The tide will surely turn in Britain
HOWEVER much I agree with David Wallen's hagiology of John Smith (South China Morning Post, May 14), I feel that he has completely missed the point in seeing how the land lies as regards the present British political scene.
Of course John Smith was the perfect leader for the post-Kinnock Labour Party after the latter, it may be argued, brought back the party's respectability after more than a decade in the wilderness. We must not forget that the British electorate are a fickle lot and if Kinnock was unable to gain power, would John Smith have succeeded? Now we will never know.
If you were to check the guest list at these ''luvvies'' bashes, you would see a younger audience dominated by thirtysomethings and boomers, just old enough to remember the last Labour Government and committed to a socialist ideology for Britain. It is the policies not the personalities.
At present it is the introduction of 171/2 per cent value added tax (VAT) on domestic fuel that is making the Tories unpopular which conversely makes the Labour Party popular, not John Smith per se. Notice, I've made no mention of Europe.
John Smith's death is a very sad loss to British politics and I echo Mr Wallen's sentiments, perhaps the Labour Party ideology and fresh policies that a thirty/-fortysomething leader - such as a Blair or Brown - could bring, will make the Labour Party electable again? At the moment it is a question of ''better the devil you know'' which is the key to John Major's unpopular tenure.
When you start hurting the pockets of Britain's middle classes, as well as the working classes with more VAT then it's a policy gone too far and fickleness apart the tide will surely turn.
ROBERT CLEMENTS North Point