Letter: Call BMW bluff

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Sir: One of the reasons Margaret Thatcher came to power was that Labour kept pouring money into the British Leyland factory at Longbridge during the 1970s.

At least it was nationalised then, so there was some justification; but now it is privately owned. If BMW is serious, and decides to close the plant in the absence of a government subsidy, only then should New Labour take action. They could buy the (closed) plant cheaply, or nationalise it, then sell it in a privatisation or management buy-in/buy-out. That would give BMW competition instead of subsidy, and would genuinely help to protect British jobs, rather than German shareholders' interests.

BMW knew what they were buying at the time; nothing has changed. Mr Blair should call their bluff.

R D PHILLIPS

Cardiff

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