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Raymond Challinor

[It is extremely gracious ...]

(1 March 1969)

From Socialist Worker, No. 111, 1 March 1969, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

IT IS EXTREMELY gracious of Mr. Sid Bidwell MP to explain that Mrs. Renee Short cannot be accurately described as ‘a Left-wing Labour MP’ (January 4). But the big question is: can Mr. Bidwell?

Before he writes to Socialist Worker about the Honourable Lady Member for Wolverhampton, I think he should explain some of his own racialist effusions.

Was the Sid Bidwell who voted for the Bill excluding Kenyan Asians from Britain solely on grounds of colour the same person, who wrote in Socialist Review of January 1956 arguing that people should be free to leave and enter Britain as they pleased?

In that article, he wrote: ‘There are some trade unionists who actually argue that there should be a difference between the attitude to be taken to the black worker who comes from the “Empire and Commonwealth” and the foreign worker. What kind of international trade union solidarity is this?’

Indeed, Mr. Bidwell! What ‘solidarity’ can you espouse today when you back the government’s immigration policy, a policy that is based precisely on making the distinction between those with white and black skins.


Raymond Challinor

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