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Economic mantra is just an illusion
RECENTLY I visited the former industrial centres of Huddersfield, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield. What I witnessed highlighted Britain’s industrial decline.
Where there used to be large chemical engineering and steel works, employing many thousands of skilled people, there were retail parks and shopping centres employing a few hundred unskilled people on minimum wages.
Successive Tory and Labour governments have failed to implement policies that lead to growth. EU policies, also, have not helped Britain, as manufacturing has been shifted to Germany and mainland Europe, leaving Britain with banking and financial services.
The economic mantra of the past 40 to 50 years – that public ownership means inefficiency and low productivity, whereas private enterprise results in the opposite and growth – is an illusion. Evidence is all too clear, with privately owned banks behaving like casinos and causing the financial crash of 2008 and resultant economic meltdown. Private enterprise does not lead to growth and jobs, as evidenced by Britain’s woeful economic performance.
Further evidence of private companies creating chaos includes the railways, buses and utilities; or ask Theresa May about the G4S shambles.
The Government should wake up, ditch its austerity measures, withdraw from the EU and invest in manufacturing industry under nationalised or co-operative control.
Dr Glyn Powell Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, Goole.
• G4S is the latest but will sadly not be the last in the list of private companies whose failures have led to the state having to intervene to protect vital services. Care homes provider Southern Cross collapsed last year.
We taxpayers have had to shoulder the losses of a large part of our private banking industry. Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has just been fined more than three million dollars for serious mis-selling of drugs in the US; abuses in the private pharmaceutical industry have attracted fines totalling more than $20 billion dollars in the past 20 years. The Health and Social Care Act paves the way for private companies to take over the provision of more and more services in the NHS.
It’s our money and even more importantly our health that is at risk. Surely it’s time to learn the obvious lesson from this latest scandal: keeping the National Health Service public is vital and urgent.
Graham Sanderson and Sue Skirrow, Scarcroft Road, York.