Thousands of MG Rover workers are looking for new jobs following the collapse of the company.
Read an earlier selection of your e-mails.
Another fine mess. Labour has done it again, too little too late, saying what it will improve if we vote them back in. They have had over 8 years to show us what they can do.
Alan Flitcroft, UK
Would politicians be taking such an interest if there wasn't a general election only three weeks away? I think not. It's absolutely disgusting that they're using the lives of 5,000 people as a political weapon. I think the government should not fund businesses that cannot keep themselves afloat.
Dave, Doncaster, UK
If only Rover made some new cars - so says everyone with the correct answer to Rover's woes. MG Rover's only hope of raising the necessary money for car development was through car sales. They were badly let down by the buying British public. When Rover was sold by BMW, we all had plenty of chances to buy MG Rover cars. There certainly isn't anything inferior about the cars that make them unsuitable for the Brits.
Gary, Wales, UK
Yet again it just goes to show what other countries have done to ours. BMW stripped this country of a fabulous car industry, kept the best bits for itself and returned the refuse back to us. When will the government learn that when a foreign country shows an interest in one of ours, then they are doing it for their own benefit and not ours? The people of this country can now rest with the knowledge that all these companies that were bought up by overseas companies have provided our jobs to their own..
The government intervening in this mess is totally objectionable. Rover is not a government enterprise. If the company had millions in profits the management would have lined their pockets and the unions would have made sure the employees enjoyed fat pay rises. So why intervene when the company collapses? The employees are not blind. The writing was on the wall for months and they knew it. It was up to them to retrain and seek other stable jobs. I object to the government using public money for funding the employees or Rover.
Vijay K, Chatham UK
I used to work for a Company that supplied MG Rover. Their product would fit into a transit van, but a 40ft artic lorry still turned up, even though we and the MG Rover driver told them this was not needed. This kind of wastage could not continue; the fault relies with the management who failed in cutting costs and adjusting to the specific needs of MG Rover. It's been a very sad week for the people of the West Midlands and I wish you all the best for your futures.
Nigel Cotterill, Peel, Isle Of Man
Rover's vehicles did not sell well because they weren't perceived as up to date. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years the company has had insufficient funds to develop their vehicles. The situation was worsened when Mini and Land Rover, two of the most prestigious marques, were lost following BMW's departure. Additionally, successive governments have failed to produce the right conditions for any form of manufacturing or engineering to succeed in this country. In years to come we will view this failure in investment in industry as our most shameful hour.
Nathan Wilson, Kettering
Working in the car manufacturing industry, I knew that Rover was going out. They relied on the idea that British is best, but that is no longer a fact with motors. What they should have done is ask motorists why they did not buy from Rover. All companies should stand or fall on their activities. Otherwise we will have all big businesses expecting help when their ideas fail.
AV Ferrar, Coventry
Maybe if our media, and our government stood up for our country and stopped knocking it, we may well still have a manufacturing facility. We cannot all be computer experts, some of us like to use real tools, not just tell a computerised machine to do it. Or worse still, get another nation to make it for us.
L Chapman, Cambridge
Why should the government bail out a company which has clearly been mismanaged? A change in the law is required so that directors cannot pay themselves vast bonuses when the company they run is not making a profit.
Jo K, Stansted
Governments speak with forked tongue. While they promote the image of caring and probably due genuinely care, it is not part of their plans to sustain manufacturing within this country This is the price we are paying for globalisation of trade. Any manufacturing and increasingly service sector job that earns a good salary will undoubtedly come under threat regardless of who is in power.
John Gonnella, Barnoldswick
Am I not correct in thinking that the £150 million support package is merely the package of benefits that would normally be paid to any redundant workers? The statutory redundancy pay (itself a pittance) is standard and the re-training allowances would always be available. Yet another example of Blair and Brown pretending to do something special and "double-counting" spending. The DTI has shown that it has been asleep on the job once again and it is high time that it was shaken up.
David Olley, Winchester
Governments cannot be expected to shore up failing business, no matter how upsetting this is for the people involved. I'm disgusted at Howard's attempt to try and put the blame on Labour at such a sensitive time.
