Successive governments appear to have made life deliberately awkward for the voters they are supposed to represent, according to Nick Timothy in a damning article in today’s Telegraph.
Relying on others to do the things we’re not prepared to do, or make the things we’re not prepared to make, or provide us with the food and energy we’re not prepared to provide for ourselves has placed the United Kingdom in a perilous position.
From infrastructure to education, argues Timothy, the decay is deep, long-standing and widespread:
“Despite a rising population and their own climate change warnings, water firms cut infrastructure investment and failed to build even one large new reservoir in 30 years. Twenty per cent of our water supply leaks. Discharges of raw sewage flowing into rivers and seas are up almost 30 per cent on last year.
Yet, according to the Government, in one nine-year period the companies made £18.8 billion in profit, thanks in part to complex debt financing. Some 95 per cent went on dividends, not reinvestment.”
And in higher education
“The universities, a cartel that refuses to charge anything less than the statutory maximum fee, regardless of course or institution, are turning British students away in favour of foreigners who pay more.”
We cannot continue as we are, according to Timothy:
“Our model of regulation, which systematically over-rewards investors in assets like airports and water companies, and under-does the public interest, needs to change dramatically.
So does our broader economic model. The desperation for foreign investment originates in part with our trade deficit. To support sterling as we import far more than we export, we sell everything going: not only utilities, but land, office space and housing, businesses large and small, even firms that are clear strategic assets.
ARM, the chip maker, was sold to Softbank. Ultra Electronics, the defence supplier, is to be sold to an American firm. Newport Wafer Fab, another chip manufacturer, may end up in Chinese hands.”
Nothing less than a reimagined conception of state, society and market is required if the UK is ever to escape this spiral of decline.
The full article can be read below with a link to the original here: