Readers' letters - August 25

Retreat of government from responsibility is real danger

Friday, 25th August 2017, 2:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:20 pm

The history of the 19th and 20th century has been a constant struggle of ordinary people through their democratically-elected governments to control big business.

Our parents and grandparents had to stop charlatans using monopolies and cartels to fix high prices for food and fuel, as well as living space, and sell us defective and dangerous goods.

Now we see central Government cutting services like the NHS, along with local government and civil service inspectors.

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Public services are undermined and we are left with no protection.

Tax inspectors have virtually vanished and governments are undermined by their inability to finance themselves.

Here we have to 
blame Whitehall.

Call-centre tax collecting and online self assessment has failed us in every way.

Our online state with online applications for everything is no state at all, wide open to abuse and fraud.

Grenfell Tower is just one example of the many dangers we, as ordinary people, are now exposed to.

The rich are retreating to walled compounds because they know the profound dangers in cutting frontline police.

The EU was never the threat to national sovereignty.

The undermining of the idea of the need for any government was always and continues to be the threat to national sovereignty.

Nigel Boddy

via email

Look at reality behind figures

RD is wrong with regard to population growth (WP Letters, August 18). World population is 7.5 billion, which appears unsustainable, but the reality behind the figure is revealing.

Demographers now agree the rate of growth is falling. This is the result of women having more control over reproduction; industrialisation, which enables families to enjoy a better quality of life; and declining infant mortality, meaning fewer imperatives to produce more children. And this presents a real economic problem because wealth can only be produced by people working.

Without high labour productivity, economies grind to a halt, profit rates decline and growth stagnates – which is exactly what is happening today in many parts of the world, including Britain. This is why so many resources are put into improving health and life expectancy, why people are forced to work longer to get a decent pension, why China has reversed its one-child-only policy and why Germany took so many refugees.

Irresponsible politicians are frightened of telling their voters the real state of things because they are terrified of losing seats. They instead play on prejudice, fear and ignorance while pursuing agendas that are clearly contradictory if that same prejudice, fear and ignorance were founded on reality, which it isn’t. In doing this, they heighten unfounded fears, and produce the nastiness we’ve recently seen in Charlottesville.

People are not the problem. The planet can sustain 10 or 15 billion people with available resources. It’s the wasteful use of those resources, including the labour resource, that is the problem. Having migrants locked out of Europe is economic madness . That is a labour resource that could raise pensions, reduce the retirement age and improve services here and in the rest of Europe. The rational solution is to bring down national borders and let people move around at will. This will provide the resources to enable people to work in whatever environment they find suitable. Most people don’t want to leave their homes. Only war, the climate crisis, and people being forced off their land by big capitalist agriculture is creating mass population movements that will be with us for decades to come.

We need a perspective that is collective, humane, and gives power to those who labour and produce the wealth we all rely on.

Barry Conway via email