Gary Charnock, Mold
Rover is dying because they have mediocre products and production systems, and business always should be the survival of the fittest, otherwise the consumer suffers. Would Blair have stepped in if we weren't on our way to an imminent election?
IE, Cardiff, Wales
The government is not responsible for running every business in Britain. If Rover had asked for help from the government in securing the deal with China and it refused, then yes that is a failing of government. But this is a failing of Rover and Labour seem to be doing what they can to help.
Lee Newham, United Kingdom
Overpaid workers, building an overpriced load of rubbish (I'm a test driver), I wonder why it went down the drain?
All of us feel bad for anyone who loses their job. By why do people point to the government? This was a private company like any other; with the same risks. This was not a state owned company. It's amazing how things like this can be used politically. Please let's get a grip on what matters and help these people not start looking to see who's to blame and if it can be used politically.
I work within the motor industry and have done so since leaving school 17 years ago. When I heard about the redundancies at MG Rover on Friday I felt like the heart of the British motor industry was pulled out of its chest. I truly hope that the workers and their families find something good to aim for soon and wish them all well. I only wish that as a country we could all work together to help these people through some very tough times ahead. I do wonder now whether John Moulton at Alchemy is laughing at our Government over this. Is there any hope of Alchemy stepping back into the frame and taking up its original plans for the MG brand?
David Stott, Mansfield
Makes you wonder how many more people would vote for UKIP if they realised that the government is prevented from helping Rover because of European competition law.
Chris Gough, London, UK
No real surprise there. Over 1 million UK manufacturing jobs lost since Blair took over. I'm sure most of the skilled workers will not want to work in the local Tesco, as these are the only jobs Mr. Blair is able to create with the great economic policies we have.
Robert Din, Cheshire
The government has, for once, done exactly the right thing in the Rover debacle. It refused to bail out a failing industry, tried to oil the wheels of international negotiations, is providing money to help the workers retrain, and is instituting an inquiry into the behaviour of the directors. Badly run companies fail and jobs come and go. These people will get other jobs if they retrain. But, only because Gordon Brown has provided an economy in which employment can flourish. Before knocking this government, people should remember what would have happened to these workers under the Tories - years out of work with no hope and compassion from government or people.
The government were utterly intransigent in allowing Phoenix to behave the way they did, unquestioned. How is it possible that they sold SAIC production rights to cars and engines before securing a deal to sell the entire MG Rover group? It's almost as though they deliberately stripped the company of everything of value so that it could go bankrupt, leaving Phoenix with no liabilities! There is nothing illegal in this, but it amounts to the greatest act of treachery to the workforce.
Michael Kilpatrick, Cambridge
It's a shocking situation to be in, our last mass producer of cars going to the wall, it's not going to help our enormous import/export trade deficit. Why can't we make cars? We have all the best designers, best engineers, we make most F1 cars, most rally cars, we design some of the most beautiful cars in the world, yet we have to buy Peugeots for Taxis. Blair are you saying we can't even make Taxis?
Rob Keylock, Guilford
If you look at the deal available from all motor manufacturers at present it is obvious that the whole motor market is in difficulties. Daewoo recently went broke and is now owned by Chevrolet. In the USA, the once great Chrysler depends on Toyota for support. Rover is just another example of a company that got it wrong, produced the wrong product, for the wrong customer and went broke in the process. Any UK government action should be in the direction of encouraging new companies to set up in the Longbridge area to produce up to date products using the skills that otherwise will be wasted.
Barry P, Havant
Welcome to the world of business trying to compete against other countries that can do a better job, cheaper. How much of this £150m will go to the people that need it? I'm sure most of it will go to Blair's army of millions of spinning bureaucrats.
Mr Neale, Nottingham
£100 Million as a bridging loan or £150 Million to help redundant workers - Sounds like a 'no brainer'. If it is going to cost the country money let's try to retain a Great British marque. Nationalise Rover now but don't let any of Tony's cronies anywhere near the management side.
For the Labour party yes, this should be extremely damaging. But as Labour have distanced themselves quite successfully from troublesome Trade Unions and workers I don't think much will happen.
All French government cars are French, police cars are French - why have our successive governments refused to buy British? As a nation, it makes me sick with our don't give a damn attitude. All the folks on here who don't care - I really hope and pray you are made redundant, and lose your house. See what it feels like then.
