I’m backing Britain

I’ve recently been to Australia. Pick up anything – perhaps a stuffed Koala toy – and where we here expect to see ‘made in China’ they’ll have a ‘proudly made in Australia’ sticker. A tin of pineapple chunks won’t say ‘packed in the Philippines’, instead it will say ‘grown on Mr Daniels’ farm on Australia’s Gold Coast’  or whatever.

Go to an Aussie restaurant. The source of the ingredients are listed. ’T Bone steak (Australian)’, ‘Deep fried Calamari (imported)’  – I think you get the picture and the less than subliminal message?

Back in the sixties we had a government led ‘I’m back Britain’ campaign. Of course we can’t now because we’d be discriminating against our cousins in the EU. But think for a second, whilst the government can’t promote Britain to its inhabitants, there’s no earthly reason why every newspaper in the land doesn’t decide to do it. No reason why the Union flag doesn’t become more visible on products, nor why supermarkets can’t rearrange their fruit and veg, or meat, or.. counters to let the consumer know what’s ‘ours’ and what’s ‘foreign’. Similarly every other business from automotive components to zoologists can do their bit to promote Blighty.

But why should we buy British? At the simplest, buying British means every penny of the purchase goes into the British economy. More money in our economy brings increased prosperity and more jobs.  More money and more jobs leads to a better spread of the tax base or better services from a UK government whose coffers are swelling as opposed to some foreign counting house. From a green perspective, a locally produced product should surely have less of a carbon footprint and if it is fresh produce, arrive on your table days earlier than an import.

1 comment for “I’m backing Britain

  1. Peter Bull
    13 July, 2012 at 12:42

    Interesting article, but not sure that every Aussie would agree with you. You might be interested in the article below emailed across to me recently by my cousin in Melbourne.

    Opinion piece written by Senator Joyce published in The Canberra Times 21 June 2012

    Of lies, damned lies and delusion

    The thought of Julia Gillard lecturing to the world at the G20 in Mexico on Labor’s economic record lives in the space between skin-creepingly embarrassing and delusional. Under Labor we have had the four biggest deficits in this nation’s history, the highest debt, and three extensions of our nation’s credit limit as we continually max it out.

    Once more Ms Gillard and Mr Swan are claiming responsibility for the events of the Permian and Precambrian periods when the coal deposits of Australia were laid down around 300 million years ago and iron ore deposits were formed around 600 million years ago.

    These two substances, one made up of that evil substance carbon, and the other responsible for abundant carbon dioxide emissions as it is turned into steel, gave us a role to play in China’s boom as prices for coking coal went from around $50 per tonne to $300 per tonne and iron ore went from $40 per tonne to more than $160 per tonne.

    If Julia Gillard was honest about our luck in recent years then she should have given a lecture on geology and geography not on economics. We have a $231 billion gross debt. Ours is the third fastest proportionate increase in global public sector debt since 2007, as found by Dr Ken Rogoff of Harvard. Only Iceland and Ireland beat us.

    After decades of mismanagement from the Queensland Labor Party, Queensland ‘ s debt is heading towards $100 billion. That makes the average Queenslander ‘ s share of Commonwealth and State debts $32,000. Greece ‘ s debt at the moment is $41,000 per person.

    We have very little to brag about on government management of the bountiful harvest which is, maybe was, the mining boom.

    Labor’s latest foray into their key policy objective of closing things down can now be seen in the oceans of our coast. It is perplexing when trying to go beyond the usual roll out of the rhetoric of imminent environmental destruction to find exactly what they believe is a problem.

    Australia extracts less than 30 kilograms of fish per square kilometre from our ocean territory, compared to a global average of 755 kilograms per square kilometre. We are an island continent surrounded by fishing grounds but we now import 72% of our seafood as we close down our capacity to feed ourselves.

    We get most of our fish from Thailand , China and Vietnam , and all of these countries extract more than 5,000 kilograms per square kilometre, around 200 times our rate of extraction.

    Try and buy a fish caught in Australian waters, you will be searching, and now it is going to become even harder.

    So it is evil to sustainably log our forest but we have no problem importing timber from other countries that clear fell theirs? In net terms, we import around $2 billion of wood and timber products each year. So each year we need to put $2 billion of products on a boat to send in the other direction to fund this.

    We appear to believe irrigation in the Murray-Darling is wrong but subsidised European food is right. Australian coal burnt in Australia to keep our power prices down will destroy the world but if you burn it in Beijing it is miraculously cleansed of its environmental sins, you might even get a carbon credit for it.

    The theme of this government is becoming clear; if it is open, shut it; if it is saved, spend it and if it is not saved borrow it. Don’t grow or make anything that you could import, and if there are things you are good at then dream up dopey taxes so that you stop growing or making them.

    So a more honest appraisal by Ms Gillard at the G20, of the graces and acumen of her government, would be a truly riveting speech, but not one that would gather her many accolades. It would be a speech that starts with the removal of a popularly elected Prime Minister, followed up with a massive broken promise to the electorate, then stumbles along with a circus of fiascos. It finishes with a massive debt and some bizarre belief in a domestic climate control policy legislated by the Australian Government and administered by the Australian Taxation Office.

    Barnaby Joyce is the Nationals ‘ Senate Leader.

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