Britain looks at Germany with envy when it comes to its productivity, this article in The Guardian newspaper suggests. There is a certain truth about it. However, the whole truth is somewhat different, of course. While the Germans can be proud of their car and other branches of industrial production, other areas are seriously struggling, education for instance. Industry and production have always been protected by the government unlike in Britain where a certain ‘Iron Lady‘ privatized many British industries such as Leyland and the country is still suffering the after effects of Thatcher‘s policy today.
There is a historical element to that, too. After WWII Britain struggled to get on its feet economically while Germany quickly recovered with the aid of the Marshall Plan. However, Britain received more support from that fund but still found it difficult to keep up with Germany and other European countries such as France, somehow enticing envy and leading the Daily Mirror to headline ‘1945: How are the Mighty Fallen; 1953: How mighty are the Fallen!’
From an outsider’s perspective (and i am an outsider) it looks as though Britain constantly feels the need to compare its industrial performance with other countries only to realize it is seriously lagging behind when it would be easier to focus on their own strengths as the Germans did (i am not so sure if they do so today) after 1945 when they had to re-build their country.