Opinion : Why Brexit is killing our car industry

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The news that Nissan isn’t bringing production of the X-Trail SUV to the UK isn’t surprising. It’s as predictable as it is sad. The UK has to face facts and accept that the ‘business model’ that underpins the presence of Honda, Nissan and Toyota in the UK is in the process of being destroyed.

That’s in part down to our own Brexit decision which (even if a deal avoids the imposition of WTO tariffs (10%) on car exports to the EU) would still make the UK a poor place to build cars destined for the EU market due to issues such as ‘Rules of Origin’ (which risk preventing the export of such cars to third countries under the EU’s existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as they would not qualify as ‘EU manufactured’).

However, as the article acknowledges, the other reason is that the new EU-Japan FTA progressively removes tariffs on direct imports from Japan to the EU, thus reducing the incentive to manufacture ‘in region’.

The Japanese presence in UK car manufacturing won’t disappear overnight (the car industry doesn’t work like that) but, ten years from now, it’s unlikely to be more than a shadow of today. Remember, Honda, Nissan and Toyota already have production in place around the world, so exporting to ‘global markets’ from the UK instead of exporting to the EU is of limited appeal to them – and they don’t benefit from devaluation either as they import a high percentage of components.

‘This represents the collapse of an economic pillar built up with the strong backing of Margaret Thatcher in the ’80s under the influence of her Policy advisors, key among whom was (a little ironically) John Redwood.’

Encouraging inward Japanese investment was seen (probably rightly) as a better bet than continuing subsidies to support an ‘indigenous’ car manufacturing industry and never was that thinking more explicit than in the mid-1980s when Nissan was given £125m of Government support to help open Sunderland while simultaneously the funding requested by Austin-Rover (in its 1985 Corporate Plan) was not approved in full – instead that company was forced to abandon development of new ‘all-British’ cars (such as the AR6 Metro replacement) and instead become essentially an offshoot of Honda (which dovetailed beautifully with the plan).

It may have upset traditionalists, but backing the Japanese has worked (until now) in that they have provided the output, the balance of payments benefits, the employment and the support for a UK-owned supplier base which Austin-Rover (formerly British Leyland) once did (but was struggling to do by the ’80s). Nissan alone produces over 500,000 vehicles annually in Sunderland, equivalent to the entire output of Italy’s motor industry, and exports 80% of them, mostly to the EU.

However, standing a long way back, we are doing something incredibly stupid as a nation. We have chosen one horse to back over another, seen that horse sustained by Government grants and loans and grants from the European Investment Bank that might have otherwise gone to an ‘indigenous’ British company (Nissan UK has received £450m in loans from the EIB plus £347m in grants and other funding from the UK and the EU since 1986 according to the study by Farnsworth of York University).

And now, having backed that horse and let our indigenous volume car industry wither away (I’m not including relatively ‘premium’ JLR and MINI in that) – we are shooting the horse that we have backed.

Chris Cowin

Chris Cowin

Chris Cowin has extensive experience of the European motor industry, having worked for Lex Automotive and Volvo in the United Kingdom, and later for General Motors Europe.

During his time at General Motors, Chris was involved in European marketing strategy and the planning of new products.

Like most "car guys" with an interest in British Leyland, Chris has been a proud (if sometimes frustrated) owner of several of their products over the years, including a Mini Clubman, Riley Kestrel, Triumph Spitfire 1500 and MGB.

His qualifications include an MBA from London Business School and BA in Geography from the University of Oxford (Mansfield College).
Chris Cowin


  1. This is a very insightful piece on our present car industry crisis.. Thank you Chris! Interesting to note that the Electric Note at Sunderland has not been highlighted in this X Trail demise which should if we are to wean ourselves away from fossil fuels be a major player at the factory. I believe Norway can’t get enough of them for the great advantages they bring in free parking and tax incentives in that country. The other question is what are we going to make in the vehicle industry post Brexit? The van factory of Europe I have heard it said with Peugeot/Citroen at Luton and Ellesmere Port making Partners and Berlingos and the. Vivaro’s successor. And what of this mythical MINI gearbox that goes halfway round Europe and back again to be assembled in Oxford – can it be manufactured in the UK only or is that just fantasy thinking? I am beginning to think that there is some very muddled thinking in the govt motor industry policy section, maybe we are happy to be the van maker of Europe with the new Land Rover Defender made in Slovakia and the MINI made elsewhere?

  2. Sorry, I missed the bit where Brexit had a major impact… the UK is a massively strong car market and has been in the world top 10 as long as I can remember, car makers do, and will continue to all want a part of it.
    If people took a more patriotic approach to vehicle (and other) purchases, like the French do for example, maybe that would be better – Ford have not made a single Ford badged passenger car here for nearly 20 years, people don’t care, Vauxhall make a % of the Astras sold here, nothing else, no Corsas, no Insignias (remember Luton car making closing in 2004, not many people seem to…) – people don’t care.
    Car manufacturers want to move their production to Eastern Europe, China, India and Russia to increase their profit margins, nothing to do with Brexit, it’s all about the money – if people told them “I want a car made in the UK” then there wouldn’t even be a discussion to have.

    • Well Chris – the bit where Brexit is likely to have a major impact is the bit where (in “no deal” as now threatened) tariffs are introduced on the export of cars from the UK to the EU while simultaneously (as is confirmed) the EU removes tariffs on direct imports from Japan. Where would you build your cars for the European market if you were a Japanese manufacturer ? It’s that portion of the industry – Toyota, Nissan and Honda building cars in the UK for the EU market – that I am concerned about. I take your point that the UK is a big market but that doesn’t mean we have always built in this country as many cars as we consume – or anything like that number. In the early ’80s (before the Japanese started producing in the UK) car production totalled approx. 1 million units annually. New car registrations were almost twice that (1.8 million in 1983). We have got much better – thanks in part to the arrival of the Japanese (also thanks to the growth of JLR & Mini one must say) and despite the exit of Ford and Vauxhall (except Astra) from UK car production. In 2017 UK new car registrations were 2.5 million and we produced 1.7 million – in other words UK production of cars now equates to approx. 70% of consumption. Of course most cars produced are exported, and most cars sold in the UK are imported but we are much closer to a position of trade balance than in the past (especially if you adjust for vehicle value and don’t just talk in “units”). That is good for the economy and its what politicians were aiming for when they seduced the Japanese back in the ’80s.
      But (which is where we started) that progress risks being reversed if the Japanese no longer see the UK as a sensible place to produce for the EU market. Your comment seems to imply that you believe that after Brexit companies like Ford and Vauxhall will resume mass production in the UK and that a wave of “buy British” sentiment combined with the effect of import tariffs will see UK car production for the home market rise. But that is highly unrealistic. Don’t forget the people “driving Brexit” are free marketeers. They are against “protectionism” and in favour of allowing the consumer unhindered access to the cheapest products, wherever they are built. It’s possible the UK would “mirror” the 10% WTO tariff on cars imposed by the EU after Brexit but that would not be sufficient to force Vauxhall (for example) to set up a duplicate production line for Corsa in the UK. It’s simply cheaper to build them all in Spain as now in huge volumes and pay the tariff on the approx. 20% of production destined for the UK market (That’s where they differ from the Japanese producing in the UK – who would be looking at that pain on approx. 60% of output). Of course much higher tariffs, as the UK applied in the distant past (33% in the 1950s), would create a kind of siege economy where Ford, Vauxhall etc. would be forced to produce here if they wanted to sell here. But that’s not going to happen. The “ideal outcome” sought by Brexiteers is zero import tariffs on cars. They admit, quite happily, this will lead to a “diminishing” of what they call the “volume car industry” in the UK. That has been set out in black and white in the publications of “Economists for Brexit” who are the “gurus” of the hard Brexit camp.

  3. Re: Farnsworth…

    Hand me some of that powdered opal & what all..

    What we’re seeing here is the “retard ratio” in full effect. According to the US military a full 16-18% of the population is too dumb to be trained to be a functional military asset, yet everywhere that same group of imbeciles is given a vote… And then you get Brexiteers.

    But that’s not the entire story – on top of that you have the only growing market being China and then Musk and the dribbling electric car sociopaths (and for the millionth time, electric cars aren’t bloody “green” – they are green in the same way as trying to stroke off a wild Megalania could be considered a “good idea”.

    If I can read a history book and understand how monumentally bad UK industry has actually always been – other people can, and summarise it in a memo, and it looks like that memo just landed on the Nissan CEOs desk…

    • “ALWAYS BEEN ” Says Jemma who has clearly brainwashed from reading the wrong books. .

      I bet you are one of the great kow-it-all unwashed who believe that Hamilton’s F1 WDC winning car bearing the three-pointed-star was designed and built in Stuttgart not in the badlands of the UK Midlands…. the land of the Shoemakers. Following ROSS BRAWN and JENSON BUTTON’s 2009 F1 WCC and WDC Successes the whole sheebang was bought by the German Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.

      Our German competitors and financiers saw the benefit of buying British Manufacturing, unlike you and the authors of the books you chose to read, who wrongly accuse manufacturing where in reality it is the British Financiers who are clearly “monumentally bad” at seeing an excellent opportunity to invest in UK Manufacturing. That is simply one example. There are many, many others.

      Jemma is typical of the “I’m cleverer than you” clueless mindset. Far too widespread and prevalent in the increasingly failing UK. No bluddy wonder and no doubt she’s already labelled me as some variation of her “retard ratio”. How many times have the Jemmas and those with the same narrow focus and selfish me, me and me mindset lost their job, or, worse, had their career exported out of the UK often to the EU Mainland as a clear cut result of the UK’s membership of the so called Union of Europe and foreign ownership and control of far too much of this Nation’s depleted assets?

