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Thread: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

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    UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35929617

    Business Secretary Sajid Javid says nationalisation is not the answer for the Port Talbot steel works in Wales.
    Indian owner Tata Steel is planning to sell its entire UK business, which employs about 15,000 people.
    A Labour Party call for Parliament to be recalled early has been rejected, but the prime minister will chair a meeting of key ministers on Thursday.
    Mr Javid is cutting short a trip to Australia - and says he is looking at some kind of government support.




    What do people think the government should do? I guess they are talking about a government share in the entire TATA business, IE not just Port Talbot. Some mentioned how the government stepped in and bought the banks back during the financial crisis and that the same should be applied to the steel industry. I'm not against the idea of tax payers money being used to intervene at all, but they need some kind of plan because I read somewhere TATA have lost money on their UK operations for every single day they have owned it, but that their European operations in total made a profit last year of some 130 million quid.
    Last edited by 4wd; 30-03-16 at 10:15 PM. Reason: minor formatting fix

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    Senior Member LALANS's Avatar
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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Why not?
    A highly important strategic industry.
    Seemed no bother to bail out thieving bankers with billions of pounds of public money.
    Another reason for leaving the EU as its certainly done SFA to stop dumping of cheap steel by the Chinese

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by LALANS View Post
    Why not?
    A highly important strategic industry.
    Seemed no bother to bail out thieving bankers with billions of pounds of public money.
    Another reason for leaving the EU as its certainly done SFA to stop dumping of cheap steel by the Chinese
    I don't want to necessarily refute or agree with any of your points but I would point out that the government of the day was virtually obliged to bail out the banks, which had been crippled by the poor decisions of their investment divisions mostly. Whether one would consider it in the national interest or otherwise, the government had to step in or anyone with savings or investments held with such an institution would have lost the lot had any bank actually failed completely. Rightly or wrongly this is why the government bought up the banks in question, and then did a deal with Lloyds to agree to take on dubious mergers it would not otherwise have done (Lloyds bought HBOS, at the time a sizeable lender, then not 6 months later announced HBOS had made an 11 billion loss). Even the opposition agreed with the move, which was then mirrored largely around the rest of the world.

    My original point however, was I am not certain what difference government onwership will make if the sheer business clout of TATA cannot make the job pay.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    I cannot see how it will make economic sense but maintaining a strategic industry is a different story. If we have Brexit and a while down the line we operate a form of protectionism would it work? Surely we would end up with no one wanting to trade with us for an expensive product?
    I have read somewhere (CRAFT) that where we as a nation have gone wrong is not continually updating and specialising in top end quality products. We simply will not compete in world markets for basic products.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    not knowing how much of the raw materials for the steel industry are produced in England, I am going to ask:
    how much of the iron ore is mined there?
    how much of the coke for the ovens is produced there?
    how much of the other raw materials are produced there?
    how much of the steel produced is used there and how much exported?

    The bigger the % the more strategic the industry may be.

    Then you ask how much raw steel products are imported?

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Lots of talk on the radio about import tariffs on steel coming in to the UK if we leave the EU, not sure how this is supposed to work though? Assuming imported steel becomes more expensive than UK steel and therefore we "encourage" UK businesses to use UK produce aren't we running the risk of crippling other sectors in the process? The car factories would immediately find their cars becoming more expensive than EU produced vehicles for example, presumably to their detriment. I guess we could put tariffs on imported cars next, but all of this is driving costs up further for the consumer.

    From the same report it appears it's actually the UK preventing the EU imposing import duty on Chinese steel anyway?

    No easy answers I guess??
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    Thumbs up Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    And they want to build a Nuclear power station opp.the channel with Chinese steel and french firm - crazy ?
    Always been stupid -like bringing coal into Briton ferry by Port Talbot from far east and coal a plenty at Ammanford - its no April fool its real joke ???

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    I strongly suspect that Tata have no intention of finding a buyer for the Port Talbot plant because such a buyer would be competing against them once the steel price picks up again, which of course it will. We perhaps forget that only five years ago the pikeys were busy nicking drain covers and railway lines and you could drag some auld shite out of the hedge bottom and weigh it in at the scrap yard because scrap was over 200 pounds a tonne.

    At the moment steel is cheap because our government are allowing the Chinese to dump their surplus stock in our market, they're sucking up to the Chinese a they want them to finance their hair brained nuclear power scheme that will in turn see us paying through the nose for energy for years to come.

