There are two major concerns that face this country:
a) The economy
b) Global Warming
Robert Peston of the BBC has given a superb summary of the reasons for the Credit Crunch.
In short, in the UK, the combined corporate, personal and public debt is 300% of GDP. So much for being in a good position to weather the storm!
We have borrowed far, far too much. How do we pay it back?
This an even more urgent issue than the economy.
Planes exhaust 20kg of CO2 every 2.2 seconds. They are large polluters, but there is no tax on aircraft fuel!
Although cargo ships are relatively low polluters in terms of CO2 exhausted per mile, the shear number of miles travelled means that this form of transit is twice as polluting as the aircraft industry.
If this is the case, why is globalisation touted by most financial experts and politicians around the world, as the way forward?
Is the need for CD players under £20, more important than the health of the Earth?
What is the answer. The answer is that are no easy answers.
My personal feeling is that we need a Call to Arms. We are effectively at war, the enemy being Global Warming and Recession.
As a collection of individuals, we need to come together, make our voice heard and TELL the government what is really important.
We need to communicate and work with the rest of the world, but we need to recreate our economy locally, based on reality.
We need to produce things to sell - whether it is shirts, music, televisions, cars, wheat etc. This is the ONLY way to make money. We cannot just keep borrowing money, and hope everything will turn out OK.
Gone are the days where we were the manufacturer of the world. Other countries have caught up, and passed us in certain cases.
Fair play to them! Countries like Japan and now China have got there by sweart and tears. But why should we just roll over at the expense of home grown companies. Why do we insist on a minimum wage when we can buy goods from China who have no effective minimum wage? Why do we insisit on fair treatment of calves, when we can import from countries that have no such concerns?
I am all for trade - but it has to be fair. I am all for trade, but we should balance our books. we should buy from China, but then expect China to buy from us a similar amount.
I am all for trade, but we should be trading for for things that we cannot produce, like oranges etc.
If we can't afford to import because we don't export enough, then we have to go without. As a country, we need to get real.
This concept will reduce trade, and hence reduce the amount of CO2 expended into the atmosphere.
By making things in this country, we will be improving the economy by generating REAL jobs, and preventing the influx of imports.
The government needs to promote this (as the Lib Dems are now starting to do), and we all need to play our part.
Things will be more expensive, and choice will be restricted. In the short term, this will be very painful. In the long term, this is a very small price to pay for the health of the UK as an economy, and the state of the world in terms of CO2 emissions. We are living well beyond our means, and this has to be accepted, and actions taken.
BUYBRITISH.com is a very small step in making these changes. We cannot do it on our own. This will only work, if people come on board and support our aims.
We want to generate discussion, and bring this topic to the front of the National debate.
Thank You for your time