Letter: Forget the collectivist past

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I HAVE two points of dispute with Laurence Marks's profile of Madsen Pirie and the account he gives of the excellent work of the Adam Smith Institute ('All the right angles', 10 April).

After several positive observations, Laurence Marks concluded with a couple of paragraphs in which he dismissed the 'intellectual right' out of hand, and suggested that policies developed by Pirie, the ASI and similiar sources are irrelevant to current problems.

He is wrong. It is no use turning back to the collectivist ideas of the Sixties and Seventies. They are dead and buried. Markets, competition, enterprise and freedom are the way forward for Britain, and we have scarcely begun on the journey in that direction and away from paternalist bureaucracy.

Second, I note that you refer to the ASI as 'the right-wing think-tank', while calling Demos an 'independent think-tank'. Since Demos is at least as far to the left as ASI is to the right, and since ASI's independence is unchallengeable, what about a spot of equity (to coin a Demos concept)?

Prof David Marsland

Isleworth, Middlesex

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