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  • Technorati: graph / links

    John McDonnell vs Diane Abbott


    by Sunny
    10th June, 2010 at 1:26 am    

    Understandably, a lot of socialists are angry that John dropped out and gave way to Diane today. To be honest, I think it’s a testament to his intelligence and pluralism that he acted in the best interests of the party, a point missed by some who are just ranting away at Diane now.

    After talking to a few people today, my overwhelming feeling is that if John had stayed in the race he would not have made the cut. Firstly because there is the precedent and this time around there are less socialist MPs, and secondly because Diane Abbott had Harriet Harman, David Lammy and others ringing around for her to get to the 33. It went to the wire and she managed to get some extra names just past 12:30 because some “literally had to be dragged out of their chambers to nominate her” (according to one source). Also, David Miliband arm-twisted his supporters last minute to nominate her instead.

    Now, I’m a big fan of John McDonnell. But as I said earlier that I wanted to see at least one left-candidate on the list and I’m glad one did at least. The New Statesman hustings last night were a testament to that.


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    Filed in: Party politics






    26 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Luke McGee

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: John McDonnell vs Diane Abbott http://bit.ly/cjdeNC


    2. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: John McDonnell vs Diane Abbott http://bit.ly/cjdeNC


    3. In the heat of the moment, there was a Labour leadership contest fix « Reform Labour

      [...] Sunny Hundal here reports that at the official closing time for nominations 1230 (not 1200 noon as I reported incorrectly yesterday) Diane Abbott did NOT have the necessary 33 nominations. Labour HQ stopped the clock. More arm-twisting. Hey presto, she emerged successfully nominated. (I suspected that was the case since I was rung by the BBC Radio 4 World at One programme shortly after 1230 and was told that they did not know at that moment if Diane had made the cut.) [...]




    1. Boyo — on 10th June, 2010 at 6:50 am  

      You may a “fan” of John McD, but you supported the Lib Cons at the election didn’t you? You’re certainly no “socialist”!

    2. Rumbold — on 10th June, 2010 at 8:24 am  

      Has Diane Abbot retracted her support for gendocidal dictators (i.e Mao) yet? Or is that considered acceptable from a potential future prime minister (imagine a right wing candidate praising Hitler- there’s not much difference)?

    3. cjcjc — on 10th June, 2010 at 8:32 am  

      Does John McDonnell still believe that IRA terrorists should be “honoured”?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/2949688.stm

      Of course Tony Benn thought Mao was “the greatest man of the twentieth century”.

      “Had a long talk to the Chinese First Secretary at the embassy — a very charming man called Liao Dong — and said how much I admired Mao Tse tung or Zedong, the greatest man of the twentieth century. He said that I couldn’t admire Mao more than he did. I asked him how Mao was viewed now. He said Mao was 70 per cent right and 30 per cent wrong; the Cultural Revolution didn’t work. He said he had been named after Mao — it was amusing.”
      Journal entry for 6 June 1996 in Free at Last!: Diaries, 1991-2001 (2003) p.371

      Haha. How amusing.

    4. Shamit — on 10th June, 2010 at 11:57 am  

      If I were a Labour party member my choice would undoubtedly be David Miliband. He is not a political thug, has a presence, and is more accomplished as a minister than the rest of the lot.

      1 - He sorted out the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister when Blair put him as the second cabinet minister in the department. Before that as schools minister he did some good things and broke down the control of the teaching unions which was very good.

      While the lefty bloggers go on and on about his brother doing great work as Climate Change secretary - they forget his brother was the guy as DEFRA Secretary of State who set out the first ever binding climate change targets.

      2 - Voters like me who voted for Cameron this time would be very happy to come back to the labour fold if he was the PM candidate

      3 - he is the least hypocrite.

      **********************************

      On hypocrisy - Ms. Abbot and Mr. Miliband junior top the list -

      Dianne Abbot sat on the sofa every Thursday and found it hard to say anything good about the Labour Government. She wails about Oxbride education but she got one herself. She likes grammar schools and sends her child to independent school but does not want the same thing for poorer parents - nice lefty init? And she likes mass murderers? Wicked combination - lecture without responsibility.

      Miliband junior - oh I am not a thug like Balls. yeah thats why your sense of entitlement made you go and shout at Blair’s door keeper as to why they are still in No. 10. And after being in treasury and government and then cabinet - he suddenly found out the living wage issue - nice one ED. Iraq is the other dodgy one - this guys is more slimy than Dick Morris.

      And like the other Ed said -

      junior Miliband had different thoughts about Iraq in 2003 and like everyone knows if he was in parliament then he would have voted exactly the way his boss Gordon Brown wanted him to.

