A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bob Marshall-Andrews

Bob Marshall-Andrews, MP for Medway and a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, lived in the same Bristol University hall of residence as me (though 25 years earlier) - Wills Hall, founded by the Bristolian tobacco magnates of the same name when they had a huff because their son didn't get into Oxford.

Aside from shared residence of a 1930s pastiche version of a Tudor Oxford College

which softened the blow of not getting into the real thing, I assumed we had nothing else in common.

But in an exclusive interview in the 2007 Wills Hall Association Handbook, battling Bob reveals his Trot-fighting past:

"I joined the Party in 1971 and stood for Parliament in 1974 in Richmond ... At that stage, the Party went walk-about - it was heavily infiltrated with Trots and it became almost impossible for someone like me to get a seat. I was on the shortlist for Battersea South in 1976. The first question - after I'd made what I thought was a passable left-wing pitch - was from a man with a Che Guevara moustache, who stood up and said "What's a middle class w**ker like you think you can do for the people of Battersea South?"

It became very dull, I spent my entire life fighting Trots."

He then reveals that Neil Kinnock persuaded him (at a rugby match) to get back into politics. Except by this time his politics had changed a bit. Thanks Neil.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks he doth protest too much.

Talking to comrades who were active in London Labour politics in the 1970s they say that the sensible people, including what would then have been called Tribunites (as opposed to even you Manifesto Group types) regarded BMA as well, errr, bonkers.

1:49 pm, April 17, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Where exactly are the Marshall-Andrews and Akehurst Halls situated then Luke? My family home was in Stoke Bishop/Sea Mills for a time in the 70s and 80s and Wills students were of course absolutely revolting. BMA wouldn't consider himself a Trot. He isn't really is he? Supporting Meacher, or what's this Brown, isn't he?

The Trotty candidate.

In fact there was a time when folk in the PLP were looking round for a stalking horse, and although BMA was actually of the requisite "donkey" calibre they thought that he probably did not realise this himself and would perhaps perish over-reaching at Beechers on the second.

6:59 pm, April 17, 2007

Anonymous Unrepentent Class Warrior said...

You went to Wills hall in Bristol? Isn't that where all the rahs go?

9:35 am, April 18, 2007

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