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

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The Independent Online
From Mr James Challis Sir: The Labour Party's Clause IV is a cart that has lost its horse - the ideals which once inspired ideas of common ownership. In the mid- 1940s, when I, as a teenager, first met Labour supporters, they believed passionately in theneed for more sympathetic and co-operative human relationships. They thought that the common ownership of the means of production would remove important causes of human conflict.

It is even possible that they were right. Who can say? What Labour governments created in subsequent years was not common ownership but nationalisation, producing large impersonal structures ruled by government appointees, treating both employees and thepublic with coolness. It did nothing much to improve human relationships or remove causes of conflict.

I still sympathise with the ideals behind Clause IV. If the Labour Party can recover those, it will have something worth supporting.

Yours, James Challis Canterbury, Kent 10 January