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A couple of good signs amid fast-changing economic scene

Posted on 22 November 2012 | 3:11pm

One of my main themes out on the speaking circuit is that Europe is not adapting quickly enough or well enough to perhaps the single most important geostrategic change happening today – the shift of power and wealth from West to East.

There was a hint of the western world being in denial in recent weeks as coverage of the US elections dwarfed the news of China’s new leadership being appointed and unveiled to the world. Hands up who can name the new President and PM of China? And hands up who can name Barack Obama’s defeated challenger?Yet if trends continue the power of America will continue to fall while the power of the Chinese will rise.

As China and other developing economies have grown, we have tended to see the growth as a consequence of our markets benefiting from their cheap labour. But in coming years they will be the source not just of labour but of ideas. Think of the massive breakthrough names of recent times – Apple for example – or the giants of the new media like Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube, and they are all American. But China and it’s Asian neighbours are ready to challenge not just on cheap but on big and bold too.

That is why Michael Gove’s backward looking approach to the curriculum is so disappointing as well as dangerous . He wants kids to be learning Latin when he should be thinking about getting Mandarin and Arabic into more schools. He wants kids to focus on basics without understanding in today’s world that must also include an understanding of the pace of change in the world, and the need for business and the education sector to adapt to that.

It is why the Tories’ dangerous game on Europe is so misguided too. Britain out of Europe – which because of their strategic failure and lack of leadership is now a real possibility – will be a disaster for the UK. Combine the UK out of Europe and Scotland out of the UK and we are heading to the ranks of low to middle ranking powers.

Yesterday I attended a couple of events which at least gave me some hope that there are still people out there who are kicking in the right direction.

Pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi is ending production at Dagenham after 80 years, because of patents which are running out and making drug production there uneconomic. It came as a big blow to the area, followed not long after by Ford shutting down there too.

But Sanofi are not just shutting shop and walking away. They are following the model of a company called SOG in Runcorn which took over the former ICI site when it shut and created The Heath, a science and technology park for small and medium sized businesses. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown visited when in office and described it as a template for regeneration and it is great to see it being rolled out elsewhere.

Sanofi have launched Businesseast, and their plans are well advanced for a Dagenham version of the Heath. Both former Tory minister Steve Norris and I have been to the Heath and seen the success story it represents. So we spoke together at an event at Sanofi where we witnessed the sight and sound of Unite leaders and Norris (self-confessedly to the right of Attila the Hun) joining in praise of the way the company had carried out the closure and its responsibilities to the community. There are facilities and personnel on the site which can easily adapt to new companies coming in and it is terrific that Sanofi are staying around to try to make that happen, not least because science and R and D will be fundamental to that battle for ideas that will shape the economy of the future.

Later I spoke at an event organised as part of National Freelancers’ Day by the Professional Contractors Group, PCG. They started out as a protest group to a tax change made by Gordon Brown in 1999 but have grown and developed as the role of the freelance in the modern economy has grown. One questioner asked if in 20 years’ time freelancers (currently a seventh of the workforce) will out number staff on the payroll. I said No, but the fact it was even asked showed how the economy is changing and we are all having to adapt to that. Those, individuals and countries, who adapt best are the ones who will do best in the future.

  • Gilliebc

    ‘the shift of power and wealth from West to East’
    The globalist international bankers and corporations have plundered the West i.e. the US, European countries and the UK and are now moving on to do the same thing in China and the East.

  • http://www.patrickjames.co.uk/ Patrick James

    The eurosceptic conservatives and their friends in UKIP don’t seem to realise that taking the UK out of the European Union will place the UK itself at great risk. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all very likely find the union of the European Union much more attractive than the union of the UK.

    We have seen a series of bust ups with the other European countries in the EU entirely because David Cameron has to appease the nutty eurosceptics in his party. We don’t see intelligent use of political power and diplomatic influence, instead we see a ridiculous circus of macho “we’ll pull out if we don’t get our way”.

    The other European countries must have been considering for a long time now that they should call Cameron’s bluff and simply ignore the threats and let the UK pull out.

    The immediate consequence would be a victory for independence in Scotland at the referendum, followed by a referendum in Northern Ireland, with a victory for nationalism, and then probably in the next few years a referendum in Wales.

  • Anonymous

    With these Coaltion mates, mainly thr tories, playing their fun and warped games in the south-east of England, without an ounce of modern day imagination, we are all going down the swanney without a paddle, hitting rocks.

