Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Degsy Goes Down - History Part II

Reidski in the comments box below reminded me that June 12th was also the date the Derek Hatton was expelled from the Labour Party. Wasn't 1986 also the year that Liverpool won the double, beating Everton in the FA Cup final? That really was an annus horriblus for the Pierre Cardin section of the old Militant Tendency.

Fascinating to read that the vote on the Labour NEC to expel Hatton was only won by 12 votes to 6. Six people voted against Hatton's expulsion? OK, I'm guessing that Benn (Tone) and Skinner (Dennis) were on the NEC in '86, but who were the other four who were prepared to give so much slack to the most prominent member of the 'It's just a newspaper, honest' reading circle?

Maybe the Parcel of Jonahs over at Dave Osler's comment boxes are right when they opine that the Labour Left's strength is but a shadow of its heyday in the eighties, and there's no way back. If a decent and straightforward bloke like John McDonnell can't muster up sufficient numbers to even ensure that there is a token leadership challenge against Gordon Brown then the Labour Left really has done a Captain Oates these last ten years.

I remember encountering the old Millies in the Labour Party Young Socialists, and even then there seemed something amiss about them, but from this point in time it's weird to think that someone like Hatton was ever taken seriously. I can't help but smile when I think of Steve Coleman's words when he was reviewing Alan Bleasdale's drama, GBH, in the pages of the Socialist Standard:

"Militant renamed it BGH: Bleasdale Gets Hatton. Hatton himself went on Channel Four's Right To Reply to say that Michael Murray must have been based on him because the fictional character was a bullying, corrupt council leader." [The Eileen Critchley Show, August 1991 Socialist Standard]

Whatever did happen to Degsy?


Londonsocialist said...

Aren't you forgetting something else that happened on 12 June, one hundred and three years ago?

Darren said...

Erm, look at my previous post.

Unless you're referring to the death of Count Camille de Renesse?

Duncan Money said...

I did a little research a while back to find out what happened to Degsy when writing a blog post discovering that he is now chairman of a web design agency, 'Ripple Effect', and has a radio show on Century FM where apparently he engages in 'celebrity chat and lots of laughs'.

I suppose interviewing Peter Andre beats hanging around with Ted Grant.

Darren said...

Hello Duncan,

well, according to his wiki page - and I know the potential flaws when relying on wiki a source of facts:

"It was reported in the Liverpool Daily Post in May 2007 that Hatton has stated that he has recently rejoined the Labour Party and that he intends to seek selection as a parliamentary candidate in the North West. Hatton also says that his ambition is to be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and that he would run for the office in the summer in the unlikely event of him being able to enter parliament via a by-election.

Hatton made clear that he is no longer a Trotskyist, but maintains that he remains firmly on the left of the party, expressing his belief that Labour has to abandon 'New Labour' ideology (or "neo-Tory", as Hatton puts it) and return to its traditional values."

I don't think the upper echelons in the Labour Party would let him within a hundred miles of a Parliamentary Candidate Selection Panel, but stranger things have happened. ;-)

Duncan Money said...

Hatton also says that his ambition is to be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

Words fail me.

I looked him up earlier this year so I'll have missed all that stuff.

I wonder what he thinks the 'traditional values' of the Labour Party are?

Also, perhaps someone should tell Socialist Appeal.