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William Podmore (London United Kingdom)

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Greece's 'Odious' Debt: The Looting of the Hellenic Republic by the Euro, the Political Elite and the Investment Community (Anthem Finance)
Greece's 'Odious' Debt: The Looting of the Hellenic Republic by the Euro, the Political Elite and the Investment Community (Anthem Finance)
by Jason Manolopoulos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful survey of the euro's disastrous effects, 20 Feb 2013
This is a useful survey of Greece's plight. Jason Manolopoulos points out that the euro was always a subprime currency, achieved by bundling together very different economies.

He explains the crisis, "investment banks recouped fees for arranging the loans, and in many cases cashed in as the boom ended by shorting government bonds as the price fell. Although Europe's leaders publicly denounced such speculation, they encouraged the bubble characteristics that made shorting so profitable by arranging fresh debts and calling them a `bailout', even beyond the point at which it had become a Ponzi scheme - the Greek government was only able to maintain payments to existing creditors by taking on new ones." Bailouts and Quantitative Easing fuel the banks, brewing up a deeper crisis.

In 2004-09, only China, India, South Korea and the UAE spent more on arms than Greece - $6.143 billion. Germany is the world's third largest exporter of arms, and its two biggest customers are Turkey (14 per cent of its exports) and Greece (13 per cent). German and French banks were loaning Greece money to buy German and French arms.

The EU's economics commissioner said in the late 2000s that Greece's economy was `better than the EU average'.

Manolopoulos concludes of the euro, "The euro as currently configured stands little chance of survival: the austerity being asked of Greece is simply too much; the political risks on the periphery are likely to be too high and most importantly the economic fundamentals and structures of the economies of the countries too different."

Then, inconsistently, he urges austerity - wage cuts, spending cuts, higher taxes - which he admits `will create a dramatic fall in Greek GDP'. He attacks trade unions and welfare. He doesn't even mention unemployment in his index, reminding us that he is, after all, co-founder of a hedge fund.

He states wrongly, "As devaluation is not currently available." Of course, Greece could and should exit the euro ASAP.

More sensibly, he recommends that Greece defaults on its debt (as Argentina did), reintroduces capital controls and credit controls, and regulates financial markets.

He denounces Greece's `narrow parasitic capitalist class'. He proposes an end to immunity and special treatment for politicians: Greek MPs should face corruption and other charges in regular courts, not in special parliamentary committees.

He points out that borrowing financed private investors, not public investment; it funded private fortunes, not the public's future. Observing that banks are oligarchical and out-of-control rent-seekers, he writes "break up the financial oligarchies."

He urges a block on investment, to stop foreigners buying domestic bonds. "Our reliance on foreign government borrowing exposes the country's finances to the fickle capital markets and the next global crisis."

Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War
Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War
by Susan L. Woodward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent study of the EU and US roles in the destruction of Yugoslavia, 15 Feb 2013
Susan L. Woodward is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies programme at the Brookings Institution. In this excellent book, she refutes in detail the big lie that the sole cause of the Balkans wars of the early 1990s was Serbian aggression. Instead, she tells the truth about the damaging effects of US and European Community interference.

In 1948, Yugoslavia's government broke away from the socialist camp, causing `a second civil war' in which 51,000 people were arrested or disappeared. This was a counter-revolution. It opened the country up to Western foreign trade and aid, and got IMF loans and credits to keep its trade deficit afloat.

Woodward writes, "The regime survived thanks to U.S. military aid; U.S.-orchestrated economic assistance from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, U.S. Export-Import Bank, and foreign banks; and the restoration of trade relations with the West after August 1949. In exchange, socialist Yugoslavia played a critical role for U.S. global leadership during the cold war: as a propaganda tool in its anticommunist and anti-Soviet campaign and as an integral element of NATO's policy in the eastern Mediterranean. Jealously guarding its neutrality, Yugoslavia became an important element in the West's policy of containment of the Soviet Union. It prevented the Soviets from gaining a toehold in the Mediterranean and protected routes to Italy and Greece by providing a strong military deterrence to potential Soviet aggression in the Balkans."

