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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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Well-known French midget and political chancer, Nicolas Sarkozy, certainly hit a raw nerve when he announced that the UK “has no industry any more”.
 
Predictably the Daily Mail went ape-shit, and its website recorded a staggering 1,670 posts from readers on the story. The debate quickly degenerated into the usual “France wouldn't be there at all if we hadn't bailed them out in two world wars” kind of argument (and don't bother posting that sort of comment here, will you please, because it's boring and we aren't interested), but not before a considerable number of readers had agreed with Sarkozy's ignorance.
 
It is, of course, commonly said in this country that “we don't make anything any more”. You hear it in pubs, round the dinner table, it's even voiced in the Grumpy Old Household occasionally, though not by the GOS himself.
 
The GOS decided to investigate and sort this out once and for all. This is what he found ...
 
This Wikipedia article has the UK eighth in the world in 2011, after the USA, China, Japan, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Italy, and one ahead of France.
 
This website has the UK seventh, after USA, China, Japan, India, Germany and Russia.
 
The figures for 2009 on this website have the UK fifth, ahead of France, India and Italy, while WiseGeek.com says that in 2007, the top manufacturing countries besides the United States were China ($1,106 billion USD), Japan ($926 billion USD), Germany ($670 billion USD), the Russian Federation ($362 billion USD), Italy ($345 billion USD), the United Kingdom ($342 billion USD), France ($296 billion USD), South Korea ($241 billion USD), Canada ($218 billion USD), Spain ($208 billion USD), and Brazil ($206 billion USD).
 
We presume that the reasons for the variations between these rankings are (a) the changes from year to year, and (b) the criteria that are used to assemble the figures. There is much debate among economists about the various measures of manufacturing output and what they mean. For instance, there is gross total output, the total of all value added to manufactured goods throughout the manufacturing process, the per capita manufacturing output, the manufacturing output as a percentage of the GDP, etc.
 
Nevertheless it is obvious that by any measure the UK is still in the world's top ten manufacturing countries, and the common assertion that “we don't make anything any more” is ignorant rubbish. So is the view that the UK is more dependent on the financial sector than it is on manufacturing. In a recent report by Andrew Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, we find that “As a share of whole economy output, the direct contribution of the UK financial sector rose to 9% in the last quarter of 2008”. Got that? 9% is a very significant amount, certainly, but the cart ain't driving the horse yet by a long shot.
 
The reason we think “we don't make anything any more” is simple: we don't see the evidence with our own eyes because we don't have much of the obvious, high-profile heavy industry we used to – no vast coal mines, enormous smelters and belching chimneys, no serried ranks of new (and usually rather crap) cars waiting to go to the dealers, no triumphant ship launches and so on. Instead, like many other western countries, we have concentrated on the hi-tech industries that make heavy demands on research and development. To put it crudely, we make the clever and expensive stuff, and leave the production of mass-produced goods that require a low-skill workforce to countries like China who can do it cheaper. China may make all the washing machines, but we make the machines that make the machines that make the washing machines!
 
Incidentally and not entirely relevant, let's lay to rest that other misconception, about our dependence on the EU as a market. Most of our goods do not go to the EU. The statistics make it seem as though they do, but that's because almost all shipping routes out of the UK go first to Rotterdam which is in the EU, and then pass on to other countries which aren't.
 
All pretty simple, and it took just twenty minutes on Google to work it out. What a shame more people (and politicians) can't be arsed to investigate the facts before they shoot their mouths off.
 

 
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