"Want to look for one of the key reasons big Manufacturing has declined in this country? "
It's cheaper to produce stuff abroad, where standards of living are lower, and companies don't have to worry about such inconveneinces and obstacles to rampant profiteering as workers unions.
So, if strong unions which campaign for better conditions and rights for workers are a disincentive for companies to invest, does that mean the unions are at fault, or the greed of those who put profit before people? Should we give up our employment rights, as fought for and won by many of our trade unions, just so companies will invest in the UK? Should we just roll over and become a sweatshop, where workers have little or no rights and will scarbble for any scraps the elite throw us?
Bollocks to that.
Quite right, but what's the alternative?
Nationalise industries we wish to protect and subsidise them to the hilt? Been there, done that, the unions killed their own golden geese by seeking to extort outlandish concessions from various governments, and in some cases, trying to bring said government down in the process.
Seek to differentiate ourselves by having the very highest standards of training and education in order to be at the top of the list for high-end manufacturing? This would be my preferred option, but the frankly dumbed down 'comprehensive' education system mitigates against excellence on a large scale.
Suck it up and take a hit on living standards to be able to compete? Undesirable, but will probably be the default result we get.
Subsidise foreign companies to base themselves here? Less extreme than nationalisation, but still has many of the same problems.
The problem is, a lot of people in this country have a sense of entitlement that is misplaced. They rant on about lack of jobs etc, but then steadfastly refuse to countenance anything that means they have to work harder.
"You mean I will only get two tea breaks instead of three? Well, I'm not doing it then".