Tuesday, 8 June 2010

John McDonnell. Bad taste old boy ...

Poor old John McDonnell - what little chance he had to be a serious contender for the Labour leadership was probably scuppered by his gag at the GMB hustings about going back in a time machine to assassinate Thatcher. It's not a great gag maybe  but it's an honest reaction probably shared by any socialist  who has lived through the Thatcher years, the Blairite betrayal and is now thinking 'here we go again' with the ConDems. Actually I suspect quite a few people will think that  a bit of passion and honesty makes a refreshing change from politeness and spin.

I remember a similar tumble-weed moment when I was on a Labour Students executive dominated by Clause4 / Democratic Left types (remember them  - they eventually morphed into the fresh-faced Blairites of '97 ?).

This was at the time of the IRA's Brighton bombing: At an  executive meeting one of these characters said we should put something out about the bombing and Thacher's narrow escape. Me -  being sensible for once -  said well yes obviously it was tempting and would be funny and all that -  but we should be careful about  how it might be perceived. Cue shocked faces all around and an awkward tumble-weed moment....

Whilst we're on the subject  -  I wonder how long it will be before it is considered acceptable for history students to speculate what would Britain have looked like if the bombing had succeeded ? 

It's just a thought of course  - I'm not implying anything - obviously that would be in poor taste ..

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