B Chalmers, Edinburgh
Rover is a private company, so why is taxpayers' money being used? The fat cat directors should have their assets frozen and all the money distributed to pay for the redundancies. As much as I loathe the Labour government, they are not to blame.
This has been on the cards from the day BMW handed over. Rover should have been watched very carefully, it has been asset striped and robbed blind. Should there be an enquiry? Yes! Someone in government should have seen this coming!
Paul, Kent, UK
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't MG Rover a private company? Is it politically damaging to Labour? In my opinion, no. If a private company cannot find a market for its product or invest in its own production techniques, the results will be pretty obvious. Instead of crying foul to Labour because a "Great British Manufacturer" has collapsed, we should look to the company and its faults and ourselves for not the reasons why "we" didn't support it.
Andy Stewart, Northampton, UK
Why should the public have to pay for Rover's mistakes? Let Rover pay for its own stuff up's.
Yes, I believe it will affect the turnout for Labour in the Midlands.
Ian Ritchie, London
It is a PRIVATE business issue not a political one. Unfortunately it was flogging a dead horse from the outset. The product was simply not good enough and the production methods too costly. No other car maker simply tweaks the body shape and give the engine a 'boy racer' tweak and hopes that it'll revitalise the business. It was a plan that was destined to fail from the off.
Deryck Thorp, Scarborough, UK
I was in tears listening to BBC local radio that came from Q gate this lunchtime. A loyal workforce robbed of their livelihood and the British public robbed of first class cars. I bought an new MG 3 years ago at almost £17,000. I could have so easily bought an old banger for a couple of grand, but chose to support MG Rover. I will love and cherish my MG forever, thanks Longbridge!
Kelvin Fagan, Cambridge
The writing has been on the wall for Rover for many years. I just hope that the collapse of talks with China was not a cynical ploy to let the company collapse and then pick up the best bits for next to nothing. If this proves to be the case, will the British government step in and ensure a fair price?
Paul, Bangkok, Thailand
Why are the government giving such help anyway? Its a private company! We've recently had redundancies at BAE Systems (ironically due to government spending cuts) and the unfortunates here had no assistance from the government.
Andy Gorrie, Medway, Kent
I feel sick that MG Rover has closed. More should have been done to save a great British company. Lets just hope that something can be salvaged from MG Rover and perhaps MG will continue in some shape of form. There is no pride in this country for British companies.
What about the other 995,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 1998?
Jon Luisada, Birmingham, UK
highest unemployment, lowest growth and stagnant economies.
I have noticed that there has been no mention amongst your contributors of customers who have just purchased a new Rover and the trouble they will have with no warranty for servicing and repairs. No mention of help for them. They have just lost between £7,000 and £30,000. Never mind, they are just the customer.
Alan , Liverpool
The blame can only be put at the management of the company. The government were in a no win situation, if they had intervened they would have been accused of bailing out a crippled financial company. The Tories would have been critical. I feel very sorry for those affected at Rover and having been a shop steward for years the blame revolves around the ineptitudes of the management.
Peter, Keighley, England
Rover has been in decline for a long time and whilst I am sorry for those who will lose their jobs perhaps this will be the start of a new industry in Birmingham.
What about 'Rover Aid'
Darren Drew, Woodmansterne Surrey
I'm amazed at the unions' response to what the government could do to help, if this was to happen under Conservative they would be slating them, now they just lie down to Labour.
As Rover is not a government-run company I think Tony Blair has done more than enough to help out. As a Labour voter this has not changed my vote for this election. Tony Blair has done great things for this country and I believe there is more to come from him as prime minister. Good luck for the election.
I feel a great deal of compassion for the workers at Rover. They have done their jobs as requested but end up in a company that has failed. As a society we can help them to move on. The best thing to do is to let rover die and put the investment into new companies that can compete effectively. Fail Fast... Renew fast.
J Davies, Inverness, UK
Yes I think it should be, Rover should have been brought back under the control of the government, and it should be the biggest customer. We should have Rover police cars, Rover council cars, Rover motobilty cars, is it not embarrassing to see our local services all using foreign vehicles. Let's turn this country round and put the great back in Britain again.
