Austerity and global growth
Linda Colley’s argument about the impact of shifting global geopolitical realities on Western societies is compelling (23 June). But her argument can all too easily be interpreted as support for the mantra of ultra-liberalism promoting austerity as the sole possible course of action.
It may be that austerity is an inevitable consequence of lost global influence, and that extravagant public spending is “wishful thinking”. Some economists disagree.
The alternative is between an austerity equally shared by all according to their means versus an austerity for the many and profligacy for the few. And this old issue of focus, on fairness in the distribution of wealth rather than wealth itself, remains as acute as ever in spite of the changing world order. Jean-Marc Andreoli Meylan, France
• It seems Linda Colley might fall into the camp that assumes that capitalism and its required pursuit of endless growth is for ever. Well, as Marshall Berman once remarked, “all that is solid melts into air”. The age of austerity is no more solid than mercantilism, the gold standard, Keynesianism, “trickle-down economics” or indeed the British Empire and US hegemony. We are not at the end of history. Stewart Sweeney Adelaide, South Australia
• Larry Elliott (16 June) extols the need for growth in the economy. By contrast Alan Mitcham’s letter in the same edition makes it clear that growth is a major problem and certainly not a panacea. It cannot be repeated too often: opting for continued economic growth treats this finite world as if it was infinite. We need to stabilise (or even downsize) the economy, not increase it as if there was no tomorrow. Norman Coe Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain 16 June). I trust the Guardian will also reflect on its own role. While I remain an ardent supporter and reader of the Guardian Weekly, as an overseas observer I was dismayed and surprised by the volume and nature of the attacks your columnists meted out to Corbyn – they were virtually unanimously against him, some piling on repeatedly about how radical, incompetent and hopeless he and his supporters were.
It would have been helpful to read columnists with constructive ideas who supported the overarching progressive approach Corbyn was taking. One guest columnist made the point that Corbyn was one of the few who argued and voted against Britain entering the Gulf War. To me and that columnist this spoke volumes about his integrity and progressive politics. Brian Gifford Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
• “Those who said Mr Corbyn was unelectable look foolish today” (Leader, 16 June). Are there no mirrors in your columnists’ offices? Giorgio Ranalli Ottawa, Canada
• Jeremy Corbyn has attracted the young, yet paradoxically he intends to betray them. He is robbing them of their future right to work in the European Union through his refusal to oppose Brexit. The Labour Party should be honest and make this clear to its electorate that the loss of this right is irretrievable. Richard Brindle Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago