Week 14: Villain, Sajid Javid

by Ray_North on April 5, 2016

villain_iconThiss week’s Villain is the Minister for Trade, Sajid Javid.

About twenty minutes drive from me is Shotton Steelworks, I pass it when I take my family for walks at the wonderful Wepre Park – Wepre Park is a beautiful natural valley with a wonderful 14th Century castle lying ruined at the top of the valley wall. The town of Shotton is everything that Wepre isn’t – a crumbling, decrepit ruined town, a place of pound shops and cheap pubs, drugs and petty crime – a town that has dwindled along with the steel works that used to dominate the whole area. It still provides employment, true, not to the same extent as Port Talbot, but, as a foundation industry, it has massive economic significance for the town and the surrounding area.

The steel industry is in a similar decline to the town of Shotton – it is being devastated by a lack of a coherent industrial strategy and the effect of cheap Chinese steel that has been flooding the market for years.

Tata Steel, who own what was once British Steel, have been saying for months that it can no longer cope with the cost of keeping unprofitable steel mills open. They have been seeking assistance from the Government and in particular the Business Secretary Sajid Javid, sadly, when Tata made their announcement that they were pulling the plug on British steel, Javid was in Australia on ‘business’ – the type of business where you can take your daughter. He was completely caught out – it just isn’t good enough, especially for the people of Shotton and the other 40,000 jobs that are directly threatened if Tata puts an end to steel making in the UK.

But, it gets worse – it turns out that in recent months, some countries have been attempting to get the EU to put in place measures to prevent the Chinese from dumping cheap steel on the rest of the world through the imposition of duties (EU tarif is 9% compared to USA tariffs of 239%), these duties would have enabled the steel industry in the UK and Europe to compete and put in place a long term plan for the industry – Javid opposed these plans, he did so, because he is a libertarian a free marketeer of the worst kind, a man who would prefer to see communities decimated than act to protect and build and help people cling onto the jobs they love.

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