Man, You Don’t Have To Be A ‘Southerner’ To Have Economic Power

European business leaders criticised last week a ministerial seminar on world economic issues, which suggested that north-south divide can be closed with more “right-handed people” in positions of influence. According to the executive summary…

Man, You Don't Have To Be A 'Southerner' To Have Economic Power

European business leaders criticised last week a ministerial seminar on world economic issues, which suggested that north-south divide can be closed with more “right-handed people” in positions of influence.

According to the executive summary of the seminar’s concluding document, as reported by the Guardian, the organisers wanted to tackle global inequalities, though the rubric of “empowering the 99%” led them to the conclusion that “systems and institutions of power remain most heavily entrenched in the North in comparison to the South.”

Even if anyone with a southern accent had been involved in the talks, they would have had a difficult time grasping the whole point, as many of the speakers were northerners like Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and former ECB president and Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi.

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The seminar was organised by UKTI, a government body that promotes UK business overseas. In an interview with the Daily Mail, UKTI boss Emma Hutchinson was asked if the seminar had raised points relevant to Britain’s Brexit negotiations.

“These are global issues that don’t necessarily mean we can approach them through the lens of a local business, but the area we are working in is outward looking,” she said.

“We are working in areas where the likes of Citi are involved…This is about harnessing those networks. We are listening, we are acting, so this doesn’t make sense.

Vinay Menon, who teaches at Warwick University’s Centre for the Study of Britain, was critical of the seminar, saying there was no other language “to cover the gulf that exists in the power structures and economic inequalities.”

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The Guardian reports that Menon described the seminar as “as if right-handed privilege and the privileges that come with it were the real problem” in Britain, which he said was “one of the more extreme manifestations of the bias that favours the right-handed over the left.”

Menon told the paper that both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, who are both southpaws, should be the example to show that this privileged right hand on the economic left hand wasn’t enough.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, left, is a southpaw, as is Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

He added: “In my view we ought to be saying that if Bill Gates had grown up as a southpaw, this country wouldn’t be so unequal. Business leaders aren’t born as right-handed as the leader of a major company, they are brought up in other ways.

“I don’t think we should let this be dismissed as a trivial point that has nothing to do with the real problems that societies are facing, whether that’s in India or elsewhere.”

The Anglo Saxon native calls the discrimination against the southpaws “inherent discrimination,” and takes the problem “very seriously,” tweeting: “Southpaws are a minority worldwide.”

Southpaws are a minority worldwide — Vinay Menon (@VinayBMenon) June 11, 2018

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In the next tweet, he is reminded by his followers that he has Southpaws in his family, and has sent this in response to an article from an Indian newspaper which appeared to side with men’s rights groups.

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My father is a southpaw. This is in the 3rd generation. This prejudice that is still in a growing number of places. Southpaws are a minority. This isn’t right. To put it in context, almost a quarter of the British population are southpaws. (sorry IE because I cannot translate that and couldn’t figure it out) https://t.co/wJWWzWR2kF — Vinay Menon (@VinayBMenon) June 12, 2018

The seminar certainly isn’t the only instance of politicians making attempts to bridge the north-south divide.

Before becoming the UK trade and investment minister, Eluned Morgan rejected the suggestion that Brexit would end the gap between “the left and the right in Britain” and claimed that “you don’t have to be a socialist or a libertarian to believe that people should have access to a range of economic opportunities and aspiration.”

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