    There's a significant ongoing cost to keeping the plant open but the alternative is not without cost to the public purse either, aside from the long term effect on the economy, how the feck can we be a serious manufacturing nation when we don't have the capacity to produce our own steel?

    what concerns me is that the most likely solution will be a half arsed under financed management buyout of the type that happened to Rover. which will just kick the can down the road and delay the inevitable.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    This whole thread confirms my opinion about allowing foreign investment to take over key industries, except that in this case it has rebounded on TATA!!
    What I would suggest is that the government buys the whole of the TATA steel component for a pound(it happens often enough) and then start to protect as much as the unions say the Europeans are doing. The union bloke on the radio this morning said that as usual the Europeans are ignoring the rules.

    Jack Caley

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    I honestly think that the majority of the public have absolutely no idea about financial matters, how an economy works, etc. Look at it like this : The UK should be viewed as UKplc. In many respects (but not all) it is like running a business. So for a start we have a huge overdraft which we are adding to daily. The last labour government borrowed recklessly, just the same as they would do again. And because of lots of other issues, greedy twisted bankers, lots of people who won't do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, etc. etc. the coalition and the present lot are having to borrow nearly as much.

    And we have got ourselves to the stage where the NHS is falling apart, the same for the state funded part of the education system. Partly because there is too much top heavy management that again couldn't manage the proverbial in a brewery and are paying themselves ridiculous salaries. And also partly because we have suffered a population explosion in the last 2 decades through immigration. But of course, we can't mention that because it's deemed to be racist.

    Why the Hell does Joe Public think that people are putting their lives in danger trying to get over the channel ? Because they fancy the climate ? Like Hell they do, it's because they have all heard about our stupid benefits system that actually encourages laziness.

    There is so much wrong with this country today that I doubt if anyone would be allowed to sort it out. Osborne got it awfully wrong with the budget, trying to reduce benefits to the disabled (and we all know that some of that does need to be sorted out) but at the same time increasing the level where middle income earners pay tax. Thick or what ? There are a few decent people in power, IDS is one of them, but they all soon get tired and live for their enoblement and pension.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I honestly think that the majority of the public have absolutely no idea about financial matters, how an economy works, etc. Look at it like this : The UK should be viewed as UKplc. In many respects (but not all) it is like running a business. So for a start we have a huge overdraft which we are adding to daily. The last labour government borrowed recklessly, just the same as they would do again. And because of lots of other issues, greedy twisted bankers, lots of people who won't do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, etc. etc. the coalition and the present lot are having to borrow nearly as much.

    And we have got ourselves to the stage where the NHS is falling apart, the same for the state funded part of the education system. Partly because there is too much top heavy management that again couldn't manage the proverbial in a brewery and are paying themselves ridiculous salaries. And also partly because we have suffered a population explosion in the last 2 decades through immigration. But of course, we can't mention that because it's deemed to be racist.

    Why the Hell does Joe Public think that people are putting their lives in danger trying to get over the channel ? Because they fancy the climate ? Like Hell they do, it's because they have all heard about our stupid benefits system that actually encourages laziness.

    There is so much wrong with this country today that I doubt if anyone would be allowed to sort it out. Osborne got it awfully wrong with the budget, trying to reduce benefits to the disabled (and we all know that some of that does need to be sorted out) but at the same time increasing the level where middle income earners pay tax. Thick or what ? There are a few decent people in power, IDS is one of them, but they all soon get tired and live for their enoblement and pension.
    zaza,
    i ain't being funny ,, you really need to run for prime minister ,,, that's possible one of the best post we have seen on here in a long while, every point is true,
    you get My X on the ballot paper
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Vern View Post
    zaza,
    i ain't being funny ,, you really need to run for prime minister ,,, that's possible one of the best post we have seen on here in a long while, every point is true,
    you get My X on the ballot paper
    Thanks very much BV, that is very kind of you to write that. I'll take comments like that wherever I can get them ! Regards - Zaza.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Has the government ever managed to successfully own and manage a business of selling stuff to the people of the U.K. It would not surprise me if it did get nationalised and we start supplying cheap steel to some other country under some daft trade deal.
    "At the end of the day, I think it's going to get very dark."

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I honestly think that the majority of the public have absolutely no idea about financial matters, how an economy works, etc. Look at it like this : The UK should be viewed as UKplc. In many respects (but not all) it is like running a business. So for a start we have a huge overdraft which we are adding to daily. The last labour government borrowed recklessly, just the same as they would do again. And because of lots of other issues, greedy twisted bankers, lots of people who won't do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay, etc. etc. the coalition and the present lot are having to borrow nearly as much.