    As day by day passes, my blood pressure bubbles and boils with these idiots, but that maybe just me. viewing privliiged people, with everything at beck and call for them, anything they need they can just ask or phone or email, to perpetuate their own myth that their are a safe hand on the tiller. If they have a problem with a piece of personal technology, they have someone fawning on them to help.

    ARSE BISCUITS! is all I have to say Alastair!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzgT-fg01vY

  • Anonymous

    These Coalition mates, mainly the torys, are warped, stuck in their own privilidged environment, everyone they need at hand to help them, to continue their warped existence in Planet Cameron and it’s moon, Osborne, in the south east of England. Wind me up they do, lacking utter and simple imagination for the modern World.

    They wind me right up they do, but that just be me, noticing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzgT-fg01vY

    There, feel better now, maybe for just a short while. Another one was on the telly this morning, saying everyone should give 1% of what they earn to charity or something. I ask you? Taxes anyone? Feckless yappy shites they are, full of plain and simple crap!

  • Anonymous

    …furthermore, ref. twitter: Stephen Jones? I call him Jones the Scratch, because of his nervous tick when he gets interviewed live, scratches his head. Don’t tell him that whatever you do Alastair.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9EGRIeO414

    And against All Blacks tomorrow, oh dear, say no more, we will be lucky to keep it within twenty points to them. Sorry Stevo Wellies for speaking reality. Don’t tell him that either Alastair… He’s called Wellies too due to his kicking syle, he looks like he is wearing a pair when he boots it.

    By the way Alastair, good beeb Wales documentary on the town Llanelli here, shown a few days ago, the tin plate capital of the UK once, as well as some basic iron and steel, and up valley coal mining of anthracite, only a couple of days left on beeb iplayer, at the moment,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nzbn2/We_Beat_the_All_Blacks/

  • Anonymous

    “There was a hint of the western world being in denial in recent weeks as coverage of the US elections dwarfed the news of China’s new leadership being appointed and unveiled to the world. Hands up who can name the new President and PM of China? And hands up who can name Barack Obama’s defeated challenger?”
    Slightly unfair Alastair! If the Chinese leader were elected with all the razmataz, debate and general public involvement of the US Presidential eleection, along with equal billing for an opponent maybe we would know both names – as we do with say, German or French elections. As it is he is chosen formally at least (doubtless much goes on behind the scenes) in pretty much the same circumstances as oooh say, the Chairman of the Labour Party – and how many people know who s/he is?*
    * My hands are up in contrition by the wayif its still the same person as the Labour leader but I don’t think it is any more!

  • Anonymous

    “There was a hint of the western world being in denial in recent weeks as coverage of the US elections dwarfed the news of China’s new leadership being appointed and unveiled to the world. Hands up who can name the new President and PM of China? And hands up who can name Barack Obama’s defeated challenger?”
    Slightly unfair Alastair! If the Chinese leader were elected with all the razmataz, debate and general public involvement of the US Presidential eleection, along with equal billing for an opponent maybe we would know both names – as we do with say, German or French elections. As it is he is chosen formally at least (doubtless much goes on behind the scenes) in pretty much the same circumstances as oooh say, the Chairman of the Labour Party – and how many people know who s/he is?*
    * My hands are up in contrition by the wayif its still the same person as the Labour leader but I don’t think it is any more!

  • Anonymous

    Let the capitalists move to China, until China says, thanks, nice having you, NOW NO THANKS! Us western fools.

    But I know China is not like that, they know us non-capitalist monkeys that live in the western world are not like “some” of us Gilliebc. Some of us don’t sell our grannies for pigfood, for instance. Sorry to be blunt.

  • Anonymous

    Let the capitalists move to China, until China says, thanks, nice having you, NOW NO THANKS! Us western fools.

    But I know China is not like that, they know us non-capitalist monkeys that live in the western world are not like “some” of us Gilliebc. Some of us don’t sell our grannies for pigfood, for instance. Sorry to be blunt.

  • Anonymous

    Why can we just cut off the home counties with their Wimbledon tickets and let them float off into the Atlantic to somewhere, anywhere? I’ll bring a pickaxe and a few spades. And I have heard Andy Murray can swim, so don’t worry home countyites at all, we’ll send rations too!

