Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Growing our own

Sir: Rod Liddle is clearly right that 'the people of Europe do not want any more immigration on the scale we have seen in the past five years' and that this is one of the reasons for the rise in the populist vote ('The populist revolution has only just begun', 10 March).

However, the people of Europe do want more cleaners, fruitpickers and vegetable harvesters, not to mention care home workers, paramedics, nurses and doctors. We in the UK need more teachers of science, maths and languages.

It's unforgiveable that no politicians of any party have pointed out that if we don't have enough children of our own and educate them to the highest global standards, starting about 20 years ago, in about a year these workers will have to come from further afield than the EU.

Helen Style

Richmond, Surrey

Sunderland bloat

Sir: Craig Goldsack (Letters, 10 March) writes that the people of Sunderland's vote to leave the EU was 'not anti-European but anti the EU administration... regarded as a self-serving, unaccountable, bloated bureaucracy.'

'Self-serving' may or may not be true, but the EU Commission is accountable to the Council of Ministers of which the UK has been a member over the past 40 or so years. And when it comes to 'bloated', Sunderland can show the EU a clean pair of heels. The EU Commission employs some 25,000 bureaucrats for 500 million citizens; one for every 20,000. Sunderland City Council employs some 7,000 for 175,000 souls; one for every 25.

I am sure that the good people of Sunderland are not 'xenophobic philistines', but were they well informed?

Leslie Buchanan


Caught short

Sir: Lord Vinson recycles the same old arguments about the short-selling of borrowed shares (Letters, 10 March). I was one of several hedge-fund managers invited in January 2009 to help the Treasury Select Committee with their, er, enquiries: had short-sellers forced HMG to be the buyer of last resort of banks' shares?

There was no case to answer and the committee piped down when Sir Paul Marshall said that blaming short-sellers was 'like blaming the passengers in a bus crash'. Frankly, Lord Vinson should be glad that at least some fund managers made money in the Carillion debacle.

Doug Shaw

London W14

Why not in our back yard?

Sir: Martin Vander Weyer asks 'What on earth can central government do to accelerate the number of homes at the lower end of the price range?' (10 March). He goes on to suggest identifying and lauding progressive planning departments to combat Nimbyism. …

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