Letter: An accurate prophecy of economic gloom

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The Independent Online

Sir: Norman Lamont repeatedly states that the problems that came to a head on Black Wednesday were unforeseen. Evidently, he and his advisers failed to read the report by Lord Aldington and the House of Lords Committee on Foreign Trade, published in 1985. The inability to improve our overseas trade balance was precisely foreseen, as well as the associated reduction in manufacturing industry and decline in the international value of sterling.

The committee, which included many senior industrialists, also forecast the reductions in the standard of living following from running successive massive trade imbalances, and the frightening breakdown of social order that could follow unless appropriate action was taken, as detailed in a list of recommendations at the end of the report.

As unemployment heads towards 3 million in time for Christmas, it is remarkable that politicians and commentators have failed to pull out Lord Aldington's report and review its gloomy but accurate prophecies, and the inaction over the report's recommendations by governments since then.

Yours faithfully,


Oldham, Lancashire