Panel to debate future of UK steel

MP JOHN Healey and business chief Andrew Denniff will join a public debate about the future of UK steel tonight.

The recent announcement by Tata Steel to sell its loss-making UK steel plants has sent shockwaves through the industry, with hundreds of jobs in Rotherham left at risk.

A panel of experts will discuss the issue this evening at Sheffield’s Cutler’s Hall  to inform the wider public and engineers alike from the South Yorkshire region

Read on…

‘Remain’ is best for steel industry, crisis debate in Sheffield hears

A panel of experts at a steel crisis summit in Sheffield agreed the Government was finally doing the right thing by supporting the sale of Tata Steel – and remaining in the EU was best for the industry.

The Institute for Mechanical Engineers Yorkshire Region organised the debate at the Cutlers’ Hall chaired by Master Cutler Craig McKay.

Read on…

9 thoughts on “Panel to debate future of UK steel

  1. Sir Nutkiin is conspicuous by his absence. He had plenty to say about Tata Steel in his ‘Worksop Guardian’ column a few weeks ago but he wasn’t facing a live audience at the time.


      • do you mean any statistics?
        I know little to nothing about steel manufacturing.
        But from what I understand: –

        1. There is a tariff issue:
        … and I might argue that UK government prioritises (export of) Financial Services over Manufacturing. “Laissez faire” comes to mind in its attitude to manufacturing.

        2. There is an issue over the relative costs of industrial electricity
        … and limited spare capacity in UK, largely due IMHO to UK government indecisiveness.

        3. I haven’t found data on UK’s relative productivity in the steel industry, but the UK productivity is relatively low overall.

        4. Energy is something we buy on the international markets in USDollars, Steel is something we sell on the international markets, presumably again in USD.
        UKSterling (GBP) is already dropping in value against the USDollar and the Euro – just on the current polls. What is going to happen if we Brexit?

        We have no plan for the future. Norway solution, A new relationship with the other countries of the Commonwealth … I think you once called it “the open sea” on this blog.

        (I had six friends who once went out to the open sea from Bosham Habour, I’ve gone back to remember them every year that I’ve been in UK since then.)
        It is definitely not going to be like our leaving the ERM – we went into that at a far too high sterling valuation, the drop in value when we left just brought it down to a realistic level and therefore boosted exports.

        What I don’t know is the detail of the impact of increasing energy prices on the costs of steel production in UK, but from what I can read it appear significant.
        My personal view is that if we Brexit we are going to walk into 5+ years of chaos, and I have had a whole lot of experience of what chaos looks like in countries that have got themselves into a similar situation.

        I just hope that I am wrong.

        This is my last comment on the subject until the referendum results are out.
        I have already postal voted to stay in.


        • Ah, the answer is “No”.
          I do not worry. The future is unknown and unknowable.
          I like the work of Naseem Taleb on “Black Swans”!

          We Have postal voted also, but to us the ballot is secret.
          The “the open sea” was a quotation from a better man than I, it was from W S Churchill.

          As a Royal Navy veteran I regularly light a candle for lost shipmates killed serving.
          It is good to remember the lost.
          That is no reason to avoid wider horizons should we exit.


  2. I found out long ago that econometric models that “proved” higher or lower levels of “productivity”were essentially worthless.
    I used the methodology to compare the productivity of barbers giving men haircuts in several countries each with their own unit of currency.
    This exercise “proved” barbers were more productive in those countries that were said, by other industrial comparisons, to be more productive. The haircuts on the average were carried out by a barber with scissors working at a steady pace to earn a living. On the average they served the same number of customers. (In Italy I did note they could give a better theatrical performance than a dour Yorkshire man)
    I have been searching for these calculations in a heap of old papers so cannot quote the maths.
    It was my opinion at the time that all these econometric measurements of “productivity” were all using money and suffered from the money illusion. (See: “The Money Illusion” by Irving Fisher published in the 1920s and ignored by econometricians ever since.)
    Comparing currencies is like comparing elastic. Some units of measurement are objective, like for example the units used in Physics. Money is not like this. It has a quantity that can vary by administrative fiat. So called quantitative easing is an example. It also has a velocity of circulation this is currently slowing but could speed up. Both these vary from currency to currency.
    Productivity comparisons are being measured in these elastic units.
    Apart from obvious comparisons of a man with a spade is less productive in cubic meters shifted than a man in a JCB maths is useless. However if they are searching for a gas main the JCB could be more damaging and therefore less productive.
    I have grown weary of accusations of poor productivity based on these pseudo-scientific misuse of apparently objective mathematical equations.
    If ever you want to tell a big lie, tell it with numbers.


    • OK, to some extent I agree with what you are saying above.
      “We are the 5th largest economy in the World” is something I regularly hear, from particularly the Brexiters.
      Yet on the somewhat more useful (IMHO) purchasing-power-parity measure, we are the 9th.

      “If ever you want to tell a big lie, tell it with numbers.”
      … and how would you tell the truth? In rhymes?


      • Do not be silly.
        For short term analysis econometrics is okay. The units of measurements, the parameters, currencies, vary less.
        You cannot use weather forecasting tools to predict climate.
        You use reason. A reason free from put downs and be prepared to debate..
        There has been little of this, only fear and threats. That is bt


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