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Anne Sofer

Anne Sofer is the SDP member of the GLC and ILEA for St Pancras North and a member of the SDP’s National Committee and Policy Committee.

2000 AD

Anne Sofer, 2 August 1984

When future historians come to write about the 1983 General Election, these two books will be essential reading. One is a thorough compilation of the evidence, and the other a brilliant line drawing of a maverick who streaked dramatically across the scene causing all heads to turn and significantly affecting the outcome. I recommend to the researcher of the year 2000 that he or she start with Militant, to get properly into the mood. It is a compellingly good read, and what is more, as far as one can tell, a model of fair and unbiased reporting. The weightier volume, with its tables and statistics and psephological analyses, will be for the long days in the library that follow.

Tatchell’s Testament

Anne Sofer, 22 December 1983

On the front cover of The Battle for Bermondsey there is a photograph of Peter Tatchell as, I imagine, he would like to be seen: a steady innocent gaze, a determined tilt to the chin, a youthful crusading air. He looks fragile but brave. In the background, slightly out of focus, is an older comrade looking decidedly askance, not to say horrified. Before we have read so much as a word of this publication by Heretic Books, both images are there. Which one is the heretic?

Diary: The Silliest Script Ever Written

Anne Sofer, 1 September 1983

The debate between the four contenders for the Labour Party leadership, organised by the Fabians and televised by BBC 2, was very odd. Who did they all think they were talking to, and how seriously did they take it? Well, obviously they were talking to the Fabians. What percentage of the electoral college is that? Something into several points of a fraction of 1 per cent. They were, presumably, talking to the whole of the rest of the Labour Party, which was, they hoped, tuned in. And how many of these are a. still undecided or b. in possession of any vote or say in the matter? Probably very few, though there will have been some in both the trade union and the constituency sections. They can hardly have been hoping to influence their fellow MPs through the media – so we can count the third element of the electoral college out as part of the putative audience. But were they talking to the electorate? One of them is going to be the Leader of the Labour Party, Leader of Her Majesty’s official Opposition, and the person who has got to convince the electorate that the Labour Party will win next time. Were any of them talking this way? Two were and two weren’t. And the two who were are those who – by common consent – will get nowhere near the leadership, Eric Heffer and Peter Shore.

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