Colin Foster (Solidarity 347) professes to not understand why I was irate with Jon Lansman’s article in 343.
In the immediate aftermath of a discussion at Workers’ Liberty’s conference where I, alongside other comrades, argued for a more critical approach to Labour, we publish an article that argues simply that the current Labour leadership shouldn’t be got rid of. Can Colin really not understand why I was irate? Colin characterises the column as bland, he might have added right-wing! How else would you describe an article with no content except defend Miliband?
During the period between 1987 and 1992, the press rumoured that John Smith might challenge Kinnock for the leadership of the party, from the right. After 1992 until his death in 1994, there was some discussion, (not much, because Smith was new to the leadership and Labour was riding high in the polls) that Blair or Brown might challenge Smith for the Party leadership. I don’t think that during either of those times our press carried articles simply saying that the leader shouldn’t be challenged. Nor should we have done!
Colin’s final point is that it is possible to have left leader candidacies in today’s Labour Party. Well in which case why are we arguing that there should not be a leadership election? If I thought that in a British Labour leadership election, a candidate of the genuine left, like Neil Findlay in the Scottish leadership election, could get over a third of the vote, I would be for organising to make a leadership election happen. Such a result would give the left something to organise around and would raise the debate about working-class political answers both in the Party and the country at large. I do not think such a thing is possible, Colin seemingly does.
Which makes it more puzzling why he is so keen to support an article which has it’s whole purpose to argue there shouldn’t be a leadership election.