Letter: Solutions for Britain's economy

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Sir: The Government is now telling us daily that devaluation is not its fault, but a consequence of world recession. Up to a point, Lord Copper. How about the fact that the only member of the EC for which a forecast of negative growth is being made for this year is Britain (the Economist, 19 September)? Technically the others are not in recession at all.

By stubbornly refusing to look at any indicators but the rate of inflation, the things the Government has ignored have caught up with it and it has lost even the one goal which it did pursue.

I was reminded of a strong contrast beween its attitude and that of Franklin Roosevelt in the Thirties by Alistair Cooke's Letter from America last Sunday, in which he bemoaned the lack of a White Knight to rescue the American economy now, as it was rescued then by the knight in the wheelchair. I recalled something Roosevelt said when reminiscing about the Great Depression. We were pragmatists, he said. We tried one thing and if it didn't work we discarded it and tried something else. How refreshing that attitude would be here.

If the British people are fed up with their politicians, perhaps they could try one or two solutions for themselves. My two pet ones are these. The City should invest less in the US and more in its own country (the Eighties saw a massive net outflow of capital). Smart people should accept that it is as smart for their sons and daughters to go into engineering as into the City or the law (there are huge implications concerning pay on both sides of this balance). Your readers may have other ideas on how we might yet save ourselves by our own exertions.

Yours sincerely,


City University Business School

Tonbridge, Kent

23 September