      Any bluddy wonder. I’d bet a nice few quid Jemma believes those we entrust this Nation’s longer term well being every few years or so are doing a splendid job so long as they undermine the will of the majority who do care and with good reason so voted O U T!

      Not just Europe, the rest of the World now see the UK as a Nation with easy meat Mugs in control and take full advantage accordingly at every level and in every direction. The History books one day will chronicle that. All far too bluddy late.

      • Did Merc, BMW, Tata et al BUY the British car industry, or did we SELL it, like we sell off everything to make a quick buck?*

        *for baby boomers to make a quick buck. The next generation is not important..

        • For everyone buyer there has to be a seller. That simple fact is lost on those who (rightly) condemn(ed) slave trading – anywhere in the world.

        • Maybe Lew is not old enough to remember the German headlines back in the 1970s. Then BMW, VW, Auto-Union ( AUDI-VAG) and other manufacturers in Germany were in deep financial doo-dah. The German people did not sell off those cash struck assets spiv-like cheap for stripping, but Government and their people knuckled down and supported their indigenous at every effective level and in every possible effective direction.

          No quick-fix sell off to solve their acute “Union” problems at that time to alien asset strippers or allowed foreign manufacturers to set up Trojan Horse Factories with huge amounts of UK Taxpayers hard to come by ( which some folks confuse as Government money ) “Invested” in alien control and foreign ownership.

          Spot the difference if you can. It’s what we allow to happen in the land of the self-inflicted. Give you a million guess which one that was but, unless you have not been paying attention, only one guess should be required.

          Some of us have been banging the “Not fit for purpose” drum about those we entrust to the Nation’s longer term well being every few years for decades. Deaf ears and stony ground and all that.

          More recently, those not fit form purpose eager to be seen to be doing the “Right Green Thing” actioned the Diesel Good, Petrol Bad” expert opinion mainly from the EU mainland without question. I along with many others banged “They’re measuring the wrong stuff with the wrong parameters” for yonks. Nothing done.

          That’s why the EU and some others form queues to take advantage of the Nation of Mugs.

          It must stop. On June 23rd 2016 that “Must Stop” message was sent loud and clear to those cushioned against reality types who will never be harmed in thgeir jobs for life environment unlike millions of folks who most of that Westminster and Meejah shower less than covderty regard as ignorant plebs who know no better.


          Yes, it will gewt worse before it will get better. No quick-fixes will fix it, only time and corect decision making with the much longer term in mind.

          The rub is, has the UK population now closing on 70 million ( ignore “official” brainwashing figures ) being diluted to the extent that sufficient quantities of the right stuff is available to make it happen now or indeed, in the future.

  4. The needs of the armed forces have changed since I was in (1958-1964), and the basic “give a man a gun, tell him to point it at the enemy and pull the trigger” has been long gone. Soldiers, etc need now to have much higher levels of intelligence, to operate often complicated equipment.

    As for “, yet everywhere that same group of imbeciles is given a vote… And then you get Brexiteers”, logically the converse is true “and then you get Remainers”. As for an intelligence test to vote, I agree. The more intelligence the more votes a person has. But then look at our greedy captains of industry.

    • More good points well made. For my sins I was deployed by an outside agency to observe modern UK forces “in the field” of action with the problems faced and how to operate modern kit under stressful conditions. That was years ago, “modern kit” it is more extreme now no doubt. There’s a lot more involved than simple point and shoot.

      I’d bet a month’s salary that the majority of the Jemmas of this World would not make it to first base. It would simply be beyond their ken…. INIT. :rolleyes:

  5. There isn’t a Nissan CEO with a desk at present ! You may not have noticed, but he’s languishing in a Far eastern prison

    Also, your hyperbole about British Industry, although highly amusing, is also wrong

    PS As , presumably , one of the 16-18% uneducated imbeciles, may I enquire what a wild Megalania is ?

  6. Actually I believe not that many Japanese cars or motorbikes are actually manufactured in Japan any more, due to the high costs of production (eg an overvalued currency). I guess that might change though with Brexit.

    • Good point well made Adrian,

      Few years ago I fitted an MG6 engine to my MG ZT-T 1.8T. Yes, the Chinese version of the original Rover K-Series Design. I knew the car it came from as it was from one of my sons’ friend’s MG6 which unfortunately was rolled resulting in a “Write Off”. At first glance the Unit looked identical to any other 1.8 K-Series.

      Fitting the MG6 Engine meant closer inspection of it for any possible mix and match compatibility issues of which there were a few minor ones easily overcome. This gave the opportunity to observe the revealed numerous “improvements” the Chinese owners of the MG Marque were able to do. Probably the most effective being the method of casting the major engine components. Not gravity cast but pressure cast apparently resulting in more strength. Yes, numerous improvements were noted including an additional Exhaust Manifold Stud for extra strength on an otherwise identical casting. Nothing beyond the capabilities of the folks up at Longbridge could not do if they were allowed to by those in control. There’s the rub! Allowed to do.

      Unfortunately for our asset stripped remnant indigenous Motor Industry, still confusing for many who still believe we have a UK Car Industry as evidence here by some contributors, those in ownership and or control played a blinder.

      Those in ownership or control included a clueless Government concerned only on quik-fix spiv-like cheap sell offs of the family silver with “Get the Unions” stances, an uncaring Aerospace Industry who had their own deep-doo-dah financial issues to contend with as a serious diversion, and a Bavarian asset stripping outfit who were eagerly allowed to pick up the massively asset rich then Rover Group…. for peanuts. Who soon after started asset stripping by selling off JLR for a total exceeding what they had paid for the whole Rover Group!

      OK, I’ve gone off on one of my several “tangerines” so back to your original point Adrian.

      That MG6 Engine came complete with several auxiliary components such as “fly by wire” Throttle Body Inlet Manifold and Turbocharger. The latter was interesting. It carried a Mitsubishi logo and the Legend “Made in Korea”. So we have a Japanese manufacturer, sub contracting building Turbochargers to nearby Korea who in turn supplied the complete assembly to the nearby Chinese manufacturer who now own the former UK Marque MG.

      “How about that”… as they sometimes say at North American Baseball TV coverage reviews of play.

    • Ahah … The “Lemon” was a no cost random optional extra supplied by all car manufacturers.

      No such thing as a really bad car. Vastly outnumbered by bad users of cars but, more often than not the poor car gets the blame anyway. AA/RAC call out stats confirm this time and again.

  7. Chris Cowin is right.
    The British Motor Industry is staring disaster in the face thanks to xenophobes who think there are are to many foreigners here and want them deported.
    Brexiteers are like Corbynistas, selling the idea of gain for no pain.
    Well now the pain that were told was the mythical project fear has started and the booming economy that attracted the migrant workers is about to disappear as industry reduces its involvement in the UK.
    The British are a hypocritical nation. We want our country back, but want to drive German cars. We want a portion of the country to work for next to nothing in order to provide cheap services, but resent the migrant labour that contributes towards this. We continue to patronise the likes of Amazon, despite knowing that they pay a pittance in tax, yet complain about the underfunding of public services.
    After four decades of market led economics it still has not sunk in that Britain needs to sell it’s wares abroad to pay it’s way.
    After the Brexit vote, the British people have only themselves to blame for the inevitable economic catastrophe. Brothers and sisters, we are looking at disaster in the face.

    • Hah! Typical blind mindset distortion.

      I’d bet that a much higher proportion of so called Remainers buy more German automotive product than those who voted O U T have done. Thanks to those “I’m alright Jacks and Ginas” which infest the remainer camps and get far more airtime on TV and radio to bang their FAKE news drums, I can no longer buy a British made MG or Rover. Those marque names are now in alien control and ownership. Sold off dirt cheaply by those in past Remainer camps which most Torys, including Prime Minister May have always occupied.

      The core of the trouble being the EU aingt broke for them, so why fix it”. Trouble is, it IS broke for the rest of us. PM David Cameron was cock sure that most “sensible” folks would vote remain otherwise there would never have been a Referendum. Most sensible folks voted O U T. Their decision based on real experiences from the harsher side of Britain’s EU membership. Hardship every one of those we entrust our Nation’s longer term well being never have to experience. Thus cocooned in their cushioned against reality environment, they drag their feet, plot and delay in the hope that somehow this Nation will not sever that parasitical umbilical cord from UK Taxpayers ( not Government ) sucking our hard to come by for billions and set for regular increases.

      Moving swiftly on, in other news.

      More negative excrement hitting the NISSAN news fan today. It was NOT £60 million under the counter inducements to NISSAN, that was FAKE News apparently. The more accurate figure now reported is actually 33% higher than that. £80 million!

      I also live in hope that someone involved with the AirBus proposed move, spills the bean thereto. Like most UK stuff in alien control, they want to shift manufacturing to the EU Mainland which has been ongoing for decades now. So called BREXIT is simply an ideal opportunity to blame when introducing their longstanding covert plans.

      This Nation used to build good stuff in factories run and owned by ourselves. Where did it all go right.

      • To answer your last point the rest of the world (mostly in the far east) upped their games just as we started going backwards, thanks to clueless management assuming the Commonwealth countries would keep buying British even when the Japanese we starting to sell well in 2nd world markets, & unions getting ever more militant & assuming the government would always bail the company out even when the Japanese were perfecting just in time & showing them up the be overpaied work-shy slobs in comparison.

  8. It will be tricky in the short term but in the long term we will be fine.

    What would be really helpful is if people in the UK started making more informed purchases, thinking about where stuff is made and by whom.

