Report from Rebuild Britain Meeting at TUC 2022
by Kelvin Hopkins
Kelvin Hopkins was a guest speaker at the ‘Rebuild Britain’ meeting held at the 2022 TUC annual conference in Brighton on 19th October.
Kelvin spoke on Rebuilding British Manufacturing
‘There has been a devastating decline in British manufacturing in the post-war decades. Just since 1970 manufacturing as a proportion of the economy, of national output, has fallen from 32% to less than 10% now. This serious long-term damage to our national economy will become irreparable unless government acts soon to reverse the process.
Industrialisation is fundamental to building strong, prosperous modern economies and virtually all major developed economies have been built on manufacturing. Britain was the first nation to industrialise, followed by the US, Germany, Japan and most of Europe in the 19th century. They were followed in the 20th century by the Soviet Union, and after World War 2 by China, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and others.
Tragically, Britain has been going in the opposite direction, in deindustrialising. We used to be the largest shipbuilder in the world. We built railways across the world and more recently were major manufacturers of aircraft, motor vehicles and much more. Much, indeed most, of this industry has all but disappeared and Britain has become a substantial net importer of manufactures, not a producer. We now cannot even produce sufficient for our own domestic needs let alone for export.