Thursday, April 28, 2005

Following Labour's defeat in the 1983 General Election the right-wing of the Party, (remembered nostalgically by some as 'Old Labour') did what they always do, and blamed the left wing of the Party for the defeat. Never mind that the left had never run the Party for a minute, the Thatcher victory was blamed on the manifesto, described by Kauffman as 'the longest suicide note in history' for having the nerve to commit the Party to a programme of social justice and wealth redistribution. Also castigated, and Blair repeats this myth to this day, were those in the Party demanding democratic reforms, (the ability to select/deselect their MP, one member one vote) who were condemned as 'splitters', despite the fact that it was the right that had broken away to form the SDP. I still cringe to think of West Bromwich MP Peter Snape going on local television the night after the election and stating that the one good thing to come out of the defeat was that Tony Benn had lost his seat in Bristol.

For those with a less twisted view of labour history, pop along to 340 Old Street if you are in London, and although, apparently, you won't get to see Benn in the nude, you will probably enjoy this exhibition, entitled, perhaps ironically, Power.

Best of luck to Phil Sawford, the Labour MP (or candidate to be precise) in Kettering. How ironic that he'll probably be signing-on soon because of the anti-Blair factor.