    Individual buying habits will have the biggest influence on how well we survive Brexit. That goes for the car industry too.

    And lastly, can Remain and Leave voters stop hurling childish insults at each other please? It’s getting ridiculous, it’s unintelligent and unhelpful. We’re leaving, decision made, so let’s expend the energy on making sure we succeed instead of beating each other up.

    • John – I am all for encouraging people to “buy British”. The risk is that (if the Japanese no longer see sense in manufacturing in the UK) then the list of “British built” cars one can buy will be very short. One must remember that most Japanese-brand production in the UK is destined for the EU market. UK demand alone would not be sufficient to support their UK plants.
      We already live in a world where it is impossible to buy a British-built budget 3 door hatchback (of the Corsa/Fiesta type) – however patriotic you feel. There’s the Mini (but that’s expensive) or you are forced to buy foreign.
      In the absence of Nissan, Toyota and Honda that predicament would apply to all segments of the car market except those served by Jaguar Land Rover, BMW Mini and the specialists.

      Turning to you point about “we’re leaving”. I agree. It’s important we make the best of it. But making the best of it (IMO) includes ensuring we agree a good deal with the EU which preserves frictionless access to the EU market for car plants located in the UK and doesn’t stick a spanner in the works of their Just in Time production. That “opinion” piece we are commenting below (which in fact I first wrote simply as a comment on an article by Keith) was not intended to argue against Brexit as such – but against the “scorched earth” No Deal Brexit we are now being threatened with.

      • It will depend on whether the EU are prepared to be flexible in giving us a deal that Parliament are happy with. The evidence to date suggests they’re not. So no-deal may be the only option, despite the best efforts of our politicians.

        You would hope the EU would be less recalcitrant. Let’s hope they give more flexibility.

        • The main thing is to make sure export markets are “Buying British” especially as 80% of cars made by Nissan here go for export.

          I can live with a soft Brexit, but the government has wasted over 2 years pandering to hard line brexiteers rather than trying to get a deal that works for everyone, even if you need to upset a small minority.

  9. John H WROTE:~

    “You would hope the EU would be less recalcitrant. Let’s hope they give more flexibility.”

    Whilst I agree largely with the content of your admirable contributions, the hope in your closing sentence is forlorn.

    You do not need to be a Sir David Attenborough to understand that in all Nature, parasites NEVER make it easy for a sustaining host to go free. It is in the interests of the Brussels parasite to make that FREEDOM as difficult or impossible to secure. Despite little evidence of it Westminster, there is a growing groundswell of opinion in the country as a whole leaning towards a No Deal or more dramatically, as Westminster would have it, Crashing Out of the EU parasite. Certainly that will mean problems as would any deal of severance but, the country as a whole is beginning to appreciate that could be the only course of action to secure a better well being environment for the Nation as a whole. It will be a slow process nad the Nation must work patiently with the focus on the longer term, not more pathetic Quick-Fixes which look god next week but have been massively harmful in the longer.

    I prefer to buy British and it is encouraging to see the Union flag and Produce of the Uk now widespread on many items not just on the Supermarket shelves, but even mentioning things with that slant such as the recent Vauxhall TV adverts stressing something on the lines of “Making cars in the UK since 1903”.

    The last new car I bought was in 2003 which I still have and has been very reliable. It’s an MG ZS 120 with the “They all do that” K-Series engine. Only after sixteen years of ownership, it has yet to do that as has the previous K-Series new car I bought in 1993 still in family care and ownership. My friendly always buys German neighbour is convinced the reason my MGs and Rovers are so reliable is because of their … wait for it “Honda Engines”. Such is the widespread ignorance within UK car consumer groups due to UK’s MSM ( Main Stream Media ) talking upo foreign product and always reporting just about anything UK Indigenous Industry related always with a negative slant. Witness Clarkson’s incessant pro=German Automotive slants in programme content and his rodent sidekick’s outburst on BBC’s Top Gear :~ “MGFs ARE RUBBISH”… Cue … “These folks are professionals John and obviously know what they are on about”… Yeah right. Typical FAKE NEWS of our MSM’s less than covert Brainwashing.

    The “Buy British” message is again being resurrected and becoming ever more widespread and that has to be a good thing. Even my local wealthy Farmer is spreading the good word with a large sign in the back of his car “SUPPORT BRITISH FARMERS”. Trouble is, that sign was in the rear screen of his new BMW… Typical.

    I’ll close with a cracking experience with a single exchange with my friendly car enthusiast always buys German neighbour. For years he would take every opportunity to look down his nose at my UK built choice of means of getting about. Poking fun and telling me “You cannot beat German Engineering and reliability John” and he really meant that. Did tend to get on one’s nerves. However, he NEVER says that to me now, not since his marvellous uber-expensive Stuttgart Product burnt its engine out leaving him stranded on the hard shoulder of the nearby M5. Later he told me how much it cost to repair. More than I paid for my new MG ZS 120 … on the road. You know, the one with the Honda Engine.

    Hands up all those who think I make this stuff up… Hmmm that many. In reality, you couldnot make these things up. Reality is a hard task master and very steep learning curve for some folks.

    Attending a Quiz Night a few years ago, he and two other friends in my MG ZT 1.8T. Always buys German alongside me in the passenger seat. He was visibly impressed with the ten year old MG ZT and said so. Yet, when the time came to buy a new car when these cars were in the Rover Dealership showrooms, a visit there was nowhere on his new car shopping list. Listening to work colleagues, relatives and others over the years that visit was never on their shopping list either.

    Meejah Brainwashing works.

    • Ah yes – the Vauxhall adverts which bang the patriotic drum, while selling imports – because every single Vauxhall passenger car sold in the UK, with the exception of some Astras (and that’s fading fast) are imported as are many of the vans.
      I’m particularly amused by the advert for the small Vauxhall Corsa Combo van which says “Cometh the hour, cometh the van” . Every time I see that I feel like scrawling “…from Spain” at the end of the slogan : )
      They’re a pretty cynical bunch (and I should know as I used to work with them : )

      • Me too Chris that’s why I highlighted it. Folks here still insist the UK has a Car Industry and they are correct of course. It’s not far away from me tucked away close to the beautiful Malvern Hills. As the late Soichiro Honda once said, one day there will only be four major automotive manufacturers. Oh and Morgan…

        The average clueless car user consumer really does not appreciate the true situation when they purchase a new car. Like the old woman down the road who curses the good folks of Dagenham because her Fiesta has been a load of trouble. She was genuinely shocked when I told her her Ford was made … in Spain.

        When I bought my new MG back in 1983, there was a vociferous woman in the Showroom mouthing off about those lazy so and sos up at Longbridge. Her accent and demeanour was clearly that of a privileged background. I suspect she had never done a day’s work in her life. She was politely asked to leave. Apparently she wanted to order a Rover of a certain specification only to be told she would have to wait about three months for such a car to be built from scratch. As most folks should know, with such a range of options there are millions of combinations and her car was not already made and tucked away in the factory. Clueless and the sad thing is there are many like that. They are their own worst enemy in the land of the clueless self-inflicted. OK, that’s two stories involving females but I could outline many such stories involving males.

        Still why should me, me and me give a damn. I’m alright… I’m off to join the queues to pay over the odds for a nice new German car. GThat will sustain a few jobs… In the EU Mainland. My enthusiastic always buys German assures me it’s the best policy. I could buy a new car tomorrow but, I do not fancy anything from the North East, Derbyshire, Swindon or even the EU Mainland. So the last new car I bought made in England is likely to be the very last new car I’ll ever buy. I shall simply have to creep about in my old Rovers and MGs. OK, I’ll hold my hands up, I lied about the …. creeping about bit … 😉 Most of my cars are Turbocharged Petrol powered. That turbo boost can be addictive… and then the fuel consumption display shows 19.7 mpg. Yikes… Maybe computer speaketh with forked tongue… Computer says no scenario. However, not driven for economy and in cold wintry conditions. I am happy with that. On a long steady run at Motorway speeds mid-30s mpg is the norm, even when towing.

        If I ever buy another new MG as I have had the pleasure of doing several times in the past, it will be made in the Far East. Very far east of Cowley, Abingdon or even Longbridge.

        However, I have to hold my hands up again, one of my MG ZTs actually has a Chinese MG6 engine transplant so …. how about that.

    • I actually agree MGJohn and really, I know the EU will not compromise and that logically, no deal is the only way forward.

      I’m keen to be fair and diplomatic about it though – I think if the EU were prepared to come to a suitable arrangement that would be better than no deal. But they are not a nice organisation and they won’t. So we should leave with no deal and make it work.

      • If ever there had been any doubt about it , Donald Runt and that Irish buffoon have now sealed the fate of any deal which might have been done. If ever there was an illustration of why it is right to leave this malign – and almost certainly failing – club, Runt’s pronouncement today is the perfect example. There are unquestionably difficult times ahead for all of us , but I suspect that the most worried faces in Europe today will be those of the German manufacturers , particularly BMW and Mercedes , although VW group must also be wondering what the future holds . By the way , I was one of the imbeciles ( per Jemma ) who voted to leave – but I was also one who voted to join in the 1970s – go figure, as they say in Trumpland

  10. Oh dear, there is a real desperation to justify support fro brexit in this article. The reality is our car industry died decades before brexit, so you should have voted on the reality as it is now. Not some fantasy reality in which BL survived. We now depend on foreign companies.

    Even if BL had survived, do you think it would be able to do without European exports and supply chain, in you fantasy alternative universe?

