We have already reported how local papers around the Isle of Wight are bigging up the jobs situation of ex-Vestas workers, even when their own figures show that less than half have found new work or training.
The latest – astonishing – contribution to the propaganda barrage is an Isle of Wight County Press feature at the weekend. Read it here.
It puts one in mind of a saying by economist J M Keynes: ‘The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs – in the long run we are all dead’. He was criticising government unwillingness to intervene in the face of the Depression, their determination to sit it out.
What is the relevance to Vestas? Well, ex-Vestas workers are told to put a brave face on things, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, get on with their lives, etc. What’s being left out of the story is the acknowledgement that things did not have to be like this, the plant did not need to close or the jobs be lost. And that the factory could be re-opened now if the government had the will.
A more sober assessment of life after Vestas (by the same journalist) also appeared in the IWCP last week. A visiting government minister admits: “We are doing our best but we can’t find jobs for everybody from a closure that has taken £20 million out of the Island’s economy.”
A source tells me that ex-workers at the meeting with the minister held at Newport JobCentre put some tough questions to him: that is not reflected in the article.