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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Labourlist Column

My Labourlist column this week was about Tony Benn: http://labourlist.org/2014/03/praise-benn-but-never-forget-the-damage-he-did-to-labour/


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

I think one point that I would make is that people who were genuinely left-wing tended to be tolerant people. The intolerant people tended to be those who pretended to be left-wing and then became hard right once they became MPs.

It is true that Benn was an inspirational figure and that is a good thing. However, there was an obvious weakness in that he did not then have the support of ordinary voters. This was demonstrated at the time of his deputy leadership challenge. I think that the only union whose members supported him was the NUM.

The problem that I have just indicated could be temporary. It is worth remembering that this problem did not affect Ken Livingstone in his first bid for the London mayoralty nomination.

As for 1983, it is worth remembering that Labour was heading for defeat anyway when that election was called. Defeat was pretty much inevitable. However, the scale of that defeat was far from inevitable. A 6%-7% deficit in the final poll could have happened. I also think it fair to point out that the Labour Party was not as well organised in those days as it is now. That makes a big difference.

Good article in many ways despite my criticisms.

10:59 am, March 26, 2014


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