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To ask the question outright... Would you support re-nationalising MG-Rover? Is it important enough that you would pay tax to keep a native auto industry alive in your country?

Say an independent panel of scientists, engineers, businessmen etc the best of the best were put in charge and commissioned to provide a long term plan for viability? Would you pay for that?

Are you opposed philosphically to government propping up industry at all?
 

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Yes I would support it 100%, with a view to ultimately priviatising the company.

IMHO Government should only be their to act as night watchman and to protect strategically important companies, of which MGR is definitely one.

John
 

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I agree with John. MGR was/is so close to turning the corner, they have lots of products in development and within a couple of years the range was due to be almost totally replaced. The Chinese deal was key to this.

Nationalise the company for two years with a few to sell / float after that. You never know, the company by then could be making a lot of money for the treasurey!

Nationalisation would also remove the threat of the company going bust and restore consumer confidence, sales would then increase.
 

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Yes, with a clearly outlined set of aims, and with business people at the helm. A deal with the Unions that they wouldnt get any more pay. And run with total efficiency. But does that ever happen in the public sector, or are we being over-optimistic?
 

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I would as well, as a minority stake holder as with the French with Renault, Italy with Fiat and Germany with VW.. however this should of happened all along..

After years of being massively pro privatisation I am changing my mind, in favour of this kind of set up.. it means society as well as the private sector are involved..

To late now whatever.. would be political suicide for the Labour party to do it..
 

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No. Absolutely not.

I believe that governments have no business running businesses - not really for any philosophical reasons, but for practical reasons. The Government machine is largely made up of people too incompetent to survive in business. And those people are then given too much power. And they use that power to make and enforce bad decisions.
Governments are allowed to interfere. Investment is never made because no elected government ever takes a long-term financial view, and this is the killer for me. As a public body British Leyland had to make public all its model plans and business strategies. The very vital information a private company works damn hard to keep secret from its rivals. It's no wonder in the 70s so many of the rival products were so much better than BL's - they knew exactly what they had to do to beat them! Now I'm not aware of any change in the law which would prevent the same from happening again.

And I have one more reason. You just know that the instant it happened MG Rover would revert to being British Leyland in the eyes of the public. All those years of trying to lose that image undone in one fell swoop.
 

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Being reasonably young (22), I don't have too many negative memories of nationalised industries, but am obviously aware of the vast collective baggage the idea has to bear in this country.
When I was a naïve kid, trying to work out an identity as one does, I thought 'British Petroleum' and 'British Gas,' 'British Steel' and 'British Aerospace' - hell, even 'British Nuclear Fuels' sounded fantastic, powerful companies that made me proud to be growing up in this country. The idea that they were all owned by the people sounded so wonderful and attractive, somehow, though of course all the problems that went with them are under the radar when you're a kid unless you're directly affected. National champions sounded good. It was nice to be able to distinguish brands and products by country, e.g. American Motors. It made me wish that Leyland Roadrunners and Constructors had B R I T I S H L E Y L A N D across the front rather than just the Leyland name.

Perhaps there's a way of using nationalisation to satisfy both extremes of opinion (socialist and free market) - if we had 'small' government, just as the real laissez-faire economists would like, then occasional, temporary interventions to 'correct' market failure or other problems would not be too bad, since they would be effectively all that the government did. Just as Britain intervened in the Falklands to safeguard the interests of British subjects, so she could intervene to safeguard the interests of her own people when a major employer (and exporter) needed assistance.

Sort of utilitarian socialism; I'm not quite sure how to put it. We have an NHS and a welfare state so that value (i.e. human life, health and potential) is not needlessly wasted or lost; perhaps we should have an economic health service that intervenes to set troubled companies back upright again and on their way. And I don't mean some Tony Benn-style Industrial Reorganisation Committee that interferes with commercial strategy.

If there were to be any kind of nationalisation of MGR now, I would hope that it lasted a very short time whilst a proper commercial buyer (or buyers) is/are found.
 

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smosquito said:
To ask the question outright... Would you support re-nationalising MG-Rover? Is it important enough that you would pay tax to keep a native auto industry alive in your country?

