24 September 2004
- Beyond Left and Right
- Jackie Ashley's left-right comparisons
between Labour and the Lib Dems only serve to confuse even more (You
don't fool me, September 23).
- First, the Labour party has made a clear
promise that it is no longer a sectarian party. In the 1997 manifesto
we said: "In each area of policy a new and distinctive approach
has been mapped out, one that differs from the old left and the
Conservative right. This is why New Labour is new."
- Second, the Lib Dems are themselves
going through a process of reform. The current coalition of
traditional liberalism and Roy Jenkins's social democracy will become
more tenuous when the real prospect of political power increases. We
are already starting to see these divisions arising out of the Orange
Book, signalling the possibility of a shift to the centre, similar to
- Third, as we are seeing in Germany - and
in other mature economies - there are few prospects for left-liberal
or left-social democratic politics without the discipline of the type
of economic prudence demonstrated by New Labour.
- So, whether liberals and social
democrats present their appeal to the left or to the centre, social
justice can now only be delivered by the economically competent.
- Mike Allott
- Eastleigh, Hants