That supposedly ‘suicidal’ 1983 Labour manifesto | Letter

Tim Barnes says it wasn’t Michael Foot’s policies that caused his election defeat

How sporting of Polly Toynbee to concede that Labour is electable with a left-leaning (others would say “traditional”) leader like Jeremy Corbyn (This is Corbyn’s moment: he’s rescued Britain from the chains of austerity, 13 June).

What she has not apologised for is her repetition of Gerald Kaufman’s untruth that the 1983 Labour manifesto was the “longest suicide note in history” (Opinion, 12 May). Until Lord Carrington told the navy to withdraw from the South Atlantic and Argentina invaded South Georgia and then the Falklands in 1982, Michael Foot’s Labour party was way ahead in the polls, with Margaret Thatcher’s reviled Conservatives coming third behind the Social Democratic party in some of them.

This month’s election result ends 34 years of hurt. I hope all Labour MPs will now give up their pointless and damaging desire to occupy the centre ground.
Tim Barnes

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