Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2013

Reflections and sycophancy: Kinnock versus the socialist Liverpool council

Tony Mulhearn, Former Liverpool 47 councillor
Liverpool city council's struggle in 1983-87 for more funding from the Thatcher government was an inspriation to workers, photo Dave Sinclair

Liverpool city council's struggle in 1983-87 for more funding from the Thatcher government was an inspriation to workers, photo Dave Sinclair   (Click to enlarge)

Present day Labour councillors who are carrying out Tory government cuts are still haunted by calls to emulate the example of the Liverpool 47 councillors who refused to carry out Margaret Thatcher's cuts in the 1980s.

This was further evidenced in a recent BBC Today programme when Baron Jenkin, Minister of the Environment during the Liverpool 47's tenure, was asked to comment on the content of cabinet papers which had been made public.

He said the biggest problem he had ever faced was the Militant Tendency's control of Liverpool. He was urged to send commissioners in to take control of the city.

His response was: "How do you get commissioners past half a million people, and how do you get them out again?" Recognising the potency of a mass campaign, his trepidation persuaded him to reject the idea.

This was followed by the first of a series of 'Reflections', in which Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield, FBA and an English historian of government, asks senior politicians to reflect on their life and times.

His first interview was with 'ex-socialist firebrand', ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock. The interview was a model of sycophancy, leavened with dollops of cloying flattery.

Naturally Hennessy's big question was practically preceded by a blast of trumpets and a roll of drums.

It went something like: 'Now Neil, we come to what some people consider was the best conference speech in the history of the world - your attack on the Liverpool Militants, what gave you such courage and fortitude to make such a brilliant demolition of Liverpool?'

Bloated toad

Although it was a radio show, you could sense his Lordship swelling up like a bloated toad as Kinnock entered into a fantasy world in which he carried out his historic role of saving the Labour Party from destruction and delivering a knock-out blow to brave councillors he described as 'clowns'.

He conveniently ignored the fact that the result of his carrying out the edicts of Rupert Murdoch and then Daily Mirror owner, pension thief Robert Maxwell, was the two worst Labour defeats since 1931 while, by contrast, Liverpool's Labour votes were the highest in the history of the city.

Hennessy of course did not ask why, since Kinnock's speech, Labour has been reduced to a hollowed-out scarecrow whose idea of opposition is to ape the policies of the ruling party.

One was reminded of socialist writer Upton Sinclair's quote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Liverpool: A City That Dared To Fight

By Peter Taaffe and Tony Mulhearn £11.99

The Rise Of Militant

By Peter Taaffe £11.99

Marxism in Today's World

By Peter Taaffe £8

Special offer: Free P&P to all readers of the Socialist

PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD

020 8988 8789

Please make cheques payable to Socialist Books

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 14 August 2013:

Socialist Party campaigns

Zero tolerance for zero-hours!

End zero-hour contracts now!

Socialist Party editorial

A tale of two Britains

Socialist Party news and analysis

Beware a recovery!

Met finally apologise for G20 death

London Olympics legacy - one year on

Football and big business: time to reclaim the game

Socialist Party subs appeal

Them & Us

Socialist Party events

Come to the Socialist Party Summer Camp

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Hunt attacks NHS staff and patients

Save Our Hospital!

Protest at the Tory Conference in Manchester

International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Mobilise to bring down the government

South Africa: Limpopo WASP launch

Seattle: Socialist challenge to corporate Democrats

Socialist Party workplace news

Defend the Four: Tribunal compensation award to Unison activists

Postal workers ballot for action

On your bike, Serco

Swansea council pay attacks angers workers

Anti-Bedroom Tax

Winning a reprieve from the bedroom tax

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Building TUSC in Caerphilly

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Reflections and sycophancy: Kinnock versus the socialist Liverpool council

The Mill: A change from the usual TV

Successes, failures and stalemates: A week in the life of a trade union rep


Home   |   The Socialist 14 August 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Racism and capitalism, the link

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: The Marxist view of history

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Opposing zero hours contracts


triangleConference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!


triangleReadmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: From Militant to the Socialist Party


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now


triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleSupport for socialist programme in Labour Liverpool rally

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments


Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle


Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'


Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares



Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks


The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox



Shocking insight into Isis



Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women



Women's football - Sampson allegations



The Socialist Inbox



Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"



Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward



New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed



The Socialist inbox


Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon



Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice