Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Magazine article The Spectator

Globophobia

Article excerpt

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade

Don't you just love those socio-economic league tables which put Britain a miserable 25th, virtually down among the developing nations, while Scandinavian nations emerge on top? The first time I went to Denmark I wasn't quite prepared for the frumpiness, so often had I seen its social democratic model depicted by left-leaning academics as a paradise on Earth.

The Left has another such table over which to bleat about the misery of modern Britain: a Geneva-based organisation called the International Labour Office (ILO) has compiled an 'economic security index' which it claims measures health and happiness around the globe. Sweden emerges top, followed by Finland, Norway and Denmark. France is seventh, Germany ninth and Britain a lowly 15th. The US is down in 25th place, well out of the rankings deemed to constitute an economic 'pace-setter'.

You can guess what criteria qualify a country for a 'good' ranking in the index: high welfare payments, low inequality in wages, and trade union representation. …

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