Letter No 48  by Mike Allott: back to directory

29 May 2010

Fundamental debate on Next Labour

I agree Labour MPs have a responsibility to ensure a fundamental debate on the future of the party (Letters, 27 May). Although there is an agreed new clause IV (Labour's Aims and Values), there is little unanimity on its meaning. Despite a commitment to the idea of New Labour, there has always been strong dissent.

So, before we move on to Next Labour, the party has an opportunity to resolve its ideological ambiguity. Do we resurrect idealism? Or continue with pragmatism? Do we rediscover traditional internationalism and pacifism? Or do we stick firm to the transatlantic alliance? Do we refocus on fighting for the working class? Or do we persevere with one-nation politics? Are we a party that believes in delivering socialism? Or do we carry on with the dynamics of third-way liberalism?

To confine such a debate to the established New Labour careerists is not likely to satisfy the rank and file. And without a strong and representative leftwing voice particularly that of John McDonnell it will be a neutered debate and a lost opportunity.

Mike Allott

Eastleigh, Hampshire