When the Labour manifesto was leaked ahead of the 2017 general election, critics said that a win for Jeremy Corbyn would drag the country back into the 1970s. Today, shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler proved them wrong – and showed that Labour would actually like to drag us back to the 80s instead.
At Labour’s women’s conference in Liverpool, the Corbynite MP took the extraordinary step of praising the Militant-run Liverpool council of the 1980s, which protested new Conservative local spending caps by setting an illegal budget.
The decision to break the law caused such chaos in the city that auditors had to be called in, Labour’s reputation for fiscal responsibility lay in tatters, and the council had to deliver redundancy notices to its own workers by taxi. In 1985, Neil Kinnock appeared to show that Labour had learned its lesson by lambasting the irresponsible council and eventually expelling the Trotskyist Militant faction from the Party altogether.
Who would have thought, that more than thirty years later, it would be the opposite message.