An industrial policy will get us out of this mess

First published in Letters

AS figures show unemployment continuing to rise, the political parties carryontheir superficial argument over a solution.

There is, in fact, little difference between them.

Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems are all wedded to a market view of the economy – what goes down will sooner or later come up, as if by magic. If it is the correct one,why arewe in the mess we are?

A recent newspaper report on Japan explained that its government is focussing on four next generation industries: clean technology, life sciences, electronics and new materials. We are miles behind this. We have never really had an industrial policy. We have had industrial decline in Britain for decades. It has left a very lop-sided economy dominated by the financial sector.

Asthepublic sector ishacked back and people lose full-time jobs, they are left to scratch around for whatever private sector jobs they can find.

This is no solution to the underlying problem of the lopsided economy.

Our MP, James Morris, appears to be a classic freemarket Tory, if his TV appearances are anything to go by. He seems to have learned nothing from the experience of the last 33 years. What is James Morris’ industrial policy?

For theGreenParty, theenvironmental crisis demonstrates the kind of industrial policy we need. The emphasis must be radically different, to go back to the kind of industry we had in the 1950s would make no sense. There are difficult issues here which call for a more democratic politics than we presently have.

John Payne Dudley Green Party Halesowen

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