Aus­ter­ity and global growth

The Guardian Weekly - - Reply -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.