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The Slow Death of British Industry, By Nicholas Comfort


Company names are almost as potent as cheap music in evoking an era. Fifties giants GEC and ICI are now "simply no more". They were among the 26 manufacturers that dominated the top 30 companies in the FT Index in 1952. Today there are 10.

Comfort's analysis is devastating. Explaining our lacklustre performance in aerospace, he points the finger at Concorde. The massive cost of the Anglo-French project – only 20 were sold from the twin production lines – scupp-ered the industry.

Perhaps appropriately, our greatest export success in aviation has been the ejector seat.