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

From Mr Alf Lomas, MEP Sir: Roy Hattersley says ("Dear Comrades and Friends", 11 January) that while he supports public ownership, the 32 Labour MEPs who are in favour of keeping Clause IV have got it wrong.

Mr Hattersley has an honourable record in the Labour Party and has strong socialist convictions. His support for public ownership has been consistent. He thinks, however, we are wrong to do battle over Clause IV because the wording is out of date. He maywell be right, although I believe it does state in fairly simple terms our commitment to co-ownership and does clearly distinguish us from the Tory and Liberal parties. But Roy is an intelligent, thinking socialist and he knows that this battle is only one, because Tony Blair's aim is to create not a "new" Labour Party, whatever that might be, but a new party altogether in the way that Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, etc, did when they formed the SDP.

Tony Blair made it clear to the European Parliamentary Labour Party that he has not the slightest intention of taking any of the privatised undertakings back into public ownership. Roy Hattersley, to his credit, refused to go along with the Jenkins breakaway group and he ought now to be using his not inconsiderable political intellect to stop Tony Blair from turning the Labour Party into an SDP Mark 2.

Yours faithfully, Alf Lomas London, E15

12 January The writer is MEP for London North East (Lab).