Politicians in Britain need to do more to prepare the British public for tough times, as the country declines in international stature, according to business secretary Vince Cable.
Speaking to the Guardian, Cable said:
“We are actually a poorer country, mainly because of the banking crash, the recession that followed it, and partly due to the squeeze we are under due to the changing balance of the world economy. Britain is no longer one of the world’s price setters. It is painful. It is a challenge to us in government to explain all that, and it is a pity that the political class is not preparing the public for it to understand how massive the problem is.”
“Britain was operating a model that failed,” added Cable, calling on political opponents to wake up and stop falling into simple tit for tat exchanges. “They are in a state of denial that there is a big structural problem with the UK economy. “There is a genuine debate we should be having about how radical the reforms of the financial sector should be.”
As Cable points out, this recession comes at a time of other great structural changes, as emerging nations stake their claim in a globally linked economy; so things won’t return to “normal” after the recession. Online retailing is cannibalising the high street; first music, now books, have gone to virtual delivery. The first wave of corporate call centres in India and other distant locations might not have been a great success, but with price differentials so high, it still makes sense to locate back office operations in substantially cheaper parts of the world where there are lots of keen, well-educated people willing to work.
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Meanwhile, if you would like to learn more about Vince Cable the man, the Guardian interview in full is here.