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?