Yugoslavia adopted the model of decentralised `market socialism'. This involved a regulated market, commodity relations, profit-making enterprises, decentralised investments and material incentives. This favoured the more profitable enterprise, producing increasingly unequal growth and incomes. The goal of profit maximisation ensured that the members of the enterprises used the bulk of their profits to pay themselves short-term wage rises rather than invest in the future. Where they did invest in their enterprises, they financed these investments by getting loans rather than setting aside savings from their earnings. This brought about a low rate of savings, high inflation, ever-higher levels of debt, and inadequate investment.

In, the 1990s, as Woodward writes, "Foreign influences - from neighbouring states, Western bankers, churches, émigrés, and even global powers - also served to escalate rather than moderate the pace of political disintegration in Yugoslavia."

From March 1991, Western powers intervened openly. On 2 December, Lord Carrington warned that premature recognition of Slovenian and Croatian independence "might well be the spark that sets Bosnia-Herzegovina alight."

Even President Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked Germany not to recognise Croatia because it would mean war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But on 23 December Germany recognised Slovenia and Croatia; the Vatican recognised them on 13 January and the EC followed suit on 15 January, sabotaging the UN ceasefire. In April the EC recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The EC violated the UN principle that all existing, internationally recognised borders are `inviolable' and define states. Any questioning of those borders is an invitation to conflict and instability. The EC interfered in Yugoslavia's internal affairs by declaring the internal borders between Yugoslavia's republics to be international and inviolable.

She points out that "In the decisions made in 1991, Europe accepted without question that the people who had the right to self-determination were the majority nations within the republics, not the Yugoslav people as a whole."

And she sums up, "For those who were the object of sanctions, European actions had been duplicitous. Europeans told Yugoslavs to honor the sanctity of international borders while they were themselves violating the norm of sanctity by applying it to the republican borders instead of Yugoslav and after some European nations had counselled secession and helped secretly to to supply alternative national armies in the republics."

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
by Christopher Clark
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stiflingly conventional account of the origins of World War One, 11 Feb 2013
Christopher Clark, Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, has written a hugely detailed, but stiflingly orthodox, account of the origins of the First World War.

Clark points out, "This was not, after all, strictly a defensive war, but one in which France had been called upon to support Russia's intervention in a Balkan conflict." He notes, "the readiness of the British Foreign Office to accept a European war on terms set by Russia." As he remarks, "None of the three Entente powers was under direct attack or threat of attack." So the British state's war was in no way a war of national defence.

Indeed, before the war, the British people opposed their rulers' policy for war. Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office (1906-10), boasted, "We have had to suppress the truth and resort to subterfuge at times to meet hostile public opinion." Plus ça change.

Clark concludes, "There is no smoking gun in this story; or, rather, there is one in the hands of every major character. Viewed in this light, the outbreak of war was a tragedy, not a crime." But his conclusion does not follow from his premise. If there were many murderers, it does not follow that there was no murder.

Apart from the suggestio falsi that there was no crime, Clark also commits the other casuist's trick, of suppressio veri: he does not mention any of those who fought to prevent the war. Clark has portrayed, in loving detail, every step that the rulers of the imperialist powers, these murderers in mufti, took towards the bloodbath. But he says not a word about Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who did their best to stop the criminal slaughter. This is history written for the ruling class, a history that prettifies their every crime.
Comment Comments (53) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2014 1:31 PM GMT

Revolutionary Communist at Work: A Political Biography of Bert Ramelson
Revolutionary Communist at Work: A Political Biography of Bert Ramelson
by Roger Seifert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.29

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting study of the CPGB's Industrial Organiser, 6 Feb 2013
This is a thought-provoking biography of Bert Ramelson, who was the Communist Party of Great Britain's National Industrial Organiser from 1965 to 1977. Ramelson always followed the CPGB line. The two authors clearly support Ramelson's politics.

