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Ok … I often write political articles for an online journal I have, and constantly send letters and e-mails to our lovely MPs who seldom reply to anything. I did however send two e-mails – one to the Lib Dem Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary and one to the Tory Shadow Secretary of State for Industry – and was surprised that I received a reply from both.

For those who wish to have a copy of the e-mails I sent to both MPs – as both e-mails were different – simply ask.


CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE
Thank you for your email of 9 March about the future of MG Rover Group.

The Rover marque is one of the most potent symbols of British industry and the recent difficulties experienced by the company and its employees should concern anyone who is proud of our British manufacturing and engineering heritage.

As you say, I am a free marketeer, and I fear that some of the proposed state intervention in MG Rover Group could set a dangerous precedent. In many ways, not least because it is the UK’s sole remaining volume car manufacturer, Rover’s position is unique, but I fear that a proposal which would effectively let the company defer tax would put the Government in a difficult position when dealing in the future with other companies with a proud and unique British heritage.

I was appalled by an admission in the Independent on Sunday from one police force last September when it explained that buying “anything British, including British cars, was an overtly nationalist statement and could be considered offensive by vulnerable, deprived and ethnic minority groups in our society”. That is political correctness gone into overdrive.

Other forces blame EU procurement laws, but in France, Italy and Germany, the authorities make sure that most of the police cars they buy are manufactured in their home countries. I certainly think that our Rovers and Jaguars are up to the job and anyone who protests that they are too fast is being ridiculous.

I think that the best support that individuals and organisations in Britain can give to British industry is to buy British, and a Conservative Government would make clear that it is not an “overtly nationalist statement” for the British police to use top quality British cars.

Whilst it would be inappropriate to compel their purchase given the need to ensure public services deploy their taxpayer-funded resources on a best value for money basis, I have no hesitation in saying that we would encourage a ‘buy British’ approach and look to remove any regulatory barriers or unfairness that deterred a buy British approach.

Once again, thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen O’Brien MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Industry

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT RESPONSE
Thank you for your recent email. I am sorry for the delay in responding.

I too am very concerned about the state of the British motor industry. I share your view that it is very important for the UK to maintain an industry in which British companies manufacture British cars. At the very least, a healthy motor industry protects and creates jobs in areas where car plants are often the sole provider of employment.

The Government has a role in promoting the interests of British industry, including the British motor industry. There are a variety of ways in which the Government can boost a companies competitiveness and growth, such as developing the skills base, improving the surrounding infrastructure and using export promotion.

However, I do not believe it is the role of Government to prop up failing industries. Using taxpayers money to maintain industries which are not competitive does not in the long term promote overall national prosperity. A Liberal Democrat Government would not maintain an environment in which industry and business is predominantly determined by state intervention rather than market forces.

I am hesitant to believe the newspaper article statement regarding the use of British cars by national police forces. Certainly, were this report to be true, it would be cause for significant concern.

Thank you for getting in touch about this important issue. I can assure you that a Liberal Democrat Government view the British motor industry to be a vital component in the UK economy and would do everything it could to maintain it.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm Bruce MP
Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

I did not edit the content of either of these responses … therefore the error you see in Malcolm’s response is his own or that of the person who wrote it for him.

I must say, in my opinion, I’ve the feeling that the response from Stephen is a better response than that from Malcolm. However … unfortunately as we all know politicians often lie – more often than not – and there is an upcoming general election.

Anyway, I posted these responses here to be discussed by you lot … so let the discussion begin. :)
 

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Stephen O'Brien certainly gives the sense that he has thought about the issue, Malcolm Bruce's makes me think he doesn't give a damn about it - despite his last paragraph.

I absolutely agree that government has no place in industry - their best course is to stay out of the way and create an environment where entrepreneurs are encouraged to create great businesses that reate lots of jobs. For that reason, the government should not be looking to pump state aid into MGR. The recent VAT deal is different - it is just `priming the pump' for the Chinese in a way that, had Stephen Byers been paying attention five years ago, the government could have done for BMW.

