In his critique of the Coalition Government, Iain Macwhirter fails to mention that it is in the grip of a certain doctrine, namely neo-liberalism (or market fundamentalism) (The Austerity Apocalypse, Comment, December 9).

This wants private enterprise to expand and state provision to virtually disappear. The resultant inequalities and the rule by small but powerful elites are welcomed. Indeed, the sneers and smirks on the faces of Government ministers indicates that they enjoy their millionaire luxuries while huge numbers are hungry and homeless.

But who will oppose neo-liberalism and make clear that its implementation does not tackle debt, does not mend the economy and does not reduce unemployment? And who will voice a more humane, effective and democratic philosophy as an alternative? So far the Labour Party has failed to do so.

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Socialists, members of co-operatives, parts of the press, voluntary bodies whose leaders are not afraid to upset the Government, and Christians who take the teachings of Jesus seriously are among those who must rise to the challenge.

Bob Holman