      But dare not say a word against him - we wrote a piece and we got emails from lefties calling us idiots and right wingers to everything - but they could not refute the facts that Mr. Miliband junior is slimy and biggest hypocrite of them all.

      He wrote the Labour party manifesto this time around - good job init?

      **********************************

      Ed Balls - I don’t like much but I respect him for his political acumen and loyalty to Brown. He is a good minister and can drive legislation through.

      However, both EDs have been instrumental in destabilising the labour government and hounding out the most successful labour leader in the history of the party - because their Boss and mentor felt he was entitled to be PM. And both Eds told us Gordon would be great as PM and now we know he was a lousy bloody chancellor too.

      That shows both Eds lack judgement - you want to put them up against Cameron. Good luck labour party.

      *************************************************
      So three contenders out of five have been great at putting down the labour party and the most successful labour politician in history and they want to go back to the electorate with that baggage.

      *****************************************

      Andy Burnham does not have a chance in hell but he was a decent health secretary and is actually not a bad communicator.

      *******************************************

      Whatever one thinks of Peter Mandelson he was an asset to the Labour party and him, Campbell, Balls and Alexander were instrumental in ensuring that Laboru did not get wiped out. And Mandelson was derided by everyone in the GMB hustings - nice one. The only reason some of these little shits got ministerial cars was because Mandelson figured out Blair was the better choice for leader and that GB as leader would be catastrophic. And guess what he was right.

      *******************************************

    5. Sunny — on 10th June, 2010 at 12:57 pm  

      man, you guys are far too predictable.

    6. Shamit — on 10th June, 2010 at 1:09 pm  

      Is that always a bad thing Sunny?

    7. MaidMarian — on 10th June, 2010 at 1:47 pm  

      Shamit - It is interesting, but your comment is one of many that is think is seriously under-rating Burnham. He may not have the Millibands’, Abbott’s or Balls’ media profile, but that is not a bad thing necessarily.

      He has the background that would suggest to me that he could be a good Labour leader and, quietly, did a good job at health. I actually think that, provided he does well over the next few months he has a very real chance.

      If I was David Cameron, I’d be more worried about Burnham than any of the others and, for what it’s worth, I think Burnham would do a good job in opposition.

    8. Shamit — on 10th June, 2010 at 1:56 pm  

      I like Burnham - I rated him as a Health Secretary however he had very little time to make a mark.

      I think he is a better communicator than he is given credit for - and he is a gentleman - which is a big plus over the two Eds.

      I think you could be right - but I think he would find it difficult to win.

      But I must say I am enjoying the two Eds having a go at each other - its funny and quite hilarious to watch.

    9. cjcjc — on 10th June, 2010 at 2:12 pm  

      Why do people hate Burnham so much?

      Sunny - yes we are!

      But someone has to act as a counterbalance to your flip-floppery!!

    10. Leon — on 10th June, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

      Has Diane Abbot retracted her support for gendocidal dictators (i.e Mao) yet? Or is that considered acceptable from a potential future prime minister (imagine a right wing candidate praising Hitler- there’s not much difference)?

      Thatcher loved Pinochet, Blair loved Bush, what’s your point?

    11. Shamit — on 10th June, 2010 at 2:32 pm  

      Thatcher loved Pinochet, Blair loved Bush, what’s your point?

      ahhhhh - get the pinochet one. Don’t get the Bush analogy.

      Whatever Bush is he is not Mao or Hitler Leon.

      Thatcher hated Soviet Union - Blair hated milosevic and the goons in sierra leone and he hates Hezbollah & Hamas. Balir had the balls to tell Putin to his face that Russia was becoming a pariah again - and Putin still respects Blair.

      Not to say Blair is still the most successful left of centre politician in the history of this country.

      **************************

      rumbold’s point is very apt and questions like yours make centre left people like me start using phrases like loony left

    12. MaidMarian — on 10th June, 2010 at 3:10 pm  

      cjcjc - ‘Why do people hate Burnham so much?’

      I don’t think it’s that, it is more that he does not have a big media profile - hence there are no cheerleaders for him, just those out for him for no reason more substantive than his association with the last government. That alone is a pretty sad refelction on the media.

      For what it’s worth, I think Burnham seems like a good egg and I for one hope he does well in the contest. Probably he won’t win, but I could certainly see him in a high profile shadow job.

      What ever the reason, for me he is very seriously under rated.

    13. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 4:48 pm  

      From cjcjc @3

      Does John McDonnell still believe that IRA terrorists should be “honoured”?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/2949688.stm

      This is either true or it’s a lie Sunny. Is it true?

      Diane Abbott’s backward views about ”Finnish” nurses working with black patients in Hackney was about what I would have expected.
      First of all, they are not likely to be Finnish, and secondly, reverse the racism and suggest that Jamacian or Indian nurses were not suitable in geriatric homes where most of the patients were white British.

