Letter: Uneasy feelings about Blair

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The Independent Online
Sir: Barrie Clement ("The battle for 29 April has started", 20 January) makes the same mistake as Tony Blair and the "Blairistas" by assuming that those who voted for Mr Blair as leader of the Labour Party will now follow blindly wherever he choos es to lead them.

What Mr Clement and the "Blairistas" do not understand is that most Labour members and trade unionists voted for Tony Blair because the media (not least the Independent) told them that to do otherwise would be to sacrifice the next election. That should not be confused with positive enthusiasm for Mr Blair's Christian Democratic project. And, in any case, at the time of the leadership election Mr. Blair was on record as opposing any attempt to tamper with Clause IV.

Also, Bill Morris, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, did not "let it be known that traditionalist John Prescott was the union's man". The union's executive backed Margaret Beckett but did not actively campaign for her, leaving the members to make up their own minds.

I know of no section of this union, at any level, that supports the abolition or redrafting of Clause IV, and the Labour front bench's prevarication over rail renationalisation has only added to the mistrust felt by rank and file trade unionists towards Mr. Blair and "New Labour."

Yours faithfully, JIM DENHAM Secretary, T&GWU 5/4455

Birmingham 20 January

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