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Andrew Price


Double standards over trades councils

(June 1982)

From Militant, No. 605, 11 June 1982, p. 12.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Comrades,

I was interested to read Keith Narey’s article (Militant, issue 594) on the attitude of the TUC towards Bradford Trades Council’s involvement in the Bradford North Labour Party. The attempt of the right wing to build a Chinese wall between the activities of the industrial and political wings of the movement is not of course a recent development.

In the 1960s the right wing of the TUC and the Labour Party began the process of the breaking up of Trades and Labour Councils. These bodies brought together representatives of both the local Labour Parties and the local trade union branches into effective organisations. They were broken up in practically every case, but not without opposition from local activists. In fact the TUC and Labour right wing had to spend an enormous amount of time on this which could have been devoted to far more useful ends. I agree with Keith that trade unionists should fight against the 1977 TUC ruling which forbids trades councils sending resolutions to CLPs, or being involved in reselection.

However, it does seem odd that this ruling should be enforced only where Pat Wall is involved. At this year’s Wales Labour Party conference a resolution was submitted by Mid Glamorgan County Association of Trades Councils calling for the expulsion of Militant supporters from the Labour Party. Comrades might well ask themselves why, in an area that contains such unemployment blackspots as the Rhondda, Pontypridd or Caerphilly, the CATC should be devoting its energies to witch-hunts.

And after the Bradford North experience, are Len Murray and Co. Going to be hot-foot down to Pontypridd to sort out Mid Glamorgan CATC for getting involved in Labour Party affairs?


Yours fraternally
Andrew Price
Cardiff SE Labour Party

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