The surprise defeat of Mick Rix by a right winger for the position of General Secretary of the rail union, ASLEF, will have come as a great shock to many in the union and in the wider Labour and trade union movement. Certainly it was not something that could have been easily predicted or even guessed at. The winner, Shaun Brady, is an old-style right-winger, relatively unknown in the union. He talks about taking the union back to the membership but in reality he means the membership of the Strategic rail Authority, CBI and the City of London! How did this happen? What does it mean? What lessons must be learnt from this?

I read the latest propaganda with a feeling of foreboding, and we must constantly remind ourselves as Marxists just what sort of thing we are up against on a daily basis from those spokespeople of capital.

Over the past few months I have been reading on your website and in daily newspapers information about anti-war demos around the world. On the evening that war broke out I also went to a local meeting here in Coventry against the war that was organised by the Stop the War Committee.

In this last article in her series on the History of the Labour Party, Barbara Humphries looks at how the turn to the left in the 1970s was cut across and how the present Blairite clique came to dominate the party, and draws the lessons for today's activists. The present turn to the right is nothing new in the party's history. As in the past it will be followed by a turn to the left.