If Ed Miliband wants Labour to be a movement and not a “vote-harvesting machine” (Report, 21 April), it will have to stop repelling the many active members who left the party when it became Tony Blair‘s supporters’ club under the banner of New Labour. The party’s general secretary still uses the email address @email-new.labour.org.uk for begging messages. Until Miliband rejects such signs that it’s still the party we resigned from, he won’t get us back.
What might attract members back would be to start questioning the very principles on which political parties operate. That means starting the discussion of policies in the local parties. Only when members review the social democratic principles and values on which the Labour party is founded is there any hope for genuine party revival. The policies should follow the explicit principles, not assume or precede them.
Newcastle upon Tyne
• Thank you for the well-balanced profile of Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru (25 April). She represents many people in Wales on the left who have become disillusioned with Labour. I only disagree with her on not wanting to tell the English how to vote. In Wales we have been told how to vote for years by Labour, stressing the unity of the working class, and it’s led to Wales being one of the poorest economies in Europe. Only last week we had Ed Miliband telling us to use our local elections as a referendum on the Cameron government. Sorry, Ed, we have enough problems trying to overcome almost a century of undemocratic one-party rule – by your party.