Posts Tagged ‘McDonnell’

Saturday News Review

19/06/2010, 08:42:35 AM

Ed B begins courtship

Ed Balls makes his pitch to the grassroots

Ed Balls is launching a drive to get more ethnic minority candidates into Labour politics, pledging that as party leader he would devote a proportion of party funds towards boosting their number. The leadership contender plans to set up a Labour party diversity fund to enable candidates from groups currently under-represented to stand for elected office.” – The Guardian

Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has pitched to the grassroots of his party, calling for greater involvement from members and trade unions. Shadow education secretary Mr Balls said Labour needed to do more to support people from under-represented groups to stand “at every level”. – The Belfast Telegraph

“We must seize the chance of this leadership election to renew the Labour Party from the ground up and re-engage with the communities we are elected to serve. Political aims, vision and policies aren’t enough unless Labour can also be a community-based political party rooted in the communities we represent.” – Ed Balls, Labour Values

McDonnell wins

“John McDonnell has promised to bring in a new trade union freedom bill to tackle British Airways-style legal threats to strike action after winning first place in the parliamentary ballot of private members’ bills. The veteran leftwinger, who dropped out of Labour’s leadership contest last week, is seeking support from the TUC’s general council for the bill, which will have top priority among backbench legislative proposals this autumn. Mr McDonnell’s last bill on the subject was talked out under Government opposition in 2008. Mr McDonnell said employers such as BA had been exploiting “minor technicalities” to “frustrate the democratic decisions of trade unionists”.” – Tribune


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Wednesday News Review

09/06/2010, 07:39:06 AM

Count down

Abbott hoping to make the final cut

“Diane Abbott received a boost to her candidacy for the Labour Party leadership when Harriet Harman, the party’s deputy leader, nominated her yesterday. Ms Harman said she was doing so in the hope of helping to ensure there is a woman on the ballot paper, and will not cast her vote in the election this September.” – The Independent

“Mr Balls, the shadow education secretary, called on supporters to back Miss Abbott during an event held by the GMB trade union, saying that it was important for a woman to be in the race.” – The Telegraph

“BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said the three candidates so far are all Oxford-educated men in their 40s, and none of them are from the party’s left – unlike both Ms Abbott and Mr McDonnell. On Tuesday, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said she was nominating Ms Abbott because she did not want to see a “men-only” contest.” – The BBC

 “Speaking on Tuesday Mr Burnham said he was confident he would gain the seven nominations he still needed, while Ms Abbott and Mr McDonnell – who failed in a bid to challenge Mr Brown for the party’s leadership in 2007 – did not appear close to a deal to transfer MPs to the other to ensure a left-winger made it on to the ballot.” – In the News


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PLP leadership hustings

08/06/2010, 03:55:32 PM

A private meeting of hundreds of MPs is not really a private meeting.  But meetings of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) are slightly more so than entirely public gatherings.

Several MPs tweeted from yesterday’s PLP leadership hustings: John Woodcock, Rachel Reeves, Douglas Alexander and Denis MacShane, for instance.

But these were tiny snaphshots, in some cases only of their favourites.

The note below is a fuller record.  There are many public hustings to come. But the tone of the leadership cadre is always slightly different at the PLP than anywhere else.

We have provided this note for that reason.

Nominations close at 1230 tomorrow.  There are currently 42 MPs still to declare or nominate.

This is a not a transcript.  It is an amalgam of several contemporaneous notes taken for their own use by people present at the meeting.   If some candidates have more remarks recorded than others, it is because they said more things that people wrote down.


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Crowdsourcing the leadership election

05/06/2010, 11:23:19 AM

What are the leadership contenders like?  Can we trust them?  Would they make good friends?  Would they make good leaders?

These are basic questions to which it would be nice to know the answers.  A 30 minute interview between each candidate and each party member would be nice.

But not really practical.  There are, however, very many Labour members and supporters who, over the years, have had dealings with the leadership contenders.

Did Ed Miliband come to your GC?  Did you once play football with Ed Balls?  Was David Miliband the comedy brainy kid at your inner London comprehensive?  Do you remember Diane Abbott from Cambridge?  Did you do A levels at night school in Burnley with John McDonnell?

You did?  Good.  This is the place to tell your story.  Post your experience below and help the rest of us decide – based on what the candidates are really like in real life –  who to vote for.

This thread will be moderated and nothing off-topic, obscene or libelous will be published.

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Why the bakers won’t save John McDonnell

22/05/2010, 06:14:55 PM

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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