Nissan’s wheel of fortune has turned full circle and Sunderland has hit the jackpot, but should we care how the wheels are being oiled?
Certainly there’s much political capital to be made from this momentous news.
Why else would the Prime Minister feel the urge to pick up her pen and write an exclusive letter for the Sunderland Echo? Very welcome are her words, and she says many complimentary things, but I’ll wager she’s not going to be a regular contributor on our letters page.
The Remoaners and Brexiteers too have been quick to have their say.
No sooner had Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn revealed that two new models would be built at the Sunderland plant, than the war of words between the Remainers and Leavers erupted.
For those who wanted to Remain, the decision by Nissan has come about despite the nation’s vote to exit the European Union.
For the Brexit camp, it showed that Britain can still do business outside of the EU and that the scaremongers predicting economic disaster were wide of the mark.
Scaremongering has a feature of politics and beyond, making it a most fearful few months for the people of Wearside.
Mr Ghosn had warned that he would rule out further investment in Sunderland unless he was given assurances about the company’s position in a post-Brexit Britain.
We still don’t know exactly what deal, if any, has been done behind closed doors with Mrs May or what it means for a post-Brexit Britain, but the result is most welcome.
Nissan is a big business out to make money, but it has a legal and moral duty to care for and do what is best for its workforce. The Government has to work for the nation as a whole, but it too has a moral duty to represent the best interests of the people of Sunderland.
By reaching this decision, they have both fulfilled their obligations.
But this should not about political point scoring, ideological philosophies, or government transparency, it’s about real lives and real futures.
There are 7,000 workers at Nissan and tens of thousands in the supply chain. They all contribute to our economy, helping our community to grow and prosper.
These are breadwinners for families who can now rest easy knowing they can provide for their loved ones for many years to come. The relief is palpable.
We could care less about how the wheels have been oiled. What matters is that the wheels of fortune are turning in Sunderland’s favour.