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Sunday, 5 April 2020

When Globalism failed

Let's take just a couple of samples from the front pages. From the Telegraph -
One of Britain’s few ventilator manufacturers was still prioritising supplies to China only a month ago, even as the Covid-19 outbreak accelerated here. Breas Medical, which makes breathing equipment from sites in the UK, Sweden and the US and is owned by the Chinese conglomerate Fosun, was focused on demand for ventilators in China until early March, when it was first contacted about boosting supplies to the NHS.
And again, from the FT
According to Tagesspiegel the Berlin police had ordered the masks from 3M. They were produced in a 3M factory in China and were due to be reloaded at Bangkok airport and flown to Germany. Instead the delivery went straight to the US.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump invoked his authority under a Korean war-era law, the Defense Production Act, with regard to 3M’s N95 respirator masks. That allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to use “any and all authority” to buy “the number of N95 respirators” it “determines to be appropriate” from 3M and its subsidiaries, according to the wording of the act.
We haven't even got to drugs and chemicals yet, but you can bet that most of the kit so expertly assembled by the army to construct those Nightingale Hospitals was made in China. As, absurdly, are the trousers, smocks and stable belts worn by the soldiers, the MoD having outsourced uniform and clothing production to China.

Time after time in comments both here and in the media, in riposte to my attacks on the failures of Globalism, failures that have condemned huge cohorts of our population to hardship, have halted social mobility and have made our children poorer than their parents, supporters of Globalism have pointed out the compensation. That in return for destroyed lives, hollowed communities and social decline, we have enjoyed cheap stuff. Chinese tat. Uniforms and boots so shoddy that many soldiers buy their own kit. Electric drills for £10 and jeans for a fiver.

Of course, every leader and government across the globe knows the deal with the Wuhan virus. Knows that the Chinese government and propaganda machine have lied and lied, have repressed, threatened and removed doctors and scientists trying to be internationally responsible, have lied to the world, have corrupted the WHO and it's pathetic puppet head, Dr Tedros. They all know the 3,000 deaths the PRC reported are really 300,000 or even 3,000,000 - until we have the declassified spy satellite images we just don't know. Yet whilst so much of our essential goods and supplies comes from this hellhole, we are obliged to be politely friendly to the PRC. No government has openly criticised the evil regime - for now, we need those masks and ventilators.

My anger is for the 1%, the greedy, fat bastards who have not only impoverished and limited their own peoples and nation to make themselves rich, but have hobbled our ability to deal with the consequences of their avarice. If this bloody virus doesn't lead us to make a bonfire of their odious Globalism, we are utterly lost.


Bloke in North Dorset said...

I think we can take the Spectator USA as a trusted source:

China has tried to restore its image after lying to the world about the seriousness of its coronavirus outbreak, but its attempts at humanitarianism have turned out to be as slippery as its wet markets.

After COVID-19 made its way to Italy, decimating the country’s significant elderly population, China told the world it would donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help Italy stop its spread. Reports later indicated that China had actually sold, not donated, the PPE to Italy. A senior Trump administration official tells The Spectator that it is much worse than that: China forced Italy to buy back the PPE supply that it gave to China during the initial coronavirus outbreak.

‘Before the virus hit Europe, Italy sent tons of PPE to China to help China protect its own population,’ the administration official explained. ‘China then has sent Italian PPE back to Italy — some of it, not even all of it … and charged them for it.’

Add in test kits that failed and face masks that had been used as shoe polishers, for starters, and there's going to be a new normal after this and its not going to involve China as it currently stands.

formertory said...

the satellites picked up the huge burning pits around Wuhan incinerating enough organic material to darken the skies.

If this is the story about sulfur emissions it's been debunked.


<a href=">Fullfact</a>

Not that unresearched stories circulated by the likes of the Sun and Express and subsequently shown to be rubbish leave me feeling any more kindly inclined towards the lying, duplicitious Chinese government.

formertory said...

Sorry: Fullfact

Raedwald said...

Formertory - many thanks. Yes, this was from 'Sun' and 'Express' reports in February. Now removed.

JPM said...

There are thousands of westerners in China. They send back videos of the lockdown being lifted and of life returning to normal.

Satellites show the temporary hospitals being closed and vehicular movements stopping.

China is now diverting materiale and medical staff to helping other countries.

The figures for Chinese deaths are probably wrong, but not by orders. The UK only records those dead in hospitals, not in care homes etc. as CV. Ours are probably worse.

Anti-communist S. Korea is winning the battle using the same methods as did the Chinese, and so are the Norwegians and Germans.

Face the hard facts.

Some countries have messed up really big time over this. The Chinese and others probably have not.

Smoking Scot said...

Don't forget our rules on pollution, nor economies of scale. Two examples.

I once owned a Honda Dylan scooter that helped Honda gain market dominance in Europe because the mechanicals are pure Honda Japan, but every plastic bit is made in Thailand. The scooter is assembled at their plant in Italy.