However, they should be doing everything in their power, as O'Brien points out, to ensure that local and national government agencies like the police and local councils buy locally. It really burns me up when I see BMW, Mercedes and Volvo police cars instead of Rovers, MG's and Jags! :mad:
 

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It sounds like a more worthy thing to pump money into than some of the international projects that we currently invest in. At least its in our country!!!

Anyway good response from Stephen he certainly does give the impression that he has that about it and generally cares. Whereas as mentioned above Malcoms response does came across as though he doesnt care at all!
 

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Bazzer_Mcbead said:
Liberal Democrats are like their name suggests. Liberal. God help us if the get in...

Then again I'm not too hot on either the Tories getting in or if Labour stay in either. Catch 22 really.
All about which is the lesser of 3 evils. I hate Bliar and co but the other options dont seem promising. Ive never voted and i dont think my runs going to end any time soon...
 

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rover_800
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StreetBoy said:
All about which is the better of 3 evils. I hate Bliar and co but the other options dont seem promising. Ive never voted and i dont think my runs going to end any time soon...

and how do you expect anything to change if you and others like youare not prepared to show your feelings at the ballot box......
 

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AndyhMG said:
and how do you expect anything to change if you and others like youare not prepared to show your feelings at the ballot box......
But thats the thing... How are you meant to vote for any Party when they are just as bad as each other?

No wonder the far right option is being more widely used in todays society. Theres little if no other viable option. (Not saying that I am one of them you understand, just in case someone takes this the wrong way.) All of the Political Parties are only out for their own good, and can only see past the next election.
 

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rover_800
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¼Pint said:
Ok … I often write political articles for an online journal I have, and constantly send letters and e-mails to our lovely MPs who seldom reply to anything. I did however send two e-mails – one to the Lib Dem Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary and one to the Tory Shadow Secretary of State for Industry – and was surprised that I received a reply from both.

For those who wish to have a copy of the e-mails I sent to both MPs – as both e-mails were different – simply ask.


CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE



LIBERAL DEMOCRAT RESPONSE



I did not edit the content of either of these responses … therefore the error you see in Malcolm’s response is his own or that of the person who wrote it for him.

I must say, in my opinion, I’ve the feeling that the response from Stephen is a better response than that from Malcolm. However … unfortunately as we all know politicians often lie – more often than not – and there is an upcoming general election.

Anyway, I posted these responses here to be discussed by you lot … so let the discussion begin. :)


I have read the Liberal-Democrat response a few times, and can not see the error of which you speak. Perhaps I cannot see the wood for the trees! What am I missing?
 

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mg_zr
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I'm by no means a fan of Tory politics, and certainly would never vote for them, but I do think they have a more realistic view of the relationship between Government and Industry than either Labour or the Liberal Democrats. While I accept that Labour cutting MG Rover some slack in terms of tax breaks and payment holidays on VAT in the short-medium term is a good thing, I think that adopting such an approach in the longer term would be nothing but detrimental to both the company and it's continued competetiveness.

We've seen in fairly stark terms what happens when Government intervenes too much in Industry, with the creation, nationalisation, and final demise of British Leyland. It was only after the Conservative Government of the 1980's had forced Rover to live or die on its own merits that things gradually began to improve for the company - from a position of continued state-funded loss making to modest profit before BMW got involved and sent the whole shooting match to hell.

State intervention may serve a purpose in helping MG Rover to find its feet and get onto an even business keel, but once a position of stability and prosperity has been reached, the company should be expected to stand on its own two feet, and survive on its own merits. Lets hope that Labour have learned from the follies of Britain's Industrial past.
 

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mg_6_gt
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I have little time for the Tories, but at least they seem to care about the future of MG-Rover, which is more than the Liberal Democrats imply.

I would be interested to see what sort of responce an e-mail to Patricia Hewitt (Secretary of State for Trade and Industry) would be, but she failed to reply to a letter I sent her over the issue, and as such I doubt she would bother to respond to an e-mail either.

And by the way, I am of the opinion that those who cannot be bothered to go out and vote automatically lose the right to moan about the Government!
 

