Shiraz Socialist is happy to publish the following statement by Andrew Murray, and we accept that what he says about having no relationship with the Stalin Society is true:
I have been directed to this piece by comrades in the union, not having visited this site before. “Shiraz Socialist” is welcome to his own, pro-NATO views in Libya. he is also of course free to call me a “malevolent clown”, “irresponsible petty-bourgeois” and “despicable/dishonest” because I have a different opinion. By the standards of many of the comments posted, his ad hominem attacks are almost mature.
But on two points of fact. I have NEVER been a member of the Stalin Society, attended any of its meetings, donated to its funds, corresponded with it or bought any of its publications. It does not reflect my own views of Soviet history and I would never associate with a body having its apparent mission. This is a smear which originated with New Labour back in 2003 when the anti-war movement was at its height and has been retailed from time to time since for obvious political purposes.
Second, I was endorsed as a delegate to the TUC (of which I am a General Council member) by the lay Executive Council of Unite. Several full-time officials spoke at the Congress on behalf of our union, only one of whom (Len McCluskey) is elected. This seems a pedantic point for Shiraz to make, and peripheral to the main political argument.
Jim Denham replies:
Thank you for clarifying that point, Mr Murray: I am happy to publish your statement, and will, in fact post it as a piece in its own right.
I am happy, even, to apologise for the factual error of describing you as a “member” of the Stalin Society.
None of this affects in any way your extraordinary role, as a paid employee of of the union, in speaking as a Unite “delegate” (albeit “endorsed” by the EC) at the TUC: this is an issue of basic democracy that needs to be taken up within the union (and I intend to do so).
Nor does it affect in any way the selectivity and dishonesty of what you had to say at the TUC, especially on Libya. You were on the wrong side, Mr Murray!