Letter: Lead the crusade, win the election

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a pensioner who for 35 years has played a small part in keeping Liberalism alive in this country, I view John Smith's re-think of Labour's ideology with mixed feelings. His conversion to Liberal social democracy (report and leading article, 8 February), if sincere, is welcome; his attempt to hijack liberalism as the price of improving his party's 'electability' is not.

If British electors want Liberalism (and I believe, at heart, they do) it is available from the Liberal Democrats, who have defended it, nurtured it through testing adversity and generated policies from its deepest principles. Mr Smith's belated espousal as the price of seizing power is the poorest of substitutes, the palest of imitations and not to be trusted.

Yours faithfully,




8 February