Not surprisingly, the Labour Government is trying to protect itself from the consequences of its own capitulations, by seeking to victimize the Left. Wilson’s McCarthyite intervention in the seamens’ strike was followed up by a Downing Street conference between the Prime Minister and Carron together with a coffle of other right-wing union stalwarts, to work out a common strategy to combat communism in the unions.

The Labour leaders evidently also intend to suppress the most active left-wingers within the Labour Party itself. Over the months since Labour took office there has been a series of victimizations of constituency militants who have shown themselves too independent in their views. In one case an already selected parliamentary candidate was vetoed. The most blatant episode in this unsavoury campaign has been the expulsion of Ken Coates, the chairman of the Nottingham City Labour Party. Since his expulsion in November 1965, Coates has repeatedly attempted to discover the precise charges against him, and to gain an opportunity of answering them. His case has been taken up vigorously by those concerned with democracy in the Labour movement, and 38 Members of Parliament have signed a letter supporting him, published in Tribune. Of course Coates’ real crime is that he was the most outspoken critic of the present government’s policy on Incomes Policy and on Vietnam at the last Labour Party Conference.

After months of vain attempts to get a fair hearing of his case, which could only have led to his reinstatement, Coates has now written a documented account of the entire affair: ‘My Case against Expulsion’, available from The Week, 74 Mansfield Road, Nottingham for 2s 6d. It should be read by enough rank and file members of the Labour Party to ensure both Ken Coates’ reinstatement, and an end to witch-hunting of the kind practised by the party’s leadership.