Scots launch campaign to retain Labour's clause IV

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Indy Politics
RESISTANCE to Tony Blair's attempts to scrap clause IV of Labour's constitution grew yesterday when Scottish MPs and party activists launched a campaign to retain the 70-year-old commitment to nationalisation, writes John Arlidge.

Party workers, councillors and MPs, including John McAllion (Dundee East) and George Galloway (Glasgow Hillhead), announced the formation of the Campaign for Socialism, a pressure group which they said would seek to persuade party leaders to safeguard clause IV.

Its commitment to state intervention in the economy reflected the views of the majority of traditional Labour voters north of the border, they said.

Scrapping it as part of a review of the party's constitution risked weakening Labour's appeal at a time when support for the Scottish National Party was growing.

Mary Picken, chairman of Glasgow District Labour Party and joint convenor of the campaign, said: 'People in Westminster sometimes forget that there is a tradition of radicalism north of the border. We don't think that radical policies cost votes.'

Mr Galloway said: 'Labour's attempts to woo middle England have left radical Scotland to the nationalists, who portray themselves as more left-wing.'