While doing a very good job of blindly quoting the Communist Manifesto, Jeff Sawtell (M Star May 30) has committed the cardinal sin that Marx himself warned against, that of treating tactics as gospel.
Marx and Engels never intended for the manifesto to form a "be all and end all" of communist theory but simply a tactical programme for the Communist League in the situation it faced, that of 1800s Europe.
To just throw out quotes from this in a discussion about how the left should organise in Britain today flies in the face of everything Marx, Lenin or any other Marxist theoretician stood for.
Lenin advised the British Communist Party (CP) to try to work closely with the Labour Party as a tactic, not a programme. Tactics change as the situation does, or when they have been proven to be no longer viable.
At the time of Lenin's advice to the CP the Labour Party had in its ranks a large base of working-class political activists who were the perfect people for the CP to recruit to the ideas of revolutionary Marxism.
Young workers, who Lenin identified as the most important to recruit to the revolutionary party, were going into the Labour Party. It made sense to follow them there.
However anyone who can look at the Labour Party today and say "That's were the best young working-class fighters are going!" needs their head checked. Unless you're trying to build a revolution on the back of upper-middle-class careerists, that is in which case it's pretty much perfect hunting grounds.
As a 20-something who isn't cursed by the rosy-eyed vision of a past Labour Party that wasn't just a bunch of Tories wearing red ties, let me just say that all the arguments for sticking with it that I've read in this letter page of late sound a lot like the arguments made about the Liberal Party when Labour itself was formed.