James Forsyth

Mandelson: Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

Mandelson: Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
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Peter Mandelson’s op-ed in the Telegraph today makes an obvious but important point that is in danger of getting lost amidst all the talk of new settlements and a new capitalism:

“In the rush to build a new capitalism, we need to preserve what worked from the old. Politicians need to agree not just what failed to work over the last decade, but what worked well. The increasing retreat of economic nationalism in the 20th century and the growing reach of open markets fall squarely into that category.”

Say what you like about Mandelson, but his commitment to free trade and opening up markets is admirable. The next time a European has a chance of heading the WTO--which won’t be for a while given that the current head is Pascal Lamy, a Frenchman—Mandelson would make an excellent candidate.

Also on the Mandelson front, it was interesting to hear him say on the Today Programme this morning that the government ‘encouraged’ the Bank of England, which is supposed to be independent, to indulge in quantitative easing.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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