LETTER : How to distinguish between Labour and Conservative

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The Independent Online
YOUR articles "We got things wrong", on Margaret Hodge, and "Left fails to bark as Blair turns right" (28 May) illustrate a failure to distinguish between policy and management which is as old as socialism.

You are wrong to lump Labour's policy of toughness on crime with the Conservatives'. Labour also aims to tackle the causes of crime through attention to the distribution of wealth,devolution to local bodies and the availability of resources to public services. The management failure in Islington was compounded by a factor that is also apparent in run-down social services, schools, health services and police forces: insufficient resources to recruit, train and pay well-qualified and motivated people.

A resolute stand on inflation and full membership of the EU are necessary to generate resources and manage social needs in a market economy. Similar commitments to effective monetary policies define socialism in post- industrial society.

John Pilgrim

Bath

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