Time for all nation states to take back economic power

<em>Letter of the week</em>

John Lloyd is wrong ("The whole world in their hands", 12 November) to imply that the anti-globalisation movement wants politics to be "surpassed". Those of us whose priority is to shift the debate from opposition to proposition are very clear that the growing grass-roots demands for change will require significant state intervention if they are to be met. This means challenging the myth that the current course of economic globalisation is inevitable.

The shameful fact is that governments have so little control over globalisation precisely because they have systematically chosen to give away power to unaccountable bodies such as the World Trade Organisation.

Yet if it is in governments' control to give away such powers, it is also within their control to wrest them back again, to rewrite the rules of the global economy and to restore the role of the state. Just such a detailed set of alternative world trade rules is to be found in my new report Time to Replace Globalisation. This was prepared for the Doha WTO ministerial meeting, which I attended in my role as an elected Green MEP and an official EU delegate to the conference. The report is designed to replace the WTO's programme of ever more open markets, in ever more ruthless competition with each other, with a post-globalisation alternative of "localisation".

Far from being "incoherent" and "unworkable", these proposals could provide the new direction that the social democrats, at whom Lloyd's analysis is aimed, need to take if they are to regain some semblance of political credibility.

Dr Caroline Lucas
London SE1

This article first appeared in the 19 November 2001 issue of the New Statesman, And now the trouble really begins