1960s >> 1968 >> no-766-june-1968

Party News: Socialists in Haringey election

Haringey branch put up three candidates in the Stroud Green ward, Hornsey, for the local borough elections on 9 May. 3.000 election manifestos were delivered in the ward, and another 5,000 in the rest of the borough. The Socialists were opposed by three Tories, three Labourites, one Communist and a student from the Hornsey College of Art.

During the campaign the Tory leader, Councillor Rigby, referred to Labour as “the Socialist Party”. We immediately sent off this letter:

   “We note that in a letter published in the Hornsey Journal and Wood Green Herald today you write about “the Socialist Party” when you obviously mean the Labour Party.
You are perhaps aware that our organisation, which has been known as the Socialist Party since its founding in 1904, has been active in the area now called Haringey for many years, We did contest the Greater London Council elections last April under our own name, and we are contesting the Stroud Green Ward in the Haringey Borough elections on 9 May. You will appreciate that to refer to one party with the name of another, especially during an election which both are contesting, can only cause great confusion, and could even have legal repercussions.
We request, therefore, that you please call the Labour Party “the Labour Party” and only use “the Socialist Party” if you wish to refer to our party. We would also request you make this known to your candidates and party workers throughout the borough.
In order to clear up before election day some of the confusion your letter may have caused, we are sure you will not object to our sending copies of this letter to the local press.”

Rigby acknowledged this letter. So if he does it again we can denounce him for dishonesty and for deliberately causing confusion. We also tried to expose one of the Tory candidates (since elected councillor) as a defender, and perhaps even an exponent, of race prejudice. The pro- Tory local press would not publish our challenge as the Tories were obviously out to get the “immigrant vote”. Lewis, one of our Tory opponents in Stroud Green, was in fact an immigrant from the West Indies.

The result was:
Lotery (C) 2,026: Stansall (C) 2.021: Lewis (C) 1,923; Wehrfritz (Lab) 604; Young (Lab) 576: Akerman (Lab) 572: Baker (Com) 122: Coles (Ind) 69; Buick (Soc) 52: Carter (Soc) 49: Lee (Soc) 49.