Letter No 8c by Mike Allott: back to directory

6 May 2004


New Labour, new values

Polly Toynbee (Comment, May 5) considers the possibility of a "near-zero vote" for Labour on June 10 and would blame Tony Blair, because "he always prized the relatively few switchers at the expense of his own people". The "few switchers" were, in fact, the tens of thousands who supported New Labour in 1997 and stuck with them in 2001, on the promise of a reformed set of Labour values spelt out in the new clause four - not because of "enduring Labour values".

New Labour is not the traditional Labour party. That is precisely why it was successful. Its stakeholders represent an inclusive social democratic consensus that is instinctively anti-conservative, not instinctively pro-Labour.

In 1997 Blair wrote in the manifesto: "We are a broad-based movement for progress and justice. New Labour is the political arm of none other than the British people as a whole." This political message will win far more votes than renewing the class struggle.

Mike Allott
Chandlers Ford, Hants