A call for more manufacturing for Nottingham at a rally does reflect something of what some have tried to achieve in Nottingham in recent years, but it is a challenge and there are things you’d want to emphasis alongside it.
The first is that local manufacturing jobs should be for local people who are paid the proper rate. Too many of Nottingham’s jobs are being allocated by agencies who are bypassing proper rates of pay. Meadows people don’t get the jobs in Boots and Pork Farms like they used to. (Some argue that such jobs couldn’t be sustained at proper rates and would be exported, but I’m not so pessimistic.)
Second is that a lot of Nottingham’s jobs have been created in IT services, which can be hard to perceive as manufacturing, but nevertheless produce a product e.g. Experian). We’re also striving to create more jobs in bio-technology, and we still might need to do more about encouraging training for technician jobs.
Third is that some city councils have shown how to generate more local jobs through commissioning goods and services from local companies. Nottingham is hoping to follow suit.
Fourth, the city council is trying to get firms to start-up factories, most notably with Chinook at the new ‘Energy Park’ – to build the components for other gasification plants rather than just have one plant ourselves. But it’s been hard work. Meanwhile, we recently lost the cigarette factory in one fell swoop.
Now I’m not saying Corbyn wouldn’t say some of this. Just wanted to say that we know what a challenge manufacturing has been.
Worth noting that Derby has been in a stronger position for some time. And indeed, South Derbyshire (see left), where outgoing MP Mark Todd kept telling me “we make things in South Derbyshire”.
And contrast Corbyn’s slogans with phrases from one of New Labour’s key players in the 1990’s, Matthew Taylor, in a recent article headed “Labour must stand for, not against, something”
– ‘changing human capacities, appetites (“self-expression”) and the transformative power of technology.’
– ‘standing in the way … stands elitism, social exclusion and institutional
– ‘progressivism … enlarging the scope for human autonomy.’
A bit obscure, and very about the individual (liberal) rather than able to celebrate achieving more together.