Returning to an old theme; why has the UK external accounts deteriorated so much in recent years.
The extent of import penetration has increased remorsely since the mid-1980s. This measure is the ratio of import volumes to final expenditure volumes. In the above chart, this ratio is turned into an index, with the value during 1992 set equal to 100.
This data series suggests that our desire for imports over domestically produced goods has been rising remorselessly for over 20 years. So, we can't pin all the blame on New Labour and their bubble.