Grassroots Activists are Crucial, Not New Labour MPs

Issue section: 

Lindsey German's article "New Friends, Old Enemies" (September SR) contained some very serious errors.

Yes, we should welcome new recruits who are genuinely won over by Stop the War's arguments, but this does not mean unquestioningly accepting any New Labour MPs who wish to jump on the anti-war bandwagon.

They weren't motivated by principle when they supported the war, and there's no reason to believe that they are today. The idea that the spineless opportunists who make up the bulk of the Labour backbenches will somehow "become the most implacable opponents of the war on terror" is laughable, and the assertion that it is the presence of Labour MPs that "makes the movement a genuinely mass one" seems bizarre.

What makes the Stop the War movement a genuinely mass one is the mass of grassroots activists involved, and to downplay their importance in favour of careerist MPs belatedly leaving the sinking ship of New Labour is to do them a grave disservice.

Sam Ross