After the infamous CPSU Congress of 1956, and Khrushchev's lie-filled speech, the CPGB opposed `Stalinism', scorned all the Soviet Union's achievements since the 1920s and opposed the Soviet Union's use of the state machine that the Soviet working class had created.

Ramelson, in line with CPGB policy, always saw the necessary struggle for wages as economic, as non-political, as if the economic was not political. The authors approve of 'Ramelson's long-running campaign to end the dominance of economism'.

The CPGB's strategy was based on the view that "the Labour Party could be won for socialist policies" "if it contained left-wing activists and was put under pressure from rank-and-file movements." These conditions have always been met, but the conclusion has never followed. The Labour Party has always contained left-wing activists and it has always been `put under pressure from rank-and-file movements'. But it has never been won for socialist policies. So real life refuted the CPGB strategy.

The Labour governments of 1964-70 and 1974-79 cut wages and spending, using incomes policies (including the Social Contract) to cut workers' standards of living. The CPGB tried to build bridges between the working class and the Labour governments that attacked the working class, but you can't build bridges to those who would destroy the working class.

What did the class learn from these struggles? Too many learnt that the struggle against incomes policies did not win permanent economic gains, but they did not learn the vital lesson that the true gains of struggle are in political understanding. The key insights are - capitalism's ceaseless drive for maximum exploitation; the central issue of class power; the Labour Party is an arm of the capitalist state; and perpetual defence is permanent subjection.

The incomes policies however failed to break the working class. So the ruling class brought in a new weapon, for which Labour's attacks on the working class had paved the way - Thatcherism. The CPGB's infamous parliamentary road led not to socialism but to the Thatcherism we have endured ever since 1979, and Thatcherism is a huge step along the road to fascism. Ramelson and the CPGB always underestimated the novelty of Thatcherism, which was indeed a continuation of previous capitalist governments' policies, but was also a significant new development.

The CPGB policy of eschewing `economism by campaigning on political as well as economic issues', opened the door to the single-issue politics of the Marxism Today faction. This faction saw the novelty of Thatcherism, and saw that the CPGB's strategy would not defeat it. But they then embraced Thatcherism in the form of `New Labour'.

During the 1980s, the CPGB proceeded to destroy itself. The authors lament, again, "Ramelson's attempt to build bridges failed." But you can't build bridges to those who want to destroy the party. The authors write of Ramelson and his colleagues, "They had defended the Party rules and democratic centralism like pre-1956 Bolsheviks, only to be out manoeuvred by the Marxism Today tendency and led down a cul-de-sac of extra-labour movement single-issue politics." But they hadn't defended democratic centralism. They opposed it, so legitimising factions and opening the door to `identity politics'.

The CPGB opposed `dictatorship' and the use of `administrative methods' - using the power of the workers' state or of the party organisation to build socialism. So they let themselves be defeated by even such feeble opponents as the Marxism Today faction.

The CPGB pursued the will of the wisp of `left unity', which always adds up to living with capitalism. In trying to build bridges (yet again), this time to Trotskyists, Ramelson went so far as to write that the traitor Trotsky was a `great Marxist'. The CPGB's liberalism towards its would-be wreckers ended by wrecking it.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2013 11:26 AM GMT

Stalin's Industrial Revolution: Politics and Workers, 1928-1931 (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies)
Stalin's Industrial Revolution: Politics and Workers, 1928-1931 (Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies)
by Hiroaki Kuromiya
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful study of the great Soviet drive to industrialise the country, 6 Feb 2013
This is a very useful study of the Soviet working class in the early years of the great drive to industrialise the country.

Under the New Economic Policy of the 1920s, unemployment had been more than 10 per cent. From July 1927, the Soviet trade unions backed rapid industrialisation, to cut unemployment and raise living standards and production.

Kuromiya refutes the Trotskyist/CIA lie that Soviet industrialisation had no popular support, that it was entirely a revolution from above.

At production conferences in 1928-29, 83.4 per cent of suggestions made by workers were adopted, and 81.3 per cent were realised by management.