    I am incredible angry about brexit, as far I am concerned the older generation have voted for something monumentally stupid, which is going to hurt younger workers like myself. Brexit is going to destroy the economy, including our car industry.

    • On what figures are you basing the assumption that the “older” generation voted for Brexit? The full demographics from the actual vote are not available. The nearest was a count of over 1000 Local Government ward voting stats by the BBC, which showed a fairly even split between Remain and Leave in the late 30’s to mod 50’s age range. And that itself is not the best barometer as there are over 9000 wards in the UK.

      All the other data is from polling, which is not the same as the actual voting data.

      So what would you say to the younger voters who went with Leave?

    • Clueless right there.

      Tell that to my two thirty something sons and their fine circle of friends in their twenties and early thirties…. some of which drive Rovers and MGs including V8s. If those hard working youngsters are a true indication of the younger population across the UK, and I’ve not seen any reason to not believe that, the future is in safe hands with clear thinking young minds on making the things better for the Nation as a whole. Young agile minds not to be confused with those infantile young minds who believe it’s all about rights and benefits… Corbyn types want the voting age much lower … I wonder why… No I don’t. Yes, say after tenth birthday … sorted. You could not make this stuff up.

      Like millions of clear thinking others with their young eyes focused on the longer term, they are sick and tired of Europe taking us for Mugs and voted accordingly.

      • Funny though that most of the leading Brexiteers have been applying for passports & residencies in the EU, so who’s a mug now?!

        Now they don’t need the “plebs” they are being abandoned.

  11. I am one of the “older generation ” now, but can remember life before we joined the EEC (before it became the huge EU,) when we made plenty of cars and ships here. Yes Brexit may be difficult in the short term but one needs to remember it is also the older generation who have paid taxes in abundance over the years, so we can decide for ourselves. I’m sure the younger ones will survive… like we had to.

  12. At 76 years of age I voted for out – to regain our sovereignty and our borders. I recall being lied to about the Treaty of Rome being only a trade treaty – hence the “Economic” in EEC. I was lied to again by the Wilson government in 1975, and have seen our political life dominated by what is now the EU. I saw the end of the British motorcycle industry – nothing to do with the EEC, EC, EU. Looking online today, I saw that MK – the electric plug makers – are still making their goods IN THE UK, high quality products. Why can we not make “British” cars in the UK? My taxes paid for part of at least two generations of “government” expenditure – state schools. armed forces, police, NHS, etc. And towards the billions of pounds syphoned off and sent to other EU countries. In return we got those countries’ unemployed.

    • It looks like you’ve been stiffed, but that’s true of any leaver with less than a 6 figure income, just sheep lead by snakes.

  13. Brexiteers seem to think that all our vanished industries will be resurrected.
    They died because nobody wanted to buy what they manufactured, least of all the British.

  14. Bartelbe, That is a great summation of what Brexiteers seem to think, that we can all go back to living in the past. Forget the past ,realise that the world has changed and, as a certain Honda robot said in an advert ” more forwards please”.Donald Tusk had it right Brexiteers like Nigel Farrage,Boris Johnson,Michael Gove et all had no plan whatsoever and thought the world would come running to us.Instead they have put us and our future in a right mess.

    • A majority of the voting public voted for Brexit. How many of them share the same viewpoint as a few high profile Brexit supporters is debatable. Perhaps one could consider that many may have had their own reasons for making their choice? The same would go for those of us who voted Remain, who equally shouldn’t be labelled with generalised and insulting terms like EU sympathisers, cowards, lefties or any other nasty labels.

    • Why blame ” Nigel Farrage,Boris Johnson,Michael Gove” when Farage is not even in the government, and Johnson refused to be considered as PM after Cameron. Gove can be held to account, but the cause of the two and a half year shambles is having a Remainer as PM. May has been putting obstruction after obstruction in the way of us leaving, while pretending to be getting us out.
      It has been a complete smokescreen. As I have already said, a vegan in charge of a butcher’s shop.

      • Eric,
        You don’t have to be in the government to promote Brexit.Farrage was in politics as an MEP,ironically in the European Parliament, so his promotion of Brexit was political.As was Boris as he was Foreign Secretary in the Conservative Government.Teresa May is useless as Prime Minister so I doubt she is deliberately obstructing Brexit, just making a total mess of things as usual.

    • Why blame ” Nigel Farrage,Boris Johnson,Michael Gove” when Farage is not even in the government, and Johnson refused to be considered as PM after Cameron. Gove can be held to account, but the cause of the two and a half year shambles is having a Remainer as PM. May has been putting obstruction after obstruction in the way of us leaving, while pretending to be getting us out.
      It has been a complete smokescreen. As I have already said, a vegan in charge of a butcher’s shop.

      • Nice one Eric H. There are even some within her party openly suggesting that has been her ploy all along. Then again, maybe the long drawn out ineffective delay is her genuine attempt at achieving the impossible.Trying to please everyone in the UK as well as the vast hordes of parasitic types on the EU mainland especially Brussels. Simply cannot be done. Not even a good try by our PM Theresa May. She has the toughest job and task list of any PM since WWII.

        • Not nearly as parasitic as the people over here who are still unemployed in times near full employment & only asset is a Britsh citizenship yet still want so much entitlement even though the government has been stupid enough to bankroll their lifestyle for years.

  15. Well, wow what a great healthy debate, I’m nowhere near as eloquent or informed as some of the contributors but as a Brexiteer as some might like to call me, a few things I’d like to get out there – firstly I have absolutely no problem with ‘foreign labour’ it’s absolutely necessary and good for our country and economy, bring it on / in, but in a managed way, not a free for all. Second, I’m under no illusion of resurrection of ‘old school’ British manufacturing, it was flawed, it failed, bring in the new (British) manufacturing, we can do it. Thirdly I don’t want to pay £100k plus p.p.p.a. for 750 MEPs to make decisions about the shape of my pasty, we can decide for ourselves, or £150 million p.a. to pointlessly move the EU HQ around the place (facts, look ’em up). Fourth we sell nearly half of UK made cars (getting back to automotive) outside of the EU – there’s a huge world market to exploit. Fifth there will be no ‘train smash’ cliff edge Brexit, there may be a wobble for sure but rest assured when the French can’t get their strawberries/drugs/potatoes/lambs… across the channel and they’re rotting away in Calais there will be uproar across France and other EU nations who ALL want to do business with us, if we charge them 10% import on anything they’ll do just the same and vice versa, there’s a trade deal to be done…
    Worst case, my J4 van is still going really well, I’ll nip over and pick some stuff up and I’ll even swallow the potential £6 visa fee – it was never an issue in the 70’s and no big deal now, a tiny price to pay.
    Keep the faith and check in the supermarket / garage / tv shop where your produce is from 🙂

  16. Too often Brexit is presented as an almost tribal decision, with Brexiteers in the majority. In fact we had a debate where arguments for and against Brexit were presented and a majority were persuaded by the pro-brexit arguments. In the referendum, pro-Brexit campaigners had the advantage of not having to stick to a single argument and no single cohesive vision of Brexit was presented. We could stay in the single market or in the customs union, we could have free and frictionless trade with Europe. We could send home all the undesirable EU citizens and keep the skilled workers, agricultural workers and hospitality staff and trades men we need. We would embark on upskilling the UK workforce to replace the specialists we lost. We could strike new “Buccaneering” trade deals with the rest of the world. China, India, Brazil, Russian and South Africa would start buying all of the stuff we sell (which is what exactly). Our expats will stay in Spain. Etc.
    The problem now is that systematically each of these arguments has been shown to be largely unachievable. There are of course still many who voted for Brexit that either are happy with what is happening or stick with it out of stubborn sense of loyalty. But what is totally unclear is that Brexit is and will be an economic disaster and a large number of people previously persuaded by Brexit are no longer support it.
    Feel free to describe me as “a traitor,” “a leftie,” “following Hitler.” But, a second referendum is the only way forward. If as some on here maintain, Brexit is still a great thing, then no doubt the British Electorate will still vote for it. What are you afraid off; reality.

    • As I have said – repeatedly – having a Remainer as PM is as bad (yes, bad) as a vegan running a butcher’s shop. Regarding “But what is totally unclear is that Brexit is and will be an economic disaster and a large number of people previously persuaded by Brexit are no longer [in] support [of] it”, should that have been “totally clear”? It is thanks to May and her Remainer chums (of all parties) that things are “unclear” – made deliberately unclear to derail us leaving. We need a bulldog as PM, not a poodle.

      • The usual leaver rhetoric, all ranting & no ideas from top to bottom.

        That’s why May was chosen, because the leavers are the work shy layabouts who wouldn’t know where to start when dealing with people not brainwashed by the right wing press.

    • I can see why a second referendum is attractive, but the same logic could be applied to any election. Some might say that the promises that got New Labour elected in 97 were not followed through – should there have been another vote a couple of years in?

      I think it’s impossible to determine with any certainty why a majority voted to leave the EU. The most logical approach is to accept a democratic decision and move forward as positively as possible. The same would have been true if the vote had been to remain within the EU.

      People voted how they did for their own reasons. Sadly, that’s the nature of democracy.

      If Brexit is an economic disaster, then that’s the situation. Staying in the EU may have led to an economic disaster if the Eurozone were to crash in the future. Either way, this country needs to move on and adapt to the change that’s coming and which was democratically voted for.

    • drae maybe a “leftie” “traitor” or what have you. Who really knows. However what he/she is most certainly … IS WRONG. Clearly suffering from cushioned against reality David Cameron syndrome. Convinced nobody would want O U T, he and his party included an IN-OUT Referendum in their manifesto. Spent nine million persuading the Nation with that expensive mail drop to every household. He and most of his party were convinced it would be a slam-dunk IN. WRONG IN SPADES.

