Letter: What Tony Blair told the TGWU conference

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a North West delegate to the TGWU conference (and a Labour Councillor), I must take issue with your misleading statement that delegates from the North West snubbed the Labour leader by not responding with a standing ovation ("Blair tells union the rules have changed", 11 July). From where I was standing (and applauding), it was clear that a large section of my delegation had joined me. It was also clear that individuals and small groups from all regions remained in their seats.

There was much to commend Blair's speech to our membership: a commitment to sign the Social Chapter, to establish a minimum wage, to re-nationalise the NHS, to release capital receipts for council house building, and to restore trade union rights at GCHQ. While we might have wished for more, many would have settled for less.

Not all delegates chose to stand, after all this is not a Tory party conference, with the leader addressing the faithful. I am sure that your reporter could not have failed to notice the reactions of delegates who cheered every mention of kicking the Tories out.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Clee

Wallasey, Merseyside

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