Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Liberal Values in the Times

Danny Finkelstien's  article on Richard Wainwright gave me the opening to pursue my campaign to re-instate employee ownership as a central plank of the next manifesto. Due to the paywall at the Times the formatting below is a little erratic. Nevertheless I think I have the text as the Times printed it in their letter page yesterday 

Liberal values 

Sir, Daniel Finkelstein's reflections on Matt Cole's excellent biography of Richard Wainwright (June 23) will be welcomed by many Liberals. Wainwright represented the best in the old Liberal party. The "holy grail" of his Liberalism was the party's radical plans for employee ownership. I have no doubt that he would have written several of his trenchant letters to Nick Clegg by now upbraiding him for his failure to put this reform at the forefront of a Lib Dem programme for economic recovery. Conservative and Labour politicians are now both embracing a watered-down versionof that policy. We badly need a modern-day Wainwright to come among us unmuzzled to make the case for a major redistribution of wealth and power in our society. The market failure that led to our present crisis was in large part fuelled by the shorttermism of capital solely concerned with building shareholder value. Will Hutton's assertion that we have "the oddest and most regressive constitution for private ownership anywhere in western capitalism" needs to be taken seriously, and the reforms championed by Wainwright are a good place to start. 

iain brodie browne Birkdale Lancs,

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