02 April 2016

Quote of the day

From The Times (here);
Sometimes you just can’t make it up. The British steel industry is collapsing around his ears, so where do you find George Osborne? Well, let him tell you via Twitter: “Great to visit King Canute exhibition at Knutsford Heritage Centre today, marking 1,000th anniversary of coronation of town’s namesake.”
How could he miss that yesterday? Not when you can have a nice historical debate over what Canute was really up to: proving the heights of his delusion or the limits of his powers? You decide. Either way, the chancellor has brought us an apt image for those waves of Chinese steel dumping that even he’s been powerless to stop.
Except it’s not as apt as it seems. Mr Osborne did have powers to at least defend Port Talbot against the tide. It’s just that he chose not to use them. First, he rejected big industry’s pleas to bring UK energy costs into line with Europe’s and to stop penalising them for investing in plant and machinery with higher business rates. And second, Mr Osborne blocked the lifting of the EU’s so-called “lesser duty rule”, so stopping Europe slap higher tariffs on Chinese steel imports.

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