Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Never the same again

I found myself interviewing a very senior corporate lawyer yesterday and he had exactly the same views as those I heard on Monday at a Guardian debate.

"This is not a small shock which will rock the economy for a short while and then life will go on as normal," he said. "Things will not be the same after this."

How things will look after the shock is a matter for debate. The Guardian debate's subtitle was "Can Capitalism Be Fixed?" though the panel were not clear as to what capitalism really is, was or will be.

Gray was clear that things will never be the same again, and they will be worse. But his position is the standard ludicrous political mix shared by much of the whinging left:

- expecting a gold-standard welfare state provision, far better than anyone, anywhere has ever known
- ignoring the nationalism and social solidarity that built up the welfare state
- closing down the country's most productive economic sectors
- building up our manufacturing base to compete with low-cost Asian countries
- calling for massive transfers of wealth overseas

We are in desperate need of something better. We await a new generation of thinkers, writers and politicians to lead. Until then, the corrosive nature of modern discourse drags us down ever further.

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