From Mr J. Alan Smith
Sir, — The Revd Dr Giles Fraser writes
(Comment, 13 May): “The fundamental problem for the Conservatives is that
they are two parties forced together in a marriage of convenience.” Such an
analysis is not new: all parties are, to an extent, coalitions, and this is
particularly true of a party like the Conservatives with a history going back
to the 17th century. However, his identification of the two parties as
“squires” and “pinstripes” is rather inept, since the squires put aside their
tweeds and put on pinstripes when in town.
Perhaps he would care to conduct a similar analysis on the Labour Party:
Very Old Labour, who may still exist, who saw grammar schools as a mechanism
for achieving social mobility; the Marxists, who wish bright working-class
children to remain in the working class in order to work for the revolution
rather than to better themselves for their own benefit and for that of society;
and the Whigs, often educated at public schools, who worked for the abolition
of grammar schools in order to keep the lower orders from getting above
J. ALAN SMITH
40 Albany Court, Epping, Essex CM16 5ED
From the Revd Steven Saxby
Sir, — The Revd Dr Jeremy Morris’s comment that F. D. Maurice’s “Christian
Socialism had little to do with theoretical Socialism, with Marx and the
redistribution of property”
(Features, 20 May) could also apply to the Christianity of Messrs Blair and
Brown, and, indeed, to the so-called Christian Socialist Movement.
But there was a strong tradition, more inspired by William Morris than F. D.
Maurice, of theoretical Christian Socialism in Britain, which expressed itself
in the Guild of St Matthew, the Church Socialist League, and elsewhere.
Are there any theoretical Christian Socialists left? If so, perhaps the time
has come to organise. Socialism in the UK is in need of a re-injection of
Christian Socialism. What of re-founding the Church Socialist League a hundred
years after its original foundation in 1906?
If any comrades are out there, I should like to hear from them.
c/o Peterhouse, 122 Forest Rise, Walthamstow E17 3PW