Friday, 21 May 2010

Diane Abbott or John McDonnell: which direction for the left?

Laurie Penny celebrates Diane Abbott's entrance into the contest for Labour leader. Salma Yaqoob is also cheered by Abbott's declaration (without mentioning McDonnell). LRC member Louise Whittle (Harpymarx), by contrast, is dismayed by Abbott's decision and argues strongly for the left to rally behind John McDonnell.

Phil BC at A Very Public Sociologist is a McDonnell supporter, but welcomes Abbott's candidacy. Dave at Though Cowards Flinch is fairly unimpressed by Abbott and the arguments for supporting her. His fellow TCF contributor Paul has expressed support for McDonnell but with reservations about his 'selection'.

Liam Macuaid helpfully - and a long way from neutrally - provides a table comparing the two candidates. Jim Jepps, with a different slant, also compares the two hopefuls.

Andy Newman at Socialist Unity has mixed feelings about the McDonnell campaign, while Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy is enthusiastic about both McDonnell and Abbott. Derek Wall, meanwhile, has posted the endorsement of John McDonnell by Unite leadership hopeful Jerry Hicks.

What do I think? Roughly speaking: what Phil BC said. The crucial issue, however, is the role either campaign (or both campaigns) can play in promoting a political alternative to the pro-cuts agenda which all the 'Next Labour' candidates share with each other and with the Tories and Lib Dems.


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