Saturday, July 15, 2006

John McDonnell Labour leadership bid

I normally make it a rule never to attack people in the Labour party, but I make an exception when it comes to the John Mc Donnell's leadership bid when Tony Blair stands down. When I heard the news yesterday, I thought it was April 1st and the amount of time given to him on the media was quite amazing bearing in mind he seemed to have no supporters. He clearly was out for his 24 hours of fame.

Since his election to Parliament in 1997, he has been a serial rebel who has shown little loyalty to the Labour party, indeed he has been one of the top rebels in recent years. Loyalty is not one his traits.

The agenda that John Mc Donnell advocates would make Labour completely un-electable, indeed his statements yesterday were circa 1983 and the 'longest suicide note in history'. The work in modernising the Labour party and pursuing policies more in touch with the public, has led to the Labour Party winning three elections in a row with a comfortable majorities on all three occasions. If the party had followed the agenda of John Mc Donnell, we would still be in opposition with no serious prospect of power.

A leadership election will come in the next few years but do not expect this challenge to cause many headaches to the more serious candidates.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since his election to Parliament in 1997, he has been a serial rebel who has shown little loyalty to the Labour party"

Indeed - unlike the rest of the Labour party, he's remained loyal to his principles.

1:21 pm  
Blogger Bob Piper said...

Your knowledge of 1983, given your age, obviously comes from books, and I would suggest you read a few more to get a more rounded picture. The 1983 election was no more lost on the Manifesto, whatever Kauffman's soundbite implies, than the 2005 election was won on a pledge to privatise the NHS and continue to fight futile wars. The 1983 election was won, as almost every commentator of the period knows, on the back of the jingoism surrounding the Falklands War. Immediately pior to the war Mrs Thatcher's standing in the opinion polls make Tony Blair look popular now!

If the politics of McDonnell lost us the 1983 election, how do you explain the defeats of 1987 and 1992 when the Party under Kinnock fought on a right wing Blairite manifesto? How do you explain Thatcher's victory in the first place when the Party had driven a right-wing IMF inspired economic policy to reduce the country to a state of despair?

You cannot reduce history to a series of convenient soundbites. I'm glad McDonnell is standing because it will force Brown into telling us whether he is an out-and-out Blairite privatiser, or whether he wants to bring the party back to its more radical traditions.

1:31 pm  
Blogger A soft socialist said...

I'm not McDonnell's biggest fan but he will get some kind of support.

I welcome him standing because it will allow some kind of debate about the future direction of the party under Gordon Brown.

7:03 pm  
Blogger Jon Rogers said...

I suggest you try to find out more about John before attacking him in a childish way.

I recommend becoming involved in politics, so much of which now takes place outside the Party.

John's leadership challenge will do much good - it provides a reason for trade unionists to continue to engage with the Party we created but which in Government does very little for our members.

10:44 pm  

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