The ranks of the Labour Party and trade unions have been
denied the right to vote on who they think the next leader of the party should
be. This has been achieved by convincing a handful of Labour MPs not to
nominate John McDonnell. But this is not the end of the story. Now is the time
to redouble efforts to build up the left of the Labour Party in the coming
As expected Labour took a hammering in both the elections for the Scottish Parliament and in the local elections. The only way forward for the left in Scotland is to support the urgent need to build socialist programmes within the Labour and trade union movement.
The trade unions have the power to clear the Blairite clique from the Labour Party by putting their full weight behind John McDonnell instead of presiding over the coronation of Gordon Brown, who supports privatization, the anti-union laws, the sacking of 100,000 civil servants, wage cuts in the public sector and the war in Iraq.
John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, has announced
his intention to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party. He is
Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, the Labour Representation Committee,
and the 'Public Services Not Private Profit' anti-privatisation
campaign. He is also the national chair of Hands Off Venezuela and has
been at the forefront of the campaign to defend the Venezuelan
revolution. Socialist Appeal supports John's campaign as a real
opportunity to raise socialist ideas throughout the labour movement. We
asked John to tell us about his campaign and about the need to fight
for socialist policies inside the Labour Party.
The editorial of the September 2006 issue of Socialist Appeal looks at the climate of fear and Blair's dwindling support. The latest ICM poll for The Guardian shows that after three terms
of Labour government the Tories are now nine points ahead in the polls.
What an indictment of failure. Labour's support now stands at a
nineteen year low. This is Blair's legacy.