Letters to the editor | The Economist

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Letters are welcome by email to [email protected]

Neglecting children

I was glad to see him The Economist drawing attention to the ways in which the youngest children suffered during the pandemic (“No small problem”, April 16). This government is simply not prioritizing a good childhood as a result of public policy. The British Medical Journal recently stated that the terms of reference for public covid research “do not include the words child, childhood, infants, toddlers, school, childcare, college, or for that matter, play, interaction or socialization. ” In the summer of 2020 James Kirkup from the Social Market Foundation noted that the government’s pandemic planning prioritized reopening pubs and barbers over schools and nurseries. Children’s charities always come up against the Treasury orthodoxy which sees Britain as a nation of borrowers, consumers, workers and employers but not, it seems, little people in need. learn and play.

Save the Children has been providing emergency grants to families with young children throughout covid. Although books, educational toys and play packs are useful they cannot counter the cost of living crisis which is now forcing thousands more families into crisis. Parents who have already been cutting back on food, heating and trips for their children are out of options. The nursery school staff report that children’s learning and behavior problems are lost. The worst is yet to come.

Executive director of policy, advocacy and initiatives
Save the Children

China’s ideological insecurity

Chaguan wrote about China’s widespread opposition to liberal human rights (April 16). This attack is aimed at protecting China’s ideological security, a key part of its national security concept. China has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949 on the basis that only it can bring the country to a great revival. The party has always warned and taken action against what it sees as the terrible influence of liberal ideologies. The pretext of the Communist Party is its ideological defense system fighting against foreign ideologies both within China and abroad.

In the early days of Xi Jinping, the Daily People wrote about the Five New Black Regions, who were human rights lawyers, underground religions, dissidents, Internet influencers and people of so-called underdeveloped groups (Tibetans, Uyghurs?). These are similar to the original Black Five party enemies of the Mao era, who were landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements and rightists. Here Mr. Xi appears, as he often does, in a Maoist mold while defending China’s ideological security.

United States Foreign Service Officer, Retired
Alexandria, Virginia

Quadruple vote for companies

The “Power of proxy” (April 23) indicated the inability of minority shareholders to exercise their shareholding commitments. The crux of the problem was identified in an article you ran last year (“The square public”, 18 December 2021). As Lionel Penrose showed, the power of a person who has several votes grows as the square of the weight of their vote, rather than linearly, so small holders are at a disadvantage. Penrose’s solution is that voting weights should grow as the square root of the bet.

This intermediate point between “one person one vote” and “one sharing one vote” was successfully measured in various corporate voting structures in the 19th century, before one vote one share was canonized. It is currently used approximately by the European Union for voting power as a function of population, and it is used precisely by many distributed autonomous organizations Web 3 for management as a function of crypto-tokens. It also has the virtue of discouraging concentration in asset ownership without heavy reliance policy and hostile takeovers without discriminatory poison pills.

RadicalxChange Foundation
Kirkland, Washington

Politics and art

I liked Semyon Bychkov’s invitation (April 9) and generally agree with his views on creative freedom. However, his comment that “Art cannot and should not be used for political purposes or to justify any ideology” misses the mark. Many of the works that critics cite as masterpieces of used to defend political ideologies. Look at Picasso’s “Guernica”. Politics, art and ideology are intertwined. If Mr. Bychkov had added “by the state” to his original sentence, he would not have I have no problem agreeing with him.


Strict immigration policy

The Economist is back when it comes to Australia and Britain’s alarming refugee policies (“someone else’s problem”, April 23). The Australian government has sold its commitment to human rights through the “processing” of asylum seekers at sea and its clear policy prohibiting Australian resettlement of any refugees arriving by boat. It is very good marketing that this could be reported as “inside”, when hundreds of potentially legitimate refugees have been left stranded in Nauru and Papua New Guinea . Australia has since reached agreements with countries to resettle refugees in detention, effectively shifting its obligations under the refugee treaty. It is a mistake to think that Australia’s refugee policy is a milder precursor to Britain’s.



I have to take issue with your correspondent’s description of Marmite as “sludge” (“Marmageddon”, April 16). Marmite, on the other hand, is an indistinct solution, soluble black gold, ambrosia, even, because it came from stealing amber nectar, not to mention the health benefits that are said.

To paraphrase Omar Khayyam, a loaf of bread and marmite, a jug of wine, and you.


Funny car records

I’m glad to hear that Britain’s vehicle licensing body is trying to avoid obscenity and political sensitivity when issuing number plates (“Baby you can drive M1 car”, 16 April). In America I have been fortunate to have the personalized plate of “ MAN UTD” in a few states. Unfortunately it was already introduced in Florida (could Florida be the home state of the owners of the football team, the Glazers?). So I had to settle for ” MAN UTDZ” in reference to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who used to play for them.

In Iowa I was asked if “MAN UTD” it was ridiculous. To which I replied, only in some parts of Liverpool.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

A few years ago I asked about a plate that I thought would be really fun. I was told that it was not a special plate and that it had already been randomly allocated. In fact, the new owner probably didn’t think much of it X32 TOH. But drivers seeing it approaching in their rear view mirrors may think otherwise.

Ide Hill, Kent

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