Not cheery about fears

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The Independent Online
Geoff Mulgan

I HAVE no objection to criticism, but last week an attack on me in an editorial bore little relation to what I've actually said ("Yes, the young have always managed", 12 February).

My first crime was to be "cheery" about globalisation. Strangely enough, this referred to a far from cheery article and television film which argued that the anxieties and insecurities caused by globalisation, particularly in relation to jobs, have become one of the defining themes of the 1990s.

My second crime was to suggest that young people will be better able to adapt to new insecurities than older people: a fairly innocuous and obvious point, which can be confirmed by anyone who has had to deal with 40- and 50-year-olds who have been made redundant. This apparently made me an unwitting supporter of child labour in the 19th century.

The leader reported me as a Panglossian, saying that insecurity is good because it promotes creativity. In fact I said that insecurity brings out the best as well as the worst in people. Anyone with experience of parts of British society that are having to cope with the full force of globalisation will know the pain and disarray but also the inventiveness that comes in its wake.

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