Thursday, May 03, 2007

John McDonnell in Red Pepper

This month's edition of Red Pepper has an interview with the two left candidates for the Labour leadership (presuming either gets the required number of nominations). I usually lean towards John McDonnell but on this occasion he's rather weak.

For example, when asked "Do you support proportional representation" he replied that "I support the electoral system that gets Labour to power, because... would be a socialist advance."

But surely socialism without extending democratic participation and representation isn't worthy of the name? It's one thing to argue for FPTP if you believe it's democratic, it's quite another to say you don't care how disenfranchising a system is as long as your gang stays in power. Fuck that.

Today in Scotland the local councils are electing councillors on a proportional system and it will mean people with views outside of the main four will, for the first time, have representation locally. That is an advance because it extends democracy, and we should argue for that whether or not it serves the purpose of our own organisation.

There's lots of nice leftist stuff, although put in a rather tired way to my mind, but I don't want to give the impression he's a total waster. If I was a left Labour MP I'd stay in the Party too but don't start encouraging everone else to - haven't we been down this road enough times already? When are we going to get radical change?

Note: the interview is not yet up on the web but the funky new forum is.

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