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Monday, 18 July 2011

Our Manufacturing Base: Boston, Lincs - home of illegal vodka

The London metropolitan elite may currently be resigning in order to fight for their pay-offs and pensions, but outside London life is getting grimmer.

Five Lithuanian men have died in an explosion at an illegal vodka distillery on a Lincolnshire industrial estate - Broadfield in Boston.

It's tragic in all kinds of way. The Fens have always been pretty grim - cold, windswept and low paid. It's one of the reasons why East European migrant workers have ended up there - and in such low paid jobs that vodka at an even lower price than it already is in Tesco is attractive. The attraction provided an income for at least six distillery workers, five of them now dead and one critically injured.

No doubt there are other Fenland distilleries. It's what passes for an industrial base.

Around the country, agriculture and fishing depend on low paid migrant and illegal workers - remember the Chinese cockle pickers whose lives were sensitively depicted in the film Ghosts?

It's the same with seasonal industries like Christmas decoration and gift manufacture. The factory may be in Scotland but the workers are flown in from Estonia.

Everyone knows that construction depends on migrant workers from Eastern Europe, though many of them are better paid.

Meanwhile, sections of the historic "local" population have fortified themselves into Can't Work, Won't Work ghettoes. Thanks to Benefits, they can afford Tesco's vodka and the illegal drugs manufactured in another sector of our manufacturing economy.

It's grim, it will get grimmer, and one should think about it a bit however exciting it may be to watch the mighty fall on their swords.

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