The prize for fool of the day goes to Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB. He's responded to James Dyson's knighthood by asking:"Do people now get a knighthood for services to exporting jobs?"
This is drivel in both economics and ethics.
In economics, it's wrong because "exporting jobs" doesn't - except in the very short-run - destroy UK jobs. Put it this way. Had production of Dysons stayed in the UK, they would have been more expensive to make. Housewives* buying Dysons would therefore have less money to spend on other things, like getting their hair done. So there would be fewer jobs for hairdressers. "Exporting" Dyson's jobs to China and Malaysia is therefore a way of creating jobs in hairdressing.
If "exporting jobs" were a bad thing, we'd all be better off doing everything at home - growing our own food, making our own clothes and so on. But this is obviously absurd. As Adam Smith pointed out, we get richer through the division of labour. And this requires that jobs be exported.
The moral problem is: why should Mr Kenny object to Chinese and Malays getting jobs, even if they are (which they are not) at the expense of British workers? Why should their interests count for less than ours?
Now, unlike many people who'd agree with all I've said, I'm a supporter of trades unions; I'm a member of the NUJ. I think they're a good way of protecting workers from stupid and aggressive bosses.
However, Mr Kenny's sentiments make it clear that, whilst unions might be good at giving services to their members, they are not necessarily a good political force.
* The sexism here is Dyson's own. I bought a Dyson a couple of years ago - and very good it is - and I've since been getting junk mail from them addressed to "Mrs Dillow."