Wednesday, September 27, 2006

McDonnell et al

There was a profile of John McDonnell in yesterday's Guardian. He is the left-wing MP who, if he can get the backing of 44 MP's, will run for the Labour Leadership. Of course, he has no chance, but I hope he is able to run and does reasonably well. He does after all represent a strand of grassroots opinion within the party which should not (as it has been over the last decade) completely ignored. Politaholic is impressed by his background: "...he worked in tenants associations and law centres...". That really is the front line. He was Livingstone's Deputy at the GLC, although there seems to have been a falling-out. He sounds like a pretty decent guy. Ronan Bennett, author of the profile, recalls meeting Mandelson at the time of the 1992 General Election, and telling him he intended to campaign for McDonnell in the Hayes and Harlington constituency in East London: "Mandelson's smile froze in an instant. "Don't waste your time", he said with evident distaste, before turning sharply away". Bennett was shocked that Mandelson would apparently prefer that the Tory won the constituency. But there is nothing surprising about that. Mandelson prefers millionaires to "community activists" and certainly hates the left more than the Tories. Bennettt also concludes by reflecting on: "A Labour government - a Labour government - in which sit both Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt, former stalwarts of the National Council for Civil Liberties, proposing 90-day detention for terrorist suspects, restricting trial by jury, throwing asylum seekers into prison...". Again, he shouldn't be surprised. To anyone ho saw them back then Hewitt and Harman were rich kids enjoying their "radical five minutes"; it was wholly predictable that they would end up in middle-age as pillars of the establishment. I would have put money on it. Another of the sam ilk was Sue Slipman - who was "big" in the Communist Party (the old CPGB). A few years ago she turned up on TV as a spokesman for the Lottery people Camelot. Surprising? Not remotely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good that McDonnel's running - it might get some decent debate about what labour is going on the agenda.

A mate of mine set this up:

10:07 pm  

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