WHILE Professor Sir Alan Harris is a little more cautious in his article (April 14) I feel your headline "Distributism uses on with Thatcher" does a great disservice to Belloc and Chesterton.
Distributism was a cry against the commercialism of life in which men and women became reduced to cogs in a machine manipulated by the financiers. Far from halting this process, Thatcherism has encouraged it, backed up by handsome donations from the big financiers to the Conservative Party.
The distributist ideal of families owning much of the physical property necessary for life has little in common with the Thatcherite ownership of share certificates. The sale of council houses looks a little more distributist, but Belloc and Chesterton could hardly approve of the massive mortage debts which are the reality of homeownership today, nor of the way in which we are encouraged to see housing as an "investment" rather than a home.
I feel Mrs Thatcher would rest a lot less easily if there were a Belloc or Chesterton alive today, ready to use wit, humour, and a language which is neither patronising nor over-intellectual to point out why her version of distributism is nothing like the real thing.
Matthew Hunt bach London ED