Going nowhere fast with John McD
The Alliance for Workers' Liberty' s newspaper "Solidarity" (circulation probably lower than this website) provides some interesting insights into the market that exists out there in the Labour Party for John McDonnell as Leader.
According to AWL the key to the campaign is to "organise local meetings". Just what the labour movement needs, another series of meetings.
Note that it doesn't say invite McDonnell or someone from his campaign to your local branch Labour Party or constituency General Committee. Which may hint at how much of the enthusiasm for McDonnell is coming from outside the ranks of the party he seeks to lead.
Apparently the campaign has "a lack of resources" - something to do with having very few supporters?
There are apparently "hundreds of thousands of disgruntled Labour members and ex-members, opponents of Blairism in the unions and Trades Councils who can help a local organisational push" - again references to groups of people who (even in the unlikely event that they do number in hundreds of thousands - hundreds is more likely) are not all Labour Party members.
Apparently my own dear borough is the organising model for this:
"In Hackney, we've set up an organising group, which on December 2nd brought together 22 comrades willing to take a role in building support for John in their unions - and in other campaigns, such as Keep Our NHS Public, tenants' organisations and Stop the War. Passing resolutions in trade union and Labour branches is part of this work - our ultimate goal is to hold a conference of local working-class activists and community campaigners in March to support John4Leader. Helping John's influence to grow requires gradual campaign-building and an ongoing local organising body, with regular meetings."
I'd love to know who the 22 "comrades" are because counting heads I know John McDonnell hasn't got 22 active supporters inside the Hackney Labour Party (at a rough count I make it about 12).
Then comes the big admission - they have absolutely zappo support or organisation amongst actual Labour Party members:
"Gone are the days when Tony Benn won 83% of the constituency Labour Party vote for deputy leader, when local parties were the main base of the left and the leadership had to rely on the union block vote to save its skin at Labour Party conference. It is not just a question of the Labour membership moving to the right: much more fundamental is the fact that most local parties have withered almost the point of dissolution, so that there is very little left to fight about. True, party members will have big say in the leadership election, but there is little organisation left to provide the basis of working-class party cleansed of Blairism."
I suspect the trade union support McDonnell has is not from Labour Party members involved in their union's political structures but from flotsam and jetsom from other political parties who happen to be trade unionists.
It then goes on to suggest how to organise for McDonnell in your union, citing examples of work done in the RMT and NUT. I hate to point it out comrades but activity relating to a Labour leadership campaign in either of those unions is a complete waste of time as neither of them is affiliated to Labour so they have no voice in the process.
So, the current state of the Labour "hard left":
- backing a leadership candidate who can't win
- no funding because no one supports them
- cheerled by expelled groups of Trots
- mainly organising in unions that aren't Labour affiliates
- incapable of organising in the CLPs due to lack of support
- self-confessedly unpopular amongst ordinary Labour Party members
- but organising lots and lots of extra meetings!
Keep up the good work comrades, at least it is occupying your time so you can't do anything more dangerous.