Monday, 7 June 2010

Thatcher hatred

Three of the candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party spoke at a GMB meeting today. All went quite smoothly and boringly until John McDonnell claimed that the best way to have improved life in the 1980s would have been "to assasinate" Margaret Thatcher.

He apparently received applause from the room, and none of the other candidates chose to argue the point with him. Even if it was a joke (which, given his track record, I doubt), then it is in seriously bad taste and reflects poorly upon him.

Think about this for a moment: the candidates have 48 hours before the vote; it is a time to set in place their vision for the future of the Labour party and, by extension, the country. It is most certainly not a time for crass comments, and yet he chose to make a comment that is hateful in the extreme.

I wonder whether this statement actually breaks the somewhat draconian incitement to violence laws that his own party introduced whilst in Government.

It is interesting to see how the BBC reacts. His comments are hidden away on a webpage about the meeting, and are then excused by BBC Political Correspondent Ross Hawkins in the following manner:
(the comments) should be seen in the context of the audience it was directed at and the fact Mr McDonnell and the other MPs were explicitly appealing for votes.
So, Mister Hawkins, if an Islamic Preacher in a Mosque was to call for the PM to be murdered, that would be okay because he was just appealing to his audience? Or an Irish Nationalist saying that all English in Ireland had to be killed would be okay because he was just talking to fellow terrorists? It is a measly, biased excuse, and it beggars belief that it is a quote from a BBC correspondent.

I wonder how the BBC would they have reacted if a Conservative MP had said: "the best way to improve life in the nineties would have been to shoot Tony Blair?" I can imagine it would be headline news. When Jeremy Clarkson called Gordon Brown a 'one-eyed Scottish idiot' it was front-page news on the BBC website. This is far worse and yet, apparently, it is excusable.

Unfortunately McDonnell has form. He has previously said: “It’s about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table. The peace we have now is due to the action of the IRA.”

His poor excuse for this is on the Guardian website.

The IRA tried to assassinate Thatcher. Five people died and 31 were injured, some seriously. I wonder if McDonnell approves of that action? At the very least he should be asked to condemn it.

MPs have to work for all their constituents, not just the ones who vote for them. How would you feel if you were one of the 12,553 of McDonnell's constituents who voted Conservative at the last election? Would his obvious hatred for Thatcher (and, by extension, Conservatives) prevent him from working for you?

There are extremists on all sides of politics. Unfortunately McDonnell has put himself in the limelight by vying for the leadership of the Labour party. Fortunately for the country, he does not look likely to get enough nominations from his fellow MPs to get through to the next round. Perhaps they know the sort of man he evidently is.

John McDonnell, you are a nasty piece of excrement who does not deserve the honour of being an MP. To you, politics is about some infantile political struggle that was lost in the eighties, not on the needs of your constituents. We deserve better politicians than you.

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