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SFulcher said:
IAnd by the way, I am of the opinion that those who cannot be bothered to go out and vote automatically lose the right to moan about the Government!
Its not a matter of not being arsed its a matter of there being nobody to vote for! If i was forced to vote either of them it would be the tories but they supported the Iraq war and howard looks a right slimeball. Labour are the worst and the liberals are a bunch of beardies. So end of that one ;)

As for these letters i bet you could have wrote a letter saying how much you hate cars and they would write back agreeing in some way. Trying to win votes as usual
 

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For ****s sake, what has Tony and his piece of ****e party done for us eh, flood the land with Gipies and people who wants to blow us up, introduce 66 new stealth taxes, raise and raise and raise every other god damn tax known to man, virtually disallowing us to fly our flag, litter our roads with Speed Cameras which 60% of them are in pointless areas, give criminals more right than you, virtually disallowing the Police from using MGs and Rovers because British cars may offened ethnics.

The list goes on and on.

Vote Labour!

Okay, the other parties aint much better in terms, but for ****s sake they cant be as bad as this! Apart from the Lib Dems, if they get in am getting out of here.

I think my vote has to go to the lesser of the evils, Tories.
 
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Stephen K. Hone said:
I have read the Liberal-Democrat response a few times, and can not see the error of which you speak. Perhaps I cannot see the wood for the trees! What am I missing?
Likewise - there are no facts in there to **** up.
 

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I'm sorry, but any response from the Tories about the British Motor Industry should be taken with a pinch of salt. After all it was the wavey-haired PM wannabe Micheal Hesseltine who agreed to the Rover Group sale from BAe to BMW. Rather like blaiming the Labour Party for poor standards of hygiene in our hospitals. It was the Tory government who cut cleaning budgets and introduced the private sector to do the job of NHS staff - on a budget - hence we have a slight problem with cleanliness. The Tories seem to agree with everyone if its a Labour bashing issue. Don't get me wrong I'm no fan of the Champagne-Socialists, but you have to have a policy to match the rivals before you go ahead bashing their administration.

As for the Lib Dems they're a tad wishy-washy - and I doubt they were even aware MG or Rover still exsisted! I can imagine Charles Kennedy saying; "Rover....oh yes, I'm rather fond of their cars like the P...erm.....1 and the SD.....erm........6"! LOL - Sorry, but he's bland personified! :bgrin:
 

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See this is how its boiled down. We have 3 Political Parties all gunning to run the Country. If you don't vote, a really crappy Government will most likely stay in. But if you vote for another Party, they will get in only to turn out as crap as the last one you voted out... If you catch my drift.

And if you dare vote for a Party outside of the norm, you are either going to be a Nationalist, Facist, Extreme Liberal Hippie/Tree hugger, a P.C Gnome or an Anti EU nut case.

I give up really...
 

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other_manufacturer
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You know, it takes a man of political genius to do what is right. And there are few of those, and fewer acutally in office. And mostly they can't separate their good ideas from their bad.

Oswald Moseley for instance. Youngest MP in 1920. Wanted to reform the military services, invest in manufacturing, invest in new industries, have minimum standards of health care and education raised. Founded the British Fascist Party.

Orwell. Saw EVERYTHING with exceptional clarity. Died too young. Never wanted to run the country although probably could have done so exceptionally well.

Churchill. Won the war. Called Gandhi a half naked fakir.

Genius is not often consistant. We usually have to settle for mundane persons in political life, who do not make mistakes, say the wrong thing etc... because they do not have the brains to.
 

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mg_zt_t
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Englander said:
For ****s sake, what has Tony and his piece of ****e party done for us eh, flood the land with Gipies and people who wants to blow us up, introduce 66 new stealth taxes, raise and raise and raise every other god damn tax known to man, virtually disallowing us to fly our flag, litter our roads with Speed Cameras which 60% of them are in pointless areas, give criminals more right than you, virtually disallowing the Police from using MGs and Rovers because British cars may offened ethnics.

