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Glad to be groovy at TGWU conference
BILL MORRIS' final speech at the TGWU conference, as outgoing general secretary, was notable for an outrageous attack on socialists.
Kevin Parslow, at TGWU conference
His speech was flagged in the press as demanding "value for money" from Labour and he acknowledged that the "word on the street" was in favour of a review of the relationship with the Labour Party.
He wanted to reclaim the Labour Party he said: "From the spin doctors, rich and powerful and the business community."
He didn't want to reclaim it to hand the government over to Iain Duncan Smith (as if we don't have a Tory government in all but name!) But he added: "I don't want to reclaim the Labour Party to hand it over to the Militant Tendency!"
Later he acknowledged it was "cool" and "groovy" to be on the "outside left" but: "If you spend too much time on the outside left, you are likely to be left outside."
He said: "The game was largely spent in the middle of the park."
The Militant Tendency, predecessor of the Socialist Party, had a proud record of fighting for the minimum wage, a decent education system and the NHS, against pensioner and child poverty, all of which Morris saw as concerns of the union.
To equate socialists, who have left the Labour Party in disgust at Blair and Co's pro-business policies, with the Tories is an outrageous slur.
In The Socialist 5 July 2003: