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Letter : Hugh and cry

"Today Gaitskell looks like a political dinosaur," writes Brian Brivati, comparing him with Tony Blair ("He ain't no Hugh Gaitskell", 26 May). Well of course he does, Gaitskell died almost 40 years ago. To contrast the views held by two people separated by four decades, without any meaningful attempt to explain the different circumstances, is the stuff of the historical kindergarten. Is Brivati saying that Gaitskell would hold exactly the same views today that he held in 1956? If so, he does the former Labour leader a great disservice. Moreover Brivati declares that Labour is no longer committed to greater equality, yet ignores Blair's repeated aim of putting power, wealth and responsibility in the hands of the many and not the few. He also gives Blair no credit for achieving what Gaitskell could not on reform of Clause IV.

David Cairns

London SW19