“John McDonnell is an excellent candidate, in fact the best we have, to deliver votes to the Party using true left policies. If you don’t think the policies would be massively popular if only well presented why do you bother to stay on this list? Why bother being a socialist at all?”
John McDonnell has a number of excellent Left policies; policies that chime with the policies of Unite – though by all means not all.
Talking to family and friends I’ve found that Left policies aren’t as well received by others. To me, they make eminent sense; to my sister, a bright enough mother of three, they’re not the universal solution to this country’s problems; so, we agree to disagree – the bond of sibling love is a tight one.
Friends of mine argue against some of my Socialist ideas and ideals. They’re not right wing reactionaries; they just don’t have a sense that life can be lived along socialist lines; so, we agree to disagree – the bond of friendship can be a solid one.
Thus, looking around myself, and particularly outside my trade union and movement friends, Comrades and associates, I get the impression that John McDonnell’s policies, and John himself, are considered too radical; radical to the point of unworkable.
Some may view those thoughts of mine as a form of blasphemy. If that’s the case there is no way I’m going to change such an intransigent mind-set. Though, please accept that these are not my views; no, they’re merely my observations.
How then do we get past this sticking point at which we’ve arrived? How as Socialists do we make our policies more palatable to those who, if they only realised, are our natural allies. Inviting sceptical non-Socialists to the average Leftist meeting isn’t going to win over the multitudes we need to win the struggle – even I’ve been known to fall into the arms of Morpheus on occasions when one or other of our more soporific speakers launches into an interminable discourse...
The answer, of course, is we become relevant to them – but how?
I stay a Socialist because I can still remember the time I wasn’t a Socialist.