      Second Referendum I hear you and others cry for. BRING IT ON. The reality of feeling in the Nation needs to be hammered home soundly again. A replay will do that. Then more cries for a third!

      Yeah right.

      Since October 1964 and up until Blair’s Hat-trick of GE successes, this household ALWAYS voted LABOUR. Since then, with one notable exception, no one has voted Labour but for several other parties. Both myself and good lady changed the voting habit of a lifetime at the last General Election. We both voted Conservative for the very first time. The way things appear to be “progressing” it will not be the last time either. The current Labour front bench line up are so politically unattractive…. poisonously so since they’ve revealed the location of their Forest of Money Trees…

      • I may well be wrong, but you saying it does not make it so. Wrong about what exactly. It seems you agree with me about the desirablity of a second referrendum Good on you sir. Bring it on. Exactly.

        your comments about Blair and Cammeron are irrelevant to the debate both are yesterdays men and I never voted for either of them. Surprised that you won’t vote for Corben when you suggest that you supported Foote.

    • So what if we have a second referendum and it’s 52/48 the other way, should we then have a best of three? …and why don’t we apply the same to general elections when we get a bit fed up of the government, have a new election every month, keep people happy, I don’t think so – no sorry the result has been declared and we now need to focus positively on making a good deal from it. Clearly the government has made a complete cats arse of the preparations and should be held to account for that, but it is what it is… no second, third / fourth referendums, no ‘worst of all worlds’ soft Brexit – let’s have some faith in ourselves and pull together all people all parties and make something good from this. The world wants to do business with Britain, we don’t need to pay stupid amounts of money to Brussels each year to keep us held back. If the EU can’t reach an agreement with us then fine, let’s do this thing, I for one am fed up of talking about it now – let’s do it.

      • Chris WROTE :~

        >> let’s have some faith in ourselves and pull together all people all parties and make something good from this. The world wants to do business with Britain, we don’t need to pay stupid amounts of money to Brussels each year to keep us held back. If the EU can’t reach an agreement with us then fine, let’s do this thing, I for one am fed up of talking about it now – let’s do it. <<


        Precisely Chris …… Your closing comment nails it. Let's do it.

  17. For what it’s worth about Nissan, I remember they said future investment in the UK would be affected if we didn’t join the single currency in the 1990’s. Since then they have gone from strength to strength! I don’t think Nissan will pull out of the UK – and I don’t think the Government should let that happen. More worrying is Vauxhall at Ellesmere, they could be victims of French ownership in a post Brexit scenario?

  18. Mildly baffled about the belief you can claim British patriotism through ownership of a 1993 MG ZS120 which to all intensive purposes was a facelifted Honda Domani and never the greatest of cars but still. And I’ll happily bet a considerable amount of money it wont last the 275,000 miles of the PDI engine Mk 4 VW Golf I traded in a couple of years. ago. I’d strongly expect the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port to disappear in the next 18 months, so much so I recently politely declined an invitation to a job interview there. Still, at least there will be even more coffee shops for the elderly Brexit voters to spend their final salary pensions in. The upside to all this is as the youth enter politics, we’ll re-enter the EU in less than a decade.

    • My thought as well, probably some brexiteers will change their minds just like the Thatcherites did when they realised they were being sold up the river by the poll tax.

  19. Some folks are easily baffled Andy, even midly. No patriotism involved here just common sense providing employment to my fellow Brits with my careful purchases. Here many folks could learn from our so called friends on the EU mainland who actively support home product for the very same reason. I provides essential employment! Rocket Science it aint although it appears to be for some in th eland of the mildy baffled self-inflicted.

    My “intensive purposes” MG ZS 120 must have been a time traveller in 1993 as was only built in 2003! Hah-ha-ha … much mirth… 🙂 The 1993 car was another Rover Group product as was the MG I purchased new ten years before that in 1983! Hah! 🙂 Yes, the Honda-ARGroup partnership produced some fine production cars and you’d probably lose that bet if it was against the Montego countryman which clocked closing on 800,000 miles! So carry on bigging-up alien produce and forming long queues to pay over the odds for them. Include me out!

    Then again, another Rover-Honda partnership joint venture, my son’s Rover 620ti has closing on 250,000 miles and still in regular use. As as my “Always buys German” neighbour would have it, that’s because of the “Honda” T-Series engine, you know, the one with the letters R O V E R across its spark plug cover… Rover NEVER put their name on any Honda engine. Soichiro Honda would be spinning in his grave at 25,000 rpm like some of his 1960s Grand Prix machines if any other manufacturer plastered their name across one of the Honda Motor Company of Japan’s engines! If you are a non-patriot, you can be excused for such a biased crass posting as that.

    You appear to have a lot in common with those “Brits” we entrust to this Nation’s well being who allowed the massively asset rich Rover group to be sold off dirt cheap to the Bavarian asset strippers who then proceeded to produce their versions of the Range Rovers… a spiv-like cheap sell off thus shafting the Honda partnership with Rover Group at a trice.

    It’s what we as a shorted sighted quick fix me, me, me, it’s all about choice Nation allow to happen far too frequently.

    Worth repeating so I will :~

    No patriotism involved here just common sense providing employment to my fellow Brits with my careful purchases. If you have been paying attention, you too may have noticed that in my doing the “Patriot” thing as you would have it, the trend is on the increase as a glance at any product on the Supermarket shelves will soon reveal. Union Flags everywhere stressing UK home produce. Even alien owned “British” Vauxhall stress this with current TV Car Advertisements including the words to the effect ” Building cars here since 1903! They are not alone in stressing this important aspect of the so called Global market.

    I could go out and buy a new Golf, BMW or Merc tomorrow but will NEVER do so. Accuse me of Patriotism if so chose, you will still be wrong in spades. There’s far more to it than just that. Far more, surely you can understand that even in your mildly baffled environment? There again maybe not.

    Some folks appear determined to never get it. Bit like my farmer neighbour with that large “SUPPORT BRITISH FARMING” sticker in the rear screen of his new …. B M W!

    • It’s funny how you keep banging on about asset stripping but are happy to be a suck up to them as long as they are British, they just have to wave the flags & mugs like you are putty in their hands.

  20. Actually, the result of the IN-OUT Referendum on 23rd June 2016 was not about Remainers or Leavers.

    It was clearly about the “I’m alright” Jacks and Ginas so why fix it if it aint broke and the ” I’m not alright” Jacks for which the so called Union of Europe is broke BIG TIME. Yes broken for them and has been for several decades. I’d bet a large wodge that many of those who voted remain at some stage over the past decades have lost their jobs or had their careers destroyed or worse, exported to the EU mainland as a direct result of EU membership … without them even realising that is what actually happened. To remain in the EU would mean the continuance of the dreaded brown termination envelope on the desk one morning for those arriving for work or the equally dreaded email explaining the reason why folks here no longer have a job.

    It really was as simple as that.

    • Yes… I also see that the French Ambassador to Italy has been recalled over a dispute. So much for the “entente cordial” between other EU members?

      • Considering the yellow jackets are France’s answer to the brexiteers (we want the impossible or else!) & Italy’s current government are similarly inclined it’s not surprising.

    • It’s not nearly as broken as the babyboomers who seem so desperate to return us to being the sick man of Europe for a second time (but have drunk too much kool aid to realise!) by being too deluded that getting out of Europe will return us to the job for life era that had more or less died 50 years ago & even the best efforts of the government & unions couldn’t stop.

      Far more jobs have lost to the far east, thanks to the above, but too many people seem to think the world wants 3rd world work at 1st world prices.

      For the record I’ve been working full time for 20 years & any job losses have been due to management stupidity than anything to do with the EU. In fact every company I have worked for has traded almost entirely in the UK

      Even a soft Brexit is going to lose us jobs, but the deluded Tory boys who think they still rule the empire (but have cash stashed abroad & a bolt hole to run to) & their lazy psudeo working class yob army (who will be bawling like spoilt brats in the street when the realise they have been sold a pup)seem to think this will suddenly be the start of a golden age.

    • I asked the wife if she wanted an in-out referendum last night and she thankfully voted yes.

      She won’t be getting pregnant though, we used the EU withdrawal method.

  21. Even so, his incessant skew of reality and overuse of psychobabble terminology like baby boomers shows a tenacity which in other circumstances could be seen as admirable. I guess like so many “I’m alright Jack” know-it-all know-nowts, they excel at getting it wrong. Maybe he has never received the dreaded brown envelope … always a first time.

    Severance of the parasitical umbilical cord to Brussels will result in some job losses. No contest there. Nowhere near the overall total already lost and would continue to be lost or moved to the mainland if the UK remained as the host sustaining the parasites of Brussels. Joe King’s determined failure to appreciate that is clearly … failure.

    He believes the majority voted the way they did for unsound reasons. Clearly JK does not have a clue… beyond clueless.

    • I’m sorry but your right wing tabloid addled mind is far more unable to accept reality.

      I was at secondary school during the early 1990s when teachers were steering pupils away from economy sensitive jobs, especially as there were already people who had been filling up dole queues for a decade who had once done those jobs thinking they would be doing them until they were drawing their pension.

      In short if you’ve never known job security you’ll choose places of work that are stable when the economy slips.

      A too good to fail mentality is paradoxically one of the easiest way to fail, which for too many British people born between 1945 & 1960 is why Johnny Foreigner won.

