LETTER: The stakeholder society: Blarkism and sustainable development

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From Mr Henry Curtels

Sir: It is surprising to read today that Tony Blair's "stakeholder society" is so similar to Margaret Thatcher's "enterprise culture".

He clearly visualises the economy as a tough self-seeking arena in the same way that Mrs Thatcher did. The only difference is that she believed in the Adam Smith version of events, in which self-seeking contributes to the common good, and needs little or no direction. Tony Blair visualises the same process as the best way to create wealth, but he believes in adjusting it so that "no group or class is set apart or excluded". Both philosophies see business as a purely competitive, self-seeking exercise.

Other cultures have no difficulty in seeing business and the economy as a co-operative venture, to which people contribute in order to meet their varying needs. It seems to be a peculiarly British idea that selfishness is the whole basis of our lives.

Yours sincerely,

Henry Curtels

Shrewsbury, Shropshire

15 January