From: Gerald Hodgson, Spennithorne, Leyburn.
I HAVE to take issue with Coun Tony Galbraith (The Yorkshire Post, August 1) who, from unrelated information, draws the conclusion that the EU is responsible for the decline in British manufacturing.
This decline goes back a very long way. After the great success of the Industrial Revolution in which we led the world, complacency started to set in and a very damaging social snobbery arose.
This decreed that “trade” was to be looked down upon and bright boys (and it was boys in those days) from the grammar and so-called “public” schools were persuaded that the last thing they should think of doing was to go into manufacturing industry.
This became a major problem when the industrialists started sending their sons to the public schools which persuaded them they should become lawyers, bankers or landed gentry.
But the most potent factor in more recent times has been the dysfunctional short-termism of our much-vaunted financial industry, constantly looking for the quick buck profit rather than taking the long view that manufacturing industry requires.
Contrast this with Germany, operating under the same European Union rules as ourselves, where engineering has always been high status. After the war, ICI was the world’s leading chemical company and Bayer was nowhere. Today, Bayer is the largest chemical company in the world and ICI has been scattered to the winds. Siemens is a dominant company in engineering worldwide and there are a plethora of smaller, often family-owned, German companies which continue from generation to generation to produce excellence in specialist fields.
Here in Yorkshire we are ideally placed to grow manufacturing industry. Let’s get on and do it rather than produce spurious arguments blaming the EU for past failure.
From: Jarvis Browning, Main Street, Fadmoor, York.
IF the EU dictates what we can produce and what we can’t because they already make it themselves at their price, even more reason we should leave so that we can once more be a nation of good quality production and be independent. Did we not have our own industries at one time? Is it not time we take back what we once had and manufactured? Is it not too late to be a Great British manufacturing country once more?