  22. “people who had been filling up dole queues for a decade who had once done those jobs thinking they would be doing them until they were drawing their pension”? People who would rather take the other taxpayers’ money than do another job or move to another part of the country. I took what ever jobs were going – labouring, etc – in preference to being on the dole. Both in the UK and when living broad. All it takes is swallowing one’s pride and opening one’s eyes.

  23. Secondary school teachers are the least qualified not least by experience to advise on jobs and careers. Like many within the public sector, most can enjoy a “job for life” cushioned against reality environment. Plus, lefty Governments will promise regular salary increases for them to ensure votes for the team in red even if such regular increases are not earned by increased productivity as is always the case in the Private Sector. .

    Joe King is clearly joking and if I were King, things would be different. Every public sector employee would only get the job if previously they had to earn, withn emphasis on the word EARN, their living outside the Public sector in the harsher environment…. otherwise no job offer. Above all this would apply to all those we vote for every four or five years for those gravy train Westminster jobs in the big house within the green leather seats.

    OK I joked and jested about Joe King joking. He appears to be some form of political activist blinded by his know-it-all know-nowt slants on just about everything. Joe’s writing style reminds me of a weaker version of that over that top Lefty Owen Jones ( he of the Right Wing Main Stream media … 🙂 ) who our leftward leaning guaranteed and unearned revenue stream broadcaster allow to spout his form of know-it-all know-nowt “expert” view incessantly at every opportunity.

    Simply unqualified to have even a sliver of clues.. Clueless in extreme in their “I’m alright Jack” fake news vending world.

    • I’m not a politically activist I’m just counterpointing your one dimensional rent a yob rhetoric which is far more know-it-all know-nowt than I’ll ever be.

      I’m ironic that you admit you were once a Labour supporter, or is that just a way of admitting you’ve screwed everything you can from the left & now are trying from the right, even though your are just dispensable layabout scum to Tory boys who will drop you like a hot brick when they get their way.

      Talking of Tory Boys a lot of them have never really had a job which they didn’t manage to get through the old boy network, something you’ll never manage even if you had Welcome tattooed on your back.

      These days almost everyone without access to this has worked in in private sector before doing any public sector work, so it’s a moot point, so cut the right wing cultural revolution guff.

      Just for the record every full time job I’ve had has been in the private sector, with just 2-3 temporary ones in the public sector.

    • Just as an aside from the whole Brexit thing because I can’t let this pass: before we start chuntering on about ‘those who can’t, teach’ and ‘lefty’/’trendy’ (delete as applicable) layabout teachers with their leather elbow patches yadda yadda yadda, the modern day teacher is held extremely, and absurdly, accountable for things which are way beyond their control ie non existent parenting, exam boards that make random, unannounced changes to the way they assess, politicians using soundbites about education they barely understand themselves etc etc. There is an atmosphere of hyper accountability that can, and does, break people who waltz into the profession from ‘the real world’, not quite understanding what it is they’re getting themselves into…They soon leave…

      • I wouldn’t be a teacher for all the tea in China, no way, no how…. nor a Policeman either… couldn’t pay me enough

  24. The main problem with (state school) teachers is that most of them leave, school, obtain a teaching degree, go to teacher training college, and then straight into teaching – for life; with no experience of any other job, most likely no private sector job where the business has to be profitable/successful to survive. A number of the masters who taught me in primary and secondary school would have come from the armed forces after the end of WWII. Perhaps that was where they learned to aim those pieces of blackboard chalk with such accuracy.

    • Actually, that’s not true. Most teachers I know have private sector experience and few have a purely teaching degree. They’re perfectly familiar with the private sector’s school of hard knocks…but they find actual schools have harder knocks than they’d experienced before.

  25. The first job I had (ignoring milk delivering on Saturdays and Sundays as a schoolboy) was a public sector one. It was called the British Army.

  26. OK Joe… you’re excused.

    For your information. Retiring aged sixty-eight ( Prepared to work on – I was terminated ) I spent a third of my working years which exceeded half a century working in the Private Sector, another third in the Public Sector ( as it enabled me to spend far more time with my then young sons now in their early thirties ) and the remaining half ( note Corbyn lefty front bench money tree type calculations there .. 😉 ) as a self-employed one man business often putting in a twenty hour working day and enjoying every second being my own Guvnor.

    Could be we have more in common than you would be prepared to admit. Further information, from October 1964 until Tony Blair’s Hat trick success of General Election wins, I always voted for the team in the red corner. Given the present quality of the Labour Front Bench, can never ever see me voting for such a shower again.

    Corbyn has identified his Money Tree plantation… can you guess where it’s located?

    No more exchanges with you Joe. You obviously know far more about life than my experience will ever allow. Plus, despite several attempts to negate my single parent family upbringing in London’s impoverish East End by Hitler’s Luftwaffe, [ at that age I thought the “war” was good fun ] my younger brother and I later managed to knuckle down and work for what little we have acquired. Schools and numerous other influences back then taught and demonstrated to us the benefits of working to EARN, not promote a widespread lefty approach to claim “rights” and “benefits” like far too many are allowed to chose as a harmful career option at other taxpayers’ expense.

    • I’m not a fan of Corbyn either, but the Tories seem to be money no object when they need to do things like bribe the DUP.

      It’s mostly a point of view here, I’m not brilliantly qualified or have great earning power, thanks to learning difficulties, but can live comfortably without much effort, something that many people earning much more than me seem to find very hard somehow.

      If anything it’s a right wing thing these days to expect everything to be handed to you on a plate even without putting much if any effort.

      It’s normally the sort of people who think anyone doing less well than them are lazy benefits fraudsters & anyone doing better are snobs and / or on the make.

  27. Labour’s problem now is it’s been hijacked by a metropolitan middle class who hang out in trendy middle class areas like Islington and have little in common with the traditional working class voter. To me, they seem to despise anyone in the working class who has improved themselves and, Heaven forbid, might consider voting Tory and hold politically incorrect views on immigration and ” diversity”, the new buzzword for political correctness. No wonder Labour’s emphasis seems to be on benefit claimants, who they know will always vote Labour as they’re like a client state to them.

    • Labour – and the whole political class of the UK – should look at two countries currently more successful than us, and ask them about “diversity”: China and Saudi Arabia. Not much touchy-feely diversity in either.

  28. Glenn here you have identified Corbyn’s Money Tree Plantation :~

    >>To me, they seem to despise anyone in the working class who has improved themselves <<

    In all my many years as a Labour Party supporter I cannot remember such an unattractive line up shower as most of the occupants of their current front bench now. Here I include the Titled Sir…in that line up.

    • @ MG John, you are referring to the dull as dishwater Sir Keir Starmer, who seems to have absolutely no charisma, but at least doesn’t inhabit the same early eighties hard left backwater that Jeremy Corbyn lives in. Corbyn’s idea of Brexit, popular in the Labour Party of the Foot and Benn era, is some kind of state controlled siege economy that would be even worse than a No Deal Brexit.

  29. To be clear, I voted Brexit, still stand behind that decision and would vote the same again tomorrow, despite the fact that the government have been complacent in their (our) preparation for it.
    We pay £13bn (yes billion, that’s a lot of money) into the EU each year, yes we get around £4bn back but I’d rather spend the remaining £9bn here thank you. Much of that goes toward supporting nations that refuse to manage their own economies just because they are part of ‘the club’ – who then come cap-in-hand for bail outs. The original coalition of European nations has outgrown itself and is long past its’ sell by date. Let’s spend our hard earned money how we choose and not chuck it all around Europe like confetti.

    There are 750 MPs in Europe, (over 100 more than our own parliament and all paid a shed load more money) making decisions that are sometimes bizarre and sometimes not in our interests, I’d rather make our own decisions, thank you very much… remember the bent bananas, not being allowed to recycle tea bags, kids not allowed to blow up balloons on their own… I refuse to pay £9bn for this clap trap.

    Industry, I’m under no illusion of a return to ‘good old 1980s’ manufacturing, I was unfortunately part of this and still remember walking out on strike (many times) because ‘the management’ moved a coffee table – true story!! And by the way if you vote in Len McCluskey, oh sorry, Jeremy Corbyn (but LM makes the decisions) you’ll very soon be back to the good old days of general strikes, 20% inflation an unsustainable welfare system and 90% tax brackets… his money tree doesn’t actually exist – fact!! …should I mention Dianne Abbot here, no that would be too easy to make a joke of, I’ll leave it to her to do that for herself.

    Immigration, this country needs immigration, it’s been great for us and will continue to be… nowhere in Brexit does it say people are no longer welcome, but at least let’s have some control over it please, it can’t continue to be a free for all. Open the gates for temporary agricultural workers, nurses, factory workers… as long and as much as you like, everyone welcome but in a more managed way. Don’t forget we’re at 4% unemployment right now, we need people.

    On another note, the ‘EU’ could have stopped this when David Cameron went round cap in hand to try and get us a better deal pre-referendum but they treated us as a joke and conceded us a packet of biscuits and a Cornish Pasty (as long as it was made in Cornwall) as a token offer.

    And finally ‘Soft Brexit’ keeps all of the things people voted they didn’t want, and gives us no control over them – don’t even go there, that would be a travesty.

    Again, I say have faith in a great nation with so much going for us and let’s just do this thing, with a deal great, without a deal there will be bigger losers than us but if that’s what the EU want, bring it on.

