Why the bakers won’t save John McDonnell

John McDonnell was always going to struggle to get on the ballot paper.  With only one other candidate standing, he couldn’t manage it in 2007.  Five other candidates this time made it almost impossible.  Once Diane Abbott split the far left vote, it moved into miracle territory.

More telling was that left-wing MPs like Linda Riordan and David Hamilton have, at the outset, come out for Ed Miliband, while Davey Anderson has backed Balls.

David Hamilton is a proper, no-nonsense left-winger from Middlothian.  He grew up in the National Union of Mineworkers when that meant something.  He went to prison during the 1984-5 miners’ strike.  Dick Gaughan’s song about the miners’ strike salutes Davey Hamilton.  If you were looking for a totally straightforward, implacably left-wing, tell-it-like-is, bow-his-head-to-no-man Labour MP like they used to make ’em, you couldn’t find a more impressive one than Davey Hamilton. He is the only man in the Parliamentary Labour Party who might beat Eric Joyce in a physical fight.

It is significant, in which case, that Hamilton is backing Ed Miliband.  It gives the lie to the notion that the far left will eat the Labour party now that we have lost.  In truth, there is less point to the Campaign Group now than there has ever been.  Which is saying a lot.

McDonnell is mounting a valiant rearguard.  He is an impressive campaigner and an excellent Member of Parliament.  Sadly for him, though, neither that nor old friends in small unions will likely be enough.

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5 Responses to “Why the bakers won’t save John McDonnell”

  1. Sgt Howie says:

    I am getting quite angered by the PLP at the moment. John McDonnell has a reputation for working tirelessly for working people and trade unions. He is the chair of the RMT group of MP’s, the BACTU group of MP’s and the TU Co-ordinating Group in the Commons. He is also chair of the Socialist Campaign Group and the Labour Research Committee. When he tried standing against Brown he spent 10 months touring the country attempting to drup up support.

    Diane Abbot from the left has come into the race and could prevent a left candidate reaching the ballot paper. With the usual obsession we have with spin, media, PR and presentation I would not be suprised if Diane Abbot did make the paper and John didn’t. This is despite doing alot less than John and using her role in the media as well as sex to benefit her. Surely the candidate of the left with the best track record should go forward?

    Your nomination analysis is also slightly week. David Anderson and David Hamilton are from the Campaign Group and backed Brown last time. Linda Riordan is the only change from 2007 and may choose to nominate John if she is not supporting him. I know Kate Hoey has said she will nominate John. Graeme Morris may do also because he has said previously John is needed on the paper to facilitate a debate.

  2. AmberStar says:

    @ Sgt Howie

    “This is despite doing alot less than John and using her role in the media as well as sex to benefit her.”

    I sincerely hope you mean gender 😉

  3. AmberStar says:

    “He is the only man in the Parliamentary Labour Party who might beat Eric Joyce in a physical fight.”
    This made me LOL 🙂

    I was at school with Eric. Being female, I never had to square up to him. He was certainly known to be handy in fight. 😉

  4. Sgt Howie says:

    I do apologise (gender not sex!). Reading my comments back to myself I don’t want to appear to be sexist (or genderist) if you prefer. Someone like Diane Abbott will supplement her Parliamentary income appearing on the sofa with Portillo and the biggest Murdoch apologist in the 80’s and 90’s apart from Kelvin Mackenzie. John instead will spend time on picket lines with civil servants and low paid cleaners not getting paid the living wage in London. It is this that annoys me. If she had put the same effort in as McDonnell there would be case for her being the candidate on the left. She hasn’t and it could lead to no left candidate getting on the paper.

    Diane does seem like someone who would use the lack of a female candidate to her advantage but if you forget gender, race and age and look at records does she have the better credentials compared to McDonnell. The answer is a resounding NO.

  5. AmberStar says:

    @ Sgt Howie

    I am trying to overcome my reaction to Diane cosying up with Michael Portillo whilst he & Andrew Neil openly mocked her candidacy & the Labour Party in general. Nope – not over it yet, there is steam coming out of my ears 😉

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