With yet another major company failing (Thomas Cook to collapse leaving 150,000 holidaymakers stranded, 23 September), the Quaker ethics that led to Bournville (Letters, 23 September) come to mind: “Do you maintain strict integrity in your business transactions and in your relations with individuals and organisations? Are you personally scrupulous and responsible in the use of money entrusted to you, and are you careful not to defraud the public revenue?” Furthermore, with a belief in the value of each and every person in a company, decisions were by agreement and time spent in debate led to effective implementation and innovation with commitment. If only this responsible approach were prevalent today.
• Why isn’t the government prepared to bail out Thomas Cook? The cost of £200m would save the proposed £100m cost of “repatriating” holidaymakers, plus all the social and welfare costs of 9,000-plus redundant staff in the UK, not counting thousands more worldwide. The company could be required to slimline, modernise and pay back this bailout in a structured way. The closure of parliament, and the focusing of politicians’ minds only on the Brexit issue (which may well be a cause of the company’s collapse), means that there has been no national debate on this serious matter.
• Thomas Cook was a nationalised travel organisation until the Tory government privatised it in 1972. The obvious solution would be – even at this stage – to nationalise Thomas Cook, something previous Labour governments of 1974-1979 and 1997-2010 should have done.
Former president, National Union of Mineworkers; leader, Socialist Labour party
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