    • Splendid contribution there Chris. You outline many of the reasons I and 17.4 million voted OUT. Not just on a National level, on a personal level, I have suffered directly from the negative aspects of this Nation’s parasitic membership of the so called Union. Is it really a massive NINE BILLION per annum!… I did not realise it was that massive extracted from those working to provide those outgoing hard to come by and earn taxes to Brussels. Yes, I voted IN back in the 1970s. That vote was for our inclusion in what was then called “The Common Market” back in those now distant days. I did not vote for the parasitic Monster the so called Union of Europe has evolved into.

      Like you, if there was a replay and that could happen if the moaner losers get their way, I and just about everyone I have asked will again vote O-U-T!

      Yet, still widespread in some sections of the UK’s mainstream media, of which one is in the spearhead, less than covertly suggest us “Plebs” … their words… voted O-U-T for racial reasons. More FAKE NEWS slanted bias failing miserably to appreciate that like the vast majority of UK Brits, the vast majority of the EU’s Mainland population are the same bluddy race! Those cushioned against reality inhabiting Islington, Westminster and the self-inflicted UK MSM ( Main Stream Media ) can afford such prejudicial bias. The EU aint broke for any of them. It is BROKE for millions of the rest of us.

      Something must be done. Back on June 23rd 2016, there was at last a positive sign that this Nation had been alerted to the negativity of the EU problem. Which sent a firm and “let us make this very clear”… 🙂 message to those we entrust to this Nation’s longer term well-being that something HAS to be done … and sharpish. Then a better future is in this Nation’s control unlike most of the past four decades of decay.

      • I am one of the “plebs / morons/ imbecile” who voted to leave. It was, in my case, absolutely nothing to do with immigration, but everything to do with the right to self determination which has ever so slowly, but inexorably , been being withdrawn in favour of ever closer union. The process has been carried on very stealthily by mostly unelected bureaucrats , together with partly elected buffoons such as Runt and the unfortunately named Juncker . I seem to recall there was another small-statured European with slicked down hair and a moustache who had similar ideas . Look where all that ended

        • Mr Storey, I disagree with you. I don’t want to leave the EU but I think we will and I imagine that by this time next year we will have some early impressions of how that has gone and, hopefully, be able to civilly discuss them here.

          Whatever the situation next year there will have to be some serious national discussion about how we deal with it and we need to start preparing for that now. To that end, is it really fair to make ad hominem attacks on EU officials and what really is a spurious comparison with Hitler?

          Can I refer you to the debate we had here last year…


          And then to the words posted 18 May 2018 at 4.24 pm.

          The threads for this situation go back decades and, roughly speaking, the generation that has had the biggest influence leading to this is the Baby Boomers (a demographic term, not psychobabble as some suggest) who were in the factories, offices and Parliament driving our economy and politics through the last 5 or 6 decades. I am one.

          By this time next year I fear that the arguments will be worse, but by then we really will need to be able to discuss things rationally. I’m angry too, but couldn’t the Baby Boomer grey heads (yep, I’m grey) set an example here and follow some good advice from last year?

          • This time next year … you wish. No chance Too many brainwashed expect this to be a quick-fix issue like so many which have worked so well to the benefit on the Nation’s Longer Term well-being. Yeah … right.

            It will take years for the UK as a whole to fully recover, survive and thrive after severing the parasitical umbilical cord channelling UK Taxpayers’ hard to come by. A quick fix was never on the cards. Patience, hard work and time means a slow fix. Slow and sure to secure a better longer term future.

            As I type this I have both 24/7/365 News channels running in the background.
            MSM, Westminster types still squabbling over this issue. Their view of things clearly muddled ( 🙂 ) by their lack of under standing of what will be a long term recovery process… for the many .. not the few….Terms like “Crashing Out” and divided Nation…skirting carefully around the fact that it is one divided Nation which is part of the British Isles ( Formerly Eire ) which is being used to torpedo any real and effective progress to sever that parasitic umbilical cord to Brussels. So conveniently covertly hiding the real meaning of what folks voted for by using the term ….. BREXIT.

            It will not be easy. It will take time. Lots of it. If there is still sufficient quantities of what some call the “Right Stuff” then the future will be just fine. Trouble is, some think too many ineffective quick-fix uncontrolled policies has dilute the Right Stuff resolve. I hope they are wrong. Being wrong is allowed far too often. It’s what we do or, just maybe… DID… in view of the result back in June 2016. That was only the start. The journey will be a long one but, worthwhile.

            T. Blair on TV right now….What a soft speaking slim ball Tony Blair has become. I was pleased to vote for him no less than three times back in the day. How things can change.

        • Nice of you christopher storey to build amost a whole post around the usual right wing press soundbites that have long being debunked to show you how much of the Kool Aid you’ve drunk.

    • I disagree with you would like to pick up on some points where I think you are mistaken.

      “There are 750 MPs in Europe, (over 100 more than our own parliament and all paid a shed load more money) making decisions that are sometimes bizarre and sometimes not in our interests, I’d rather make our own decisions, thank you very much… remember the bent bananas, not being allowed to recycle tea bags, kids not allowed to blow up balloons on their own… I refuse to pay £9bn for this clap trap.”

      750 MEPs does seem a lot, but it is a false equivalent to compare it to our own House of Commons without clarification. The UK has a population of just under 66m and has 650 MPs. The EU has a population of about 512.6 million for 750 MEPs. So an MEPs constituency is more than six times bigger than a British MP. You might well have a point about the level of their remuneration, but if you think they do not provide value for money, please explain why.

      But if you suggest that part of your dissatisfaction is because of them making bizarre decisions not in our interest, etc., I am really confused because all your examples are myths.

      In the first instance, as I have pointed out elsewhere on this site, although the EU Commission can propose a law, it can only be where EU governments have unanimously agreed to allow it to do so. So in other words, if our own elected government did not think a law was in our interest, it could veto it from the start.

      This link explains it very well:


      On the matter of the three bizarre decisions you cite:

      Bent bananas. A euro myth.

      Recycling tea bags. A euro myth.

      Children and balloons. A Euro myth.

      I don’t expect this to change your mind, but hope you would agree that we all benefit if myths are exposed for what they are.

      • Interesting that from all of the salient points I raised including our £13bn contribution (yes, again, £billion) that you want to debate bent bananas, guess we could go around in circles for a long time on the detail / interpretation, however to respond to your specific concerns;
        Commission regulation 2257/94 decrees that bananas in general should be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature” – EU regulation!!
        Tea bag ban over foot-and-mouth (BBC News 7 January 2005)
        Householders have been told not to throw tea bags in waste meant for compost because it is a foot-and-mouth risk. Under EU law the UK is fully entitled to impose stringent standards… EU regulation !!
        Balloons quote…the new directive 2009/48 and related standards …”Warning! Children under eight years can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.” EU directive – fact, come on, you have to agree this is common sense territory not £100k per year bureaucrat stuff, I’m fed up with it, a waste of all of our time and money.
        I hope this has cleared up some of your confusion at least and hope you would agree there are often different understandings / interpretations to every story, believe what you will.
        There’s a host of other examples but just to come back on your questions, I for one don’t want to pay £13bn per year for this, nor to allow the Spanish et al to excessively fish our coastal waters, nor to pay £150mn to needlessly move the EU headquarters, I could go on… 🙂

        • Thank you for your response.

          I really don’t see why you criticise me for picking up on things you said that are inaccurate as though they are trivial. I responded where I did because I thought you had not represented the points fairly, but if you thought they are worth mentioning, why should I not comment?

          I think you are still misrepresenting the three issues but the links are there and others can read them if they choose.

          To be fair, I should have said that I agree with you about immigration and that a return to large scale manufacturing, but I forgot. I’m pleased to correct that.

          Your other points I viewed as your opinion, and simply said I disagree.

  30. Emphasis on UK Manufacturing is definitely on a massively spreading Nationwide increase. Not before time and rightly so.

    As I trawl the WWW, I have the excellent World Grand Prix Snooker from Cheltenham Racecourse ( How about that ? ) coverage on Freeview Channel 24 ITV4 ~ even won a few quid betting frame by frame ~ and during some of the TV Commercial Breaks, a CARLING Beer advertisement mention of all things Manufacturing and closed with the legend … “MADE LOCAL”.

    A Nation is fast waking up from its commercial Industry and Manufacturing slumbers. It needs to too. Sharpish.

  31. “As I trawl the WWW, I have the excellent World Grand Prix Snooker from Cheltenham Racecourse”. A game greatly supported by advertising played at a venue whose sole purpose is gambling. And that is “A Nation is fast waking up from its commercial Industry and Manufacturing slumbers”? It reminds me of the last days of Rome. And we are supposed to be in an era of austerity! What has happened to “the bare/bear necessities of life”?

  32. “As I trawl the WWW, I have the excellent World Grand Prix Snooker from Cheltenham Racecourse”. A game greatly supported by advertising played at a venue whose sole purpose is gambling. And that is “A Nation is fast waking up from its commercial Industry and Manufacturing slumbers”? It reminds me of the last days of Rome. And we are supposed to be in an era of austerity! What has happened to “the bare/bear necessities of life”?

  33. Christopher – I suspect Joe King is from the USA, hence his Kool Aid jibe. “Kool-Aid is a brand of flavoured drink mix owned by Kraft Foods. The powder form was created by Edwin Perkins in 1927 based upon a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack”. No doubt very popular with US adolescents of all ages.

    In the 1950s in the UK, one could buy Tower brand lemon crystals in small tins. Unsugared – or barely so – a teaspoon of the crystals in a cup of water made a very refreshing and sharp drink. Ideal for packing on a picnic, or when going for a walk over Dartmoor; just fill a cup from a stream and add the crystals.

