Aditya Chakrabortty of The Guardian explains what's going on with what has been called Britain's De-Industrial Revolution:
In significant part, it's a tale about where Britain is going, one that's been told by Conservative and Labour alike over the past 30 years. It's a simple message that comes in three parts. One, the old days of heavy industry are gone for good. The future lies in working with our brains, not our hands. Two, the job of government in economic policy is simply to get out of the way. Oh, and finally, we need to fling open our markets to trade with other countries because, despite the evidence of countless Wimbledons and World Cups, the Westminster elite believe that the British can always take on the competition and win.
Yet there's ample evidence that the promised rewards of this post-industrial future haven't materialised. What was sold as economic modernisation has led to industrial decay, with too often nothing to replace it.