Sean Carriere, Dunbar
Why doesn't anyone mention what restrictions are placed on government intervention by EU regulations? Would this happen in France? No, it certainly would not. EU regulations would be conveniently ignored.
David Stock, Spennymoor, Durham
The government should nationalise Rover, it would save 20,000 jobs and cost less in unemployment benefits
Ivor Williams, Durham
I don't understand WHY the government should be involved in this. Most people see Rover as a private firm and have changed their perception of Rover from that of a state-controlled car maker.
Suzanne Hudson, Leeds UK
Money should have been put into research and development. Good design is the key. There are people in the Midlands with remarkable engineering skills which should continue to be used to advantage. It appears that in future, this country will be living off political hot air. How many more IT courses can we offer to those who have lost good jobs?
I'm sure there is a sense of sorrow in the government regarding the whole MG Rover affair. I was struck when the Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, seemed close to tears in an interview regarding potential job losses, which have unfortunately become a reality. I believe the government genuinely did everything they could under the circumstances and that the reason MG Rover has failed was due to successive periods of poor management.
Joe Fagan, East Kilbride, Scotland
I am so sorry for all those workers, who have out of loyalty strived to make a great company a great success. But nothing could be done. They are from a city that does not dwell long on failure, but will help the former workers and their families roll up their sleeves and build a better future. As for this being a political issue: only a party worthy of being in opposition will try and use this for political gain.
Ian Butt, South Woodham Ferrers
It's a shame to hear about the closure of MG Rover. However, Rover is a privately-owned company and it isn't up to the government to save every business that goes bankrupt. Tony Blair has done a pretty good job of supporting workers whose jobs are not his responsibility.
Graham Showell, Willenhall, West Midlands
My wife lost her job today in the automotive industry. Not due to the Rover demise. We will move on and no doubt find other work, hopefully not in the volatile automotive industry.
Fundamentally, if British car makers are producing cars that the consumer does not want to buy, I do not see what any political party can do to mitigate that. Government help only provides a short term fix. The market is cruel and unfair, but no one appears to have a workable alternative.
Geoff Payne, London, England
What makes the workers at Longbridge so special that Tony Blair will give them government money to the tune of £25,000 each? I was made redundant four years ago and I did not see Mr. Blair offering me £25,000. This is a political stunt in a desperate effort to get Labour back in.
Paul, Birmingham W. Mids
I believe that the government should have stepped in earlier with a contingency plan ready for if and when the worst happened. Instead they rested on their laurels [thinking] that the Chinese deal was going through and made no plans for the deal falling through. We are told that up to 20,000 jobs will be lost due to the tragic loss of Rover. My heart goes out to all those workers and their families. This event should not be used for political gain.
The government should help Rover by placing orders for vehicles. Any vehicle purchased for the public sector should be made by a company that invests in Britain... Why should the British tax payer support the German and Spanish motor industries and then fund redundancies and support packages for our workers?
David Little Hatfield Herts
Rover is a private company. It failed because nobody wanted to buy their products. Government help will not resolve this, and would only delay the inevitable. I know what it is like to be made redundant from a company that collapses. My heart goes out to the workers at Rover.
This is a repeat of what happened to the UK motorcycle industry years ago. It rested on its laurels and gave the British motorist what it wanted to impose on them. Its demise should not be politically damaging or used as such in this era of ya-boo politics. The company failed to develop its technology or learn the lessons being taught by its foreign competitors. It has sadly paid the ultimate price.
Barry, Stone, UK
This is a very sad day for the British car industry... I used to work for a Rover dealership in the 80s and the Montegos and Metros were awful and plagued with common faults. Fair enough the current range is maybe a little dated but they seem to have finally got it right. People I speak too seem more than happy and proud of their Rover cars especially the MGs . Now its all gone.
I'm afraid redundancy is a nature of the 21st Century and little can be done about it. I wish the best of luck to all families affected by this. I was nearly made redundant by Vodafone but took action before it was too late. Its a fast moving world and we have to keep up!
James Anthony, Nantwich, Cheshire
It is very nice for the Labour government to offer a... support package to the workers who are facing redundancy from Rover. I would also look forward to any support that the Labour government might want to send to me in cheque form after my redundancy last August. [But] the employees of small businesses don't enjoy these benefits.