From 1929 on, the Soviet Union adopted shock movements and socialist competition, based on mass initiative, which played key roles in the industrialisation drive, promoting modernisation and implementing effective management. Teams of advanced workers competed to produce more, with higher productivity, cut costs and improve labour discipline.

Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series)
Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution (Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series)
by Jane Humphries
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.15

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant study of the brutality of capitalist industrialisation, 5 Feb 2013
Jane Humphries, Professor of Economic History at Oxford University, has written a brilliant book on the brutality of capitalist industrialisation.
She has worked through 617 autobiographies by workers, written between 1790 and 1878, which yielded new quantitative and qualitative evidence about child labour in the British industrial revolution.
Between 1702 and 1815, Britain was at war half the time. The Poor Law authorities took advantage of poverty and orphanage to recruit to the army and the navy. The loss of life was proportionately higher in the counter-revolutionary wars against France 1794-1815 than in 1914-18: one in five adult males were in the armed forces.
The great industrialising period of 1790-1850 saw a huge upsurge in child labour across Britain. In the textile industries, for example, under-18s comprised nearly half the workforce between 1835 and 1850.
Parents reluctantly sent their children to work, because of their household's poverty, since the male wage was not enough to keep the family alive. The employing class then used women and children to press down the working class's wages and conditions yet further.
Humphries writes, "Earnings grew slowly if at all from 1770 to 1850." The Hammonds' `The Town Labourer, 1760-1832' had its chapters on child labour straight after the one on `The war on Trade Unions'. As they concluded, "The Combination Laws and the employment of children on a great scale are two aspects of the same system." The ruling class's attack on workers' standards of living, its permanent war on our trade unions, caused the rise in child labour.
But from the 1850s, the new model unions, led by the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, won higher adult wages, which caused the decline in the use of child labour.

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New Edition)
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New Edition)
by Benedict Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.04

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated, 4 Feb 2013
Benedict Anderson wrote, "Nation, nationality, nationalism - all have proved notoriously difficult to define, let alone to analyse. In contrast to the immense influence that nationalism has exerted on the modern world, plausible theory about it is conspicuously meagre. Hugh Seton-Watson, author of far the best and most comprehensive English language text on nationalism, and heir to a vast tradition of liberal historiography and social science, sadly observes: "Thus I am driven to the conclusion that no `scientific definition' of the nation can be devised; yet the phenomenon has existed and exists." Tom Nairn, author of the path-breaking The break-up of Britain, and heir to the scarcely less vast tradition of Marxist historiography and social science, candidly remarks: "The theory of nationalism represents Marxism's great historic failure."

Anderson and Nairn both falsified the history of Marxist writing on the nation by the simple, if dishonest, expedient of ignoring the standard Marxist work on nationalism, Stalin's Marxism and the national question.

The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century
The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century
by Seumas Milne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.40

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative book about capitalism's failure, 4 Feb 2013
This is an excellent book, informative and passionate, which exposes capitalism's responsibility for wars and crises.

Lord Ashdown told us in November 2001 that warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a `long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign' were `fanciful'. Jack Straw jeered at those who said that US and British troops might still be fighting there a year later.

Milne looks at the illegal Israeli occupation and siege of Palestine, backed by the USA and the EU. Between 2001 and 2008, 14 Israelis were killed and more than 5,000 Palestinians. Michael Ben-Yair, Israel's attorney-general in the mid-1990s, called the Intifada a `war of national liberation' and wrote, "We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justifications for all these activities ... we established an apartheid regime."

Kosovo declared its independence against the wishes of the UN Security Council. Russia, China and Spain all deemed it illegal. NATO forces have occupied Kosovo since 1999. It is `an EU protectorate controlled by Nato troops'. But the Independent on Sunday called NATO's war a `triumph of liberal interventionism'. By 2008 Kosovo had 50 per cent unemployment. It also housed a US military base which was a Guantanamo-style torture camp.

In March 2002 David Frost stated that Mugabe supporters had killed 100,000 people between 2000 and 2002. Actually, 160 people had been killed, by both sides. This was the typical wild inflation of numbers killed by official enemies.

