When automation started to happen, Japan took the lead because they didn't have all the laws protecting workers from being replaced by machines. So they could move to more modern methods, while US companies couldn't because the unions would force them to keep the same number of people involved in that assembly step and even if they didn't would force them to keep the workers on the payroll.
Had that not happened, a lot of that automation would have been developed in the US (and I assume the UK) which would have created jobs that more than made up for those lost by the unionized auto workers. I know, I know, that's small comfort to those workers who would be laid off and couldn't get jobs designing, building or maintaining the assembly line robots. All that did was delay the pain and cause much larger job losses down the line. Detroit is now a shadow of its former self because of this short sighted protectionism, and the auto workers who kept their jobs because of this now have smaller pensions because of the huge hit the automakers took by delaying the necessary changes for far too long.
I know some people read this and think to themselves "attack on the unions, he must be a republican/tory, burn him at the stake!" but while the unions did a lot of necessary good in the past, the pendulum swung too far in their favor against company management and the fall from grace of unions over the past few decades was the inevitable result.