North Norfolk leading Labour figure’s despair at state of his party

Prof Martyn Sloman

Prof Martyn Sloman - Credit: Archant

A leading member of the Labour Party in north Norfolk, who has tried and failed to become an MP on several occasions, has written a memoir of his political life, including his despair at the current state of his party.

Welsh-born Martyn Sloman, who describes himself as centre-right within his party, says his generation of the Left has failed those that follow.

It has not devised an economic model that could deliver a just society - and convince others of its value.

Prof Sloman, 69, of Bale Road, Sharrington, was Labour Party agent in the North Norfolk constituency during May's general election campaign, supporting unsuccessful candidate Denise Burke.

A party member for more than half a century, he has personal experience of failing to gain public office, having stood and lost as a parliamentary candidate for Leominster (1970), Bosworth, (February and October 1974) and Nottingham East (1983).

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He has written his e-book: 'Labour's failure and my small part in' as a memoir for his grandchildren.

It is less than 60 pages long and he is inviting anyone who enjoys it to make a donation to Barnardo's.

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Heartfelt, analytical, but often humorous, the memoir recalls this May's general election campaign in north Norfolk where he described the local Labour Party activists as: 'a most amenable bunch... willing to fight a lost cause with integrity, dignity and considerable perseverance.'

He covers watershed moments in his lifetime within the Labour Party, including the 1984-1985 miners' strike, which he labelled 'a political disaster for the Left'.

And he talks about famous Labour figures he has known - including his heroes, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey and ex Labour leader Neil Kinnock.

He is less enthusiastic about Jeremy Corbyn, the current front-runner in the Labour leader election contest. Prof Sloman supports Yvette Cooper's bid for the role.

Describing himself as a 'tribal supporter' of the party, Prof Sloman writes that he will never leave it, but adds that he would not have minded being expelled on some occasions: 'The Miliband election campaign and its aftermath was one of these.'

He is confident that there will always be a large number of activists committed to the fundamental importance of social justice, but is unsure whether the UK Labour Party will be their chosen home.

? Prof Sloman's memoir is available as a 99p kindle version via or it can be downloaded for free as a pdf via his blogsite: https:/

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