Ken Coates

Left needs new framework

Expelled MEPs Ken Coates and Hugh Kerr write to Brent Socialist Alliance in response to its invitation to address the London SA launch meeting

Many thanks for your letter of encourage­ment. It was very welcome, because we have been up against pretty fierce pressures from the spin doctors. It is hard to appreciate the meaning of the recent changes in political organisation, until they hit you. There can be a dozen bright young men assigned to trou­blesome characters, and they can laser their attention on their victims through the media. The victim is phoned from 7 o’clock in the morning until midnight, and asked for instant comment on a wide battery of questions, some of which are based on half-truths, and some of which are simply blatant inventions. It is a debilitating process, and a warm human mes­sage is a welcome relief!

I was informed by The Guardian on Janu­ary 28 that my expulsion took exactly 30 sec­onds in the Labour Party executive on January 27. Is this a record? Actually, I have been ex­pelled no less than three times, first from the European Parliamentary Labour Party, and then as a direct result from the Socialist Group in the European parliament, and finally from the Labour Party itself. The three expulsions took place within three days, and I never had one hearing, or even the opportunity to an­swer one question.

Rather than spend a lot of time arguing about the expulsions, Hugh and I are agreed that we should set about building the framework of an Independent Labour Network.

Once again, many thanks for writing.

Ken Coates MEP,
Nottinghamshire North and Chesterfield

Thanks for the letter of support from the Brent Socialist Alliance. Apologies for the delay in replying, but it’s been a pretty hectic few weeks. I am sorry that I will not be able to come to your meeting at Conway Hall on February 5, but I have asked Pete Brown, acting as my political organiser, to attend and offer my fraternal greetings. Pete will be able to explain what Ken Coates and I are doing and what we see as the best way forward, particularly towards building grassroots support and in preparation for the 1999 Euro elec­tions.

I offer my support to the Brent Socialist Alliance and hope to meet with you at a later date.

In socialism
Hugh Kerr,
Independent Labour MEP,
Essex West and Hertfordshire West