Labour’s troubles leave voters with a ballot box dilemma | Letters

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Nesrine Malik rightly warns nan Labour statement against alienating its leftwing activists and supporters (Starmer? Sunak? Millions cognize they are different but still consciousness alienated. Ignore that astatine your peril, 3 June). But successful a wide democracy, extremist economical and societal betterment cannot beryllium achieved without winning hearts and changing minds, and this takes time: it cannot beryllium done successful nan abstraction of a six-week predetermination campaign. As Antonio Gramsci, nan Italian communist leader, observed: “The counting of votes is nan last ceremonial of a agelong process.”

The problem pinch Labour – 1 of nan troubles – is that pinch its attraction connected fighting aliases preparing to conflict elections, it ignores what Gramsci called nan “war of position” successful civilian society: nan struggle to situation and alteration entrenched and wide habits, practices, attitudes and beliefs that obstruct aliases inhibit advancement towards a fairer, greener, happier, little divided and much antiauthoritarian societal order. Unless and until nan statement develops nan capacity to supply specified civilized and intelligence activity passim nine and astatine each times, not conscionable during elections, its room for manoeuvre, successful aliases retired of government, is bound to stay tightly constricted.
David Purdy
Stirling

Nesrine Malik states that nan “world isn’t group to look overmuch different erstwhile nan Tories are gone”. I retrieve precisely nan aforesaid being said by immoderate leftwing commentators successful nan run-up to nan 1997 predetermination – peculiarly aft Gordon Brown committed to pursuing nan Tory spending plans.

Our family’s life pinch 3 young children was changed beyond nickname by that Labour government. My kids were knowledgeable successful smaller classes, without buckets to drawback nan leaks; we weren’t scraping astir astatine nan extremity of each period for money to bargain food; nan wellness service, for nan first and only clip successful my life, was decently funded. The only clip nan world doesn’t look immoderate different is erstwhile Tory governments are voted backmost successful clip and again. Proportional practice won’t alteration that.
Andrew Pellow
Huddersfield

Nesrine Malik was wholly correct successful her study of nan authorities of nan Labour party. I was a constituency president and Labour territory councillor successful nan 1970s and near nan statement complete nan Iraq warfare decision. I rejoined nan statement 2 years agone to thief get free of this Tory government, which has ruined nan country.

To my chagrin, I recovered that Labour has been transformed into a Leninist-style statement wherever antiauthoritarian centralism prevails. Ordinary members person nary opportunity aliases powerfulness successful nan statement and are conscionable electoral fodder charged pinch getting nan statement into power. We cannot prime candidates, propose argumentation aliases determine connected statement strategy successful our constituencies. This leads to apathy, cynicism and alienation. Countless antiauthoritarian socialists person warned of nan dangers of overcentralisation. Power is simply a intends to an extremity not an extremity successful itself. Sir Keir’s obsession pinch appearing “nice” to soft Tories will not alteration Britain into nan decent, adjacent nine we truthful urgently request and require.
Clive Tempest
Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire

Nesrine Malik perfectly described my dilemma erstwhile I spell into nan ballot container adjacent month. At 76, I person voted Labour astatine each election, not retired of family loyalty, but a profound belief successful nan underlying principles of antiauthoritarian socialism, which has only been strengthened by my life experience moving successful schools, wherever truthful galore children were failed from commencement successful truthful galore ways.

However, this time, I really do consciousness that Labour doesn’t speak to my cares and concerns immoderate more. Where are nan politicians who will put rule earlier powerfulness and ambition, and person nan courageousness to committedness moreover conscionable a spoonful of jam – not eternally tomorrow, but today? Where is simply a forensic critique of wherever nan conjugation sewage it so incorrect pinch “austerity”? Not only do Labour politicians progressively sound for illustration Tories, they don’t moreover onslaught them wherever they could.

I americium considering whether to spoil my ballot insubstantial pinch a succinct logic why I americium not voting Labour. It would very overmuch echo nan reasoning successful Nesrine’s article. Thank you for giving maine a sound nan existent electoral strategy ne'er has.
Julia Williams
Stockport

Nesrine Malik excuses nan self-indulgence of those who are proposing to wantonness Labour because, to get into government, they are accommodating to those of their chap voters who aren’t arsenic extremist arsenic them (or me). In quoting Ralph Nader, she illustrates nan folly of specified solipsism. By taking votes from Al Gore successful nan 2000 US statesmanlike election, he and those who voted for him gave america George W Bush, nan Iraq warfare and prevented Gore from tackling ambiance change. Those who consciousness alienated do, indeed, person to ballot for nan slightest bad option, and debar a peril of their ain making; and past to see what they tin do – not conscionable what nan Labour activity tin do – to alteration nan views of an electorate that, successful nan past election, voted successful these Conservatives led by Boris Johnson.
Ed McDonnell
Manchester

Nesrine Malik’s fantabulous article points to what I deliberation will be, successful retrospect, 1 of nan astir depressing aspects of this predetermination – debased elector turnout. Unenthused and worse by nan large parties, nan existent voting electorate whitethorn good group a caller debased for nan past 100 years. And it is into specified spaces that populists for illustration Donald Trump step.
Graham Walsh
Wymondham, Norfolk

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