"I hate tory Britain. They've sold off all our industry so we now have a minuscule manufacturing sector and we pay a fortune for utilities and travel. "
That's what Ed and NuLab want you to believe and propagate at every opportunity - some rather rather inconvenient facts include:
1. In some manufacturing sectors we now make and export more than we did in the 1970's e.g. automotive, life sciences
2. manufacturing employment has risen over the last 3 years as UKTI's efforts to extend UK supply chains around successful industry sectors kicks in
3. we earn more from designing the intellectual property in some sectors than we would ever earn from the actual fabrication e.g. ARM Plc who last year received license fees on 8.7 Billion microprocessors
4. Utilities in the UK are middle of the range for price compared to the rest of Europe. When you strip out the CO2 escalator / sustainable energy premium added on top of prices by Milliband when he was in power / Chris Huhne 2 years ago, our actual energy costs are amongst the cheapest in Europe.
As for the "selling everything off" the rest of Europe has been doing this with the notable exception of France. Postal services in Germany and Netherlands were privatised years ago, First Group already and National Express are just about to take over train franchises in Germany and what was "British Gas" is now making Billions for the UK as "BG Group" who are developing LNG infrastructure in Brazil, Oman, Australia, Egypt, USA to name but a few places. Oh, and National Grid are pretty busy in the USA these days.
The UK is actually doing pretty well - let's not talk down a country and industries that are consistently punching above their weight on the world stage.