Sunday, September 24, 2006

Back to the 1980s

After 25 years of involvement in leftwing politics, I'd just like to take the chance to reflect briefly on some of the dramatic changes we have all witnessed since the early eighties.

When I first arrived in London as a young student in September 1981, the capital was of course in the grip of a bombing campaign mounted by religiously-inspired terrorists.

In the Middle East, there was a growing insurgency in Afghanistan, while Iran was under the sway of a charismatic leader hostile to US interests. A Muslim had just tried to assassinate the Pope, while the following year, Israel was to launch a brutal offensive on southern Lebanon.

Back at home, the Labour Party was split down the middle on factional lines, and clearly on the path to losing the next election, despite the unpopularity of the Conservatives, while the far left was splintered to the point where it lacked all credibility with the working class.

Yes, those certainly were the days.

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