Ed Miliband must come up with some convincing strategies that can correct the growing imbalance between north and south (Miliband promises to outline path to one nation Britain, 28 December). On every index of growth and prosperity the south-east is streets ahead of the north, and in the same issue of the paper David Blunkett paints a depressing picture of declining local government services, mainly in the north (Comment, 28 December). Continually repeating the “one nation” mantra without demonstrating some deliverable but radical ideas to regenerate the north of England won’t do. The coalition has dismantled the regional development agencies that Labour created, leaving northern industry even more exposed. Wales and Scotland have benefited from devolution while the English regions remain powerless. Who will speak for the north?
Professor Paul Salveson
Hannah Mitchell Foundation, Huddersfield
• Your perceptive editorial (28 December) throws down the gauntlet to Labour’s current “writers in residence”, Jon Cruddas and Jonathan Rutherford, to construct a socialist narrative that can match the transformative vision of the post-war Attlee government. At a minimum this will require the promotion of social security for all, a clear recognition of the distinctive value of publicly funded and provided services, an unwavering commitment to equality and solidarity, the rejection of individualistic explanations of disadvantage and a recognition of the limitations of localism. The nation awaits.
Reader in democratic socialism and social policy, University of Birmingham