Letter: New Thatcherites

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In his reply to Ken Livingstone (Right of Reply, 24 August), Tom Sawyer claims that New Labour's policies are "rooted in the lives of ordinary people".

Hardly. The majority of "ordinary people" are opposed to the effects of privatisation, yet the Government supports the Tories' privatisation and is continuing with is own. Most employees are fed up with the insecurity of employment, the intensification of work, long hours, and dictatorship of management: yet New Labour lauds the "flexible labour market" and is maintaining the anti-union laws. Most people are dismayed by the destruction of the environment, yet Labour in office has consistently taken the side of business against ecology.

People may be pessimistic about the possibility of changing any of this, and to that extent accept government policy. But this pessimism has in a large part been created by the Labour leadership lying down before Thatcherism in the 1980s and adopting it in the 1990s.

JAMIE GOUGH

Newcastle upon Tyne

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