Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/273/24538
Letter to The Observer
17 October 2002
If Militant (now the Socialist Party) had really been a "sect" and "loathed by voters and most people in the Labour Party" (Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer, 13 October 2002) we would not have generated as much interest from journalists like him nor would I have been interviewed in the 1980s on TV programmes he fronted.
We earned the ire of the rich, the powerful and the Labour right who defend them because we connected socialism and Marxism with mass movements of the working class in Liverpool, which initially defeated Thatcher, and in the poll tax struggle, which ultimately led to her downfall.
When the ideas of Militant were influential in the Liverpool Labour Party, it consistently increased its votes in elections, it time and again defeated the Liberals and Tories, and had up to 800 people attending its meetings. Under the stewardship of Kinnock's and Blair's heirs, the Liverpool Labour Party has now been reduced to a rump and the Liberal Democrats overwhelmingly control the council.
Rawnsley has kind words for the "war hero" Tebbit yet Militant members and supporters were real heroes to working class people in another more important war, the class war; they were prepared to risk losing their jobs and homes, and go to jail, for refusing to pay the poll tax.
(Former editor, Militant, now General Secretary of the Socialist Party).
In The Socialist 18 October 2002: