Corporate stranglehold

The political degeneration of Peter Hain is sad to behold, witness his views on globalisation ("The right questions, but the wrong answers", 12 November).

What all supporters of globalisation fail to acknowledge is that there is no level playing field. At meetings of the World Trade Organisation, the agenda is shaped by the United States. American delegates to the WTO have in the main previously worked for large corporations, which also fund the election campaigns of the Democrats and the Republicans. Not surprisingly, the oil or chemical corporations that dominate world markets are not prepared to loosen their grip through an adverse decision made at the WTO.

At Seattle, representatives from most countries in the world were not even consulted during the key negotiating sessions.

Terry Ward
Brentwood, Essex

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