The Spectator

Letters | 7 February 2009

Spectator readers respond to recent articles

A failure of fairness

Sir: Rod Liddle’s defence of the BBC (Liddle Britain, 31 January) does not stack up. Of course people with close connections to Palestinians, those fully aware of their sufferings and traumas, were in the forefront of calling for the BBC to air the charity’s appeal. How could it be otherwise? Yet for good reason, the BBC’s decision united Fleet Street left and right, triggered criticism of the Corporation from Cabinet ministers as well as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and inspired probably the largest number of MPs in living memory to sign a motion regarding Palestine.

This appeal was not about being pro one side or the other. It was, and is, an issue of humanity — of helping people including destitute children, giving them food, medicines and blankets, literally helping them to survive.

This sacred grail of impartiality needs to be seriously challenged. Fairness and decency are values that should also be at the heart of any public service broadcaster’s remit if it is to carry public support.

Chris Doyle
Director, Council for Arab-British Understanding
London EC4

The deflation delusion

Sir: I put down the Economist in disgust and picked up The Spectator, hoping for more sense. I was not disappointed. Thank you, Ross Clark, for succinctly demolishing the delusion (‘A nation of savers and borrowers’, 31 January), repeated ad nauseam in the Economist (including in a piece written by the chief economist of the IMF) that deflation causes economic decline by driving people to delay purchases.

The only trouble with Clark’s article is his suggestion that reading a book on basic economics would be a useful antidote to the nonsense spouted so often at the moment. When the economics establishment is broadly united behind such bad economics, and when you can find more economic sense in a political journal than in the house magazine of neo-classical political economy, people should be very careful which economics book they read, if they are not to be led further astray.

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