Labour welcomes woodland u-turn

David Russell (letter 25 August) calls from a response from Rye Labour Party.

Firstly, we welcome the Government Minister’s change of heart over the proposed sell off of forest and woodland. The letter that we sent, as David Russell acknowledges, was written prior to this “cock-up”, as he describes it, being hastily dropped in the face of growing public protest.

The rest of his letter launches into a very blinkered view of the last decade.

The seeds of the current world wide financial difficulties were sown in the monetarist policies of the 1980s & 1990s and the mistaken belief that unfettered capitalism would self regulate for the public good.

This is certainly not to claim that subsequent Labour Government’s got everything right and lessons have not been learnt. But Tories were constantly crying out for less regulation, not more, and it was their friends in the City that were creating and raking in profits on the back of creative financial instruments that turned out were backed by thin air.

All political parties would have been faced with having to make cuts, if in power.

Economists have been split over how much cuts we need to make and many eminent people in this field remain firmly of the opinion that cuts at the level currently proposed pose a greater danger to our chances of a strong recovery.

We have been told that the pain will be shared equally, but evidence is emerging all around us that this is not the case. The pain of lost jobs, higher prices & reduced services is being felt mainly in lower income households.

The banking industry remains largely unregulated and the opportunity to protect the customers of high street banks by legislating that they sell off their merchant banking operations has been side stepped.

Those in Councillor Russell’s party who have wanted to see local and national government shrunk, of course, can use the current world recession as an excuse to achieve their goal without having to face the consequences.

And the only thing they offer is more of the unfettered free market capitalism that got us where we are in the first place.

Nick Warren

Rye Labour Party.