Healthy scepticism

I DO wish Councillor Elfan Ap Rees would not brand anyone who is vaguely critical of North Somerset Council as a Gordon Brown supporter (Mercury letters, July 9.

I DO wish Councillor Elfan Ap Rees would not brand anyone who is vaguely critical of North Somerset Council as a Gordon Brown supporter (Mercury letters, July 9).

I am neither a supporter of Gordon Brown nor any of the main Parliamentary political parties. Fair play though the councillor did come up with a media report to support his view that 'it's all Gordon Brown's fault'. I took the time to read his source.

When reading the views of pundits we should always retain a healthy scepticism and be aware of where they are coming from within the political spectrum. In this case The Wall Street Journal is to the USA what, roughly, the Financial Times is to the UK and it is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The writer of the article, Keith Marsden, is a member of the council of the Centre for Policy Studies. This is an organisation set up by Keith Joeseph and Margaret Thatcher in 1974. It actively promotes a limit to the role of the state i.e. minimal regulation, the dissemination of free market enterprise, the development of policies of privatisation and low-tax government. In other words they are neo-liberal free marketers.


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For me the most interesting thing Marsden has to say, after outlining Brown's encouragement and lack of regulation, is: With this assurance from the Chancellor how could anyone expect bankers to forgo juicy profits and bonuses by avoiding innovative but unduly risky practices?

What Marsden appears to be saying here is we demand minimal state interference and that the free market will solve all our problems but when it all goes wrong it's your fault for not regulating us; or we'll take the profits in the good times but you pick the tab for the debt we create. It sounds like wriggling off the hook to me.

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Let's have a return to some sort of morality both in politics and the financial/private sector.

DAVID DRINKWATER

Atlantic Road, Weston

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