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Raymond Challinor

Challinor’s Choice

(15 March 1969)

From Socialist Worker, No. 113, 15 March 1969, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

That liberal tradition at LSE

SINCE IT IS unlikely that large numbers of students are at this moment reading John Coatman’s book, Police (Oxford University Press, 7s 6d) let me mention a revealing incident it contains.

In 1934 the president of the students’ union at the London School of Economics was expelled. Being an American citizen, he was forthwith deported from the country.

His ‘offence’ was that he sold copies of a journal that contained an article on police spying. It stated ‘a retired Indian policeman’ kept colonial students at LSE under surveillance.

Sir William Beveridge, then director of LSE, showed what a great liberal he was not merely by expelling the president of the students’ union but also banning the journal from the college precincts.

The sad irony of Stephen Swingler

THE LIFE and death of Stephen Swingler, MP, former chairman of Victory for Socialism, exemplifies the futility of the Labour Left. Newspaper obituaries mention how, since 1964, he became an accomplished government spokesman. A capable and fluent speaker, Swingler deftly defended government measures in parliament.

This was particularly valuable in the 1964 to 1966 period, when Wilson clung on with a majority of three or four.

‘Night after night,’ says The Guardian (20.2.69.) ‘he was required to answer back-bench (and largely Tory) attacks on individual railway closures – based, ironically, on the policies of the previous government.’

In other words, Swingler’s task was to justify Conservative decisions to Conservative MPs, attempting to prove that Sir Alec Douglas Home’s policy on railway closures was correct.

Surely it is impossible to imagine a more glaring illustration of political bankruptcy, a clearer refutation of the mouthings of the parliamentary Left, than that supplied by one of its own leaders, Stephen Swingler, defending the transport policy of the Fourteenth Earl.

But matters did not end there. The Guardian reports that the strain of his nocturnal parliamentary activities ‘may well have physically weakened Mr Swingler.’

It would seem that advocating Tory policies is not only politically wrong, but can be very dangerous to the health.

Indeed, Stephen Swingler’s personal fate might well be that of the government as a whole. It might easily die as a result of its own efforts to implement Conservative policy.


ADVOCATES of the monarchy tell us that the royal family gives us something to look up to, a model which we should strive to copy.

In which case, the example of Prince Charles is one that workers should find instructive With a courageous disregard for the government’s talk about economic crises and the need to show restraint, his salary is increasing from a mere £30,000 to £200,000 a year.

And the appropriate Biblical quotation? ‘Go and do thou likewise.’

Leave those ga ... sorry, constable

THE DESTRUCTION of property – it was a hideous sight! There they were, smashing the gates,wrenching them away from the walls.

Before any of you jump to the conclusion that it was those wicked LSE students at it again, let me tell you at once it was the police.

These custodians of capitalist law were merely performing their sacred duty, namely, to help blacklegs to go to work.

Strikers at Warrington Gas works padlocked the gates. So the police broke them open again.

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Last updated: 15 January 2021