Even as Tony Blair – still, in case you had forgotten, the
Potentially one of the more intriguing comes from Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson, a pair of business journalists who have written a book called
Elliott and Atkinson assert that in most important respects, Blair’s legacy to
Nowhere is the illusion more potent, according to the authors, than in respect of our engineering and technology base. They challenge the widely-held view that it is unrealistic for a ‘developed’ nation such as the
Elliott and Atkinson point out, not unreasonably, that the Germans, the French and the Japanese continue to produce items that people want to buy. We do not, creating an economy that is hopelessly dependent on the performance of the financial services sector and the housing market.
It’s a persuasive argument, until they begin to define what they mean by the ‘knowledge economy.’ Elliott and Atkinson characterise it as one dominated by advertising executives, lawyers, musicians, film producers and TV scriptwriters.
Don’t expect this lot to sustain an economy of 60 million people, they tell us. And they’re right.
However, there is another type of knowledge economy, apparently overlooked by Elliott and Atkinson, with rather better prospects in the global economy – if it is given a chance to prove its worth.
We are talking about what could (very) loosely be described as the
It is there, and not in the advertising studio or TV production house, that a real knowledge economy could thrive. There are perils, however. Elliott and Atkinson point out the very real danger of complacency in believing that developing nations will remain ‘dumb’ producers without the ability to create a knowledge economy of their own.
They make the telling point that the