Messy business

It seems clear to me, as a former Labour Party member and voter, why the party is in such a mess ("Six months to save Labour", 26 June). In substituting meritocracy for equality (or at least the pursuit of equality), not only has it managed to rip out its heart, it has also lobotomised itself. Without a commitment to redistribution of wealth and to subordinating the interests of the market to those of the public, we may as well support either the Tories or the Liberal Democrats. Meritocracy let rip on an already extremely uneven playing field simply speeds up the pace of inequality, as those born lucky pull further and faster away.

The historic task of the Labour Party was always to argue for narrowing the gap. If the party does not believe the argument can be won, it should exit, stage right.

Bill Kerry
Bromley, Kent

This article first appeared in the 03 July 2006 issue of the New Statesman, 7/7: one year on