  • Anonymous

    Why can we just cut off the home counties with their Wimbledon tickets and let them float off into the Atlantic to somewhere, anywhere? I’ll bring a pickaxe and a few spades. And I have heard Andy Murray can swim, so don’t worry home countyites at all, we’ll send rations too!

  • Olli Issakainen

    Out of Europe.
    Labour party used to think that EU (EEC) was a capitalist enterprise.
    Then Delors managed to assure Kinnock that EU was a socialist power to-be.
    It is amazing that Labour supports a project that is clearly UNDEMOCRATIC.
    And it is getting worse day by day.
    All eurozone countries have already surrended power on MONETARY POLICY to the European Central Bank (ECB).
    Next we will have the BANKING UNION – not good for the City of London!
    Then there is going to be FISCAL PACT which makes the disastrous AUSTERITY compulsory to all eurozone countries.
    Then we will have TRANSFER UNION to save the euro combined with a federation.
    United States of Europe.
    Run by unelected (well, elected by Bilderberg Group) technocrats running a COMMAND ECONOMY.
    EUSSR!
    Is this what we really want?
    European elites want to save the euro. But all efforts to increase credibility of euro will only make things worse.
    Euro is flawed and should be abandoned. Germany and Greece cannot have the same currency.
    Austerity has only made things worse in Europe. Austerity has been demanded by European Commission, IMF and ECB.
    All in the pockets of globalist bankers.
    The idea of a world government comes from Adam Weishaupt, the founder of Illuminati.
    Illuminati is nowadays a secret society inside freemasonry.
    Communist manifesto was a copy of the Illuminati programme.
    Same bankers who financed the Russian Revolution also back the “European project”.
    United States of Europe will be the first step towards a world government under the United Nations.
    After the deliberate collapse of the Soviet Union only the US stands in way of a world government.
    The plan is to use QE to collapse the dollar as the reserve currency of world. US will then collapse and form a North American Union with Canada and Mexico.
    I have here on my desk a secret document of freemasons titled Regionalized and Adaptive Model of The Global World System. It has been sent to the power elite.
    It divides the world into 10 zones.
    EU has generated serious economic crisis in Europe which is getting worse. Youth unemployment is high.
    Euro is a financial WMD. It was designed by the Bilderberg Group and former Goldman Sachs employees.
    For ten years Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan fiddled with books of Greece and thus created the eurozone crisis.
    Without growth, Europe will unrevel.
    World is heading for the BIGGEST ECONOMIC CRISIS EVER.
    Bilderberger Merkel now calls for eurozone countries to surrender key tax-and-spend powers.
    Recent study by Nordea bank shows that Finland would be better off if it leaves euro.
    Britain must leave the EU dictatorship too.
    US wants Britain to stay. As Peter Oborne writes in the Telegraph, CIA even secretly funded the 1975 referendum campaign.
    It has been interesting to follow the reaction of Ken Clarke, Patrick Diamond, Timothy Garton Ash etc after the polls showed that Britons want to leave the EU.
    As Daniel Hannan put it in the Guardian, Ed Miliband is ignoring British people – they want to leave the EU.
    Labour party is internationalist. It puts internationalism first – nationalism second.
    This could lose the 2015 election for Labour.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Out of Europe.
    Labour party used to think that EU (EEC) was a capitalist enterprise.
    Then Delors managed to assure Kinnock that EU was a socialist power to-be.
    It is amazing that Labour supports a project that is clearly UNDEMOCRATIC.
    And it is getting worse day by day.
    All eurozone countries have already surrended power on MONETARY POLICY to the European Central Bank (ECB).
    Next we will have the BANKING UNION – not good for the City of London!
    Then there is going to be FISCAL PACT which makes the disastrous AUSTERITY compulsory to all eurozone countries.
    Then we will have TRANSFER UNION to save the euro combined with a federation.
    United States of Europe.
    Run by unelected (well, elected by Bilderberg Group) technocrats running a COMMAND ECONOMY.
    EUSSR!
    Is this what we really want?
    European elites want to save the euro. But all efforts to increase credibility of euro will only make things worse.
    Euro is flawed and should be abandoned. Germany and Greece cannot have the same currency.
    Austerity has only made things worse in Europe. Austerity has been demanded by European Commission, IMF and ECB.
    All in the pockets of globalist bankers.
    The idea of a world government comes from Adam Weishaupt, the founder of Illuminati.
    Illuminati is nowadays a secret society inside freemasonry.
    Communist manifesto was a copy of the Illuminati programme.
    Same bankers who financed the Russian Revolution also back the “European project”.
    United States of Europe will be the first step towards a world government under the United Nations.
    After the deliberate collapse of the Soviet Union only the US stands in way of a world government.
    The plan is to use QE to collapse the dollar as the reserve currency of world. US will then collapse and form a North American Union with Canada and Mexico.
    I have here on my desk a secret document of freemasons titled Regionalized and Adaptive Model of The Global World System. It has been sent to the power elite.
    It divides the world into 10 zones.
    EU has generated serious economic crisis in Europe which is getting worse. Youth unemployment is high.
    Euro is a financial WMD. It was designed by the Bilderberg Group and former Goldman Sachs employees.
    For ten years Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan fiddled with books of Greece and thus created the eurozone crisis.
    Without growth, Europe will unrevel.
    World is heading for the BIGGEST ECONOMIC CRISIS EVER.
    Bilderberger Merkel now calls for eurozone countries to surrender key tax-and-spend powers.
    Recent study by Nordea bank shows that Finland would be better off if it leaves euro.
    Britain must leave the EU dictatorship too.
    US wants Britain to stay. As Peter Oborne writes in the Telegraph, CIA even secretly funded the 1975 referendum campaign.
    It has been interesting to follow the reaction of Ken Clarke, Patrick Diamond, Timothy Garton Ash etc after the polls showed that Britons want to leave the EU.
    As Daniel Hannan put it in the Guardian, Ed Miliband is ignoring British people – they want to leave the EU.
    Labour party is internationalist. It puts internationalism first – nationalism second.
    This could lose the 2015 election for Labour.

