At the age of 16, I joined the young socialists, the youth branch of the Labour party. I was a supporter of the leader, Hugh Gaitskell, who opposed the party’s “Clause IV”commitment to nationalisation. I then encountered the hard left or, as we called them, “Trots”, after Leon Trotsky, an architect of the Soviet revolution, assassinated by Joseph Stalin. I disliked them then. I dislike them now. I doubt their commitment to freedom and democracy.

With Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the hard left took over the Labour party. It was a change of enormous, and probably enduring, importance. Labour remains the UK’s main opposition party. At some point, it is likely to gain power. I wish I could want it to do so. I do not.

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