  34. The Brexit light bulb moment for me was when I watched a television program that featured a Tate & Lyle executive who carefully articulated the impact on the sugar industry arising from joining the, then, “Common Market”. He explained that the UK had agreements in place to buy sugar cane from the West Indies at competitive prices. On joining the Common Market the tariffs imposed rendered the purchase of sugar cane from the West Indies uneconomic at a price that was higher than sugar beet from within Europe. However, the price of sugar beet within Europe was HIGHER than the former price from the West Indies.

    He advised that this was the case for many commodity items where the consumer was forced to pay higher prices for items of European origin over the rest of the world. To me this makes no sense at all and is tantamount to price fixing to support inefficient European commodity production.

    I am no scholar in economics and the like but trading in such a way is strange to my way of thinking and using it as and excuse for peace is crazy. European countries, of which we are one, can work together on sharing intelligence, crime, standards etc. without being hamstrung by adopting a United States of Europe approach. I want to go to France, Belgium etc and witness different cultures, I do not want us all to form a “lowest common denominator conglomerate” which seems to be one of the EU’s current mantras.

    Let’s use this opportunity wisely!

    • Here, here.

      Of course, the ideal end point is to produce our commodities locally where possible, reduce our consumption, stabilise our population and live sustainably as a country.

      Brexit is an opportunity to start moving towards that future, if it is used wisely.

      • RoverBrexit and John H.

        I hope you’ll forgive me dealing with both your posts in one go – it isn’t meant to misrepresent either of you.

        I am very confused by your posts since you seem to be in agreement, yet there are some possible contradictions in what you say. I am not an economist either, so if I have a misunderstanding I am sure somebody will correct me.

        You might well have a point about the effect on commodity prices when we joined in 1973, I don’t know. However, what we need to concentrate on today is the effect on the UK of leaving on 29 March 2019.

        But if the effect of joining in 1973 was to protect the production of EU sugar beet, then does that protect UK sugar beet production now? I have no idea what sugar cane prices are, but if they undercut our domestic sugar beet production, will that be a good thing for sustainable farming in the UK?

        There are certainly risks to UK production of lamb and beef from animals raised overseas where husbandry standards are not so high and hormones and more anti-biotics are allowed.Doesn’t leaving the EU make it harder for us to standalone and for our agriculture to be sustainable?

        The reference to a United States of Europe and the lowest common denominator does baffle me a little. I am not aware that you have said as much, so just to be clear: I am not saying that you have, but often one of the usual complaints against the EU is of it trying to impose too high standards, not too low. Common standards obviously allow us to trade easily across the EU. Surely that is a good thing? And, as I have pointed out in a post above, some of the supposed silly regulations are mythical.

        But if you are interested in what the United States of America might be seeking in a possible trade deal, you might like to read this article about the US wanting to remove high standards that protect us now.

        Here’s What US Lobbyists Want Donald Trump to Get From a Post-Brexit Trade Deal


        The article lists 30 of more than 130 asks by US lobbyists. It is worth reading and whilst I don’t know what might alarm you, I picked out these…

        Scrap the safety-first approach to food quality and standards

        Allow the sale of hormone-riddled beef

        Slash British cattle farming subsidies

        Get rid of Britain’s safety-first approach to chemicals

        Ignore the presence of hormones and pus in dairy products
        Yes, that is pus in milk.

        End rules that let British shoppers know what colourings are in their food

        Lift the UK ban on a growth hormone in pork
        Ractopamine is allowed in the US, but banned in 160 countries, including the UK.

        Eliminate UK testing for a parasitic worm in pork

        Legalise dangerous pesticides
        On that subject you might have seen the alarming report today about the plummeting number of insects worldwide>

        You might not want a United States of Europe, as you call it, but those are some of the lower common denominators we will have to deal with if we want a trade deal with the United States of America.

        I agree that we, and the world, should stabilise populations and live sustainably, but if we leave the EU do you think we will be able to fend off these horrors (they sound horrible to me) when we trade with economic giants like the USA?

        You are probably aware that the economist often preferred by the leaders of leaving the EU, Professor Patrick Minford, has said that leaving will just about demolish our manufacturing and farming.

        Clearly I disagree with you and when even Pro Brexit tycoons like My Dyson chose to manufactures his products in Singapore that has a trade deal with the EU, I really struggle to see how we can use this opportunity wisely.

        I admire your optimism, but given the late stage of the game, could you please explain the practical measures that avoid or outweigh these issues above?

        • You appear to have forgotten about an organisation called the (British) Commonwealth. Buying cane sugar from the West Indies was to “keep it in the family”, as was buying New Zealand lamb – nothing wrong there – and Australian beef I imagine (ditto). Before the Argies invaded the Falklands, Argentinian beef was quite normally seen on butchers’ slabs. Who died of Fray Bentos corned beef?

    • And I recall seeing cane sugar being harvested in the West Indies and Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. I wonder where it was going. Also, on my travels around East Anglia in the 1990s, I saw the beet factories dotting the horizon.

  35. 97
    Actually the Headline Title of the Topic is a news slant of the Fake variety. Consider this.

    “Opinion : Why Brexit is killing our car industry”

    “Our” Car Industry was an endangered species long before any mention of a Referendum. Yes, high on the red list of endangered species then becoming becoming extinct when the then Government turned its back on the asset stripped remnants of the once massively asset rich former Rover group. However, by then the 6,000 employees and many more outside Longbridge were reliant on a … Private Company. The Government in red do not “do” private so not only turned their backs to the Longbridge workers, but unless the news at the time was more of the FAKE variety, actively torpedoed any chance of financial rescuing partnership with another manufacturer. I have not voted Labour since.

    Meantime, brainwashed UK car consumers, not to confused with folks who know what goes on under their car’s bonnets, formed queues to pay over the odds for so called superior alien product. So superior that repairs to one Stuttgart product cost far more than I paid for my new MG ZS 120 … on the road. About that time two other immediate neighbours were made redundant. Apparently clients were looking abroad for those services their company provided. One neighbour approached me on a “You know about cars John” asking about a cheap Rover he was considering buying. ASt that time a new 3-Series and Golf occupied the space in front of his hard standing. I was tempted to say look on the bright side, you have much more time to clean the BMW and VW. I did not of course, I do not kick anyone let alone when they’re down. The other neighbour made redundant when his hydraulic company employers folded for much the same reason. He however had a skill set and set up his own Hydraulics consultancy business and last time I saw he and his good lady, things were looking up. Meantime a nice Rover R8 stood where once the Golf and 3-Series once were. He told me he had no idea how nice that Rover would be until he tried it! Sounds familiar… bit like Stuttgart repair neighbour told me when I gave him a lift in my the quite old MG ZT Turbo… no not the one with the BMW Engine, the one with the “They all do that 1.8 K-Series… only mine do not do that. Back then I put a for sale notice on my works Notice Board for a Rover 620ti which became surplus. A work colleague’s BMW 5-Series needed a head gasket renewal and he needed transport sharpish. I demonstrated the car in our lunch hour and pulled into a lay by on the nearby Dual Carriageway…Soon on the move… “John… This Rover is quicker than my 5-Series” … Who knew.. he did then. He could not get round to the Building Society quick enough. Soon after a friend of the family had his bought new Focus develop terminal engine and some gearbox issues. Offered it to me as a project. My wife suggested he could use the spare 620ti we had at the time which I had had an offer for already. OK, he’s a good friend in trouble and so I allowed him to borrow the car for his daily 60 mile round trip commute strictly on the basis that if he breaks it, he buys it and… must get it insured. Half an hour later the phone rang … it was him … Oh dear what’s wrong 🙁 . Actually nothing was wrong. He quickly became so impressed with the car he wanted to buy it and paid my asking price.

    All these folks and many many more in my experience had no idea how nice “our” cars were. Brainwashing wot dun it … init. By “our” I mean the former Indigenous UK Car Industry… not the heavily financed and subsidised Trojan Horse outfits allowed access to greenfioeld sites and huge inducements to build Car with foreign names here in the once much more greener and pleasant. Long before any mention of an IN-OUT Referendum, all warned than when it suits them, not the UK, they will be gone or shift production elsewhere leaving token set ups allowing access to the fatter margins were pay in the UK.

    Brits treated as mugs… never give a sucker an even break. Keep forming those queues to pay over the odds for alien product. As some have told me.. “It’s all about choice John” .. yes, they are right, the choices of decline.

  36. “brainwashed UK car consumers, not to confused with folks who know what goes on under their car’s bonnets, formed queues to pay over the odds for so called superior alien product.”
    Let’s not overlook the fact that Rover’s demise was brought about in part by a dated, overpriced and oddly pitched product range. This was reality and nothing to do with brainwashing.
    For instance, they tried selling the 1995 200 ‘bubble’ series as a replacement for the R8 – this was a hopeless idea, as the newcomer was only slightly bigger than the Metro – but priced a class above.
    History repeated itself with the 400 series, which initially was pitched price-wise against bigger rivals like the 406 and Mondeo. What was essentially a 1994 Honda Domani with a chrome grille and number plate plinth simply could not compete.
    By the time the models were realigned to the segment they should have been aimed at from the beginning as the 25 and 45, they were old designs and it was too late.
    Then there was the 75…. a good car, but again, oddly pitched between two established segments, and about as trendy as granny’s parlour. All this retro stuff was simply not what the masses craved.
    Finally, the Z cars came along – it was all too obvious that they were (cleverly) warmed over versions of some pretty dated machinery – and again, lacked that aspirational quality as a result.
    So as I said, brainwashing had nothing to do with it – it’s all about the right product at the right time at the right price, and it has to be said that Rover messed up.

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