Sir: Pensioners' leader Jack Jones is right to press for a real election of Labour's next leader by a democratic choice of candidates - and not just by hasty acclamation (Letters, 2 June). I equally strongly back Mark Seddon's article 'Turn left for the people's election' (2 June) urging Labour to develop firm policies to tackle poverty, unemployment and poor health, reaching the millions of mainly working-class voters who didn't vote last time.
In April 1992, there were 33 millions who voted, and no fewer than nine million who did not. Most of them were struggling so hard to meet their bills, keep a roof over their heads and food in their children's bellies that they couldn't turn out to vote, as party canvassers will confirm.
This is where Labour can find millions of new voters, more than enough to gain a huge parliamentary majority. It is a big mistake to think that a party loses electoral support if it is closely associated with working men and women, the great majority of the population, and their needs. It is time our leaders realised the fact. It would also give them added moral strength.
The writer was MP for Salford East (Lab) 1955-83.
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