Letter: The Labour Party's lack of vision

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The Independent Online
Sir: Roy Hattersley's comments about the constituency section's failure to support Tony Benn for the NEC of the Labour Party are indicative of the way certain sections of the Labour Party have felt about Tony over the years ('Not dead, still red, but Tony's a menace no more', 28 September). To suggest that he comes up short on ideology and philosophy is a bit like denying Adam Smith credit as author of The Wealth of Nations.

Tony represents a large section of the party that has traditionally drawn its strength from the historical development of democracy in Britain and other European countries. The NEC constituency section, with the exception of Neil Kinnock, is now made up of the Shadow Cabinet members. Tony's absence will exacerbate the problems associated with the dearth of debate on key areas of party policy. This cannot be good for the health of the party.

It was unlike Roy to put his bile into print. However, I must congratulate him for his moral fortitude in saying what others are thinking.

Yours sincerely,

ALEX FALCONER

MEP for Mid Scotland and Fife (Lab)

Inverkeithing, Fife

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