Desperately seeking sanity

A couple of week’s ago, the DTI issued a press release describing a new report it had produced on the ‘future success of the UK aerospace industry’. Dave Wilson reports.

‘And so, I quit the police department, and got myself a steady job,’ – (Lennon/McCartney).

A couple of week’s ago, the DTI issued a press release describing a new report it had produced on the ‘future success of the UK aerospace industry’.

The report was produced by the DTI’s Aerospace Innovation and Growth team, a partnership venture between Industry and Government that was led by Sir Richard Evans, the Chairman of BAE Systems.

For our edification and amusement, a press release describing the report tells us, that ‘the key challenge is for the (aerospace) industry to sustain and enhance its prominence in the face of major changes in the world market’. It ‘warns’ that ‘failure to face up to the new demands of the market would damage Britain’s competitive edge’.

No kidding! That could be applied to any industry couldn’t it? Do you know of any company that believes that it can ignore changing market conditions and be successful? I don’t. And neither do the guys that are running the UK’s aerospace companies either, I’ll wager.

But wait. There’s more.

In relation to Government assistance, the report makes several recommendations. First off, that ‘spending on research and technology needs to be stepped up’. And, furthermore, that there should be ‘a clearer focus on technologies in which Britain can lead the world’.

Good grief. I would never have guessed all this in a million years unless the DTI hadn’t told me. Would you? What a load of blathering all-encompassing self-evident rhetoric it all is.

But wait. There’s worse to come.

The report also says that, for its part, the Government can deliver the ‘macro-economic’ conditions, the wider ‘socio-economic environment’ and ‘focused policies’ required to improve UK aerospace’s competitive advantage and its potential to thrive in world markets.

I think I can speak for us all when I say what great comfort I find in those simple words (Shouldn’t that be simple-minded words? – Ed.). We can only hope that once these ‘macro-economic conditions’ and ‘focused policies’ have been applied that the aerospace industry won’t end up the same way as the nuclear or the rail businesses.

Maybe I’m too jaded. Perhaps I should give the DTI the benefit of the doubt. These are, after all, just quotes from the press release describing what’s in the report and not the entire report itself. Maybe the full report has a bit more useful information contained within it.

But from what I’ve read so far, I haven’t got the slightest wish to find out.

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