Thursday, January 15, 2009

John McDonnell's Heathrow protest

The government has approved a new runway. Not everyone is happy, including me. The BBC reports;

John McDonnell, the Labour backbencher who represents the constituency in which Heathrow is situated, has been suspended from the Commons after disrupting a debate on expansion of the airport.

Following Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon's announcement that the government has decided to approve a new Heathrow runway, Mr McDonnell MP for Hayes and Harlington picked up the Commons mace.

TV pictures of the Commons chamber were cut during Mr McDonnell's protest.
Excellent stuff, although as a rather straight laced and old school socialist (the best kind I might add) he didn't seize the opportunity of twirling the mace around his head with a blood curdling roar, although he did say the government decision was a "disgrace". Bloody good show.

Watch his interview here which contains footage of his protest (although the cameras were turned off after they realised something was happening).... Even better (from Iain, who's not impressed) there's footage of his pre-protest rant.


scott redding said...

John McDonnell is mad as hell ... and he's not going to take it anymore!

Barkingside 21 said...

I hope you mean "mad" as in angry?

Jim Jay said...

I think the film's network (is that right?) it's a great scene at the end with everyone leaning out of their windows at night shouting "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Glorious.

John M is great.

People can leave a message of support here.

Red Green Nick said...

He was good at the climate Change March last month. Go John!

scott redding said...

Yep. Network. A prophetic film in many ways.

Natalie Bennett said...

But the question I ask is: "How come he's still a member of the Labour Party?" You'd reckon he'd have a very good shot at being re-elected as an anti-airport independent.

Jim Jay said...

I think there are two credible answers to that N.

The first is the pragmatic one. He's one of the only left MPs in Parliament and is one of a handful of MPs who can be relied on through thick and thin. Going independent puts this into jeopardy and is it better to have a down the line socialist MP or a clear, but failed election campaign (and then disappear).

It can be done (winning as an independent, John's old mukker Ken knows this well) but they are the exceptions rather than the rule.

I'd rather have him in the House and Labour than kicked out...

The second one is that maybe John truly believes the Labour Party can be a vehicle for radical change. He might do... I doubt it, but he might.

what is clear though is that he doesn't represent the Labour Party as it is - only as it should be