(January 2007, letter to The Guardian, on the party vote on who will succeed Tony Blair),
"And if a candidate of the left received sufficient nominations, then party members would have the chance of giving their judgment on, say, the Iraq and Afghan wars, Trident, privatisation, trade union rights, civil liberties, education, pensions. The result, whatever it was, would reveal the true strength of those who do not support New Labour, and would introduce a new and electorally significant element inside and outside parliament.
In short, what matters now is not so much the name of the candidates but how the debate shapes up and how those who are candidates respond to policy arguments, different from the ones they now support, for they will all have to answer questions put to them by anyone who has the vote, and their replies will be studied with great care. It is also important that these debates take place in an atmosphere that is not completely dominated by the mass media and that public meetings take place where party members can put questions themselves and join in the discussion.
All those who are candidates must receive fair coverage in the press, radio and TV, for if all the reporting centres around those candidates who are held to be acceptable to the establishment, the alternative views may be effectively censored."