Sunday, 10 November 2013

Shameful Betrayal of Portsmouth Shipyard Workers

The Coalition government plummets to new lows every day and every week.  When there is a contract to be given for building Royal Navy ships, they give it to Korea. Meanwhile, 1,600 workers at Portsmouth are being made redundant. These men are being flung on the scrap heap, their chances of ever getting another job are remote. Their lives are devastated and their families will be forced to claim benefits, adding to our ever-spiralling welfare bills.
The decision is no surprise: earlier this year the Ford Transit factory in Southampton was closed down because of EU policies that handed 180,000 euros to the Ford company to open a new factory in Turkey instead.  And look what happened to the Twinings factory in Tyneside that was closed down in 2010 so that Twinings could re-open in Poland ...with EU subsidies.
 The whole community in Portsmouth will be affected by this latest decision. Recession spreads...
Philip Hammond's decision is a knife in the back for British workers and specifically for the English. I have always been a unionist but the favouritism of successive UK governments towards Scotland is a scandal. Why is it that English shipyards are now not capable of building large-scale warships? Because they have been denied the investment. They have been downgraded so that Scottish shipbuilding yards on the Clyde could be upgraded. This is perverse and it is nothing but a way of buying Scottish votes. There is absolutely no reason why the same industry could not flourish just as well or better on the Mersey, on Tyneside, on the Severn or on the Medway. The Medway is the second biggest natural harbour in the world. Portsmouth could very easily have been developed and expanded to be capable of taking on the modern contracts, but it never was   - because government policy has been for so long to create and preserve jobs in Scotland. Now disgracefully we are exporting our English jobs.
  The government would not dare to destroy Scottish jobs with the referendum on Scottish independence coming up. It is being intimidated by Alex Salmon and co, yet treating English workers with contempt.
    This policy of favouring Scotland has gone on for a long time. There used to be a major shipbuilding yard at Chatham in Kent until it was closed and the jobs shifted North to Scotland. It was a way of safeguarding Labour votes in Scotland while creating unemployment in the Medway area. A similar policy has been followed in regard to fishing, car-building, aerospace and even public sector jobs, which are regularly placed up in Scotland out of all proportion to their population. England is taken for granted. No wonder now people are joining the English Democrat party in rising numbers.
England is the Cinderella in this story. Politicians will continue to ignore England at their peril. There are fewer than 200,000 net tax payers in Scotland and most of those are English. There is virtually no conservative vote and the Scots would get a shock if they woke up and found that they needed a visa to get a job in England, the "foreign" country that has subsidized them and defended them for such a long time.

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