Solidarity 103 McDonnell supplement, 6 December 2006

Back the John McDonnell Campaign — For a workers' voice in politics!

Published on: Wed, 20/12/2006 - 17:45

By Maria Exall, Labour Representation Committee vice-chair and CWU NEC

John McDonnell's candidacy for Labour Party leader is a great opportunity for the left in Britain. With principled politics on many key issues, John's campaign is an important focus for all socialists in the labour movement. By participating in John's campaign we can put class issues back on the political map.

• Anti-union laws. John has a consistent record of supporting workers' rights and workers in struggle. He stood beside the Gate Gourmet workers on their picket lines and he is one the the main sponsors of the Trade

The unions and political representation

Published on: Mon, 11/12/2006 - 00:25

A central theme of John McDonnell's campaign will be getting the unions to develop an independent political voice and to challenge New Labour. How far advanced is the debate over political representation in the unions and how exactly do the unions relate politically to the Labour Party? Martin Thomas reports.

For most of the Labour Party's history, the trade unions controlled 90% of the vote at party conference and a majority on the National Executive Committee. From 1928 to 1980 the relationship was symbolised by the Labour Party's central office being a sub-section of the Transport and

'Respect' and independent working-class politics

Published on: Mon, 11/12/2006 - 00:08

By Tom Unterrainer, Nottingham City NUT

"THE resurgence of radicalism in the anti-capitalist movement and the trade unions has provoked an important debate cross the left internationally. The issue is this: what kind of party should socialists build? Should it be a broad socialist party or a revolutionary organisation? ... the tactics of any socialist organisation have to rest on an understanding of the phases through which the class struggle passes".1

It's often comforting to suppose that the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) acts in a totally un-theorised, opportunistic way. That they make no

A socialist alternative

Published on: Sun, 10/12/2006 - 23:55

By Sacha Ismail

IN a sense, the most important thing about John McDonnell's campaign is not its formal policies. The fact that in Parliament and outside it McDonnell has been a consistent and courageous fighter for the working class defines the importance of his bid for the leadership more than his in fact quite limited public programme. But of course, for revolutionary socialists, the politics matter too. They will define and shape what the campaign achieves, not just in terms of nominations received and votes cast, but the recomposition of the left in the labour movement.

The main points on

A chance to reshape the left?

Published on: Sun, 10/12/2006 - 18:38

By Kate Ahrens, LRC Steering Committee

JOHN McDonnell's campaign for Labour leader is the first venture in a long while to raise the banner of the political left on a large and public scale.

Since 1998 the leftish element inside the Labour Party has, for setpiece purposes, called itself "Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance". More widely, of course, the Labour Party now names itself "centre-left", rather than "left", or claims to "go beyond traditional divisions of left and right", as do many greenie radicals.

"Left" has become a dangerous word. This is the first time since Tony Benn and Eric

Organise to support McDonnell!

Published on: Sun, 10/12/2006 - 16:42

Organise local meetings

ON 18 October a meeting for John McDonnell's campaign at the Hackney Empire, with McDonnell speaking alongside leading radical trade unionists, attracted over 100 people. The meeting, co-sponsored by Hackney Trades Union Council and the Labour party's Leabridge branch, was pitched towards rank-and-file union activists and Labour party members who wanted to discuss an urgently needed alternative to Blairism; that of working-class political representation.

It is vital for McDonnell's campaign, particularly given a lack of resources, that local activists build rank-and

Labour, Marx and 21st century socialism: an interview with John McDonnell

Published on: Mon, 20/11/2006 - 02:10

David Broder, Chris Ford and Mladen Jakopovich spoke to John McDonnell about his campaign for the Labour leadership as well as what socialism means to him.

What led to your decision to stand for the Labour leadership?

Tony Blair announced that he was going before the last election, and he did that as a defensive reaction to what was going on in the opinion polls and on the doorstep where people were anxious that he should leave and depart the scene. When he announced that he was going, the view was then discussed as to whether the left should run a candidate, and there was extensive

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.