Sim Haskell-Dowland, Plymouth, UK
You can blame both Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems, we as a country do not invest in manufacturing. Engineers are thought of as grease monkeys, if we want to succeed in engineering then we must attract more top graduates to it.
Peter Barber, Blackpool
How many Rovers were in the workers' car park at Longbridge? If they won't buy them, why should we?
Roger, Dunblane, Scotland
The UK has virtually lost all its major manufacturing industries but at least we can still put all these people in to new jobs in our new national industry. Call centres! We seem unable to attract anything else.
Chris Powell, Swansea
Thousands are made redundant every year, so why the special treatment for Rover workers and suppliers? The workers saw it coming and should have diversified before now.
T Newman, Bournemouth UK
It will be politically damaging I am sure for Labour because it is obvious that if they had become involved in the rescue deal with the Chinese earlier and put there full weight and authority behind the deal the Chinese who were just twenty minutes away from agreeing to the deal would have been more confident in agreeing to go ahead.
Jack Stone, Southend on Sea
How is this a political issue? If it is, it's an issue in how a government privatised all our industries, then watched the market forces wipe them out. Thanks Mrs T.
Simon Clawson, Oxford
If taking us to war in Iraq illegally, the Millennium Dome fiasco, the Dr Kelly cover up, the Hinduja brothers, Mrs Blair's flats in Bristol, etc. etc. weren't politically damaging, then sadly, I should think that Mr Blair's position is as safe as houses where the MG Rover story is concerned.
Paul Allison, Malvern, England
Sadly it is our fault Rover has gone down, because we as a nation did not buy Rovers. It is not the governments fault but ours. So proud to be British we buy elsewhere. Fantastic.
Kevin Rolfe, Crawley
The workers should stop complaining about how the government can help and don't, hospitals and schools need the money first. I know it's going to be hard for them over the coming months but it's only a job. Just think of the poor people hit by the tsunami they have lost their jobs, houses and families.
When does the great British public realise that it cannot run an economy based on service, but it needs manufacturing? Vote with your wallet and buy British!
Peter Douben, London, UK
Let's get this clearly understood; Mr Blair isn't making £150m available to the redundant MG Rover workers - we, the tax-payers are. And, as no similar package has been offered to other redundant manufacturing workers, one can only assume that this magnanimous gesture is occurring in this area of marginal constituencies because of the general election. If this is the case then I question its legitimacy.
Richard Atkins, Wortham, UK
Yes Rover desperately needed new models but shame on government departments, police forces, airport operators and the Royal family for buying foreign cars. In a country that is supposed to be anti-European, the British public don't seem to mind buying continental cars, even if the build quality of some European vehicle manufacturers is much worse than MG Rovers!
Tom Savvides, Newbury, Berkshire
Is Rover politically damaging? Yes! But for which party we can't yet be sure. Tony's spin doctors are second to none at election time.
Phil, Ojen, Spain
If money and resources are being made available they should also be available to everyone and not just people who lose their jobs.
To all those people who have bought new cars recently, who have decided to buy a foreign car, I have this to say: you, as much as anyone else in this sorry country, have contributed to the downfall of this once great marque. Just because the Rover models date back a bit doesn't make them poor cars. Try having a drive in one for once, instead of saying how sorry you are for the poor workers.
Of course it's politically damaging - why else would the government be using £150m of public money upon this sorry venture. I absolutely resent that this amount of taxpayers' cash should be spend to prop up and compensate Rover's employers purely because of the marginal constituencies nearby. People get laid off all the time and have to deal with it. What about all the Railtrack shareholders who were left high and dry by the government's Soviet dismantling of that company? If there is a programme to be set up across Britain to help people in former industrial areas retrain for the 21st century then fine, let's hear about it and pay for it. But Rover shouldn't be singled out for special treatment.
Simon A, Woking
Again, I am so heartened to read so many selfish comments in "have your say". As I understand it the £150 million is being used to retrain and get the Rover employees into new jobs. It is not being used to prop up a failed company.
