McDonnell makes his bid to lead government of national unity – while Corbyn calls for a 1945-style Labour government

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JOHN McDONNELL made his bid to lead the proposed government of national unity to smash Brexit during his interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday.

The Shadow Chancellor said: ‘What is annoying me is, it’s all well and good for Michael Gove or Boris Johnson to say all will be well and there’s no risk whatsoever. They’re wealthy people, they won’t be bearing the risk.

‘I’m worried about food prices. People out there are just struggling to get through. We’ve had a summer where we’ve had children again, yet again, going hungry. If food prices increase they’re the sort of people that suffer the most, not the rich and wealthy, and wealthy Tory politicians.’

He was asked by Justin Webb: ‘If we do get an election, Jeremy Corbyn is going to say today, Labour would commit to holding a public vote to give voters the final say, with credible options for both sides including the option to remain. What in your view is the credible option to leave?’

McDonnell replied: ‘Well, let’s be clear what he’s saying. A referendum, options put forward, one would be remain, of course. The other will be something that people think is credible. Now, we’ve debated in parliament a range of those options and that will be part of the discussions we’ll be having with other opposition party leaders as well.’ Webb interjected: ‘So it could be the May deal?’

McDonnell replied: ‘Well, let’s have that conversation with the other opposition party leaders . . . I’ve made it clear, my personal position is I’ll be campaigning for remain. I think that’s the best choice, but people will want to have a say and see whether there is another option, but we had that debate in parliament. That’s why I’ve come down in favour of remain, because I can’t see one that will have the same benefits as remain.’

Webb said: ‘But that’s the point. When Jeremy Corbyn uses the phrase “a credible option to leave”, it suggests then that Labour, after an election, would enter into negotiations about its own deal and that presumably would take time.’

McDonnell said: ‘Not necessarily, no, there’s other options. You can, even before you enter into any negotiations, you could put before the electorate the sort of terms of the deal that any government would then have a mandate to go off and negotiate.

‘So there’s a whole range of options that we’ve got to look at. And that’s why we’re open to those conversations with the other opposition parties about the methodology to protect against a no deal and then how to go forward.’

He went on: ‘I believe, yes, there’s got to be a couple of options on that ballot paper. One of them’s got to be remain, I’ll campaign for remain. But people will want to have the opportunity of voting for another option. What we’ve got to do now is both within our own party, but we’re going broader than that, talking to other opposition parties about what those other options are, what we can bring forward. So I think that’s the proper way forward to bring people together.’

Corbyn in his Corby speech yesterday said: ‘We will do everything necessary to stop a disastrous ‘No Deal’ for which this government has no mandate.’ He added: ‘We will work together with the MPs from across parliament to pull our country back from the brink. I will bring a vote of no confidence in the government, and if we’re successful, I would seek to form a time-limited caretaker administration to avert No Deal, and call an immediate general election so the people can decide our country’s future . . .

‘Labour believes the decision on how to resolve the Brexit crisis must go back to the people. And if there is a general election this autumn, Labour will commit to holding a public vote, to give voters the final say with credible options for both sides including the option to remain.’

He continued: ‘A general election triggered by the Tory Brexit crisis will be a crossroads for our country. It will be a once-in-a-generation chance for a real change of direction potentially on the scale of 1945 or 1979.’

If we leave out Thatcher as embodying a real change in direction, Corbyn is pledging that a Labour government that sinks Brexit will be able to go forward and bring in socialism, which is what Attlee and Bevan did alongside the millions of soldiers who came back from the war determined to have a better life.

The Greek socialists explained to the UK a long time ago that it would be a great mistake to negotiate with the EU, and predicted that it would threaten and then grind you down and will make life hell for you outside the EU.

They urged the UK to walk out and blaze its own socialist trail. A Labour government that bends the knee to Brussels will never be able to defy the British bosses and bring in socialism. Don’t let Corbyn fool you on this one!

Workers must organise in their trade unions to break with the EU on October 31, and then continue to bring down the Johnson government and bring in a workers’ government with a socialist revolution. This will transfer all power to the working class, including the ownership of a planned and nationalised economy, that will inspire the workers of the EU and USA to do the same.