I asked about the plastic parts and was told it was far cheaper to make them in Thailand than to try and do it in Italy because of EU rules on emissions regulations and the cost of paying people to do the simple job of injecting stuff into the mould.

And no they're not polluting Thailand, it's just their rules are not as stringent. And the nub of all this; for very straightforward jobs, our minimum hourly is the equivalent of a good daily wage in many countries in the Far East. Our Unions and our politicians have priced us out the market. That's why we have so many self checkouts at supermarkets, robots in Amazon warehouses and no staff at petrol station forecourts.

Second - also scooter related. About 15 years ago a friend did the research, identified a first rate company in China with a range of machines he could sell with confidence. However they'd need a catalytic converter in the exhaust to comply with EU regulations. The additional cost would be about $50 and he only wanted 50 units to start.

They were very pleasant about it, but refused to sell whether with or without the cat, claiming they couldn't supply domestic demand and didn't need the additional business, or hassle.

China does have two real advantages. A collosal market where our or Italy's 70 - 80 million population ain't that big a deal. And less stringent rules on pollution.

Also the fact they own vast amounts of our debt.

Yes we do need to rethink, most certainly about our minimum wage as well as things like maternity leave and our budget shortfalls. Oh and our 0.7% giveaways.

DeeDee99 said...

"My anger is for the 1%, the greedy, fat bastards who have not only impoverished and limited their own peoples and nation to make themselves rich, but have hobbled our ability to deal with the consequences of their avarice."

Step forward Cameron, Osborne, Blair - in fact most of the Establishment - and in particular the House of Frauds.

Expecting the Conservative Party to do something about it is an example of the triumph of optimism over decades of experience. I doubt if Boris will even have the guts to cancel the disgraceful decision to allow Huawei to partially deliver 5G.

The British people will have to voluntarily boycott Chinese tat.

jim said...

The UK has made itself an expensive tiresome place to do business. Endless planning disputes to build a garden shed let alone a decent sized office block. As for a factory - Oh My Dear - how awful, so vulgar, all those common people going in and out. No far better to stick with History of Art and Jane Austen Studies.

We ended up a land of property hypers, marketing consultants, vehicle leasing agents, special advisers and financial fiddlers. The rest of us went on the Uber zero hours. Too expensive or too useless to make anything so we do services. We handed the making job to China and Asia and called it globalisation. A natural extension of Adam Smith's pin factory led to the Competitive Advantage of Nations which naturally led via cheap transport and communication to globalisation. You might not like it but you might as well piss against the wind. Too posh to bash iron.

What is the reality in China? Those expensive spies have told us nothing. Or maybe they have tipped the wink to Trump and Boris. I doubt they know much. We might think that the Chinese are lying. But what about the data from S Korea or Japan or Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines. If you eyeball the worldwide data you can see that there are an awful lot of small numbers and a few areas with big numbers. The big number places beg the question why them?

Seems to me the places with the big numbers are the places where chaotic government, doing healthcare on the cheap and bad organisation combine with a bit of bad luck. When a virus comes along you find out who has been swimming naked.

Raedwald said...

Jim - you're confusing International trade (good thing) with Globalism (bad thing). It's nothing to do with national competitive advantage, and everything to do with capital moving out of the UK to places where it produced greater returns. All those zero hours contracts and non-jobs are a consequence of Globalism breaking down the social balance between the contributions made by capital and labour to national wealth. Capitalism can benefit everyone - owners and workers - unless it is destroyed by unalloyed greed without responsibility.

This crisis is nowhere near over yet. Nor has the truth about China yet emerged - I've seen a few pro-Chinese reports that I'd trust about as much as JPM's rose-tinted pro Communist claptrap.

Dave_G said...

Narrow the globalist issue down to the central and salient issues that affect business and customers directly - their influence over energy pricing in particular and the creation of rules and regulations that price small businesses out of the market.

One of the biggest globalist scams has been climate change (sorry to bring it up but this is clearly a pending issue) where energy and production ability has been hamstrung for no reason other than to 'force' manufacturing to those places where such BS is taken for what it is.

Even now, the total collapse of the energy markets has not - and probably never will - reach the public in terms of cost savings indeed I received a letter from my energy supplier informing me of price INCREASES.

Combine this with base rates close to 0% and lending anywhere up to 40% (not to mention overdraft facilities) and you can clearly see where the issue lies - it's not with China et al but with our own system and those that run it.

Destroy the banks. Destroy the myths (climate change) and we can restore a HUGE amount of self belief, determination and wealth that we have been systematically robbed of.

DiscoveredJoys said...

History: "Bonfire of the QUANGOs" didn't happen. Arguably the benefits of using QUANGOs (self-interest, patronage, off the books funding, lack of oversight) were too attractive to the Powers That Be.

Prediction: "Bonfire of Globalism" won't happen for much the same reasons.

Thud said...

