The electronics landscape in the U.K. is freewheeling and fragmented thanks to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister, who died today.
Baroness Thatcher was the first woman to be appointed prime minister of
Britain and as such she was initially welcomed by many as a reflection
of, and an encouragement for, female equality. However, her strident
right-wing and traditionalist views also alienated many. Baroness
Thatcher also took Britain to war against Argentina in 1982 in defense
of the Falkland Islands. This also polarized
opinion both for and against her.
However, it is through her economic
policies that she has had the longest lasting influence on the business
climate in the United Kingdom. One of the famous quotes
associated with Baroness Thatcher is: "There is no such thing as
society." The context was that in Thatcher's opinion too many people
would lay the blame for whatever misfortunes befell them on "society" and often
in the form of a lack of financial support from the state. Thatcher's
position was that people must take responsibility for themselves.
And her system of beliefs also applied at the company level. While European
institutions and national governments across continental Europe were
actively supporting national champion electronics companies such as
Siemens, Philips and SGS-Thomson Thatcher's government provided little or
no support and expected companies to succeed on their own merits -- or
Many of the electronics companies that existed in
Thatcher's time in power -- the likes of GEC, Marconi, Ferranti, Racal,
and GEC-Plessey Semiconductor were left over from a post-war era when
the electronics sector was driven by military and industrial markets.
Most of these companies do not exist now - or at least not in the same form -- and
it is perhaps significant that the U.K.'s most successful electronics
companies today are intellectual property licensors; ARM Holdings plc
(Cambridge, England) formed in 1990, and Imagination Technologies Group
plc (Kings Langley, England) formed as VideoLogic Ltd. in 1985.
Thatcher and her decade in power swept aside 30 years of state
intervention that had persisted since the rebuilding of post-war Britain
in the 1950s. Some would say it allowed an essential cutting-away of the
dead wood to let younger enterprises flourish. Others would say that her
legacy has been a series of administrations in the U.K. -- formed by
both the Conservative and Labour parties -- that have not done enough to
redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor, or enough to support U.K.
companies fighting against well-backed overseas competitors.
whatever the political leanings of observers, most are agreed that Baroness
Thatcher was a political heavyweight of the 20th century -- one to rival
Britain's war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill -- and a leader who will be
remembered long after many other politicians have been forgotten.
Looks like we have digressed a lot. Maggie was a great leader, who, I think, even many men of power cannot match. Sure she had her failures, but now that is called hind sight. I bet we all agree that she made a difference and a positive one at that.
I still remember that lady with a shock of curled hair, an unsmiling veneer and exuberance of toughness.
"UK seems to have bailed out of manufacturing, not because it lacks the knowledge, but because the society does not value technical profession. Britons have grown lazy. It is far more prestigious to be an investment banker in the City moving $$$ from one corner to another, or else a member of outdated aristocracy living off hereditary estates"
If you look at the manufacturing base of most "Western" countries you will find they have been in decline over the last 30+ years and are now a much lower percentage of GDP than previously. I think you'll find that's because we've found it cheaper (at least for now) to have manfactured in other countries (e.g. China)
Whatever Gorbachev was trying to attempt was doomed to fail because he never attempted to address what eventually made Russia such sorry state as of now (and again...). Namely he did not try to destroy the security apparatus. Therfore he is still a mystery to me, because he should have well knonw that any westernization of Russia would fail ...
What's happening in Europe is much simpler: Germany loved its currency (euro) underappreciated (DM certainly was not!) and its exports cheaper, the EU South loved its access to North's (==Germany's) credits, everybody else loved being in the club, and by the way, apart from the treaty (which I bet some were signing with their fingers crossed) there is nothing to tell the govs about the fiscal policy. Now the party ended and everybody is waiting for the good times to start magically again. Redistribution, socialism etc is not a problem: Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Shweiz, EStonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Chechy are doing fine considering the state ofthe global economy. BTW: these are the countries whether in euro or not have more or less financial goevernance idependent bodies. Independent not only from goverments (we have that) but also from the business lobbies (we do NOT). As for the "Polish Rebellion": I think I need to thank CIA for all the printing supplies :-)
Branding France a nation of " cheese eating surrender - monkeys " when Chirac resisted joining the invaion of Iraq under false pretexts was only the latest instalment of that perfidy.
That's very funny, blaming the UK for that. It was first used in "The Simpsons"
I could tear apart your other blatant nonsense but what's the point? I will, however, remember it's all the UK's fault next time I visit Auschwitz
Read John O'Sullivan's "The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World". Not a weekend read, but the rewards are worth the effort. And God help us if we don't elect more leaders like them.
Speaking of sham, I was a fairly regular listener of Radio Moscow at the time. And one journalist in particular really really blew me away. Vladimir Posner.
Until Gorbachev, he was all strict party line. When Gorbachev came to power, it was like a breath of fresh air. He, Posner, was suddenly explaining on the radio how they had been made to spout the party rhetoric until then. Wow. Is this the same guy?
Such a weird time to live through.
So, what Gorbachev said to you makes perfect sense to me. But what you seem to miss is, Gorbachev was moving the USSR in the direction of the West -- openness, free markets, democracy -- just what Reagan and Thatcher stood for. He was NOT heading the USSR someplace different.
Oh come now. WWII was about "British jealousy against superior Germany?" Give me a freakin' break.
I meant what I said. My own upbringing, education until college, and parents, are Italian and French. But when I came to the US, it was not IN SPITE OF the roots of the US culture. It was instead because of.
Nothing wrong with that. No reason to deny cultural roots, or to chant mea culpa about everything that's yours.
Bert : at last you are right in one aspect ! Gorby deserves as much credit as anyone else for ending the Cold War. Last year I paid good money to attend a talk given by him and asked why he co-operated with Ray Gun and his side kick Maggie. Gorby's answer was " he wanted to end the sham that the USSR had become and let his people live the way a resource rich nation like Russia could afford to "