Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Labour Leadership - trade unionists need a choice

With Jon Cruddas ruling himself out of the race for Labour Leader (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/17/jon-cruddas-labour-leadership-race) there remains a crying need for a socialist presence in the fight for Labour's future.

Candidates who, in office, backed tuition fees, ID cards and imperialist foreign policy won't help Labour attract back "progressive" voters duped by the coalition.

Supporters of PFI, foundation hospitals, academy schools and housing stock transfers cannot credibly appeal to public sector workers.

Similarly, candidates who, in office failed to back the Trade Union Freedom Bill - leaving us at the mercy of judges yearning for a new Taff Vale - deserve no support from trade unionists.

The break with the past which we need now is not to do with age, presentation or personality - it is a break from the policies of New Labour which is needed.

For the leadership election to become a process out of which such change can come it is essential that members of the Parliamentary Labour Party use their right to make nominations in order to ensure a wide debate which includes the socialist left of the Party.

As a Labour Party member and political levy payer I want a right to vote for a field of candidates which is broader not only than the Miliband family, but also the whole dysfunctional New Labour family of "Blairites" and "Brownites."

Union members who share this view need to begin pressing MPs to nominate John McDonnell, the willing socialist candidate best placed to make it onto the ballot paper.

John has stood on the side of trade unions and the working class against New Labour and continues to do so against the "ConDem" coalition.

With no prospect of a Cruddas candidacy those who wanted a "leftish" presence now face a clear choice.

Only a Socialist Campaign Group candidacy can now make the leadership election into the meaningful debate the Party - and the movement - needs.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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