Johnson’s National Flagship will be promoting an economy mired in “chronic British short-termism, inadequate management … a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

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Back in the early 1980s (or so I was told):

“Hello, Mr British Shipbuilder, we would like you to build us a supertanker.”

“I’m, sorry, I don’t build supertankers, but I will build you two ships amounting together to the tonnage you are after.”

“Hello, Mr South Korean Shipbuilder, we would like you to build us a supertanker.”

“How big?”

I am afraid it is too easy to blame the collapse of, for example, shipbuilding on Thatcher and/or the trades unions when they were bit players in comparison with the managers and owners of and investors in UK manufacturing.

There is even some evidence that certain UK shipyards back then took a rather cavalier attitude towards Government contracts, because they were confident the Government had no choice, but to buy British.

Back in 2013, Boris Johnson said that leaving the EU would not address “chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

We did not need to leave the EU to address those issues, but on leaving the EU, we are not yet addressing those issues and there is no definite evidence that the Government is planning to do so.

But then, may be now Johnson is Prime Minister those issues are of little matter as is evidenced by the ability of the PM to focus on trivia like a national flagship?

If not, then the national flagship would be promoting an economy mired in “chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

No, that cannot be right, not with Captain Boris Johnson at the helm of the HBS Free(loading) Enterprise.

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