Milne opposed the criminal wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Not one terrorist attack or plot against Britain has been sourced to Iraq or Afghanistan, but the `war on terrorism' did not keep our streets safe from terrorism. But, as the CIA reported, the war and embargo against Iraq did kill one million civilians.

In 2003 Milne warned against US attacks on Syria and Iran. In 2005, he warned that rule by radical Islamists was the most likely alternative to Assad.

He points out that we are suffering the failure of capitalism, not of this or that type of capitalism. He argues that capitalism is to blame for war and depression.

Milne writes that the EU is `an undemocratic neoliberal superstate' and remarks on "the economic ideology that has shaped the whole European Union for decades: of deregulation, privatisation and the privileging of corporate power." He also notes, "The government has deliberately used the unregulated EU influx as a sort of twenty-first century incomes policy." He points out that Greece needs an Argentina-style default and devaluation, which means that it needs to exit the euro.

In 2008 New Zealand renationalised its railways and ferry services. Here, British taxpayers give £2 billion a year to the train operating companies. We could renationalise them, at no cost, when their franchises expire.

Private Finance Initiative projects will cost the taxpayer £25 billion more than if the government had paid for them directly. A cross-party House of Commons committee found that PFI was expensive, inefficient, inflexible and unsustainable, but delivered `eye-watering profits', the capitalist class's only real criterion.

By the late 1990s, Russia's national income had fallen by more than 50 per cent, (compared to the USA's 27 per cent in the Great Depression), investment by 80 per cent, real wages by half, and meat and dairy herds by 75 per cent.

In 2010 there was a wave of strikes in China's high-tech export sector, in which workers won 30 per cent wage rises at Foxcomm's production centre in Shenzhen and at Honda's factory in Foshan, and 25 per cent wage rises at the Hyundai supplier in Beijing.

China's share of world manufacturing output has risen from 2 per cent to 20 per cent since 1993. Investment soared, so growth soared too, yet China's deficit is only 2 per cent.

Between 2007 and 2011 US national income rose by just 0.6 per cent, the EU's fell by 0.3 per cent and Japan's by 5.2 per cent; China's grew by more than 42 per cent. No wonder we so often hear wishful forecasts of a Chinese crash.

With capitalism's failure so clear, the ruling class's lies against socialism grew ever cruder. Stalin was `as much an aggressor as Hitler', said Niall Ferguson (Guardian, 1 September 2009). Orlando Figes opined that the Non-aggression pact was `the licence for the Holocaust' (BBC website, `Viewpoint: The Nazi-Soviet Pact', 21 August 2009).

Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast Time sneered that President Chavez was `famous for his promises of social change' (5 January 2013). In the real world, Chavez's policies nearly halved poverty in Venezuela, provided free health care and education, virtually ended illiteracy, set up thousands of cooperatives, got cheap food to poorer people, brought privatised utilities and oil production back under public ownership and control, raised pensions and the minimum wage, and redistributed land.

Warriors of Disinformation
Warriors of Disinformation
by Alvin Snyder
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful study of the US propaganda campaign of lies against the Soviet Union, 4 Feb 2013
This book is a most revealing account of the way the US lie machine works, by the director of the United States Information Agency's Television and Film Service from 1982 to 1988.

As Snyder writes, "The U.S. government ran a full-service public relations organization, the largest in the world, about the size of the twenty biggest U.S. commercial PR firms combined. Its full-time professional staff of more than 10,000, spread out among some 150 countries, burnished America's image and trashed the Soviet Union 2,600 hours a week with a tower of babble comprised of more than 70 languages, to the tune of over $2 billion a year. The biggest branch of this propaganda machine is called the United States Information Agency."

The Committee of Enquiry into the BBC's Overseas Information Service, April 1954, "admitted the venerable BBC's overseas service was a weapon of propaganda, consisting of British views concerning the news."

On the US invasion of Grenada on 25 October 1983, he comments, "A Pentagon-imposed news blackout made it difficult for anyone to get the complete story. It was not reported that the Marines had stormed the Soviet Embassy in Grenada, killed several civilians, and confiscated records, including films."

