Tuesday 26 September 2006

Guardian Profile

Many of you have been in touch to ask us why they we've had such limited coverage in the national papers. Some have described it as an almost "news blackout". Well, the good news is that the Guardian today have published in the G2 section a profile written by the author and human rights campaigner Ronan Bennett. If you're interested in our campaign, have a look at the profile, but more importantly, take a look at some of the policy issues we've been raising - and let us know what you think.

Honest John
John McDonnell has never shirked a fight - whether his opponent was Margaret Thatcher or his bosses in Labour. And now this little-known leftwing MP wants to lead the party. Ronan Bennett, who has worked on campaigns with him, profiles the first candidate in the race to succeed Tony Blair

Tuesday September 26, 2006
The Guardian

On a Saturday night shortly before the 1992 general election, I bumped into Peter Mandelson at the party of a mutual friend. Affable and charming as he can be when he wants, Mandelson asked what I was up to. I said I was going to spend the following morning campaigning for the Labour candidate John McDonnell in the Hayes and Harlington constituency in west London. Mandelson's smile froze in an instant. "Don't waste your time," he said with evident distaste, before turning sharply away.

The architects of New Labour never made any secret of their contempt for community activists and socialists such as McDonnell, but the suggestion that they preferred the Tory incumbent to hold the seat rather than see McDonnell in parliament was shocking. McDonnell lost by 54 votes but five years later was elected with a 13,000 majority. Two months ago - still an MP - he announced his candidacy for the Labour leadership after Tony Blair steps down.

Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1880921,00.html