IN SPITE of the constant anti-China rhetoric from within Conservative Party ranks, contracts collectively worth up to £320million have been handed to Chinese state-backed companies for medical supplies since March.
This isn’t surprising considering our lack of production capacity as a nation. It would be unfair simply to blame the current administration; for decades the ‘Conservative’ Party has been obsessed with cutting costs at the expense of value and work for Britons. (See my commentary on the decision to produce our new ‘patriotic’ blue passport in Poland, under the supervision of a French company, for a good recent example of this.)
However it is worth reproducing a comment from a Tory official which demonstrates the party’s indifference to aiding production at home.
The chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat – who demonstrated his conservative credentials when he threw the late Sir Roger Scruton under the bus following the shameful New Statesman affair – had this to say regarding the handing of taxpayer millions to Chinese companies: ‘We need to reduce dependence on companies controlled by states that seek to use that leverage to influence our actions and those of our allies.’
I quite agree. How can we do that, Tom?
‘That means building up partnerships with others and reducing our reliance on China’s state-owned businesses.’ [My emphasis.]
Ah yes, let’s just find someone else to produce PPE (and everything else, for that matter) for us. They might settle for a lower price, with any luck!
Of course, instead of this we could focus on renewing British industry: providing jobs for British workers and returning a sense of pride to once-working communities. There is a long way to go, but a genuinely patriotic party would at least make the effort. Alas, such parties are in short supply.
The Conservative Party’s talk about ‘Buying British’ and of the opportunities Brexit provides to ‘unleash Britain’s potential’ is just that: talk. It does not care about Britain. After taking your vote based on a pledge of patriotism, it is more than happy to sell off our nation to the highest bidder. Abandon it.
This article was first published in Bournbrook and is republished by kind permission.