Letter No 1 by Mike Allott:  back to directory 

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22 Aug 2003:


Divisions of Labour

Peter Kenyon (letter, August 19) describes Save the Labour Party as "a new grassroots campaign" to revise the party constitution with the key objective to "tame the excesses of  factions on the Right of the party, just as the Left was tamed in the 1980s".

Like Mr Kenyon, I am a longstanding member of the Labour Party. I do not, however, share his confidence in the motives of this group. It is not new. It is driven by the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, in alliance with a number of key trade unionists and they have been presenting themselves as an opposition force to the party's elected leadership for some time.

Their views are essentially those of old Labour and are contrary to those of most rank-and-file members and, of course, of the vast majority of the people who voted in new Labour at two successive elections. Any implied attempt to change our party's perfectly sensible commitment to enterprise, competition and a dynamic economy would not tame the excesses of the Right. 

It would, however, make us unelectable...again.

Yours faithfully

Mike Allott


Source letter

Sir, John Prescott’s concerns (T2, August 14) about the current state of the Labour Party are encouraging. As a longstanding member, I have been wondering if members mattered any longer.

A new grassroots campaign, Save the Labour Party, would like to see the role of members in the Labour Party constitution strengthened before going to the country for a third term. We want to be able to put our proposals to the 2004 party conference, which means that this year’s conference would have to debate the issue.

A key objective must be to tame the excesses of factions on the Right of the party, just as the Left was tamed in the 1980s. Nothing less is likely to allay the concerns of ordinary Labour Party members.

Yours faithfully,