Cabinet suits SWP drop-outs

I am puzzled about why Laurie Taylor (24 January) thinks that his five-year membership of the Socialist Workers Party would prevent him from being in a new Labour cabinet. Not at all, Laurie.

Of course, if he were still a member, or had only recently left, he would have no chance. However, his membership is now of sufficient vintage - 30 years ago - for him to join the venerable ranks of those who have given up trying to change the world and turned instead to changing themselves. Lord (Gus) Macdonald comes particularly to mind here.

And the good news for Laurie in his search for rehabilitation is that Gus was a leading member of the SWP in his time, whereas Laurie never made it out of the rank and file.

Keith Flett
London N17

This article first appeared in the 31 January 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why arms sales are bad for Britain