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Posted on 4 July 2013 at 14:36 GMT

Dave Nellist: "Boring" or "Witty and highly political"?

Dave Nellist has sent the following letter to the Guardian in response to an article by Martin Kettle today (Falkirk may seem minor, but for Labour it really matters):

Martin Kettle ("Falkirk may seem minor", July 4) describes me as one of "the most boring men in British politics".

Am I offended? No, to be remembered at all a quarter of a century later is not to be sniffed at.

But what does Martin mean by 'boring'? Certainly not lacking in humour, as your colleague Michael White a few years ago kindly described a speech I gave at the Savoy (I know!) as "witty and highly political, done with style and without compromise" and "one of the best speeches I have ever heard" (Guardian 15/11/2007). I like that much better.

But perhaps what Martin is really complaining of, in describing Militant-supporting MPs as 'boring', was our consistent, principled, unwavering promotion of socialism, as Labour was being changed all around us, to its unrecognisable state today.

I understand Len McCluskey's campaign to try to re-win Labour away from its overlapping agenda on austerity with the other establishment parties.

But if it doesn't work, and the omens are not favourable, there's a small but growing campaign which believes we have to start again from scratch to build a new party, and we're planning to stand 600 candidates in next year's council elections.

And if we can get traction, I promise, Martin, politics won't be so boring!

Dave Nellist, Chair, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (and Labour MP 1983-92, Socialist Party councillor 1998-2012),

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