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?