The workshop of the world

More on China (sorry, it’s on my mind). Last winter my son needed a new overcoat, so one day we went into town and spent a dispiriting hour looking in High Street stores. Then we tried Debenhams, which appears to be increasingly a kind of container for boutiques. Anyway, while my son was trying on some coats, I began to look round the menswear department. It was a sobering experience: everything in that department that had a label — everything — was made in China. Which means that China is now in the same position as Britain was in 1870 — it’s the workshop of the world.

A couple of thoughts follow from that. The first it that it’s a bit rich of us to berate the Chinese for their carbon emissions. After all, they’re emitting them because they’re making stuff for us. If we were making it ourselves, we’d also be emitting CO2.

The second thought is that Chinese manufacturing must be fantastically skilled: much of the workmanship on display that afternoon in Debenhams was pretty good. The videos on this Blog post illustrate that pretty vividly.