Tuesday, March 08, 2005

In 1979 I was a student at Warwick University camapaigning in the General Election for the late Audrey Wise, the tenacious left-wing Labour MP for Coventry. One of the small trotskyist clans at the University was urging students to "Vote Tory to bring down the Government". Their logic was that Callaghan was a reactionary Labour PM and was deeply hated by the unions. This had resulted in strikes and the so-called 'Winter of Discontent'. If Thatcher came to power, they argued, she would be even more reactionary and the unions would rise up against the Tories and a revolutionary situation would emerge. Bloody fine experiment that turned out to be! Audrey Wise lost her seat... although the truth is, Coventry lost Audrey. I'd like to meet with 'the comrades' who pushed that line back then (they are probably all New Labour or Lib Dem voting voting advertising executives now) and ask them to reflect on their advice. Reading this from Martin Kettle, I really do hope we are not all sitting back on May 6th wondering exactly what went wrong.... and watching the smarmy Howard quoting St Francis of Assisi..."Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope." Look back in anger.