Boris Johnson, the Tory MP and magazine editor, occasionally bugs me with his latter-day Bertie Wooster routine, which has become a bit of a self-parody, but it is hard not to like a man who writes a wonderfully clear-headed, cant-free article on China like this.
The Member for Henley-on-Thames is unimpressed by the current vogue for getting all upset about matters Chinese, whether it be terrors about Avian flu, dread of ultra-cheap clothes (low-price bras, oh the horrors!) and so forth. Boris is particularly harsh on the European Union’s bout of protectionist folly against cheap Chinese textile exports and the role of that lowlife, EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson:
It is all stark staring nonsense, and founded on the same misapprehension as Peter Mandelson’s demented decision to slap quotas on Chinese textiles, so that the mouths of the Scheldt and the Rhine are apparently silting up with 50 million pairs of cut-price Chinese trousers. It is idiocy, and not just because it is unlike Mandy to come between a British woman and her knickers.
The emergence of China and its integration into the world economy has been a major spur to growth and a deterrent to inflation. It is an unalloyed good, and it is sad to see our politicians responding with such chicken-hearted paranoia.
UPDATE: I put the wrong article in the link and have changed it. Mea culpa.