    And we have got ourselves to the stage where the NHS is falling apart, the same for the state funded part of the education system. Partly because there is too much top heavy management that again couldn't manage the proverbial in a brewery and are paying themselves ridiculous salaries. And also partly because we have suffered a population explosion in the last 2 decades through immigration. But of course, we can't mention that because it's deemed to be racist.

    Why the Hell does Joe Public think that people are putting their lives in danger trying to get over the channel ? Because they fancy the climate ? Like Hell they do, it's because they have all heard about our stupid benefits system that actually encourages laziness.

    There is so much wrong with this country today that I doubt if anyone would be allowed to sort it out. Osborne got it awfully wrong with the budget, trying to reduce benefits to the disabled (and we all know that some of that does need to be sorted out) but at the same time increasing the level where middle income earners pay tax. Thick or what ? There are a few decent people in power, IDS is one of them, but they all soon get tired and live for their enoblement and pension.
    AMEN to Big Verns post!!

    What you have said many, many people are thinking.
    I agree that the general public either do not care or know, but worse than that, is that the politicians do not know how to run an economy.
    Osborne and party think they are running the economy wisely. How can it be when he is still borrowing, and at the same time selling off the family silver?
    Guarantees to overseas countries, of profits for 25 years ahead, failure to tax them properly.
    I know they could not run a household budget let alone a pissup in a brewery.
    They have an opportunity now to nationalise without compensation. I do not like nationalisation but it is the only way to beat a nationalised Chinese industry.
    Jack Caley

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    And they want to build a Nuclear power station opp.the channel with Chinese steel and french firm - crazy ?
    Always been stupid -like bringing coal into Briton ferry by Port Talbot from far east and coal a plenty at Ammanford - its no April fool its real joke ???
    I do not believe the UK has a metal forging plant with a press large enough to do the main heavy forgings for the pressure vessel used in the EPR type reactor- there are only a few places in the world that can handle such heavy steel items as they have to be done in one piece.

    EDF are the only European company with experience of the EPR, it's either them, the GE-Hitachi ESBWR or the Westinghouse (USA) AP1000. No single UK firm has the experience to design and build these things now, the cost and effort involved is immense.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Unbelievable to listen to Corbyn and his cabal of delusinist accomplices calling for the nationalisation of the steel industry.
    In the last 65 odd years Labour's record of nationalisation has been truly dreadful. Instead of thriving industries being created, parasitic behemoths were the result.
    The principals behind their actions were idealistic....use the profits to share equally among the workforce for the benefit of the workforce. Not the capitalist owners.
    Coal and Steel are two of the more easily remembered industries.

    From our friends at Wiki......following the election of the landslide Atlee government


    Labour Party experts went into the files to find the detailed plans for nationalisation that had been developed. To their surprise, there were no plans. The leaders realised they had to act fast to keep up the momentum. They started with the Bank of England, civil aviation, coal, and cables and wireless. Then came railways, canals, road haulage and trucking, electricity, and gas. Finally came iron and steel, which was a special case because it was a manufacturing industry. Altogether, about one fifth of the economy was taken over. Labour dropped its plans to nationalise farmlands. The procedure used was developed by Herbert Morrison, who as Lord President chaired the Committee on the Socialisation of Industries. He followed the model that was already in place of setting up public corporations such as the BBC in broadcasting (1927). The owners of corporate stock were given government bonds, and the government took full ownership of each affected company, consolidating it into a national monopoly. The managers remained the same, only now they became civil servants working for the government. For the Labour Party leadership, nationalisation was a way to consolidate economic planning in their own hands. It was not designed to modernise old industries, make them efficient, or transform their organisational structure. There was no money for modernisation, although the Marshall Plan, operated separately by American planners, did force many British businesses to adopt modern managerial techniques. Old line socialists were disappointed, as the nationalised industries seemed identical to the old private corporations, and national planning was made virtually impossible by the government’s financial constraints. Socialism was in place, but it did not seem to make a major difference. Rank-and-file workers had long been motivated to support Labour by tales of the mistreatment of workers by foremen and the management. The foremen and the managers were the same people as before, with much the same power over the workplace. There was no worker control of industry. The unions resisted government efforts to set wages. By the time of the general elections in 1950 and 1951, Labour seldom boasted about nationalisation of industry. Instead it was the Conservatives who decried the inefficiency and mismanagement, and promised to reverse the treatment of steel and trucking.[22][2

    Spot any winners amongst that lot?
    I am old enough to remember the shambles of the death throes of the above.
    The debacle of the current Steel crisis has its roots firmly planted in the lunacy of Atlees post war government. The years of nationalisation insulated the industry from the realities of the world. Incredible to hear a Labour Party leader advocating more of the same as the cure.
    Laughable to contemplate a government / civil service run Steel business being more successfull than TATA.
    Without idealistic Labour Lunacy today's situation would never have arisen, the steel industry would have ebbed and flowed along with demand and their own effiency.
    Complicating the issue appears to be the new nuclear power station, to be built largely by the Chinese......as long as there are no tariffs imposed of their steel exports. DC is caught between the classic "rock and a hard place" .
    The Economy is far too important to be run by Politicians!