The list goes on and on.
.
That all sounds like me back in 1996! Almost word for word. The Party of Cuts cut 1000s of Customs and Excise jobs in order to switch money to those who didn't really need it. So is it any wonder now that they're climbing over the fences in uncontrolled droves at Dover and just about anywhere else.

Who was it wanted to 'knock out' cheaply under the counter at any cost the then ARG to FOMOCO ... what was the price: 39 million ... For Crisssakes at least the usually apathetic electorate got up of their back sides and let those responsible for those 'deals' know in no uncertain terms their feelings and so that was soon swept under the carpet. So, it ended up in BAe hands and they knocked it out some years later to BMW which solved BAe's cash flow situation for a while back then which was nice for them. There were those who thought that BMW would be the answer. Fewer saw it differently and knew it would be Bavaria uber Longbridge when the crunch came - which it did far sooner than even those who thought it would all end in tears believed ... here I must plead guilty M'Lud..... Those tears came sooner than even lil ol me anticipated.

I believed privatisation of many things would be a benefit to the Nation and had I voted back then, I would have been in favour of true competition. we've never had that. I can't think of a single Privatisation that has been of benefit to the majority, only a slender segment thereof. Still, I can buy my Gas from the Electricty folks, Electricity from the Gas and what next? Water from the Railway station at ever increasing costs..... yes, privatisation has been wonderful.... Profits before People let alone service....... What a disappointment!

When did speed cameras first appear on our Roads - long before Tory Tony was given the keys to No. 10. Raise taxes? remember those mile long queues on budget day at the petrol stations..... massive indirect tax increases, both stealth and covert. Tories quite truthfully back in the early 1980s, in answer to accusations of their plans to double VAT denied such plans ... Their plans as we all now know through our pockets were to MORE THAN double VAT from the then reasonable 8% to the current 17.5%. VAT cost your average working man or woman (That's most of us by the way) far more than a poxy 1p or 2 off income tax, especially if the tax threshold is ponced about with at the same time, plus VAT spread more widely and at the thicker 17.5%. Stealth taxes - be conned about that by TT Howard (TT = Thatcher Tainted) ... Include me out! He and his clones had 18 years to get it right and failed .. miserably.

Despite the huge mileage on my personal clock, I still have a long memory ... and an accurate one!

One thing is certain though..... there is a huge flaw in our voting system....

THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS GETS IN !!!! ...:(
 

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Very well put MGJohn, I stand corrected on some points, but I do feel that Labour have abused the Cameras for example, putting them down country lanes =/ and that.

My Grandad was in a cafe down the Old Kent Road the other day, and John Prescott was in there with some Goverment Women, my Grandad said "Hey Prescott" "What" he said in a nasty way, "When are you going to focus on us pensioners?" My Grandad asked.

"When we have finished taking care of ourselfs! <Laughs and walks out of Door>

No Bull****.

Thats whats running your country! Aint you just proud. Sorry am going awfully offtopic here and I am sorry for that, but it just angers me.
 

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Englander said:
Very well put MGJohn, I stand corrected on some points, but I do feel that Labour have abused the Cameras for example, putting them down country lanes =/ and that.

My Grandad was in a cafe down the Old Kent Road the other day, and John Prescott was in there with some Goverment Women, my Grandad said "Hey Prescott" "What" he said in a nasty way, "When are you going to focus on us pensioners?" My Grandad asked.

"When we have finished taking care of ourselfs! <Laughs and walks out of Door>

No Bull****.

Thats whats running your country! Aint you just proud. Sorry am going awfully offtopic here and I am sorry for that, but it just angers me.


Well to be honest if someone called out to me like that, I'd have had a snippy response too! How about "Mr. Prescott, when is the government going to focus on us pensioners?"!"

Whatever you think of him, it doesn't take much to be civil and address him in a respectful way. You catch flies with honey not vinegar. BTW I'm not calling your grandad a liar, but I find it hard to believe that he has accurately reported Mr. Prescott's reply. It is like the stuff reported about MG-R and the P4 by the muttering rotters in the UK press. The truth of what is happening with SAIC lies probably somewhere between what MG-R are willing (and are allowed) to reveal, and what the press's sources tell them.
 

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