(December 2006, Guardian Unlimited, extract from interview with Nick Stadlen QC. Asked a probing question about Labour's radical socialist manifesto in 1983, and failed 1983 general election result),
"Well, half a minute. A few months, or a year or two earlier, 10% of the Labour MPs left the Labour Party, including two deputy leaders, and formed up a new party which got massive press support. Two of our previous leaders attacked the manifesto during the election - Wilson and Callaghan both made speeches in the election denouncing the manifesto, and truthfully, I'm not surprised that that happened.
But, and I think was it not just after the Falkland's War? At the Falkland's War, where wars always make unpopular leaders popular. I mean the circumstances were such, and maybe looking back on it, it was too radical, but I don't think if we'd adopted the Kinnock policy in '83 we'd have won, because he's tried in '87, he didn't win; he tried in '92 and he didn't win. I don't think it was that.
I think the circumstances at the time were very difficult. We'd been in power for a long time. Mrs. Thatcher had massive support, and so on and so on. But anyway, if you hold a belief, you don't give it up because you're defeated! I mean, I think you have a duty to say what you mean, mean what you say, do what you say you'll do, and if you don't win - well then you go on!
You don't say, 'Oh well! It shows the whole thing's a disaster'.
I mean I'm glad they haven't modernised the Ten Commandments. I can imagine what they'll be - thou shall not kill unless Bush tells you too; thou shalt not commit adultery unless she's very attractive; and thou shalt not steal unless you need the money.
I mean, really it's got to the point where everything people will believe in has been abandoned in the hope of getting office. They've got office - but they haven't got power"