Wednesday, May 16, 2007

John McDonnell: Another world is possible

As it looks more and more likely that McDonnell won’t get the nominations to get on the ballot form due to a gutless tightly whipped PLP who won’t think for themselves, and also the high threshold makes it increasingly unobtainable.

A coronation ensues for one Gordon Brown therefore democracy has been bumped off by mass toadying by the PLP.

But hey, as they say, it aint over till it’s over.

Looking at Gordon Brown’s website. His priorities include:

Britain number one for education
An NHS that earns the trust of patients and staff
More affordable housing
Every child the best start in life
Stronger, safer, more cohesive communities
Tackling climate change
Better work-life balance
The challenge of terrorism and security

That makes eight priorities: are there priorities between the priorities. More to the point how is Brown going to achieve these goals and what do they represent? What is meant by “every child having the best start in life”? As poverty increases among working age people Brown will have workfare and lifelong debt waiting for these children. That’s assuming they do not get asbo’ed and sent to prison.

What of the future? Part of the problem is the Left is so fragmented. In the LP, we need a Campaign group that works together much more cohesively and orientates towards the activist base in the unions as well, with a counter whip if necessary. We also need people to emerge from their democratic centralist shells and to push forward struggles in as united a way as possible, whether the struggles are inside either wing of the labour movement or outside in campaigning organisations. We also need a clear ideological account of what the Left is and how to fight neo-liberalism.

Finally John McDonnell has proved himself as a leader of the Left who can open up political room for the Left to put forward its ideas. There is an opportunity still to build on what has been achieved.


neprimerimye said...

Oh do stop bloody moaning! McDonnell lost fair and square. Even if he had got onto the ballot he would have lost so what diference does it make?

Look at least this way the declining and aging ranks of the Labour Left (sic) know they are beat and go back to sleep for another ten years.

Face facts the constituency McDonnell appealed to is a declining one and he hasn't even noticed the poor sap! Even the former Blairite Cruddas has realised that the grassroots of the Labour Party have been treated with DDT and are dying. And good riddance says I.

Anonymous said...

That's really a comment to treasure, along with your deep and profound tirade about "Pabloite liquidationism" and the horrifying thought that anyone might have valued the SSP on Murray Smith's article a few weeks ago. Surprise us now with a long list of all the great things you've been doing to build up a serious socialist force in the UK. John McDonnell is worthless, the SSP is worthless, anyone who thinks there's anything to be said for them is a contemptible fool in your eyes, so surely you must have some brilliant ideas for taking the Left forward...

AN said...

Well there is some stuff Ii agree with there Louise, and some I disagree with. I think that understandably (and even bravely!) you are tryng to make the best of it.

But the truth is that the nomination of Brown by over 300 MPs is a crushing and even humiliating defeat for the left in the party.

This cannot be put down to spinelessness from the PLP. The scale of the victory of the right means that the Brown/Blair right wing have pulled the centre towards them and so the left were completely isolated and exposed.

It gives me no pleasure to say it, but your conclusion that McDonnell has proven himself "a leader of the Left who can open up political room for the Left to put forward its ideas" is exactly the opposite of the case.

How much worse could the defeat of McDonnell have been? he not only did not get on the ballot, but he did not get on tha ballot by a devestating margin.

The left did not open up a space for debate, becasue even MPs like bob Marshall-Andrews nominated Brown, and MPs like Kate Hoey nominated no-one. If the left had opened up space for debate then they would have increased their audience not been cut back to the absolute minimum.

And on the NEC when there was a vote to decrease the number of nominations, only two members voted for it. Even two members of the Grassroots Alliance voted against!

Not a single major union backed McDonnell.

This indicates to me that the left are utterly routed. Especially as after ten years of right wing government, the left couldn't even pull the 100+ Trident rebels towards it.

This is evidence IMO of the total and irreversible victory of the right in the party, ideologically, organisationally and politicly.

However I do agree with this: "We also need people to ... push forward struggles in as united a way as possible, whether the struggles are inside either wing of the labour movement or outside in campaigning organisations. We also need a clear ideological account of what the Left is and how to fight neo-liberalism"

The truth is of course that the utter failure of the left outside the LP to build a political alternative has also contributed to the ideological victory of the right within the LP.

that is also why those McDonnell supporters who celebrated the defeat of the SSP in Scotland, and who keep insulting socialists outside the LP are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

AN said...


I know that winning friends and influencing people is low on your agenda. But out of simple politeness and good manners, when comrades in the labour left are in shock, now is not a good time to be basically boorish and rude.

It is a shame, because som of your analysis is correct and is often interesting even when you are not correct. BUt people don't listen to you because of the way you put it over.

And to be honest you the way you attack Louise over the LP goes beyond the political and almost becomes personal.

Given the shit that women put up with in society generally, undsrrmiing their confidence, etc. The left should try harder to create a safe and friendly environment for debate, not a testosterone fuelled bear pit.

neprimerimye said...

Oh for fuxake Andy the abject and humiliating defeat of the Labour Left was totally predictable. Whining about the gutless PLP is utterly pathetic as you agree. The truth is that the social base of both the party in general and the left in particular is massively eroded.

Making that point to the dimbulbs who are so naive as to fantasize that the left can regain Labour for socialist politics (not that Labour ever was socialist look you) is not boorish or rude but should be viewed as an intervention designed to help those suffering from delusions that are incredibly dumb.

As for your final remark about Louise it is contemptible. The comrade is an adult and is therefore to be treated as such. Her gender is of no concern - socialists are for equality remember?