Not quite right

Ben Francis (Letters, 5 July) argues that, under new Labour, "the left gets words but the right gets deeds". In reality, the reverse is true. While Labour spins to appeal to Middle England, it delivers policies that the left demanded, but failed to achieve, for 18 years. A national minimum wage, record increases in child benefit, £40 billion investment in the NHS and education, the working families tax credit, practical help for "socially excluded" inner-city communities, a British Prime Minister willing to meet Sinn Fein . . . the list is endless. As for welfare reform, when are its critics going to say what exactly is morally wrong with asking those receiving state benefits to seek work if they are able? If Francis really believes, as he suggests, that this is the record of a "Tory administration", I can only conclude that he has a very short memory.

Robert Philpot

This article first appeared in the 12 July 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Were chimps the first socialists?