Letter : Clause IV: honourable socialists past and present, and the lea der with a will to win

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The Independent Online
From Dr Malcolm Craig Sir: The speech in Brussels by Tony Blair has finally confirmed that this leader of the Labour Party is not a socialist.

He pleads with members to change with the times, but socialists do not do this, they seek instead to change the times we live in. It was 10 years ago that my father-in-law, Henry Fair, was presented with a long service award at the Blackpool conference, and in his acceptance speech reminded members of Clause IV and in fact where they could find it. The vast majority of members, including Neil Kinnock, clapped and cheered.

I cannot believe that, in this period, so much of socialist philosophy has changed to justify the alteration of a bedrock belief. Time itself, whether 10 years or 100 years, does not change what amounts to a fundamental philosophy, and the same applies to members of the Tory party who have my utmost respect for holding their beliefs dear.

I suspect that few people object strongly to essential services of transport, water, electricity and telecommunications being under public control where they belong. However, the task of striving for a more equitable society through public control of health and education involves a more demanding battle of minds that all Labour members ought to enter with some enthusiasm.

Sadly, this does not appear to be possible under the present leadership. People do not generally respect carpetbaggers, and it would be an unwise person who bets on Labour winning the next election.

Yours faithfully, Malcolm Craig Cambridge 12 January