From Jim Dobbin, chairman of the AllParty Parliamentary Pro-Life Group and Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton SIR Jill Segger (Comment, August 1) shows very little understanding of Labour and the Catholic vote.
Both my wife and f are cradle Catholics and life-long members of the Labour Party. Ms Segger's simplistic claim that she has never met "a working-class Catholic who thought it the business of government to act as the legislative arm of any denominational teaching" shows very little understanding of the Catholic-Labour relationship or the relationship that has always • existed between the Labour Party and biblical Christians. (Perhaps this is not surprising in view of the fact that she is a Quaker.) We would agree that the Labour party needs to return to its roots. But there is no such thing as social justice without first ensuring that the right to life and the rights of the traditional family which after all is the cornerstone of society are protected.
A further outrage, so far as Catholics and other Christians are concerned, was the total failure to recognise the right of the Christian conscience which was totally disregarded on the question of "gay" adoptions and sex education.
It has been these developments more than anything else that have alienated Catholics from the Party. I have constantly stressed to Labour party leaders that they were in danger of rupturing the traditional link between Labour and Catholics. In addition, I work with many Christians of other denominations who feel as strongly on the issues we do.
However, "working-class Catholics" (as Ms Segger refers to them) do not consider these issues simply as matters of religion. They are all basic human rights, which the logic of our religion teaches us are fundamental. If the Labour Party follows the ideas of Ms Segger, I predict that the recent by-elections, such as Glasgow East, will not be the last of our disasters.
Yours faithfully, JIM DOBBIN Sutton Coldfield, W Midlands