SEVERAL recent letters to HAS, including a hilarious one from Tony Kelly (HAS, Nov 30), have accused Jeremy Corbyn of being a Marxist.

As far as I know, the only time in recent years that Corbyn has mentioned Marx was in 2015 on the Andrew Marr Show, when he said that Marx “analysed what was happening in a quite brilliant way” but acknowledged: “I haven’t really read as much Marx as I should have done.”

I haven’t read any Marx myself, and I suspect that his accusers haven’t either.

Corbyn would surely agree with Marx on the fundamental principle of socialism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” – i.e. the fortunate should care for the less fortunate in society. But while Marx believed a socialist society could only be achieved by a “revolution of the proletariat”, Corbyn is seeking a democratic mandate to transform society “for the many, not the few

That is the difference between revolutionary Marxism and democratic socialism.

Corbyn is, above all, a democrat. In an era where, worryingly, “strong leadership” is increasingly admired, Corbyn has said, “Whereas insecure leaders want to feel stronger by asking you to give them more power, I recognise strong leadership as equipping you with more power”.

Pete Winstanley, Durham.