I'm lucky that the materials I use are UK sourced, sandstone from Cumbria, lime mortar and oak from Wales etc. I did have a job a short while back though that needed a couple of new forstner bits. I bought several from the usual suspects (tool station etc) and upon use I quickly found the cutting edges were softer than the wood, a quick shufty through the net and a day later German made ones arrived and are still cutting today. The Chinese supplied kit is by and large rubbish and God knows how much of this cheap shit goes in the bin weekly.Oh and some from Sheffield would have been nice!

Mark said...

I see our troll has now latched onto China. Hardly surprising given that this has been the EUs king has no clothes moment.

China caused this and the globalists let it into western counries. Now its here we have a problem and whether what is being done is the correct approach we will know in a month or two.

But despite what the haters and trolls say, this is a first world country with a first world infrastructure and above all, a (largely) first world population.

What happens when this virus gets a decent grip somewhere like India or the townships of South Africa? Dirt poor, huddled together in the tens, hundreds of thousands. Poor nutrition, many underlying health issues etc etc.

I suspect we'll never know.

Raedwald said...

Second those thoughts. I'm still happily using Brit and German tools on a daily basis in the workshop that I bought in the 1980s and 1990s when many later Chinese ToolStaion, Screwfix and even Axminster are in the bin; my 3kW Russel Hobbs kettle from 1995 used twice daily is still on its original element, and several pairs of Northampton-made shoes over 20 years old are still worn weekly.

And I love lime mortar and plaster - currently engaged in a labour of love hacking off the portland cement internal and external renders on my old stone house and recoating to let the walls breathe again. Floors are proving to be an experiment - we have no Ty-mawr here, my foamed glass has to come from Germany and I'm experimenting with my own Limecrete recipe using local perlite and sand / aggregate with NHL5 - which is easily available here.

Anoneumouse said...

Think about it

Wahun. Juan.

Thud said...

Ty-mawr, great company.

Anonymous said...

JPM said @ 7:49

'China is now diverting materiale (sic) and medical staff to helping other countries.'

Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining, mate. They don't like us and this is just one small example of their attitude toward Westerners:

Chinese Woman Hoards Face Masks To Prevent Americans From Buying Any

With reference to Globalism over 30 million US blue collar jobs have been lost to the Far East (mostly China) over the last 30 years alone. Globalism is corporate communism - that's capitalism run along communists lines:

'Best described as COMMUNIST CAPITALISM because capitalist-owned corporations own everything - including ALL governments - and run them with COMMUNIST tactics.

In COMMUNIST CAPITALISM there are no borders. Politicians from Communist AND Capitalist countries are shareholders in multi-national corporations. They benefit financially and otherwise from policies dictated by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who, collectively, own everything in the world..'

We should never have educated them at our universities, they practice espionage at every level; steal our ideas and flood the world with fake goods which are dangerous and sometimes even lethal.


JPM said...

There seem to be a lot of claims like this.

"China are lying. Millions are dead there. No country could stop this. So the Darling Tories and Magnificent Trump can be excused for thousands, or for hundreds of thousands dying in the UK and in the US."

It's beyond disgraceful.

Mark said...

Like shit to a brick wall!

Dave_G said...

No question and no debate - the financial crisis that has been wrought over the kneejerk and blatantly falsified claims of severity over this Covid scam will be far, far in excess of anything the disease could or would have brought us.

The 'cure' is going to kill many, many more of us.

John Brown said...

Our government/civil service/NHS were totally unprepared for this pandemic, preferring instead to use their time, money and efforts for a myriad other health issues such as their attempt to prevent obesity through the introduction of a sugar tax.

It is a now perfectly clear we need to ensure that we have the necessary strategic stocks and manufacturing to be able to deal with these biological attacks which could easily come from hostile states or terrorists.

It will be easier to achieve as a result of leaving the EU.

We must not allow ourselves to become impotent to these and any other types of threat by the bullying of XR/Greta Thunberg and others.

BTW, would some members of the public respond better to “plague” instead of “pandemic” and “physical distancing” instead of “social distancing” ?

Anonymous said...

UK taps into EU Civil Protection Mechanism to cover a share of citizen-repatriation costs for emergency flights -

Shame it decided not to participate in joint procurement for medical supplies. Oh, email failure ... "we didn't get the memo"!

Still, it's a start to going back in.

Span Ows said...

You think they'll be a queue for peopel wanting to get in Anon (01:59)?

I think this is now the grout crumbling form the obvious cracks.

Graeme said...

Anonymous do you have a similar link to this ventilator procurement scheme? I have been unable to find one. Was it a RFT or just at RFI stage? Does it even exist?

Greg Tingey said...

I agree with Radders' :AST paragraph, which, predictably, everyone has ignored.
Who are those "greedy fat bastards" ???
People like Trump, that's who. Those who masquerade as "free-market capitalists, but are actually monoply expoliters.
Wakey-up peoples!