Monday, 26 March 2007

John McDonnell for Labour Leader

Yesterday I wrote about my dilemma over who should lead the Labour party ( I looked at David Miliband’s possible challenge and considered the issues likely to influence his decision but my basic problem was that neither Miliband nor Brown supports the policies which I believe are necessary. I saw the election outcome as either a right-wing government under Brown or Miliband or a more right-wing government under Cameron. What a choice! It’s like having to decide if I want dog poo on my left or right shoe. Each is equally repugnant.

Then I remembered that John McDonnell was running for the leadership and I understood he was standing on a genuine left-wing programme and I mentioned that I needed to check out his “ticket”. Susan – thank you - at kindly forwarded details of McDonnell’s website ( and I spent a bit of time reading through his policies.

Here, at last I found policies that made sense to me, policies I believed in and policies I believe are right for the country but as I read his policies I had the expected sinking feeling.

The policies are right but he’ll not win the Labour leadership and, even if he did, he wouldn’t win a general election. This was my dilemma yesterday.

Pushing the policies I believe in might provoke a split in Labour and, therefore, increase the chances of a Conservative government. Therefore, what do I do, stick by my beliefs or sell out in the hope of getting the slightly lesser of two evils.

I’m still unsure on this although my gut feel is to stick with my beliefs: there’s plenty time to sellout later! Perhaps my uncertainty means that I haven’t bought in to McDonnell’s policies. Perhaps, with buy-in there can be no sellout / compromise.

Regardless, I am further forward than I was yesterday.

John McDonnell for Labour leader!!


  1. Very glad to hear it! Where are you based? Have you managed to get to any of John's meetings?

  2. I'm in Edinburgh. I haven't got to any of John's meetings. I think I said on "grimmerupnorth" that, to date, I am an "armchair leftie". I have progressively rejected so-called middle-of-the-road policies but my difficulty is that I can't see John winning. Therefore, I 'm now stuck at the point of thinking, "Why push for something (John) when there s no chance of winning". That's what I'm wrestling with at the moment. Stick to views and lose or compromise /sell out and poss stop the worst of the rest winning.

    I'll certainly be returning to this dilemma in the coming days.

    Duncan, As a matter of interest how did you find my blog because it's had about the same level of interest as Michael Meacher's.