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Labour must seize this moment for socialism, and elect a socialist Leader
A guest editorial by Kenneth McIntyre MP

I often hear from my fellow Labour party members about the moment of reckoning that apparently came for our party during the 1987 election. You will hear that once and for all socialism, true socialism, was put to bed in the United Kingdom. You will hear that the purges, because that is what they were, of Labour leaders who kept power in check were a necessary evil because today we are better posed to take the reigns of power. But nothing could be further from the truth, no good can come of a watered Labour party. And the real moment of reckoning for the Labour party is now, in 1990, while we stand on the threshold of electing a leader and the Conservative Party seems posed to do the same.

After 1987 the experience speaks for itself. While the Labour party looked inward and began attacking her own, the Conservatives felt a misplaced sense of empowerment that enabled them to continue the status quo of eroding worker rights across the entire United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. And this manifested itself in the poll tax and we can hold this up as an example of what happens when true socialism is taken down from the watchtower of the people. It is a warning that now, more than ever, we need to remain true to our roots, true to what makes us members of the Labour movement.

What has happened since 1987 within the Labour party-- the removal of party members who publicly kept the Labour leadership accountable to socialist members from every corner of our country, the advancement of neo-liberal concepts and idea topped with a Labour masthead and the silence on issues that have direct negative consequences for the workers and families of the United Kingdom-- has to come to an end. And our surge of support recently in the fallout of the poll tax debacle is proof positive of this, it is proof that the people have truly seen the affects of neo-liberal policies that rob the worker their families and they desire a truly socialist alternative. This may not have been the case in 1987, but it is certainly the case in 1990.

As we look forward to the second millennium, we must look forward with hope and optimism-- a hope and optimism that only true socialism can offer the British worker. Authenticity is the key and in light of this understanding there is only one candidate who has established themselves within the party as the best socialist option. Just as socialism presents the best rebuttal to backward neo-liberal thinking and tinkering, the leader of the Labour party must present the best rebuttal to the current Conservative leader (and for now, next Prime Minister). And again, there is only one candidate who stands foremost in this consideration. We have serious challenges ahead of us, challenges related to social justice and the not just advancement of workers right but a return to normal after years of neo-liberal Conservative destruction. And again only one candidate stands at the forefront of this challenge.

James McCrimmon has a remarkable socialist track record within the party. He has the support of labour leaders in every industry of the nation and has proven himself to be a worthy adversary to the Conservative party and their neo-liberal policies. It is time for the purges, the in-fighting and the double-speak to come to an end within the Labour party. It is time for us to present ourselves to the people of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland as a viable and authentic socialist alternative to the backward policies of successive Conservative governments. 

I endorse James McCrimmon for leader of the Labour party. And I look forward to taking back the levers of power from those who seek to keep the British worker and their families down. His leadership will give us the best chance of success and a return to our true socialist roots. And I pledge to each of you that I will continue to remain vigilant to keep inauthentic socialists away from the reigns of our party-- an important duty for every serious party member during this leadership election.


Kenneth McIntyre is the Labour Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock & Loudoun, formerly legal counsel for the National Union of Mineworkers.
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Forward with Socialism - vote for Jim and Tommy, and let's get our party back.

As this paper goes to press, Comrades Jim McCrimmon and Tommy Dawson will be entering the final stretch of their campaign to take back the Labour Party for its members, unions and working people. Jim and Tommy have spent the last few weeks taking a message of renewal, hope and unashamed, undiluted internationalist socialism around the country, which is crying out for an alternative to the last eleven years, eleven wasted years of the most callous Tory capitalist extremism that any of us have seen in our life time.

After a few false starts, and more than a bump or two in the road - the Labour Party has the best chance in almost a decade to elect a Leader and Deputy who will once and for all reverse the years of Thatcherism, without any compromising of the principles and roots that this great party was built upon. 

We tried a makeover at the last election, we made a half-hearted attempt to reconcile ourselves to some of the supposed neoliberal consensus, and our former Leader decided that to do so it was more important to kick out members of his own party than go after the Tories. With Jim and Tommy all of that stops, and the great betrayal of 1981 will be cast to the memory of history alongside the rest of the so-called modernisers; after a decade this is our best -and quite possibly last- chance to get a socialist Labour Government which will truly change the UK for good, and forever. 

Of course, there is another candidate, he has been quick to condemn aspects of Thatcherism of course, and of course any Labour Prime Minister would be better than a Tory Government. But would he actually reverse privatisation fully? Is he going to repeal the pernicious Trade Union legislation? Would he abolish the House of Lords, Trident, and get us out of both the EEC and NATO - no. 

To those who would have us pursue a middle course, accept the status quo, and betray the core values of this movement - we say enough is enough. The experiment is over, and it's time to fight for our Labour values, unashamedly and without fear.

DEAR COMRADES, let us go forward with socialism, and vote to take our party back once and for all.