Brian Welsh, Aberdeen, Scotland
Not even Blair can be held responsible for Rover producing cars that few people want to buy. For Blair the timing couldn't have been worse as it's happened on "his watch". Don't be surprised if some new hope is announced just before election day. Be equally unsurprised if that hope evaporates not long after election day.
John M, Lyne Meads, UK
Manufacturing in this country has to put up with very cheap exports from abroad. I doubt the government can be blamed. Also, when BAE made large numbers of my colleagues redundant, no-one expected the government to come to the rescue. Could it be that the press are just spicing up the mix during an election by suggesting the government should pay for a private business's failure?
Paul Gregson-Allcott, Sheffield
Typical Labour, reactive not proactive.
Robert Porter, Liverpool, England
The problems at Longbridge go back to the launch of the Mini in the late 1950s when, to sell it at a price the public would pay, a £10 loss was made on each and every one sold. This then continued with subsequent models like the 1100/1300 range, 1800 and so on. It's amazing they've lasted this long.
Philip, Lichfield, Staffs
One minute we're all being told how the nasty car causes congestion and ruins the environment and that we should use an alternative form of transport, the next we're being told what a devastating loss it is that a car manufacturer has gone out of business. Am I very much mistaken, or is that the unmistakable scent of hypocrisy that I detect?
Mr M. Thompson, Bradford
The southern half of Britain's second city gets an almighty kick in the pants from private enterprise and the smug people still in work try to blame Mr Blair. Typical.
Andrew M, Walsall
How much will Price Waterhouse make?
Martin Sheehan, Stockport, Manchester
Why isn't there an appeal fund being arranged for this type of disaster? We need pool our resources to help these workers that are going to be unable to feed their families or pay their bills over the coming months. I'm sure if we were in their position we would like to know that we live in a nation that cares and that there will be help available in times of trouble. Here's to the workers that deserve better than this.
Emma, Milton Keynes
I do not think it will be enough to see Labour turfed out at the election, sadly, but it could be the start of the end of Labour's supposed good economic policy. They are now beginning to get found out, which is why they are calling an election now rather than wait till the end of their term.
While nobody can deny that it is a great shame for so many people to lose their jobs, I find it amazing that Mr Blair is providing £150 million to help those who are being made redundant. I would like to ask is the same sort of provision going to be made for other private companies going bust?
Adam Manktelow, Dartford, England
The demise of Rover really can't be blamed on the Labour party. The bottom line is that if a company produces a product that the market does not want, they won't sell. It's not rocket science really. Watching the government bail out a private company is utterly disgraceful. If £150m is being used it should be in the form of a government buyout rather than a simple grant. I believe in free market capitalism, and a company is either a private or a public body. It can't be entirely privately owned yet accept public handouts.
John B, UK
Partially, Rover went down because they had outdated models, which is something you can't blame politicians for. However, Rover could not survive in the UK market alone and, due to the fact that the UK isn't part of the Eurozone, Rover was not competitive on the continent. That is something that both politicians and the public can be blamed for.
Filip Michielsen, Antwerp, Belgium
I am not surprised by the early Blair intervention to save Rover. The trouble is, when spin meets reality, Blair's promises evaporate. We may have seen this before.
I think it is disgusting that the government is again handing over massive amounts of money to bail out a company. I for one will not vote for Labour in the general election as they are more concerned with giving money away than investing in the hard working people. If it was any other company they would have just gone under. Why should I pay my taxes to support a company that has failed to keep up with the current business trend?
I wonder if McBrine of Kent would have a different opinion if it was his job, livelihood and future he was losing?
Dave, Coventry, West Midlands
Rover went bust because it produces cars that no-one wants to buy. There have been no new models in years, presumably because of management incompetence, allowing competitors to get an edge. It's a tragedy, but taxpayers' money shouldn't be used to pay people to make things people won't buy.
Pete, London, UK
Rover has been let down badly for years. Firstly, BMW only bought Rover for the 4x4 technology (Land Rover) moved the R&D to Germany to build their own. Secondly, the infamous four that have lined their pockets. Then the government that have not helped a bit, saying for months "the last chance for Rover" which increased the sales slump and made the Chinese wonder what they were buying into. Then look at the money the Italian government have given to Fiat, the French to Renault and Peugeot./Citroen. Look at the money our government have given to the Japanese every time they want a new model, then look at how much they have given to Rover to help develop new models. Not a penny.