Say an independent panel of scientists, engineers, businessmen etc the best of the best were put in charge and commissioned to provide a long term plan for viability? Would you pay for that?

Are you opposed philosphically to government propping up industry at all?


If this was the only viable option I'd support it 100%. However Just loan MG-R 500 million pound and they can go it along and build RDX60. In fact I wonder if it would even cost that much at all. Perhaps they need 100-200 million to finish it without SAIC. I say loan them the money. It must be allowed I would think even under EU laws.
 

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Nationalisation was a total disaster last time and in effect led to the ultimate collapse of MGR.

The time for state solutions is over, its market place rules ok. Basically Motor manufacturing is doomed in western countries in the next 5 years and there will be more closures everywhere.

Only the Brands will continue as exports from Romania or China or Russia even if the design work is done here.

The irony is that the R60 will appear but will not be made here alas.
 

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They should do a milder verion of what the Nazis did. Guarantee business for the company, and keep it in private hands, but insist in return that it operates at the very margin of profitability, and reinvests all the capital instead.
 

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If there were to be any kind of nationalisation of MGR now, I would hope that it lasted a very short time whilst a proper commercial buyer (or buyers) is/are found.[/QUOTE]

I hear what your saying and like it. This is the answer for labour prop up MGR short term until an answer/ buyer can be found that way they dont get booed for wasting public money more over they become the saviours of MGR with out the long term mill stone it could become if re nationalised perhaps we should put this to number 10 it will certainly win Labour a lot of seats and safe gaurd MGR whilst this shambles can be resolved
 

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Yes, I am young (24) and support re-nationalising Rover. Rover's life under government control even though it started off painfully was good and the company gained clear direction as it headed into the 90's.
It was the sale of Rover to BAe that started the rot. As long as (if Rover stay alive and solvent) the company carries on, the government should keep a stake, say 20%. This would mean they have an interest in the company and would be obliged to buy the products.

I think some people need a slight history lesson in terms of BLMC/Austin/Rover/MG. Forgetting the stuff before, take a look back at the last Rover crisis and how things went. Not a direct comparison, but essentially not too far from where things are today. The only difference is the numbers involved in terms of employment, investment, and possible returns.

Ironically, the Ryder report referred to in the link is always seen as a dark period for the company, and it was, but as big a blow as it was it paved the way forward.

Here's a snippet from the above link to set the mood
Following a disastrous couple of years in the marketplace, by the end of 1974 BLMC was on the brink of bankruptcy. Its financial backers – the City banks – had become very nervous about its future, and persuaded Lord Stokes to approach Tony Benn for financial assistance. Tripartite talks were held between Stokes, Benn and the bankers, and the result was that the Government agreed to guarantee BLMC’s growing overdraft with the banks in exchange for a hand in running the operation. The body chosen to undertake this task was the National Enterprise Board, and its newly appointed Chairman, Sir Don Ryder was tasked with reporting on the company and listing recommendations for its future.
The Ryder Report - by www.austin-rover.co.uk
 

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Pete said:
Does EU legislation permit this kind of thing anymore?
Well as far as I know, Electricité de France, which is majority-owned by the French government, is permitted to buy up (privatised) electricity distribution companies in the UK, so presumably there is nothing to prevent government-owned enterprise. Maybe it just has to be kept at arm's length, i.e. run completely apolitically by experts rather than politicians (as I think smosquito was suggesting in the first place).
 

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Dan Lockton said:
Well as far as I know, Electricité de France, which is majority-owned by the French government, is permitted to buy up (privatised) electricity distribution companies in the UK, so presumably there is nothing to prevent government-owned enterprise. Maybe it just has to be kept at arm's length, i.e. run completely apolitically by experts rather than politicians (as I think smosquito was suggesting in the first place).
As if you'd trust anyone directly associated with any political party to administer a car company. They have enough trouble doing their own jobs as it is.
 

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Vincero said:
As if you'd trust anyone directly associated with any political party to administer a car company. They have enough trouble doing their own jobs as it is.
think you hit the nail on th head there mate
 
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