Socialist Worker

Diane Abbott is the best of Labour’s uninspiring bunch

Issue No. 2217

Bob Holman has a point about the Labour Party.

Socialist Worker has long argued that Labour is a party with a working class base but a top leadership made up of right wingers who have very little understanding of workers’ lives .

The fact that all the leadership candidates went to Oxford or Cambridge university shows the privilege at the heart of the parliamentary party. But there is more to Labour’s problems than which university its leaders went to.

The party has always put “the national interest” (capitalism’s interest) before class. And it is based on making the system work rather than replacing it.

It is to Labour’s shame that the sixth candidate seeking nominations—John McDonnell—was kept off the ballot paper. McDonnell, an active socialist, is a stalwart supporter of every trade union struggle.

During the nomination period he addressed many union conferences, getting standing ovations every time.

Yet Labour’s right wing made sure McDonnell was not able to contest the election.

So who do we vote for? Diane Abbott describes herself as a socialist. She has many flaws. But she opposed the war in Iraq, opposes Trident nuclear weapons, and has condemned the scapegoating of immigrants.

We urge those who have a vote in the Labour Party or the unions to back Abbott.

But the real struggle for the future of society will not take place in parliament—whoever leads Labour. It is the movement on the streets and on the picket lines that really matters to socialists.

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What We Think
Tue 31 Aug 2010, 16:50 BST
Issue No. 2217
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