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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    The Economy is far too important to be run by Politicians!
    Never a truer word spoken.

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gee View Post
    Unbelievable to listen to Corbyn and his cabal of delusinist accomplices calling for the nationalisation of the steel industry.
    In the last 65 odd years Labour's record of nationalisation has been truly dreadful. Instead of thriving industries being created, parasitic behemoths were the result.
    The principals behind their actions were idealistic....use the profits to share equally among the workforce for the benefit of the workforce. Not the capitalist owners.
    Coal and Steel are two of the more easily remembered industries.

    From our friends at Wiki......following the election of the landslide Atlee government


    Labour Party experts went into the files to find the detailed plans for nationalisation that had been developed. To their surprise, there were no plans. The leaders realised they had to act fast to keep up the momentum. They started with the Bank of England, civil aviation, coal, and cables and wireless. Then came railways, canals, road haulage and trucking, electricity, and gas. Finally came iron and steel, which was a special case because it was a manufacturing industry. Altogether, about one fifth of the economy was taken over. Labour dropped its plans to nationalise farmlands. The procedure used was developed by Herbert Morrison, who as Lord President chaired the Committee on the Socialisation of Industries. He followed the model that was already in place of setting up public corporations such as the BBC in broadcasting (1927). The owners of corporate stock were given government bonds, and the government took full ownership of each affected company, consolidating it into a national monopoly. The managers remained the same, only now they became civil servants working for the government. For the Labour Party leadership, nationalisation was a way to consolidate economic planning in their own hands. It was not designed to modernise old industries, make them efficient, or transform their organisational structure. There was no money for modernisation, although the Marshall Plan, operated separately by American planners, did force many British businesses to adopt modern managerial techniques. Old line socialists were disappointed, as the nationalised industries seemed identical to the old private corporations, and national planning was made virtually impossible by the government’s financial constraints. Socialism was in place, but it did not seem to make a major difference. Rank-and-file workers had long been motivated to support Labour by tales of the mistreatment of workers by foremen and the management. The foremen and the managers were the same people as before, with much the same power over the workplace. There was no worker control of industry. The unions resisted government efforts to set wages. By the time of the general elections in 1950 and 1951, Labour seldom boasted about nationalisation of industry. Instead it was the Conservatives who decried the inefficiency and mismanagement, and promised to reverse the treatment of steel and trucking.[22][2

    Spot any winners amongst that lot?
    I am old enough to remember the shambles of the death throes of the above.
    The debacle of the current Steel crisis has its roots firmly planted in the lunacy of Atlees post war government. The years of nationalisation insulated the industry from the realities of the world. Incredible to hear a Labour Party leader advocating more of the same as the cure.
    Laughable to contemplate a government / civil service run Steel business being more successfull than TATA.
    Without idealistic Labour Lunacy today's situation would never have arisen, the steel industry would have ebbed and flowed along with demand and their own effiency.
    Complicating the issue appears to be the new nuclear power station, to be built largely by the Chinese......as long as there are no tariffs imposed of their steel exports. DC is caught between the classic "rock and a hard place" .
    The Economy is far too important to be run by Politicians!





    I very much agree that the economy is too important to be run by politicians, however it does concern me that Chinese steel is effectively nationalised. No private industry can compete with that. The government can just print money to keep the steel industry going, and out of Europe would have the power to put on tariffs.
    Slightly to one side of the issue, I have been told today of a boyfriend of a local girl. He works at Scunthorpe, last weekend he was on standby at £27.00 an hour!!!
    Are we being told all the facts?
    Jack Caley

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    Re: UK steel industry - nationalisation?

    There is no way the UK government is going to impose any tariffs on anything- the government has been trying to court Chinese investors for years, they will not risk this in the name of steel.

    I heard in the news recently that China had imposed a 40% tariff on steel imports from the UK. Small beef as the portion of the amount of business the UK does with China being comprised of steel is less than 1%.

    Corbyn has a plan to nationalise the railways for some reason. You will be hard pressed to get any rail worker to agree to such a move today- after privatisation, the staff were paid a lot more money than they ever were previously and have far more generous working contracts. Best of luck trying to privatise that lot. They will resist at great length.

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