Snyder presents a detailed study of the rival versions of the shooting down of flight KE-007 on 30 August 1983.
"the Soviet version of what happened, as we later learned, was a whole lot closer to reality than ours." Actually, US officials knew this at the time.
US Ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick lied to the UN, saying, "Nothing was cut from this tape." But, as Snyder writes, "The tape was supposed to run 50 minutes. But the tape segment we had ran only 8 minutes and 32 seconds. Our first reaction was that someone had taken a meat cleaver to it."
Kirkpatrick went on: "there is no indication whatsoever that the interceptor pilot made any attempt either to communicate with the airliner or to signal for it to land in accordance with accepted international practice." But, as Snyder writes, the pilot "had made several maneuvers to signal that the plane should identify itself and immediately land. There was no response."
As the Soviet Union stated, "For 2 hours the crew of the aircraft did not reply to insistent signals addressed to them in ways conforming to the universal international aerial code." Snyder remarks, "The Soviet statement had its facts straight, but because it was released from the embassy in Paris it had minimal impact."
Kirkpatrick went on: "Perhaps the most shocking fact learned from the transcript is that at no point did the pilots raise the question of the identity of the target aircraft." Snyder comments, "Another whopper, as we know now." Actually, again, US officials knew this at the time.
As Snyder notes, "Our tape did not include pilot Osipovich's comment, `Unclear', at 18:10 GMT, in response to his ground controller's question, "805, can you determine the type?" Osipovich had said it was too dark for him to see the intruder clearly. The full transcript would later show that Soviet pilot Gennady Osipovich had circled the intruder to get its attention and tilted his wings to force the aircraft down, after being asked repeatedly by his ground controllers to do so. Osipovich also had reported firing his warning bursts to get the intruder's attention. This comment was also not in the tape we were provided."

Snyder continues, "Our version left little doubt that the Soviets had shot down the Korean airliner in cold blood and without warning, knowing it was a civilian plane. ... From this [the edited version of the pilots' words], one would get the unmistakable impression that pilot 805 had a clear view of the plane from close up. Nothing could have been further from the truth."

Snyder sums up the whole ugly episode as `the U.S. cover-up of what really happened'.

Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity
Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity
by Kwasi Kwarteng
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.91

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Thatcherism is the problem, not the solution, 4 Feb 2013
The authors are a group of Conservative MPs, who urge even more savage attacks on the British people.

They claim that economic problems have cultural causes, and therefore cultural cures. They confuse long hours with hard work. They discuss productivity without ever mentioning investment. They blame the lack of social mobility not on greater inequality but on lack of hard work. They slur that people are unemployed because they `are wilfully not working'.

Canada's banks have far higher capital requirements. They are banned from merging and protected from foreign competition. As a result, no Canadian bank has yet failed in the current great depression. But the authors sneer at `Canada's supposedly superior system of financial regulation' p. 34.

Their account of Canada's deficit is confused. They write on one page that Canada's deficit in 1984 was more than 8 per cent and on another page that it was 1.2 per cent. They praise the Liberals' 1993 pledge to cut the deficit to 3 per cent, yet also write that in 1993 the surplus was 0.3 per cent.

Again, on page 14 they write, "Canadian debt had been high ever since the Second World War." But on page 15 they write, "Canadian debt still remained comparatively low in international terms. In 1974 it had been just 18 per cent of GDP."

As they point out, countries "have discovered that it is far easier to simply stop paying than try to squeeze more revenue out of an overtaxed population." They then demand a squeeze! Countries default in order not to go bust, but the authors equate default with going bust.

Low-tech manufacturing produces 14 per cent of our manufactured exports. Britain's hi-tech manufacturing produces a greater proportion of our manufactured exports than does either Germany's or France's.

They have a good chapter on the needs for higher standards in education and for more engineering, maths and science graduates. But then they deplore `protracted education' and increases in the number of full-time students. And their government attacks the teaching profession viciously and is wrecking our superb universities.

Their policies would slash wages and living conditions for the huge majority of British people.

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