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Market forces are just like gravity
1:43pm Tuesday 26th June 2012 in Letters
While this may not be a popular opinion to hold, I believe Gordon Brown was a compassionate, capable and committed politician devoted to both his party and nation.
One might imagine he would be better company than his predecessor, Tony Blair, who many would maybe regard as being on the “shifty” side.
Yet Blair was a very successful leader, winning multiple elections and presiding over a period of sustained growth, a role much assisted by the talents of Brown as Chancellor.
As a voter considering lending a revived Labour Party my vote, I beg Ed Miliband to understand the reason why Blair succeeded and yet Brown failed.
Many on the left wing and the more authoritarian right believe market forces were some sinister invention of the Thatcher era.
Blair understood the sometimes unpleasant truth that these market forces, like gravity, simply were.
Like an aeroplane and gravity, market forces can be defied in the short term, but this uses aviation fuel in the form of the country’s cash.
The dying scream of New Labour was the slogan: “British Jobs for British Workers”.
Mr Miliband, please take note of this, and, instead of apologising to the public for the granting of visas to new EU members, ask Mr Blair why he did exactly that.
He knew jobs will eventually go to those prepared to work hardest for less cash. It is an elementary supply and demand issue, and all a government can do in this respect is throw good money after bad delaying the inevitable.
There is a proverb that to give a man a fish, it is food for a day, yet give him a fishing rod and it becomes food for life. Keeping cheap labour out simply means those buying this labour, which every household, business and taxpayer does, will be out of pocket instead. Not only is it a subsidy – the proverbial fish – but it is also robbing Peter to pay Paul.
At the same time, why no apology for the real world issue hindering British chances of work – the spiralling cost of higher education under and after Blair’s administration?
Educating and retraining is not subsidising but investing in British workers – a fishing rod rather than a fish. More invested in business-friendly features, such as transport and telecommunications infrastructure, wouldn’t have gone amiss either.
The reason for both British and European economic woes is a childishly simple one, across the continent we have subsidised too much and invested too little.
A potential Labour government needs to realise that to win elections and be of any use to the country, as Jeremy Bentham famously pointed out, it is a necessary aim to bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number.
This is social-ism, as opposed to socialism, a well-meaning, but conclusively failed, ideology from the last century.
A R Wainwright
Upper Fenn Road