Dear Sir, Several acquaintances have said how much they enjoy my occasional letters to the Newton News, and ask me why I no longer contribute. Soon I will have one or two comments to make and rather like Icarus, fly perhaps too close to the sun! But my facts will be proofed to this newspaper, if circumstances demand this course of action. At my age it is rather uncomfortable sitting on the fence in most matters relating to politics.  However, with this Labour Party leadership thing there are those who are trying to do just that. I am supporting Owen Smith.- one reason being that, yesterday, I waited for over five hours in a local hospital to be admitted for an amputation, only to be sent home, after a total of seven hours, because of a lack of beds. There is a chronic shortage of beds in our NHS and this will only get worse under this Tory Government, who unopposed, seem determined to run the NHS into the ground, before resurrecting it as some privatised, fee-paying entity. It is rather like musical chairs, but with beds used instead of chairs. Every time the music stops another bed has been taken away (but not another needy patient)! We need a credible alternative government in waiting, with costed policies that are digestible to non-Labour Party voters. We betray the legacy handed down to us if we adhere to rigid Left-wing dogma and slogans, rather than look at the needs of real people in the real world.  Without power, a political party cannot achieve anything. The Tories love Jeremy Corbyn almost as much as they adored dear – though unelectable – Michael Foot, donkey jacket and all. In 1983. The left-wing inspired Labour Party election manifesto was characterised as ‘the longest suicide note in history’. Our fine, approachable, hard-working constituency MP, Phil Wilson has laid out the case for the progressive, radical policies espoused by Owen Smith. So why have so few local politicians echoed his views? The words of Hetty of NCIS: Los Angeles, in an oft repeated trailer, spring to my mind; “We don’t wanna  lose our jobs.” It is nearly selection time re DCC Labour Party candidates to stand in the May 2017 elections, so silence is the only sound to be heard. As the red or black chips are both ready to be pushed on to the roulette table, AFTER the wheel stops turning. I will not be silenced or silent just to please a few potential Labour Party left-wing voters who may swing things one way or the other. By the way, it’s Day 2 of my wait to get into hospital to have a dead and rotting toe removed – and still no bed available. We need a Labour Government!  Derek G Atkinson, Labour Party GATC Councillor.