As Labour members and supporters we believe the party is the best vehicle to create the kind of more equal, democratic and sustainable society we want to see. But with the progressive vote split, the danger of a Tory landslide and all it means for our country now looms darkly on 8 June. It is therefore important to maximise progressive votes and campaigning in some key seats. In that respect we applaud the move made by the Green party in Ealing Central and Brighton Kemptown to stand aside and give Labour a better chance of defeating the Tories.
If Labour were to respond, not only would it be doing the right thing morally, it could unlock further positive moves from the Green party and its supporters in a swath of other seats. We therefore urge the Labour leadership not to stand candidates in just two seats, Brighton Pavilion, the one seat the Greens now hold, and the Isle of Wight, the one seat where they are the best-placed party to defeat the Tories. In both instances, Labour has no realistic hope of winning. This is both the right thing to do and helps Labour in seats where the Green vote can make the difference to our party winning or losing. Labour now has to give something back to gain even more.
Baroness Helena Kennedy
Clive Lewis MP
Jon Cruddas MP
Tulip Saddiq MP
Baroness Ruth Lister
Dave Arnold Brighton Labour party
• It’s time for parties in opposition to this government to get the gloves off. The fight is already rough and dirty. So why not specify clearly and concisely on all your election posters the lies we have and are being told. Let’s remember it was never the “ordinary working people” (as Theresa May likes to condescend) who were reviled worldwide as Perfidious Albion, but the ruling class, ever ready, as they are again, to do deals with tyrannical, corrupt and repressive regimes for their own gain.
The very air we breathe is now as polluted as the politics they peddle. It wasn’t the opposition who called the Conservatives “the nasty party”, it was the then more perceptive Mrs May and it should be emblazoned on every piece of opposition literature for the whole election. The damage the Tories could do to our country in the next five years is inestimable. Those who can see a better Britain need to fight.
• The Labour party will not publish its tax plans until 15 May. It’s unfortunate that the party has left this so late. For years the party has lagged the Tories in opinion polls for its “economic competence”, meaning fiscal policy: the majority think Labour spends rashly, without adequate sources of funding. This view is unjustified, but it is where we are now. The praiseworthy pledges that Labour is making on spending on the NHS, education and public-sector pay will cut no ice if people think they are unfundable. The party urgently needs to put forward its strategy on taxing corporations, the rich and land price appreciation, on green taxes, and on “borrowing to invest”.
Explaining how these can fund Labour’s spending plans should be the number one priority for the party’s campaign over the next six weeks.
• Jonathan Steele claims Labour’s Brexit stance is not substantially different from the Tories’ and calls for Labour to reverse its support for article 50 (Opinion, 28 April). This is not only a political non-starter, but could never have the intended effect of securing an electoral majority based on unifying the remain vote. Its uneven distribution translates a 48% to 52% population ratio into only a third of parliamentary seats under first past the post. He would do better to back Labour’s current approach to Brexit, which must, inevitably, whatever is stated publicly, leave open the possibility of retaining the status quo, if that is demonstrably better than the alternatives on offer at the end of the negotiations. The Tories, by contrast, have left no other option than the cliff edge that seems increasingly likely as the EU firm up their position.
Dr Anthony Isaacs
• John Crace (Sketch, 29 April) says Ukip’s legacy is to allow disaffected working-class voters to become far-right Tories. I enjoy Crace’s sketches, but this comment is classic Guardian metrocentricity. The legacy of the inevitably disintegrated Ukip, in the context of Mrs May’s opportunist snap election, is to oblige those precariat voters – abandoned by the equally metrocentric Labour party – to vote Tory, in order to allow a May government to complete the Ukip Brexit project: getting control of immigration by ending EU freedom of movement and accepting the quid pro quo of loss of single-market access. Wanting control of immigration is not “dark blue Conservatism” – it’s working-class common sense.
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