  • Anonymous

    Much as I don’t like Cameron and the Tories, how can the EU be such an attractive alternative to the UK for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

    These budget talks are basically between 3 groups of people, the contributors, the receivers and the bureaucrats. It’s obvious that the bureaucrats and the receivers are all going to vote one way and that is for yet more money.

    The more we give to the EU, the less we have available for ourselves including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

  • Anonymous

    Much as I don’t like Cameron and the Tories, how can the EU be such an attractive alternative to the UK for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

    These budget talks are basically between 3 groups of people, the contributors, the receivers and the bureaucrats. It’s obvious that the bureaucrats and the receivers are all going to vote one way and that is for yet more money.

    The more we give to the EU, the less we have available for ourselves including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/GillandDes-Currie/741511881 GillandDes Currie

    As a regular reader of Olli’s column within a column I wonder how accurate his “we who rule the world” takes are. It seems to me he discounts the take of everybody who is not a descendant of European structure. Is he thinking that other forms of life — ie. non-european– dont have their secret societies? And that when you add them all together the one foolhardy group cancels out the other, making them all children playing in a sandpit. And that collectively they cant even solve global warming. He should apply his faith more to how to get into the hereafter.
    Des Currie

  • Dave Simons

    Excuse me Olli but as one British person I don’t want to leave the EU thanks. I’m not sure which polls you refer to but I haven’t been asked recently. I did however vote for my M. E. P. who recently invited me and others to the European Parliament. Very dictatorial! Incidentally I’m pretty sure Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels weren’t Freemasons. Are you? How did you get that secret document to which you refer? What’s wrong with internationalism? Aren’t we allowed to listen to the opinions and share the concerns of people in other countries like Finland?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Alastair, think I said it was Clive of India, but it is Prince George – a kraut hemophiliac no doubt, totally bonkers out of his head. Well done that man,

    http://www.tntmagazine.com/image.php/media/content/_master/46775/images/naked-man-whitehall.jpg?file=media%2Fcontent%2F_master%2F46775%2Fimages%2Fnaked-man-whitehall.jpg&width=450

    Song about Lizzy and Marge, when Lizzy went with her on one of her nights out to find what the fuck Marge got up to on one of these nights out – an education it was for Lillibet. HRH Lizzy is in the white, by the way, if you are that HRH stoopid as some of them wingnuts,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKEy0BFfQw

  • Anonymous

    Douglas Adams books were good, especially when he sent all the estate agents and etc. as a forward party to a new planet, and allow us go on with “things” here in the meantime….. : )
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOZWYDXaQLs

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear, 33-10, but not as bad as I was expecting, think the Kiwis were wotstheword with us, apart from their hooker’s cheap shot that flaked one of our locks in the first minute, dirty barstado, can’t remember, a mental block. Interesting Welsh 13 man lineout for the first try though, quite lateral thinking – bizarre thinking actually. Should feature on rugbydump’s next week’s posts.

