Right of Reply

The chair of the Labour Left Briefing editorial board responds to David Aaronovitch's attack
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The Independent Culture
DAVID AARONOVITCH ("Watch out Labour, the Trots are back with a vengeance", 18 August) has profoundly misrepresented the contents of Labour Left Briefing and the politics of its editorial board members.

There was so much shoddy innuendo and so many distortions in his piece that it is impossible to answer every one in a brief reply. One example will have to suffice.

Aaronovitch notes that the links section of our website "will connect you with - inter alia - just about every extant Trotskyist on the planet". For reasons of his own he fails to note that this same links section will also connect you with a wide variety of social democratic parties, green activists, communist parties, anti-racist campaigns, not to mention the TUC, the ICFTU, and Labour Party and trade union branches across the country. This is pluralism in action and we are proud of it.

Yes, we are socialists, and yes, we want to see this Labour Government move to the left and take more radical action against poverty and inequality. Contrary to Aaronovitch's defamatory assertion, we very much want to see "a socialist government, elected by a majority", and that is why we are all active members of the Labour Party.

Revealingly, Aaronovitch declines to quote a single sentence from any of our monthly editorials, the only articles that represent the views of the editorial board and the magazine as a whole. His assertion that any of us would in any way aid or abet the Omagh bombers is the worst kind of McCarthyite smear, completely dishonest and deeply offensive.

No doubt Aaronovitch's friends at Millbank Tower will be grateful for his crass hatchet job, but he has done Independent readers, and Labour Party members, a serious disservice.