IT is with great relief that I read in today’s National Michael Fry’s column on the economist Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton University (These are the lessons we could learn from our greatest living Scot, March 17).

I wrote previously to disagree with Michael’s analysis of the power of the markets when he wrote about how the Covid-19 outbreak would be resolved by the actions of capitalism.

READ MORE: Michael Fry: Lessons to learn from greatest living Scot Angus Deaton

I think it’s only fair to balance the scales when Michael writes something I can agree with, and I wish to congratulate him for showing that he does indeed understand that the dangers of capitalism are realised when it facilitates and rewards unprincipled greed.

I agree also with Professor Deaton and Michael that globalisation need not be a problem, since the integrity of the nation state should be able to maintain enough differentiation for local conditions and cultures to be respected and encouraged. The caveat must be that where capitalist forces are driven by greed any form of globalism arising therefrom may be tainted.

I have a new respect for Michael Fry, and I found this column entirely redeeming. I certainly hope this is a side of Michael we might see more of, and that his previous evangelism for the untempered detriments of capitalism was untypical of his broader thinking.

Stewart Robinson

GLOBALISATION does not take into account the pandemics. The point of globalisation is to maximise profit at the lowest cost to the entrepreneur, ergo go where the labour is cheapest. This leads directly to everything, from high-end luxury goods to the bare essentials of existence having to be imported. Given just one generation, you have lost vital experience and skills necessary to re-establish basic manufacturing of goods essential to human existence.

As for capitalism, it has its place, but only under very strict conditions that have to apply across the board. If businesses overreach themselves they must bear the brunt, and if they go to the wall their workforce must be protected, with no dipping into pension funds or anything else. Market forces have to apply to the market, in other words, but as we all know, when big businesses fall, socialism is the word on all Tory and capitalist lips. They want to be rescued from their own folly and hold governments and the taxpayer to ransom because their workforces must be protected.

The UK is the perfect model for an attitude that should have died out after Word War Two: manyana manyana. Just don’t bother to do anything that has been learned from bitter experience.

China have just about got their dire situation under control, and whatever we might think of the Chinese authorities, they have pulled out all the stops here. The Italians dithered and paid the price. Us? It’ll never get that bad; we’ll weather the storm; invoke the Dunkirk spirit; and anyway, there’s nothing Johnny Foreigner can tell us, etc.

Some bright bulbs are saying that we should just shop as normal and not panic. Have they been in a supermarket recently? Have they seen the bare shelves? Do they understand what it is not to be able to purchase health essentials if you need them?

The terminally selfish never suffer unduly – the Margaret Thatchers of the world. They are there buying up the last currant bun in the playground every single day (an allusion to her childhood me-ism from one of her contemporaries; no matter that another child never got a bun, Thatcher always did). We all know them. The kind who would happily step on your neck to get that last packet of wipes, the last bar of soap. The type that squats in Downing Street and Westminster, representing the party of me-ism.

Lorna Campbell

MICHAEL Fry’s latest column represent a sharp departure from his usual weekly paean to unfettered capitalism. Perhaps he can now explain how an improved welfare state and policies to reduce inequality are to be paid for in the low-tax, low-regulation economy he advocates. Democratic capitalism? Is Michael about to declare himself a social democrat?

John Morrison

THE coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on your sports pages, eg no football matches to report on. Sadly there is nothing for the football fan to read.

Your football journalists could look back and developed a series of “Reflections” on great matches in the past – a series of repeats. I appreciate that newspapers are primarily about news, but times have changed and after all the TV channels show repeats and repeats of repeats!

To many of the younger fans such a series would be news, and to the elderly fans whose memories are in decline it would reawaken fond memories of great victories of both the national team and individual club teams. It would keep football as a live topic for discussion among the fans – otherwise many of them may develop new interests and be lost to football, damaging the future career prospects of football writers.

Times are changing, new thinking is required and the time is NOW!

Thomas L Inglis