Letter: Labour policy reform stifles grassroots

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Sir: The Labour Party old left should be apologising for their mistakes of the past, not trying to repeat them. Ken Livingstone's opposition to the Labour into Power conference document and coverage of Alan Simpson's Red Pepper attack and Llew Smith's opposition to devolution (reports, June 25) are a real diversion from pressing on with the modernisation of the party.

The people of this country demonstrated last month that they want a party committed to democracy, equality and enterprise to take them into the next century, not some 19th-century socialist party. New Labour can become a real left-wing party of government by breaking with its bureaucratic past (like union bloc votes) and continue to include the voices of contemporary Britain.

If the old left cannot adjust to the new reality, then by all means let them live in the fantasies of Red Pepper and debate with Arthur Scargill. The rest of us want the Labour Party to get on with the real business of delivering jobs, rebuilding education and health and creating a democratic society.


London N19