Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/731/15115
The 'madness' of building homes
On 28 August, the Guardian carried a Polly Toynbee article about the role of "great speeches" at Tory, Labour and Lib Dem conferences.
"No one forgets [1983-1992 Labour leader] Neil Kinnock castigating the Liverpool council's Militant madness," Toynbee stated - before going on to say how Kinnock never won a general election!
A former 'Liverpool 47' councillor (1984-87) and 2012 TUSC Liverpool mayoral candidate Tony Mulhearn wrote the following response.
Polly Toynbee reveals the continuing love affair of ex-SDA [Social Democratic Alliance - a 1975-81 right-wing group in the Labour Party that is now part of the Liberal Democrats] supporters with Neil Kinnock by bracketing with history's 'great speeches' his treacherous attack on Liverpool city council in 1985 for its mythical 'Militant madness'. Is this the same Kinnock who remained silent when councils in his own constituency sacked firefighters, and who described public ownership as 'nonsense'? Is this the same Kinnock who started the process of transforming Labour into the toothless mongrel that Polly herself appears to be so disaffected with?
The reality is that Polly Toynbee is part of that set who rightly are appalled at the savagery of Con-Dem policy, but who balk at supporting workers who take direct action, as Liverpool did, to defend the working people who elected them and gave that council magnificent support.
If Liverpool's 'madness' in building houses, creating jobs, opening nursery schools and campaigning against the 'madness' of Thatcherism had been emulated by other councils and supported by Kinnock and Co, Labour may well have dispatched the Tories into the dustbin of history.
Tony Mulhearn, 'Liverpool 47' councillor and ex-president of Liverpool District Labour Party expelled by Neil Kinnock
In The Socialist 29 August 2012:
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