General Election: help John McDonnell!

Submitted by Matthew on 29 April, 2010 - 4:29 Author: John Moloney

One of the most important constituency battles in this elections is going on Hayes and Harlington. There, John McDonnell, is defending a 10,000 majority against the Tories.

John McDonnell is one of very few voices for organised labour in the House of Commons. If he were to lose then many non-affiliated unions such as the PCS, FBU, POA would in effect lose parliamentary representation, and many important trade union issues would never get raised in Parliament.

Given McDonnell’s record in defending unions and union members, standing on picket lines, you might expect that organised labour would be heavily backing and supporting his campaign. Unfortunately not.

RMT has given money and has urged people to volunteer for John’s campaign, but it has not thrown its full organised weight behind the campaign. The RMT is doing much more than the other unions.

My union, PCS, is dominated by the Socialist Party. Aas far as I can see the SP is not calling for a vote for John McDonnell; in any case, the union is officially politically neutral! No help is being given. Therefore it has been left to individual PCS activists to organise what help they can. The same applies for the other unions.

A 10,000 majority should make Hayes and Harlington a safe seat. That ignores three factors: Labour is very unpopular and this is dragging John’s vote down. The Tories have promised not to build the third runway in Heathrow (which will swallow up a chunk of his constituency). John is also against the runway but the Labour Party is for it. And lastly the Tories have put in more resources and money than in previous elections.

The trade union movement should be matching that Tory effort. If you want the movement to have at least one effective voice in the House of Commons, then John McDonnell has to be supported. Every day there is canvassing. To join in please call 020 8573 3535; now is the time to help.

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