Letter: Socialist principles in a changing world

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Sir: Those of us who signed the letter published on 1 May were affirming our support for common ownership. We were not "attacking" anyone, within the Labour leadership or out of it ("MEPs in Clause IV protest 'out of touch' ", 2 May).

But you will not find it surprising that we should stand by the principles to which we committed ourselves when we joined the Labour Party, and to which we were all asked to declare our allegiance when we were nominated as candidates for our party in the elections which placed us in the European Parliament.

People do not necessarily change their opinions when they become unfashionable, or even unpopular. If the Church of England were to fall victim to a revisionist Archbishop of Canterbury, it is not inconceivable, in these sad modern times, that the clergy might be invited to emphasise various hitherto unnoticed merits in the Devil. He is dynamic. His enterprise is beyond question. And the rigour with which he competes has impressed poets and scholars over the centuries.

As a committed Christian, Tony Blair is presumably aware of the relevant response: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil".

Yours sincerely,

KEN COATES

MEP for Nottinghamshire

North & Chesterfield (Lab)

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

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