Good discussion, some interesting points. Isn't it all about growth? As the standard of living improves people want and expect more, the difference in the UK over the past 70 years has been phenominal. The demand for fuel and power ran faster than we could keep up with in terms of investment in all our industries and, of course, other countries with lower wage costs could sell us what we needed cheaper than we could produce. But times change, we are well into the techno age and are one of the leading countries in the World, this allows the development of fantastic machinery, products, etc., which is allowing all sorts of production operations to get established and,of course, we can sell the technology around the World. I mentioned a few weeks ago about the return of the textile industry, others will follow, and who knows we may well see steel and shipbuilding again in years to come. I wasn't aware of the weir at Beeston being used to generate electricity, I live quite near, but it seems to have a lot going for it. There are a number of weirs on the Trent which suggests they could all be generating. Similarly with our other big rivers. Even smaller ones. Why not? If out techno people could design a generator that could be produced in numbers at a sensible unit cost and easily fitted that seems to have real potential. It may come.
Lack of investment on Many things the past 50 years...
Unless I have got things wrong..
Group 1 ... UK Roads infrastructure, NHS, Crowed Rail System and of course housing affodability ... All have got worse in serving the public over the past 25 years..
Group 2 .. The 2 big opposite trend in things is the relentless growth in House Prices and the increasing population ...
It seems Group 1 .. Is Conflicting against Group 2 ... If these 2 groups were more equally beneficial to the majority, life in general would be better for all.... Sadly as we all know money and greed is the govering factor in many situations.. which has also seen relentless growth in the wealth gap...
Unaffordability is the word that is now gradually encroaching on many peoples lives in different ways...
How the situation we be by say 2025 .. We will see.. How much improvement is created by adjustment to the 2 example groups I have mentioned..
Surely we could infer that it is cheaper to do it that way rather than produce it in the UK? Businesses will quite obviously go for the optimal combination of inputs. I might also infer that perhaps the conditions for producing steel in the UK (eg wage levels, transport and other input costs, the quality, age and scale of the technology used to produce steel, possibly red tape)... all these things conspire to make UK steel less competitive. The government has two options: either accept that it is unlikely that the UK will be able to produce steel competitively and create the conditions to produce other things, or it tries to improve the internal commercial environment so that steel makers derive reductions in their costs of production, eg lower taxes and rates for steel producers, improved infrastructure (rail links, ports), support for development of engineering talent. The current state of the UK steel industry isn't crazy; it is simply the inevitable product of years of governmental neglect of these factors and underinvestment by the businesses themselves (although the government must also take some of that blame, for not incentivising UK steel producers to invest).
If the steel now comes to the UK via the system you posted ... It just shows the poor state of affairs the UK steel industry and others have ended up... And it is all mainly down to money and cost... Even more so in the current world we live in... How shipping Lambs from Australia years ago was cheaper than UK home produced Lambs seemed crazy to me... Probably because of the sheer volume shipped .. .. Now it is mass volume of migrants being shipped .. One extreme to another ..
When my mum went out to Australia as a £10 Pom (returning later),she used to tell me about riding the tram in Sydney, and because of her pallor, the Aussies would ask her "What do you think of our bridge (proudly)". She would respond tersely "What do you mean, YOUR bridge?" - "That Bridge was made just down the river from where I was born (Teesside) and you haven't even paid off the interest yet!". She really went down a storm there.
She had gone out there because my dad had fallen for the place after being stationed there with the RAF for the latter part of WW2. The couple and my older siblings did not settle and came back to Blighty on the early 50's.
The point is, that the steel industry in the North East has since been decimated and if we wanted to build a big bridge in the North, then the iron ore would go from Australia to be made into steel in China and then come all the way to England in ships made in the far East too.
Your post made me realise I knew very little about the construction of the bridge , shamed me into looking it up . Designed by two English engineers , .....ouch , construction was undertaken by a consortium of British engineering companies with the steel , (not wraught iron as per the Eiffel Tower ,) being supplied by Seimens and a French company . Couldn't find any specific details re. the work force but I'd imagine they came from all parts of Britain and Ireland plus some from the continent .
Seems sheer lack of government future planning.. even mass solar panel farms can produce needed power, not sure if they can beat wind farm power production ..... but we need to up our home production of power sooner than later as an investment for our ever growing power needs.. and we need have the ability to produce more than our needs as a backup in years to come as power usage security...
Just to get some in to do or run things that we should be doing ourselves...to me is crazy.. A lot of our rail network is foreign owned or run by, water and electricity all with profits taken out of the UK.... The gross revenue and profits the Electricity companies must make would probably pay off he national debt in future coming years
Building, Owning and running our own infrastructure seems not on our governments agenda.... I wonder who built the Forth road Bridge all those 50 years ago UK workers or not...
Didn't know about the one in the midlands , must be many places on the mainland that would be suitable even allowing for summer water shortage . Similarly must be a number of places where tidal schemes could be set up even if it does mean subsidies and , asuming we build them ourselves , I'd much prefer that as opposed to Hinkley .
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