Tuesday, September 12, 2006

FREE TRADE - Confernence Speech Oct 2005

I will support anything in the above relating to Western protectionism & the need to help the 3rd world. It is immoral that the average European cow receives a subsidy of £900 whereas the average Sierra Leonese lives on £300 a year.

However, sections 1 & 2 of the motion call for protectionism, particularly of "domestic food production". This is not a new idea. Britain used to do this until, with the rise of the urban working class & the Liberal Party, they were able to force the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1842. Since then Liberalism & free trade have been synonymous to everybody's benefit. Fairly free trade has worked for South Korea, Singapore & the US. Protectionism failed North Korea, Burma & Ethiopia. India, China & New Zealand all used to practice protectionism & had low growth. All have now moved to fairly free trade & have high growth.

To tell the people of the 3rd world that they will develop by protectionism is a cruel deception which runs counter to all historical experience.

Section 3 call for the creation of an OPEC style cartel for ALL other commodities specifically for the purpose of "raising prices" & "ending (over)-supply". What this means, on the ground, is that somebody somewhere is going to be physically prevented from making a living.

In the case of coffee, the primary target of the self-styled "fair trade" movement, this will be Vietnam. This country, which our ally bombed, if not "into the Stone Age" as they promised, certainly into generations of poverty, is now developing by, among other things, competing successfully in the international coffee market.

But if "over-supply" is to be prevented how will our cartel enforce renewed poverty on the people of Vietnam? By the use of Agent Orange perhaps for that is where this proposal leads.

The good intentions of the proposers are not in doubt but good intentions are not enough. We are talking about the lives of billions of people & we have to get it right. This motion does not do so & I ask you to reject it.
Free Trade is the basic principle on which the old Liberal party was founded AND IT WORKS. The party have turned their back on 2 centuries of liberalism & all common sense in adopting a motion that holds North Korea & Burma as more successful economies than South Korea & Hong Kong.

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