Letter: Borrowed concepts, old slogans and Blair as Lion King

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Marr ('No poetry for a new Albion', 4 October) quotes from Robin Cook's speech to the Labour conference in which Mr Cook avows his party's determination to 'put the tools of economic development in the hands of the local community, local business and the local workforce'. For Mr Marr, this was a 'gust of fresh air'. It made interesting reading for me, too.

As a paid-up member of the Liberal Democrat Party (and the old Liberal Party, as far back as 1959), I have supported the concept of power decentralisation as stated in my party's policy manifestos and at our conferences through successive election campaigns. At least one member of the Labour Party appears, then, to have caught up.

It is also true that Mr Cook supports a thorough reform of the electoral system - to a version of proportional representation. Only another 100 years to wait before the rest of the Labour Party catches up with this truly momentous and significant decentralisation of power?

I am afraid that until Labour Party thinking comes willingly to the concept of empowering people (not 'the people') then Andrew Marr and his colleagues will have to rely on the seafront outside the conference hall for his 'fresh air'.





5 October