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Pat Wall

Why I Am Standing for the Labour Party NEC

(May 1982)

From Militant, No. 602, 21 May 1982.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

I am standing for the NEC in the Constituency Labour Party section, in support of socialist policies; to reaffirm the right of CLPs to select the candidate of their choice; and in total opposition to a witch-hunt in the Labour Party.

The need for a mass socialist Labour Party has never been greater. The lives of millions of workers and their families have been blitzed by mass unemployment and a calamitous fall in living standards. Now the Tories are sharpening their knives for an assault on the trade unions.

I stand for a concerted campaign around socialist policies to force an election and drive the Tories from office. Unfortunately, many right wing leaders in the party, echoing the red-baiting of Fleet Street, have concentrated their fire on those arguing for more socialist ideas within the Labour Party.

Rather than conduct such a campaign against our enemies, they seem intent on a witch-hunt against the Left, particularly the supporters of Militant. This would have disastrous consequences for Labour. It would split the party wide apart, wrecking any hopes for a united struggle around socialist policies – the only way to defeat the Tories and their Liberal/SDP shadows.

I believe that the resolutions passed at Annual Conference must be translated into reality.

My right to stand as a parliamentary candidate has been questioned. Some right-wingers, like Terry Duffy have even called for my expulsion from a party I joined more than thirty years ago.

I firmly believe that the attack launched against myself and the supporters of Militant is just the first strike in a campaign against the whole left. It won’t stop at that. Many on the right want to undo all the gains of recent years allowing greater democracy within the Labour Party. They would like to jettison the radical policies adopted by Annual Conference.

To defend these gains and fight any attempted witch-hunt, it is essential that NEC members who stand for building a fighting socialist Labour Party are elected.

It is with this view that I appeal for the support of all Constituency Labour Parties in the elections to the NEC.

  • For a mass, democratic, socialist Labour Party to defeat the Tories!
  • For rank and file representation on the NEC!
  • For the right of CLPs to select the candidate of their choice!
  • Defeat the witch-hunt!

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Last updated: 3 June 2016