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Friday, February 06, 2009

Letter(s) of the Week: Ian Johnson & Chris Rowley

Well, for me, it's a dead heat between these two gems, both published in the Daily Telegraph. If there's any good ones that have caught your eye this week, please send them in.

SIR – How uplifting it would be to see Lord Mandelson’s job outsourced, under the banner of “EU free movement of labour”, to a nice Polish gentleman with less arrogance and a modicum of interpersonal skills.
Ian Johnson
Chelford, Cheshire

SIR – Since the snow probably prevented a few bankers from getting to their desks, perhaps we ought to be counting the net benefit to the taxpayer, rather than dwelling on the costs.
Chris Rowley
London NW8

It's a sign of the massive shift in public opinion against globalisation and neoliberalism that the Daily Telegraph's letters page increasingly resembles that of the Morning Star. We are living in very exciting times.


Anglonoel said...

There was also this one if Monday's Guardian:

Now that Mandelson has urged British workers to get on their bikes and look for work in Europe, it seems the transformation of New Labour into Old Tory is complete. Sadly, many British workers are not blessed with the flexible mortgage arrangements, government job creation schemes and gold-plated EU bikes so extravagantly showered upon Mandelson over the years. Let them eat cake, perhaps?
Chris Webster
Abergavenny, Gwent

Charlie Marks said...

If my own experience with Telegraph readers is anything to go by, they are rightly more concerned about their own class interests than those of the Barclay brothers who own the paper.

Deference to the super-rich is all very well in the boom years, but as we head into the worst economic situation in generations, people are waking up to what's been going on. Witness the Tory press unable to roundly condemn wildcat strikers. To all it was clear their cause was just - not even the most anti-union rag could pour invective on these brave men.

Exciting times, indeed.

Robin Carmody said...

The most hypocritical thing for me about Mandelson saying that is that his party has overseen a dramatic reduction in the number of young British people learning the languages of their fellow Europeans.

I shouldn't get too optimistic, Neil. The Telegraph's *readers*, as opposed to the paper's proprietors (post-1986 at least), have always been comparatively wary of globalisation and neoliberalism. They have always been a different sort of "right-wing" from that which has dictated the last 30 years of British public policy, espousing a sort of pre-industrial, pre-capitalist conservatism very different from that supported by the post-Thatcher Tory party itself.

Robin Carmody said...

Charlie - your point about T-graph readers being "more concerned about their own class interests than those of the Barclay brothers who own the paper" is pretty much the same point I made - global capitalism has damaged those class interests as much as it has damaged the class interests of the traditional British working class.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that we are closer to complete meltdown than most people realize. I thinks history shows that things tend to swing to political extremes at times such as this.

Is it going to be like the late 20s and early 30s in Europe? Are we going to see revolutionary communists fighting with the far-right on our streets in the near future?

It may seem like pure Alice in Wonderland stuff. But just one year ago, who would have seriously suggested that most British banks would have been taken over by the State!?

The future aint orange - but it may very well be either red or brown.

Scares the shite out of me...

RobW said...

Both are amusing.

Undergroundman said...

'If my own experience with Telegraph readers is anything to go by, they are rightly more concerned about their own class interests than those of the Barclay brothers who own the paper'

Well, papers are going to be owned by those who are 'capitalists' in the sense they are going to be run for profits so that they can appear.

Certain columnists are going to appear within them who still have independent opinions. The exception to me seems to be The Times.

It seems ironical that the Guardian is the paper that still gives space to Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins.

I think that arguments have to be judged on their own merits within the media. There are fewer indepedent voices every year.

From my own, yes, 'Old Tory' prespective, the Mail still has Corelli Barnett and the New Statesman those like John Gray and Mark Almond.

The important thing is to look for the quality and the integrity of the worldview expressed.

Though not a Marxist, I stil think Eric Hobsbawm has much to say about the current crisis of capitalism and neoliberalism.

The people who are detestable are the neocon hacks who shill for wars, the 'laptop bombardiers' like Kamm and Phillips.

Robin Carmody said...

Well, the right-wing broadsheets (the ones Hastings and Jenkins used to edit) went so neocon under Bush that they had no place left even for those who had steered them through some very difficult years. So they had nowhere else to go but the Graun, sadly.

Anonymous said...

"the aerospace industry. Then the oil. After that electricity, gas and water"

And yet all of these, rather than costing the taxpayer money are now putting money into the Exchequer, something they were not so godd at under government management. Indeed almost all private industries put more money into the Exchequer than they pay, after tax, in dividends. Some theft.

Considering that over 50% of the economy is now government spending exactly what level of "public" ie state ownership are you campaigning for?