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 Post subject: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Aluminium, then steel and now ... cigarette filters. Not in quite the same league, but it is still 460 jobs as the American owners of the Derbyshire plant of Celanese Acetate have decided to close it down, blaming - according to a local media report - "soaring UK energy prices". A spokesman for the company - which prides itself in delivering "sustainable value" - said: "A lot of work was carried out to reduce costs but there was no way to make any inroads into reducing our fundamental energy costs, which are much higher in the UK than overseas," then adding: "The biggest differential in costs between ourselves and other sites in the group is the price of energy."

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:06 pm 
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Quote:
"Celanese expects to meet customer commitments under this proposal by optimising its global acetate production network, which includes facilities in Belgium, Virginia and Mexico, as well as the company's acetate joint venture facilities in China."
Here in Virginia I pay 8.12 cents (5.30p) for electricity and 14p for the same unit, in the UK, making UK electricity 2.5 times more expensive. I've little idea about industrial tariffs though, but USA States and local governments do try to encourage their industries to invest, build or stay, unlike in the UK where it seems to be "Industry bad - green and social security good".


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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:53 pm 
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gregb wrote:
Quote:
"Celanese expects to meet customer commitments under this proposal by optimising its global acetate production network, which includes facilities in Belgium, Virginia and Mexico, as well as the company's acetate joint venture facilities in China."
Here in Virginia I pay 8.12 cents (5.30p) for electricity and 14p for the same unit, in the UK, making UK electricity 2.5 times more expensive. I've little idea about industrial tariffs though, but USA States and local governments do try to encourage their industries to invest, build or stay, unlike in the UK where it seems to be "Industry bad - green and social security good".


... with the core policy being to force up the cost of fossil fuel energy until it matches the cost of renewable energy ... thereby putting industry out of business.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:11 pm 
I, myself live in North Derbyshire. I travel a lot to Nottinghamshire. Both counties are once former industrial strongholds that now produce nothing more than people claiming benefit. Surprisingly, its these two counties that attract a lot of BNP support. There's no job opportunities in either county unless your planning on going into higher education....

The once proud mining and textile communities remain benefit havens. We've got literally entire villages or towns that produce nothing more than unemployment. Some work with agencies but that requires having to travel out of local towns and working in places such as Leicester, Nottingham, etc. Can be quite a travel.

But funnily enough, especially during these harsh economic times, there's not just been an increase in BNP support but also a large increase of religious sects trying to convert new flock to their faiths. I bumped into a couple of American Mormons out today, trying to get people involved with their church. I've also seen a couple of evangelists waving "the end is nigh" type placards around. Even a Quaker's hall. Something I thought that didn't exist in the UK these days....

My point being? These areas weren't particularly religious but its slowly becoming in a weird way, a bible belt. Not sure how much attraction they get but there's alot around.

Maybe where job opportunities go to pot and economic depravity exists, you get the fringe groups out. Never before seen it in my life.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:17 pm 
I used to work for Courtaulds Acetate, which (after several buyouts) went on to become the company that's closing down. They used to make yarns, filter tips and acetate (stuff that went into products like tooth brush handles). Each year I worked for the company they had to make someone redundant because of the cost of gas and electricity. The yarns and acetate closed first and only the filter tip business remained. I can't say I'm remotely surprised that the company is departing from UK shores. The site I worked at closed down in 2007 and has just been demolished. The Derby site had already lost all but a fraction of it's staff last time I contacted friends still working there. Courtaulds was HUGE.

The end of an era.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:39 pm 
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TinyCO2 wrote:
I used to work for Courtaulds Acetate, which (after several buyouts) went on to become the company that's closing down. They used to make yarns, filter tips and acetate (stuff that went into products like tooth brush handles). Each year I worked for the company they had to make someone redundant because of the cost of gas and electricity. The yarns and acetate closed first and only the filter tip business remained. I can't say I'm remotely surprised that the company is departing from UK shores. The site I worked at closed down in 2007 and has just been demolished. The Derby site had already lost all but a fraction of it's staff last time I contacted friends still working there. Courtaulds was HUGE.

The end of an era.


This is so terribly sad, that it has come to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Ksim3000 wrote:
I, myself live in North Derbyshire. I travel a lot to Nottinghamshire. Both counties are once former industrial strongholds that now produce nothing more than people claiming benefit. Surprisingly, its these two counties that attract a lot of BNP support. There's no job opportunities in either county unless your planning on going into higher education....

