Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Martin Ford, the Liberal Democrat opponent of allowing Donald Trump to invest £1 billion in Scotland, is saying that any country which doesn't enjoy the benefits of our planning system (a three-year delay in allowing investment and therefore a loss of £360 million in foregone taxes so far) must be a "banana republic" (your report, 3 June).
I suspect, being stuck in the racial stereotypes of an earlier generation, he is unaware that Bermuda is now the second wealthiest place in the world per capita and several other Caribbean islands are also doing remarkably well by opening up to foreign investment.
North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe, etc, where government is perhaps even more discouraging to investment than Aberdeenshire, seem to be his template. While displaying all the "environmentalist" virtues of self-sufficiency and miniscule growth, they do not appear very popular with their inhabitants.
The original Liberal party and movement was founded on free trade and progress through private enterprise as described by Adam Smith. The founders must be spinning in their graves to see what these bureaucratic, economically illiterate, petty dictators are doing in their name. The party cannot honestly call itself "Liberal" when it is a condition of membership that one be illiberal.
Be interesting to see if this produces any opposing letters. Previous experience suggests not.