Sunday, 6 December 2009

Positioning the UK as theme park for the next decade

Maybe the UK will have to get used to sitting at the back of the bus if this article is to be believed:

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says Britain, which was the world’s fourth largest economy as recently as 2005, has slipped to seventh this year behind America, China, Japan, Germany, France and Italy.

By 2015, it predicts, Britain will be outside the world’s top 10, behind Russia, Brazil, India and Canada. Slow growth and a weak pound will be responsible for the slide.

“Public opinion in the UK has not yet caught up with the potential impact of this change,” said Doug McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR.

“It means that, whether we like it or not, we are going to have to be prepared to put up with economic, political and social decisions made in other countries.” Britain would find it hard to maintain a seat at top diplomatic tables.

As another blogger recently suggested, the profiling and marketing folks at UK plc in Whitehall should start working on the definitive campaign for transforming the charming but soggy island into a theme park for Asian tourists. We've already got a good Ferris wheel by the Thames and lots of quaint old castles. We may need a few more minor aristocrats and peers to wear their fancy costumes and act eccentrically in ceremonies full of pomp and pageant and perhaps the Palace of Westminster could be turned into an Alice Through the Looking Glass extravaganza.

The Churchillian spirit may come to the rescue and surprise us all, but if not the Disneyfication would be a fitting testimony to an economy that has been largely managed on the basis of smoke and mirrors for more than a quarter of a century.

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