I was particularly struck by this input from Lord Macdonald of Tradeston:
"The shortage of skills in British industry was first investigated by a Select Committee back in 1868. Since then, many other parliamentary committees have continued the search for solutions to this seemingly very British problem. One explanation was offered by Professor Martin Wiener in his fascinating study, English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit: 1850—1980. England may have been the cradle of the new industrial age but, alas, Professor Wiener argued, its bucolic myths and innate conservatism esteemed the gentleman above the entrepreneur, the landowner above the factory owner, and thus contributed to our economic decline."
You can read the full transcript of the debate here.