The once proud mining and textile communities remain benefit havens. We've got literally entire villages or towns that produce nothing more than unemployment. Some work with agencies but that requires having to travel out of local towns and working in places such as Leicester, Nottingham, etc. Can be quite a travel.

But funnily enough, especially during these harsh economic times, there's not just been an increase in BNP support but also a large increase of religious sects trying to convert new flock to their faiths. I bumped into a couple of American Mormons out today, trying to get people involved with their church. I've also seen a couple of evangelists waving "the end is nigh" type placards around. Even a Quaker's hall. Something I thought that didn't exist in the UK these days....

My point being? These areas weren't particularly religious but its slowly becoming in a weird way, a bible belt. Not sure how much attraction they get but there's alot around.

Maybe where job opportunities go to pot and economic depravity exists, you get the fringe groups out. Never before seen it in my life.


Very interesting! I suspect it is not simply unemployment though. why did unemployment in the 1980s not have this effect?

people have lost their identity with the central state and are looking elsewhere. local communities, and to religions. I think this could lead to areas of England like Yorkshire eventually trying to break away from London.

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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:59 pm 
RAENORTH wrote:
This is so terribly sad, that it has come to this.


Very sad. Working there was like a strange game of musical chairs, where instead of chairs, the people were removed and those remaining had to cover more and more jobs. Each year we were told that we had to tighten our belts. Each time there was a call for voluntry redundancy nearly everyone put their name forward because the stress got so bad. Gas and electric prices were a huge issue even back when I left over 10 years ago and it must have just got worse and worse.

The irony is, acetate is like plastic, only greener. It's made from paper and acetic acid. It can be fully recycled. Well, ok, not if it's in the end of a cigarette.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:47 am 
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therewaslight wrote:
why did unemployment in the 1980s not have this effect?
In the 1945 election, Labour called for the outright nationalisation of 20% of British industry, coal, steel, gas, utilities and all transport, with highly centralised planning of the remaining 80% of industry. Government's idea was to organise production more efficiently, insulated from the vagaries of the market, with a guarantee of high wages and full employment. The successive Conservative governments did little to change all this, seeming to swing to the left, much as Cameron seems to be doing now and the result was a slow slide into the sick man of Europe and a plea for the IMF to bail us out in 1976.

Margaret Thatcher seemed to be unusual in that she understood how markets really worked. She believed that jobs, in a free society, depended on competition, earning a profit, satisfying customers and NOT on government. Unemployment in the 80s was a result of that painful adjustment back to those fundamental principles of business and a breaking of the destructive power of unions.

Unemployment now is due to nothing short of the opposite, of a willful destruction of competition, the profit motive, customer satisfaction and, therefore, a reliance on government. The end result can only be economic collapse, sooner or later unless we learn the lessons of May 1979 all over again.


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 Post subject: Re: Closing down Britain
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:01 am 
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gregb wrote:
therewaslight wrote:
why did unemployment in the 1980s not have this effect?
In the 1945 election, Labour called for the outright nationalisation of 20% of British industry, coal, steel, gas, utilities and all transport, with highly centralised planning of the remaining 80% of industry. Government's idea was to organise production more efficiently, insulated from the vagaries of the market, with a guarantee of high wages and full employment. The successive Conservative governments did little to change all this, seeming to swing to the left, much as Cameron seems to be doing now and the result was a slow slide into the sick man of Europe and a plea for the IMF to bail us out in 1976.

Margaret Thatcher seemed to be unusual in that she understood how markets really worked. She believed that jobs, in a free society, depended on competition, earning a profit, satisfying customers and NOT on government. Unemployment in the 80s was a result of that painful adjustment back to those fundamental principles of business and a breaking of the destructive power of unions.

Unemployment now is due to nothing short of the opposite, of a willful destruction of competition, the profit motive, customer satisfaction and, therefore, a reliance on government. The end result can only be economic collapse, sooner or later unless we learn the lessons of May 1979 all over again.


Nationalisation, of course, is about control ... with ownership comes the rights of ownership. What has happened in the UK though - and elsewhere in Europe - is the understanding that the state can exercise the same effective control, through regulation and taxation, without seeking ownership. We have what amounts to nationalisation by regulation.

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