by Kevin Meagher
Those Labour MPs on the Right of the party who stuck to their guns through the 1980s, seeing-off attempts to deselect them and fighting to keep the flame of British social democracy burning, eventually paved the way for the party’s renaissance.
They are the unsung heroes of Labour’s long and often turbulent history. Without them, there would, in all likelihood, not even be a party today.
Gerald Kaufman. Ann Taylor. John Smith. Members of the Solidarity Group of Labour MPs.
People of ability who saw their best years wasted during the party’s obsolescence in the 1980s.
But they didn’t give up.
Sensible, pragmatic politicians who stood their ground with dignity and defiance amid the lunacy of the time.
They could have flounced off to join the SDP with those egocentric traitors: Owen, Jenkins and Shirley Williams.
But they didn’t.
They kept their fury and despair inside the Labour family.
Eventually, the party pulled through. Equilibrium was restored. Sooner or later, enough people want to actually win elections.
Where are their successors today?
All of which is an around about way of saying Tristram Hunt is a disgrace.