Lib Dem Councillor Gary Hopkins, perhaps not entirely seriously, is proposing a way out for the city’s collapsing economy in the comments section:
One area where promotion of the city abroad could produce dividends is in tourism. We are a great city to visit and with Brown/Darling showing all the financial acumen of Robert Mugabe on a bad day in protecting the value of our currency we should be a very cheap place for foreign tourists.
This exactly mirrors what Kevin Tinsley – some alleged economist from the Government Office for the South West – who showed up at the recent invite-only State of the City Debacle (surely debate? Ed.) claiming to be an expert on the recession, said:
We should work to boost tourism locally, benefiting from a weak pound by drawing in more foreign visitors.
Brilliant. Let’s try and build long-term economic security and jobs on the basis of a collapsing currency shall we?
And then – for good measure – let’s continue to ignore manufacturing industry in favour of crap, low wage, low status, “flexible” service industry jobs and then import loads of cheap crap from all over the world for people to buy on their crap wages instead.
After all this economic model has turned out to be so successful for us hasn’t it?
Where exactly did Bristol City Council find this expert?
When are Thatcherites like Tinsley gonna wake up? Fuck tourism. Fuck retail. Fuck financial services. Fuck the “creative industries”. Fuck the service economy.
We need to start making things. You can’t run an economy on site-seeing tours; retailing cheap Chinese goods; inventing smart-arsed financial instruments; designing mindless software applications for Japanese gadgets and waitressing. It doesn’t add up to anything of any value in the long-run.
You also have to wonder whether the Holland/Ormondroyd axis and their daffy economic advisers have the ability to implement a plan even this completely shite and simplistic … Considering that the city hasn’t even got a Tourist Information Centre open at the moment!
Cheap holiday in other people’s misery!
An apocryphal Japanese visitor on seeing smokers forced to stand outside their offices commented that he would like to congratulate on the quantity and quality of prostitutes available in the city.
Do you think this could be what our illustrious city fathers have in mind?
Oh dear, Kerry McCarthy again
“After all this economic model has turned out to be so successful for us hasn’t it?”
That’s the point, isn’t it? Who was it said, “the definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results”?
It was the brilliant Tom Lehrer who commented some years ago that the awarding of the nobel peace prize to Henry Kissinger made political satire obselete.
Since that time we have had Tony Blair appointed as Middle East peace envoy !!!!
We have just had the $50B Ponzi scheme scam of Mr Madoff (what a gift of a name to the headline writers) exposed.
I would suggest that this is tiny compared to the Gordon Brown scam.
In a Ponzi scheme early “investors” appear to be getting a good deal but are in fact being paid from the money extracted from later contributers. It all looks good , if you do not look to closely, until the music stops and someone demands a count up.
We have had voodoo accountancy from this government for some years but now , the ultimate theft from the future of massive devaluation.
I know this is an essentially local site but when central government controls so much that should be local and Nu-Labor Cllrs see their primary function as selling government nonsense to Bristolians rather than representing Bristol it is impossible to separate the 2.
I agree completely about the comment about the demise of our economy – and our future inability to rebuild said economy – being linked to the demise of our manufacturing sector which has effectively been killed off over quite a few years by various government policies. Put quite simply, we don’t really make any products other countries (or people here) would actually want – and if you don’t have stuff to sell, and need to buy in stuff from overseas it’s a no-brainer that there will be serious problems. The problem is that it is essentially financially unviable to make anything in this country, due to various policies etc – a problem which is compounded when the competition in the far east etc can effectively make the same products for a tiny fraction of the cost and will be compounded still further as the cost of importing raw materials goes up due to the sinking value of the pound. My family come from a manufacturing background, so I’ve seen the demise of the sector first hand – most companies now have had to move their main plants abroad, have gone bankrupt, or have bene taken over and asset-stripped.
Although one could easily debate points ranging from the environmental effects of manufacturing, the ethical points of using overseas labour etc, which I agree are all important global issues, they should not detract from my main point which is that we currently appear to have no industry with which to rebuild the economy – just millions of people who are able to draw a nice graph which illustrates nicely that we’re headed for disaster.
To put it another way, if the UK was an orchestra, it would be made up of 70 conducters and one solititary violinist who’se bow had been taken away for health and safety reasons – and how on earth would that make money?
The French and Italians have a powerful food industry.
The Germans make the world’s cars.
The British count up the money and do the bullshit.
The bottom’s dropped out of the bullshit market.
It’s globalisation that has inevitably killed off manufacturing in the UK. In theory we had a choice (I suppose way back when we joined the Common Market) of joining the global markets or going into economic isolation.
Had we opted for the latter we might now be in a position like that of Cuba, nominally independent and self-sufficient but actually desperate for hard currencies to buy the sophisticated products of the global markets.
In the global marketplace we had to specialise in what we were best at (just as we do as individuals), but as Creative Industrialist has succinctly pointed out, it now looks like we’re in the wrong line of business.
So I suppose as our currency goes down the pan we must now look to enticing the world’s tourists to visit our little heritage island. We’d better start with a subsidised public transport link from Bristol Airport. Our new global masters won’t take kindly to being shafted by Fist Bus as soon as they arrive.
Yes, we do need to start making things much more! Its investment in local production for local needs that is required but not forthcoming.
“Local production for local needs”….well we could start with growing some food….Being as it’s the basic of life, it could come in quite handy if/when our currency is worth sod all and food from elsewhere just becomes too expensive…. or the new Empires decide to hang us by our balls.
What’s “revenge” in Mandarin?
” if you don’t have stuff to sell, and need to buy in stuff from overseas it’s a no-brainer that there will be serious problems”
Remember the opium wars, where the British decided to turn the Chinese into junkies to support our tea habit?
Sure as hell, the Chinese do.
Better get working on my vegetable patch for next year as the pound looks like its going the way of the Zimbabwe Dollar!
The Chinese economy is also begining to suffer though!
The bigger problem in the budget is the £3.5m of revenue spend that is funded by “one-off” cash (council tax surplus, interest on high LIBOR rates, etc) that certainly wont be there next year during the recession.
Since Councils must produce balanced budgets, that means there will be a 3.5m hole in next year’s budget, and that means either a massive council tax rise or serious cuts in services…
Just like Gordon Brown, this administration is blowing the one-off proceeds of boom years and will have nothing for the bust years.
According to the Destination Bristol website (yet another ‘management’ body) the main Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is located in Explore-At-Bristol:
I would say this is not the most prominent site or convenient location for the majority of visitors to the city.
It’s also closed. Go see.
Has anyone else heard of the suggestion from the New Local Government Network , that councils should rename streets etc. after notables to inspire young people?
These could be something in this, as long as we don’t just stop at streets… The Jan Ormondroyd Sewage Farm, The David Bishop Landfill Site, The Helen Holland Pigswill Processing Plant, etc.