Letter: Time for another Lib-Lab pact

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The Independent Online
BEN PIMLOTT is right to point to the possibilities of the Newbury by-election for opposition co-

operation ('If only they'd talk a bit more', 7 March). Labour was born in cross-party co-operation with the 1903 Lib-Lab pact. In the inter-war years, there were frequent Lib-Lab agreements and stand-downs which did not prevent Labour entering office in 1924 and 1929. Then came the cross-party anti-Tory candidates at the time of Munich.

Since Labour's 1945 triumph, it has turned its back on this earlier spirit of co-operation. It has become a convention of politics that a national party contests every seat, but if Labour is a radical party, it must question such complacent conventions. Its last triumph was more than 25 years ago when England won the World Cup. The world has changed since then, and Labour has to realise this and act upon it.

Gerry Hassan

Glasgow, Scotland