Political fix history

Car factory repair and public money

Linwood, the dawn Linwood, the dawn
When Northern Rock wobbled, Nulabour rushed in to stabilize things. That the Rock was not shaken by some unforeseen seismic event but was the victim of its own stupidity counted for very little. What shook Nulabour into life was the location of the Rock headquarters, the North East of England. Geordie Land is like a stick of seaside rock with Nulabour all the way through; both Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson had safe seats up there it had to be saved, it was a political fix.

It was irrational and counterproductive, the Rock should have been allowed to go broke. So an opportunity to send a sharp lesson to the UK banking sector was missed. Thus UK banks carried on and on doing the same old tricks. For some bankers the last year or so has only been a bit of a problem, for the UK taxpayer who is now picking up the tab it's going to be a nightmare. This sort of thing has happened before.

Harold Macmillan's government had put immense pressure on the Rootes' Group to build the Linwood factory in Scotland knowing that the local authority for Ryton in Warwickshire had refused planning permission to extend the existing works. Rootes had a grant for Linwood but in reality it was never going to be enough.

The factory opened in 1963 and soon became famous for all the wrong reasons, the cars had niggling faults and production was hindered by strikes.

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