On Tue, 06 May 1997 19:42:06 -0700 Bill Harkins <email@example.com>
>David C Littlefield wrote:
>> Let's hope that Tony Blair and his buddies really are "new" Labour (or
Conservative Lite) and don't turn >>back the clock!
> Moreover, the "British disease" seems to
>now have infected Europe in general with an average 12% unemployment
>rate, compared to UK's 7%.
I followed French politics and economics for a while since I was working
for a French bank. France has an unemployment rate of over 12% and
recently elected a relatively conservative government. However, when
that government attempted to retract socialist policies and tried to turn
back ridiculous benefit programs for workers on its government owned
railroads, for example, they were faced with a huge transportation strike
and had to back down. Britain used to be known as the "sick man of
Europe" and is now the leading economy. It was a painful transition that
the French have yet to go through.
I was in Britain in 1980 when Margaret Thatcher made a famous speech in
which she announced there would be "no U-turns." She managed to stay the
course in the face of much pressure. The new French government wasn't
in office six months before they had made several U-turns. My French
friends tell me that the culture of entitlement is now so ingrained in
the French people after generations of socialism, that even with strong
leadership they do not see things will changing, perhaps for a couple of
> I don't see a resurgence of the British auto
It is likely gone forever, as are all "national" car industries, except
in protected economies. The good news is that such a thing as the
BMW/Rover purchase can result in the revival of marques (not companies)
such as MG and others. There are rumors that BMW is considering reviving
some of the old British names for use on badge-engineered and niche
vehicles. Say what you will about non-Abingdon MG's, etc., at least when
you go to the parts counter, the "parts girl" will have heard of the car
if they make new ones!