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John McDonnell (Shadow Chancellor) comes to Derby

Over 200 people arrived at St Peter's Church in Derby to hear John McDonnell speak. He gave a very inspiring speech.

There were also 3 discussion groups on the NHS, Austerity and Climate Change.

Many of our Derbyshire Dales Members attended. Thank you to everyone who came to support this event and a particular thank you to our raffle team. (We raised enough through the raffle and donations to pay for the venue)

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commented 2016-01-09 21:11:04 +0000
I am really glad I got to see John this afternoon, it was a very encouraging experience.
Discussion before he appeared voiced concerns on a range of issues including the urgent need for support and guidance for campaigning.

John set our clearly the difference between the parties. Socialists narrow the gap between rich and poor and the Tories do the reverse. This demolishes the often heard complaint that all the parties are similar, if not the same, and is a concise way of discussing it. He and his colleagues did not enter politics for a career but to use their beliefs and morality for the general good.

He updated us with the present state of play in the party, which is preparing policy for the next election. In doing so expert advice is being obtained from some well known luminaries including Piketty and others. He commented on the current party dis-unity, saying that whilst there is clearly a small group which have not yet taken on board the mandate of the leadership, the vast majority want to get on with attaching Tory policy. They were building on a new popular foundation and wave of support, which would be maintained by the use of social media and word of mouth, in the face of unprecedented propaganda in the media and resistance from the establishment.

He tackled the history and consequences of austerity, which is a political choice by the Tories, rather than an economic necessity. He argued that the crash of 2007/8 was caused by the suppression of earnings by the attacks on unions, combined with soaring housing costs, leading to increased and irresponsible lending by the financial institutions, freed of control from Thatcher on. The bursting of that bubble resulted directly in the crash. The right wing press and establishment generally had, and is, misrepresenting this in a huge wave of propaganda, blaming the last Labour government, which is consequently and widely, if erroneously, believed.

He was pressed on future policy and was specific on several issues which were well received by all including.

Stopping and reversing privatisation in the NHS

Recovery of tax from the corporate avoiders.

Reversal of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Reversing the Academy programme and ending tuition fees in further education.

Return to local authority and housing association building affordable houses.

Control of rents.

Support of manufacturing industry.

Review of the pension system.

He ended by reminding the audience of the original values of the Labour movement; Solidarity, which combined with Determination and Courage, produced a massive majority from a near bankrupt, post war Britain which expected Churchillian government. He believed we could do that again if we stuck by the same principles.

I am sure I was not alone in feeling uplifted by listening to such a passionate speaker, whose arguments are clearly common sense and based on a morality which has been in very short supply in recent years.

I hope my notes will give encouragement to anyone who was unable to attend the event and hope to those of us involved in opposing the current Government’s destructive policies.

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