    14. Ravi.Nk — on 10th June, 2010 at 9:19 pm  

      rumbold’s point is very apt and questions like yours make centre left people like me start using phrases like loony left

      First of all, I would say that your defense of Blair as a brilliant and successful leader is not what I call a “moderate” position. After all he took Britain to two wars without a post-invasion plan nor an exit strategy. He merely followed what most historians call the most incompetent US administration in recent history.

      Second, I think there is a difference between Mao and Hitler. Both were monsters, but most people did not know much about Mao and his atrocities, and fell for its communist propaganda. Durão Barroso, the current president of the EU commission was a Maoist when he was a student.

    15. damon — on 10th June, 2010 at 10:44 pm  

      John McDonnell in the Guardian in 2003.
      ”Let me be clear, I abhor the killing of innocent human beings. My argument was that republicans had the right to honour those who had brought about this process of negotiation which had led to peace. Having achieved this central objective now it was time to move on. The future for achieving the nationalists’ goals is through the political process and in particular through the Northern Ireland assembly elections.”
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/jun/03/northernireland.labour

    16. persephone — on 10th June, 2010 at 11:39 pm  

      ” I think it’s a testament to his intelligence and pluralism that he acted in the best interests of the party ”

      Thats the case for why I would have liked to see him carry on. I can’t be bothered to comment about the shower left.

    17. Rumbold — on 11th June, 2010 at 8:33 am  

      Leon:

      Mao went out of his way to massacre tens of millions of people. Bush invaded Iraq, which led to thousands of deaths, mostly at the hands of the ‘resistance’ that Guardian columnist Seanus Milne venerated.

      Ravi:

      Sorry, that doesn’t work. Diane Abbot praised Mao last year, and we have known about Mao’s crimes for a long time.

    18. MaidMarian — on 11th June, 2010 at 9:12 am  

      Ravi Nk. The problem with the Stop the War campaign was that it was saying the right thing for wholly the wrong reasons. As Rumbold says, a principled opposition to disorder and an active lionising of terrorists are two very different things that got dangerously blurred.

      What was interesting about the Iraq war, on my reading anyway, was that prior to actual war starting it looks rather like Blair had real influence on the US and that is very much in contrast to the Afghan conflict.

      More generally, I suspect that history will be kind to Blair - when he left office he had a poll rating the envy of most Labour leaders, though I realise that thse sentiments are likely to see me sneered off this thread.

    19. Ravi Naik — on 11th June, 2010 at 10:45 am  

      Sorry, that doesn’t work. Diane Abbot praised Mao last year, and we have known about Mao’s crimes for a long time.

      I was certainly not defending Diane Abbot - she doesn’t strike me as a bright person or a serious candidate for leading the country, and her comments about Mao only shows her ignorance. I certainly don’t think she knew, when she made that comment, about how many people Mao massacred in the name of the People.

      My point is that most people are not aware about Mao as they are about Hitler. So it is not the same thing.

    20. Rumbold — on 11th June, 2010 at 10:57 am  

      Ravi:

      I certainly don’t think she knew, when she made that comment, about how many people Mao massacred in the name of the People.

      Despite appearances, she is not unintelligent. She has a strong academic record combined with a successful career. She knew, she just didn’t mind because Mao did in in the name of the People.

    21. cjcjc — on 11th June, 2010 at 11:07 am  

      Durão Barroso, the current president of the EU commission was a Maoist when he was a student.

      Haha

      Why doesn’t that surprise me?

      You can guarantee that anyone who had been a fascist as a student wouldn’t be in that job.

    22. Ramiie — on 11th June, 2010 at 4:12 pm  

      So, I wonder, why is Diane just not good enough for some on here? I mean she is as well educated as any of her opponents, she is as historic a figure as is Keith Vaz, She has rallied and secured the ethnic minority vote for Labour in a way no other BME politician has done,she is no less hypocritical than many white and asian Labour MPs in sending her child to a private school, no real scandal has touched her name in more than 20 years as an MP, she is cleverer than a lot on ‘ere ( there really is no true genius in specialism, just application)…iz it cos she is bleck and dunt speak with the accent of the British, white attaritee?

    23. damon — on 13th June, 2010 at 12:09 am  

      Not that I’ve watched Big Brother yet - I just read about this one contestant who is an ex British soldier who got blown up in Belfast 20 years ago as a 19 year old.

      http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/IRA-bomb-survivor-is-Big.6355687.jp

      I only mention this because I saw that John McDonnell only regretted the deaths and injuries of innocent human beings, and I wondered if he thought that this soldier at the time had been ”innocent” or fair game.

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