TH, Burton on Trent
This is a sad day for all involved. However given that Rover had not produced a market leading car (or even close) for about 30 years it's no surprise that this has happened, consumers are not patriotic; they buy what is best for them.
Matthew Stringer, Leeds, UK
With out a doubt, the govt should nationalise Rover. We must keep manufacturing jobs and the skills that they require in the UK. Renault is a nationalised business built to a world class company by the foresight of the French govt; ours should make the same commitment. I'd rather see taxpayers' money go to keep British workers in the job and manufacturing skills alive (we can't all be shop workers and call centre employees) rather than spend billions on the Iraq war, govt non jobs etc. Also why did the govt never get their procurement agencies to buy Rover cars for the police force etc. It irritates me when I see police driving around in Volvos and BMWs.
Nigel, Reading, UK
I know that maybe today many Rover workers do not feel like looking to the future but have you seen the story on this website regarding the shortage of skilled car workers in Australia? Maybe some families can find some good out of this and go and enjoy a better life down under?
Ben Clark, Bristol, UK
The Phoenix 4 have done what any sensible businessman would have done - they kept the MGR business going for as long as possible to seek a life-saving link-up with another manufacturer; whilst at the same time ring-fencing those assets that were saveable if that third-party strategy failed. The Longbridge workers have had 5 years' further employment since 2000. The Phoenix 4 put up their own money in the first place to evidence their commitment and to contribute to the finance for the purchase back in 2000. If they have been significantly well rewarded, it is down to their sense of entrepreneurial opportunity as well as their risk taking. I hope that the West Midlands will now move forward into the 21st century - and to profitable businesses with a future without the on-going dependence on outside third party finance.
David, Lichfield, Staffs
I can't understand the lack of realism amongst contributors thus far. Rover has been doomed for years because it has produced a product inferior to the competition. It hasn't made any money for years and the Phoenix Four only prolonged the death throes. Why do people expect any government to use taxpayers' money to prop up a continually loss making company?
Anon, Edinburgh, Scotland
The one saving grace is that according to the government we have an abundance of jobs to fill.
Mark Howard, Norwich
I own a 98 Rover 200 and it's wonderful. I think the problem is that unlike other makes a Rover doesn't breakdown and therefore is not needed to be replaced. It's such a shame.
Sue , Birmingham
Why are people so surprised. Rover has been a dead duck for years. To be a successful small volume car producer you have to have some special brand cache, Jag has it, so does BMW, SAAB, Mercs, Volvo Rover no way! The writing has been on the wall for Rover for at least two years, people should have started getting out then. Don't prop up failed industry. Besides the UK economy is shifting away from manufacturing to products like software.
Nigel Empeel, Warwickshire
I was born and bred in Longbridge, served my apprenticeship at Longbridge, I left Austin Rover 17 years ago. Britain needs Rover, Britain does not need the press that has hounded and helped destroy Rover/Longbridge over the years. Get Richard Branson or Alan Sugar to run the company, and make it illegal for the press to hound the good honest working people of Longbridge
I don't think MG Rover should get any special assistance. Plenty of companies go under every year, and you don't hear about the government putting together "support packages" for those companies. Hundreds of jobs have been lost in the south west (e.g. Nortel) and I don't seem to remember anyone helping those guys out. If MG don't make any money that's their bad business, and the rest of the country shouldn't be subsidising their wages and "support packages".
As an engineer at a company that supplies parts to Rover, it has been obvious for a while that this has been coming. The cars Rover have been producing are still based on 15 - 20 year old models, if they had wanted to survive, cars that were actually new rather than just face lifted needed to be made, it didn't happen and now Rover have gone down the tubes. Not a surprise.
Jono Munday, Cardiff
I've worked for Rover for seventeen years. In those years I've been late twice and lost 5 days sick. We deserve better than this sad end.
Keith Jones, Bromsgrove, Worcs
I too, like 70,000 people a month in the UK am losing my job at the end of June after 32 years. Whilst I am glad Tony Blair is "intervening" and ensuring there is a support package in place for Rover employees, what is he doing for me and the other 70,000 this month and every other month?
