Neo-liberalism on our doorstep

Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 00:02

Sir, – William Silke’s letter (June 19th) in relation to the definition of neo-liberalism is typical of the mindset of those who throw the term around. He invoked Pinochet and his regime as a scary straw man to frighten people. The term neo-liberal is thrown around by the loony left and fellow travellers when any any policy that suggests privatisation is being discussed. Any privatisation, anywhere is “neo-liberal” in their world view.

This simplistic knee-jerk reaction has a stunting effect on public discourse. Rather than a mature discussion on handing over things currently done by the State to the private sector, where these things may be done more effectively and, at a lower cost, we get hysterical diatribe and the bogeyman of neo-liberalism. Is it too much to ask that we discuss privatisation on a case by case basis without people mentioning Friedman or Pinochet? – Yours, etc,

PAUL WILLIAMS,

Circular Road,

Kilkee, Co Clare.