SIR – I feel I must reply to Mr Bird’s letter (T&A, January 11) in response to a letter from Christopher Hindle.

Firstly let me state that I am not a supporter or defender of the Labour Party. I regard them as a disaster who abandoned all their principles with the abolition of Cause 4 more than 20 years ago.

However, for Mr Bird to equate the Labour Party and socialism in Britain to Soviet-style Communism represented by ‘Uncle Joe’ is factually incorrect.

Sorry, Mr Bird, but the Zinoviev letter of 1924 was a forgery concocted by MI6 and sent to the Daily Mail to bring down a democratically-elected government (the late Michael Foot often referred to the Daily Mail as the ‘forgers gazette’).

Secondly, the Labour Party in its early days was about self-help, temperance and social reform. The Labour Party General Secretary, 1944 to 1961, Morgan Phillips said “The Labour Party owes more to Methodism than to Marxism”.

British socialism has never been about bloodthirsty revolution, it has been about social reform. One could hardly see Labour leaders from Keir Hardie onwards as revolutionaries toting machine guns and sending opponents to the gulag for periods of political realignment.

Mr Bird may well be right when he says there are socialists in the Labour Party. However, most socialists have been replaced by career opportunists who will say and do anything to get a vote, rather than stand on principle.

Gerrard Myers, Raven Street, Bingley