Hello Comrade! John Prescott Speaks to his old Mates on Labour Election.
John Prescott: Comrade.
The Tendance, old liquidationist Pabloites as we are, has always had a soft spot for John Prescott.
There’s that time he phoned me up – late, but obviously during House of Commons Bar opening times – and we had a chat, about this and that.
He struck me, as he does most labour movement people we know him, as a genuine man of the left, one of ‘us’.
Marginalised, and patronised by Blair, treated as a bleeding idiot, he kept his corner.
He did his best against the privateers running down the transport of this country, stuck up for the environment, was none too clever about Council Housing, and was – we now know – capable of arguing against the Iraq War.
He even went to Ruskin, like my dad.
Though my dad didn’t end up in the House of Lords.
Today I got an E-Mail from John, obviously personally addressed, to my good self.
Hello comrade! (We can still say that can’t we?).
I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime and be brief.
This leadership election is nearly over, and it looks like it’s down to a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham.
I was glad I encouraged MPs to nominate Jeremy to get him into this race because we really needed a debate on Labour’s future.
And what a debate it’s been! People are flocking to meetings, our number of members and supporters has tripled and there’s a buzz about Labour again.
But now you need to decide who’s the best person to lead us back to power in 2020.
And for me, that person is Andy Burnham.
From progressive renationalisation of our railways to integrating social care into our NHS, Andy has the ideas, experience and passion to unite this party and put our traditional values in a modern setting.
We need a leader who won’t just lead protests ON Downing Street. Andy’s the best candidate to march us back INTO Downing Street.
Because if we don’t choose a leader who can win in 2020, we’ll give the Tory’s another five years of misrule to hit the poor and dismantle everything we achieved in Government.
So if you haven’t yet, please vote for Andy today.
The future of our country and our party depends on it.
And you’ll make me happy too!
Today Andy Burnham has made a final appeal to voters in the Labour Party election (Independent).
I know you feel like we we’ve been dancing to the tune of the Conservative Party for too long. It’s no wonder people think we’re all the same when they can’t see the difference between us and the Tories on key issues like education and social security.
You want a bolder, more principled Labour Party. And you want us to be clearer about where we oppose the Tories. So here are five key commitments I will make if you elect me leader.
I will oppose the extension of right-to-buy to housing associations. Right-to-buy has created a dysfunctional housing market that doesn’t work for people anymore. Instead we should be championing policies such as ‘rent to own’ and allow councils to borrow money councils so they can build more homes.
I will oppose the Tories’ latest damaging changes to our education system. I will stand up for comprehensive education against the enforced academisation of schools. The values of comprehensive education should be as intrinsic to our party as the values of the NHS.
3. Trade unions
I will fight against the Conservative campaign to demonise the trades unions. I will defend the ability of the unions to defend Britain’s workers. I will lead outright opposition to the cynical Trade Union Bill and will be a proud defender of the Labour movement.
I will lead the opposition to the Welfare Bill. I am proud of what the last Labour Government did to lift children and disabled people from poverty and to help low paid workers with tax credits. The Welfare Bill will move the clock backwards and unfairly punish disabled people.
I will win the 2020 election general election. The polls have shown that, of all the candidates standing to be leader, I am best placed to win for Labour. I won’t just take the Tories on, I’ll kick them out of government.
So under my leadership we will fight the next election on a radical manifesto, with bold ideas such as integrating the NHS and social care, and renationalising the railways. I will set out exactly how we will pay for each policy, leaving no doubt in people’s minds that we are a principled Labour Party, ready for government.
To the thousands of people still undecided on how to vote, I say very clearly: don’t give up on wanting to see big changes, but don’t give up on winning either. The stakes for our party and the country couldn’t be higher.
I am sorry not to make my old mucker John happy.
I voted Jeremy Corbyn: the best anti-austerity candidate, and somebody with a solid socialist background and policies.
But I put Andy Burnham as my second preference.
John is obviously not planning to join the Kendall Resistance, and certainly does not share Yvette Cooper’s dislike of ‘boys’ toys’ like trains and cars.
I hope that Corbyn and Burnham can work together.
More…. Andy Burnham makes a pitch for Labour’s leftwing vote (Guardian)