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Slur on socialists

Carborundum's nasty little piece on the Socialist Educational Association (TES, October 6) makes the assumption that we invited Roy Hattersley to denounce David Blunkett.

The fact is we invited Roy long before Labour's white paper was published and when nobody knew its contents. He was asked to speak at a conference in April on the myth of parental choice and we repeated the invitation when he was unable to attend. Since we do not tell our speakers what to say, Roy was at liberty to criticise trenchantly the white paper, a criticism which incidentally was rapturously received at conference later, much of which was agreed by David Blunkett, though not his main point against foundation schools.

8.5 = Carborundum sneers at the SEA's claim to be Labour's educational conscience. The fact is that we are recognised in the movement as such; we are the only educational body affiliated to the party and have been responsible for almost every educational policy resolution passed at conference for many years. It was our advocacy that weaned the party away from its faith in grammar schools as the path of advancement for the mass of working-class children.

MAX MORRIS Chair Socialist Educational Association London N8.

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