Not so very long ago, British car manufacturers produced British cars in British factories using British workers and exported them all over the world. Some of these marques were so successful that other countries began to copy the designs and build them themselves. India has been churning out the 1957 Morris Oxford for 50 years in the guise of the Hindustan Ambassador - a car which, in my opinion, still looks good, fresh and individual in a market dominated by computer designed look-a-likes which, for all their undeniable competency, are soul less and devoid of character.
So the news that the Indian firm Tata is to take over two of our greatest names - Jaguar and Land Rover - is a disaster of even greater proportions than the takeover of MG Rover by the Chinese. The takeover was celebrated by the media and, no doubt, the government, but for any British patriot the idea that such great British names should be in the hands of third world powers should be a sign of how low this nation has sunk.
The promise that jobs would be safe until 2011 is hardly cause for celebration. Such short term thinking is the reason why British manufacturing declined so quickly in the first place and it seems we still haven't learned our lesson. Yes, I know Jaguar and Land Rover haven't been "British" for some time, but I still find it galling that they are now owned by a conglomerate from a nation which, despite rapid and substantial progress, still remains a third world nation. What does that tell us about Britain, though?
I've always been of the opinion that a nation that makes nothing is nothing. It is not enough even to say that these things are still built in Britain - even though I doubt that they will be in 10 years time - they need to be owned by British companies, designed by British designers, built by British workers and, preferably, bought by British buyers.
There is no pride in having our industry owned by another nation. There is no pride in seeing British workers working for foreign masters. There is no pride in this nation. When we sell off our manufacturing we sell out our nation and we sell it short. In another fifty years time the people of Britain will look back on these times and wonder how we could have been so ignorant.