M. Taylor, Dagenham, UK
I worked for a Midlands based company that went into administration and closed almost 12 months ago. It was not offered ANY government help at all and neither were its employees or suppliers. Why should Rover get any? The government are throwing money away and, yet again, wasting taxpayers' money in a hope to secure 10,000 votes on May 5th.
What a disgrace! My father has worked for over 15 years and now is left with nothing. All workers should get better redundancy packages. What they have been offered is an insult to them and their families! I have no faith in our current government as well. Not even 21 yet!
Simone Johnson, Birmingham
I live in an area which is also to be faced with the same problems. The government has set up a task force to help workers of Corus Rail in Workington, which is to close in 2006. What other use is there for a plant making rails? The government should start living in the real world! Invest in our country - we have some of the best workers in the world. Although our numbers are significantly smaller than Longbridge we can feel for you all - good luck.
Anon, Workington, Cumbria
My husband works for Rudolph and Helmann, who contract to Rover. Unlike Rover workers he has been laid off without pay. Will the government be helping us? The contractors have been forgotten.
Sharon, Birmingham, England
Most of my family have worked at the Longbridge plant over the years or had some connection to business there. All I have ever known is people knocking this company whenever they could because certain people in the automotive press feel that it is the "in thing" to bad mouth MGR and the public just believe what they hear. I have always had to defend this company from stupid comments and remarks and it is usually people who have not even sat in an MG or Rover, let alone considered making their own mind up.
Paul Guest, Bromsgrove
I work at Land Rover in Solihull and we have been stock piling engines supplied by Longbridge for about 8 months now. People at the top must of knew about the problems at Rover ages ago.
So that's it then is it? The last of the great British owned car manufacturers - gone, just like that. Today I looked out of my window across the fields and the A45 and could see the sun briefly reflecting on the roof of part of the Jaguar Browns Lane plant and knew that they were not building cars there anymore. Apparently, the PR department used to get the occasional request from proud Jag owners from the USA asking if they could have a brick from the factory - they can have it all now but I doubt if they will want it. This evening we will do the weekly shop at Sainsbury's on the site of the Rover Canley plant. They built Triumphs there that are still lovingly cared for and sought after by enthusiasts from all over the world and was the site of Ivy Cottage where the PR department was once located.
Vincent Hammersley, Coventry, England
It's a disgrace that the livelihoods of tens of thousands of families are sacrificed for the sake of the profits of a few. Rather than spend millions to fund redundancy payments the Government should take the company over without paying compensation to the greedy bosses who have already made an obscene killing. I remember vividly when workers in the Upper Clyde Shipyards faced the same threats. They forced a Tory Government to nationalise the company and protected their jobs for a generation by occupying the yards and campaigning across the country.
Danny Williamson, Paisley, Renfrewshire
Yet more skilled manufacturing jobs which will inevitably be replaced by minimum wage burger flipping, and soul crushing call centre jobs. As a country, how much longer can we sustain the loss of skills, loss of key industries either altogether or to foreign companies, and demoralisation of workers? It's not just MG Rover, but thousands of companies like them.
As an ex-Rover employee I am now very glad indeed that I took the decision to exit that company two years ago and relocate. Things were clearly going wrong from the start. The attitude and actions of the senior management baffled those who still did not realise that they had no long term game plan other than to exit at a profit for themselves and investors on sale or break up. The remnants of the company had no future as car maker from the very start and that is why BMW were prepared to take such a heavy hit to be rid of it. Overall, there is an ugly story to be told and the outcome is not going to be happy for some.
Brian Herren, Guildford, Surrey
Unfortunately we live in a global consumer village where, whether we like it or not, low cost manufacturing will gravitate to low cost countries (e.g. China, Eastern Europe, Mexico) so Rover's demise was inevitable. Similarly low cost clerical work (back office, call centres etc) is gravitating to English speaking emerging nations (e.g. India). The result, over time, will be that the fat cat senior directors of Britain's companies will get ever richer on lower cost workforces, while in the end, there will be no jobs for semi or unskilled British workers in a country which has turned into a service sector only, serving a consumer society, propping up absurd asset values (e.g. property) with insane levels of government and personal debt.