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Letter: Poor lose out all over the world

Neal Ascherson ("Don't be fooled...", 12 January) is right to point out the big lie of uncontrollable globalisation. Governments have the power to control transnational companies and harness the benefits of global trade - if they choose to wield it.

At present, although the global economy is forecast to grow at 2.9 per cent a year, the world's poor are getting poorer. Over the past 30 years, the share of global income taken by the poorest 20 per cent of the world's population has fallen to just 1.4 per cent. This trend is unjust, dangerous and unsustainable.

But I would take issue with Neal Ascherson's assertion that "the rich are screwing the rich". In fact, the rich are screwing the poor in rich countries and poor countries alike. The same ideological forces are creating unemployment and inequality in the industrialised world and entrenching abject poverty in the developing world.

Clare Short MP

House of Commons

London SW1