    Look out England next week, is all I have to say – today was just a warm up for the Kiwis.

  • Anonymous

    ..oh yes good win for the Clarets Benetictine today – did you watch it with Prezza Alastair? And good win for Kerdiff too. Wonder what the Swans will do tomorrow against Liverpuddle home tomorrow. Should be interesting.

  • Anonymous

    EDIT – bollocks part n, hit edit instead of reply once again – seems the fella has been sectioned and a d notice wotsit put on what he got up to, song for him,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pD_Amm0eic

  • Anonymous

    lineout as here, 13 man Jiffy, not 15 you thick numbnuts – was a year younger than me in school – couldn’t stand him then, can’t stand him now, total self self he is Alastair, not to be trusted, too two faced. Barry John nor Phil Bennett he isn’t, and never will be, he’s a selfish c@@nt, just in it for himself,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrAUpbDL-Ks

    He’s a twat Alastair, honest. Can’t you tell? And don’t ask me about Butler from Monmouth – another welsh two faced beeb c@@nt we tend to produce.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Wikipedia only lists Harpo Marx as a freemason.
    But Karl Marx is said to have been a member of the Illuminati front the League of Just.
    According to a poll in the Observer 44% of Labour supporters want to leave the EU. 39% want to stay.
    The secret documents in my possession are mainly from internet.
    You can see secret Bilderberg minutes from WikiLeaks.

  • Olli Issakainen

    I always check the info I write. When I write about the New World Order, I double-check everything as the subject is so controversial. If people think that I am not correct, please state where I am wrong using sources. I have over a thousand books plus thousands of magazines, newspaper cuttings etc. They are my main sources.

  • Anonymous

    Good ground floor interview with Howard Marks from Oxford Balliol here Alastair.

    Where are you pal? Hope I didn’t cross any line Saturday night Alastair, after the Kiwis, but I might have, but never mind. Howard,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1lZIKfdv20

    thanks but no thanks Howard – sends me a bit paranoid me – horses for courses and all that, I’ll stick to shopping at c & a, cigarettes and alcohol, thanks.

    Still think Butler and Jiffy are welsh english south east tory tools though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/GillandDes-Currie/741511881 GillandDes Currie

    Olli, I would not even consider suggesting that you information is either wrong or inacurate.
    I am merely telling you that you consider only the caucasion world, discounting all others. And when all others are taken into cosideration they are just a group playing marbles, hoping that there marble sack will contain more marbles when their mother shouts to them to come in for supper.
    Des Currie

  • Anonymous

    Oh ‘ere we go. Don’t argue with Ollie, he is rightly always right, as here. You are making a twit of yourself ‘ere friend Gilland Des.

    It is nice that we have got Olli to reply to us again, but you are spoiling it again.

    And Olli, never mind about these hopeless ignorant brit buggers, everything you say to me is without fault. Never mind these trolls. I apologise for them, whether they like it or not.

  • Anonymous

    Oh ‘ere we go again. Leave it Gilland Des, stop making a fool of yourself. Keep replying Ollie, forget these thick numbnuts and carry on – your comments are top drawer, I have no fault with them.

    And Des, heard of tossies? The brightly coloured marbles? Still got a couple of them from the marble pits from school.

  • Dave Simons

    ‘Karl Marx is said to have been…’ Said by whom? What questions were asked in that ‘Observer’ poll? If secret documents and minutes are mainly from the Internet I suggest they are not secret but in the public domain, so why call them secret? Conspiracy theories and Chinese whispers should always be challenged and scrutinised closely.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, rugbydump put it on on Sunday, since it was that amusing Alastair. Grant Constable started the site, think he still runs it – advises rugger coverage on the Guardian last rumour I heard. Still don’t understand that they don’t have a RaboDirect celtic league clickable section on the Guardian/Observer, no matter how many times I have complained, the Islington living clothed ears, lost in Lahndahn medialand bwggers,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1ouXp35Fvc

  • Anonymous

    How it went down with the kiwiland commentators live – notice the dumbstruck silence from them about fifteen seconds in – genius see?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhkWWoAZgVw