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Lame Ducks


Allow lame ducks to go to the wall?

In June 1971 John Davies, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, declared there will be no more state subsidies for the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders – all part of Ted Heath’s plans to remove “lame duck” industries from the public purse. Shop steward Jimmy Reid’s responded: “We don’t only build ships on the Clyde, we build men. They have taken on the wrong people and we will fight.”

Then in 1981 there was the Toxteth riots in Liverpool and the suggestion that the answer to Liverpool’s problems was managed decline and even partial evacuation was suggested. Liverpool of course had it’s glory days in the 1960’s when it produced the Beatles and Cilla Black and a few comedians. We could ask what did they gave back to Liverpool and why did it decline after the 1960’s.

We had riots near where I live in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton last year, maybe we could deploy ‘managed decline’ ? Maybe, evacuate some of the thousands of immigrants we have absorbed over the years? Students have also been out on the streets protesting over student fees, that wasn’t a riot of course and so a ‘robust response’ isn’t required. Students don’t riot, they are far too educated. We have also seen protests by civil servants and even teachers over their pension provision. Are they all lame ducks?

How about those third world countries? The people of Liverpool back in 1981 were said to have brought those problems on themselves and should be allowed to decline; the situation was hopeless. We could say the situation is hopeless in countries that are run by tyrants and leave them to get on with it. How about countries where people are starving because of mismanagement? How about countries where AIDS is rife and health care virtually non-existent? Are they all lame ducks? It seems we can help, if they are willing to do business with us and buy our armaments. They spend millions buying fighter jets from us and we give them free food; that seems fair. Lame ducks? Maybe not… If they have oil, they definitely aren’t lame ducks.

Should we go to war to help those in need or are they lame ducks? When all hope is lost, unless we and our allies help; are they then lame ducks? Should we have stayed out of Afghanistan and let them kill each other until no one is left? We could have improved our border controls to keep out their drugs and those coming from South America; that would have worked?

We have seen a few lame ducks go to the wall over the past couple of years. Lots of retailers, like Peacocks have gone but there are plenty left and not many people lost their jobs. Some companies doing business with the government failed because of the cuts, but how good were they anyway? Do we really care that a few thousand people lost their jobs and even more lost money invested in those companies.

What are lame ducks anyway? It seems they are people, companies and even countries that have made mistakes and got into trouble; they need a helping hand. Greece must be a lame duck, should we let them default? There is famine because of drought in Somalia; should we let them starve?

If your next door neighbour was down on his luck, would you help out or treat him as a lame duck? If you help out, he might be grateful; you never know when you might need something?

There are more amazing blogs on the Home Page. I also welcome comments on this blog. What do you think? Should we help out lame ducks or is it all their own fault?


5 responses

  1. Hi Mike, Fascinating topic. Here in the US, the government bailed out two domestic automobile manufacturers and some major banks. The term “too big to fail” was the excuse. Were these companies lame ducks whose products and services weren’t desirable to consumers? Now that these businesses have recovered, and the loans were paid back, were the bailouts justified?

    I don’t know the answer. I deeply worry about those who suffer outside and within our borders. But do we have an obligation to provide first for our citizens and later for those in other countries? I’m not sure of the answers but I’m sure glad you are asking these questions!

    18, January 2012 at 7:35 pm

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    The idea was to make people think by asking questions. Te big question is do we always help the rich and powerful and ignore the poor? It seems that way to me. There is always an excuse as in ‘charity begins at home.’ While I’m not in favour of just free handouts, we do need to help our neighbours in trouble. They say give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, give him the means to fish and you feed him for life. We need to help people get out of poverty, not trap them in it.

    18, January 2012 at 7:52 pm

  3. Nandini

    I loved your photo. 🙂

    20, January 2012 at 1:37 pm

  4. Hi Nandini,

    Thanks I was searching for a photo of ducks close up but couldn’t find one. I know I have some! It is strange that it’s hard to spot a lone duck! They tend to group together.

    20, January 2012 at 2:40 pm

  5. Pingback: WELCOME BACK SCOTT REMINGTON – he’s writing about the same lame duck congress we have today but mostly about war vets « THE WORD WARRIOR Bonju Blog

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