Letter: Socialist Organiser denies dirty tricks to oust David Blunkett

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The Independent Online
Stephen Castle's piece, 'Fake votes in Labour poll' (4 October), gave the unsubstantiated opinion of unnamed 'Labour Party workers in Sheffield' that David Blunkett has been 'targetted' by Socialist Organiser (Alliance for Workers' Liberty). Castle implies that Socialist Organiser is responsible for the 'faked ballot papers' Labour Party officials claim they found when counting the votes in this year's Labour Party national executive committee elections.

David Blunkett is then quoted sounding off about 'particular groups' - though only one group is mentioned - who use 'these disgraceful, unconstitutional and undemocratic methods'. No evidence is cited, except the opinion of unnamed partisans accusing their political enemies.

Neither Mr Castle nor anyone else connected with the Independent on Sunday contacted Socialist Organiser to find out what we had to say about it. We have not rigged any ballots. We have not 'targetted' David Blunkett: to us he is just one of the ex-socialists on Labour's NEC.

The story, as Castle tells it, simply does not add up. Ballot- rigging to oust Blunkett and others could not serve our goals. We would be naive to think it would speed up the revival of the left, idiots not to know it might lead to scandal and hinder that revival, and fools to think enough ballots could be faked to unseat Blunkett, who came second in the poll.

John O'Mahony

Editor, Socialist Organiser

London SE15

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