New Times,
New Thinking.

Why John McDonnell deserves your support

He can’t win, but his presence in the contest would shift the whole debate to the left.

By Bob Piper

I am supporting John McDonnell for the Labour leadership. Not because I think there is the slightest chance of John winning if he were to get sufficient nominations, but because the Labour membership in the country needs to hear the arguments from across the range of opinions in the party.

John will raise issues which are important to Labour Party members that the other candidates will be anxious to avoid. The privatisation of public services, the wasteful PFI initiatives, anti-trade-union legislation, and the continued wooing of big business by the party are all concerns that need to be raised.

If John doesn’t raise them, no one will, and the other contenders will not have to answer the questions.

We saw in the deputy leader contest the way in which Harriet Harman was forced towards Jon Cruddas’s positions on issues such as Iraq when she realised they resonated with party members. A campaign that includes John McDonnell can do the same for the leadership issue.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Gordon Brown could never claim full legitimacy for his leadership because he had never had to have his position endorsed by members of the Labour Party. If the views put forward by McDonnell are squeezed out of a contest because Labour MPs do not want the party to hear them, whoever wins the leadership this autumn will suffer from the same weakness.

Labour MPs should give John McDonnell a voice in this contest. They have nothing to be afraid of but their fear.

Bob Piper is a Labour councillor for Sandwell. This is the first in a series of guest blogs on the Labour leadership.

Special offer: get 12 issues of the New Statesman for just £5.99 plus a free copy of “Liberty in the Age of Terror” by A C Grayling.

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust