Friday, 12 June 2009

New Labour That's Actually Left Wing?

Now this is an interesting development, Labour MP John McDonnell who represents the left in the party. Is talking about "lefties" standing under their own manifesto at the next election, if Brown fails to adopt their policies, these include:
Restoration of trade union rights, more council houses, an end to public service privatisation, scrapping the Heathrow third runway, freezing and then abolishing student fees, scrapping Trident and ID cards and electoral reform.
What's really interesting about this is it throws another hat into the ring, Blairites, Brownies and now Lefties. Though John McDonnell could just set up another party, he's an union man, the unions would be hard pressed not to have a reason to fund him, given how let down they've been by New Labour. By doing this it would take away a lot of Labours grass roots support. The right leaning supporters would just vote Tory, which they are switching to in droves. Even just standing on a different manifesto, he would make a significant dent in Labours support. As he is saying the policies that traditional Labour supporters want.

John McDonnell himself tried to gain enough support to challenge Brown for leadership, in order to have a debate when Tony Blair left about the parties future policies, in effect he was pushing for the party to redefine itself. He thought Brown's leadership had to be grounded in democracy, the party should have elected him, not just crowned him. He's always maintained it was a missed opportunity, not just the Brown switch but New Labours time in office itself.

And he's right, the Labour party needed to redefine itself once Tony Blair left, having that open debate would have saved this mess we're now witnessing. They're just trying to survive every 24 hour news cycle, yet they have no idea were they're going or who they are. No one does any more. Now with potentially three different visions for Labour, it's become like a pinata and everyone has a bat.

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