Tuesday, 16 January 2007

John McDonnell on the Campaign Trail

One of the declared candidates for the Labour leadership,John McDonnell spoke in Preston last night.This is the article that have penned

The question from the floor seemed quite pertinent. How would John McDonnell get elected as the leader of the Labour Party when so many of his potential supporters had already left the Labour Party?

44 Labour MP’s need to nominate the former GLC member and champion of Old Labour to even get him onto the ballot paper and in his words “to prevent the “coronation of Gordon Brown” sometime this summer.

He is therefore currently touring the country in an attempt to get Labour Party members to lobby their MP to get his name onto the paper and that was his mission last night at 53 Degrees.

There is no doubting his Socialist principles. He remembers the barren eighteen years of opposition under Tory rule, the taunting of the government from across the Thames at County Hall when every day Mrs Thatcher was reminded of the employment figures.

The euphoria of Blair’s victory 10 years ago has for him now faded. Where once he remembers Labour Party members marching to save hospitals, he now sees those same protests aimed at the Labour Government.

He accuses the party of eroding both civil liberties and Trade Union freedoms to the extent that working people have fewer rights now than 100 years ago. He cannot believe that Labour MP’s would have even considered voting for top up fees.

But most of all that a party of peace would have climbed into bed with George Bush and inflicted untold suffering on the people of Iraq.

His salvation for the party is built around reconnecting its leadership with the Grass roots of the party and remove the elitist element of government that has developed under Tony Blair. The inheritance of Gordon Brown is simply more of the same and he accuses the Chancellor of never once opposing any of Blair’s policies.

Yet with the British electorate moving to the centre ground, perhaps he should take notice of those 18 years in the wilderness when for most of them, the policy of his party made them unelectable.