Socialist Worker

Labour leadership debate: More united them than divided them

by Bernard Randall
Issue No. 2206

Some 400 people packed into Stratford town hall in east London last week for the first Labour-organised leaderships hustings—the youth hustings.

There was a lot of support for Diane Abbott, but the majority of people wanted John McDonnell on the ballot paper.

Many left wing supporters of the party support Abbott as “the lesser of five evils”.

The chair of the hustings implored the crowd to not heckle or applause for too long. It wasn’t much of a problem as there wasn’t much debating going on.

It was more of a question and answer in which no real contender for the leadership emerged.

One question did cause a shocked response, when a member of the audience bravely asked “What are the candidates’ views on Israel?”

The general consensus from the candidates was that they were all friends of Israel but could not condone what had happened in Gaza.

The last question of the evening before summing up was: “How are you different from Gordon Brown?”

Diane Abbott said she was no different in respect of her hard work for Britain and how hard she works for the people of her constituency.

It was a night of greater agreement than disagreement.

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Tue 15 Jun 2010, 18:43 BST
Issue No. 2206
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