I was very impressed by John McDonnell’s performances on Today and at the conference rostrum today. Perhaps it was the ordinary way he spoke. It all seemed to make perfect sense.
Except for two things…
Firstly, he appealed to others to get behind the Labour leadership. This seems a little odd coming from a serial rebel. Why should Labour people get behind this particular leader when John McDonnell failed to get behind a succession of previous leaders?
And, by the way, I then saw that Diane Abbott was calling for everyone in the Labour party to get behind the leader. Diane Abbott!! If I’d had a mouthful of cornflakes in my mouth, I would have spat the whole lot out and redecorated the room! Diane Abbott has carved a long and glorious career out of rebelling against the Labour leadership on a daily basis at breakfast, lunch and supper for decades. Hearing her call for people to get behind the Labour leadership is a bit like hearing Gerry Adams suddenly calling for people to get behind the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
Back to John McDonnell. He said he will “force” firms like Google and Amazon to pay their (corporation) tax. Well, it’s going to be absolutely fascinating to learn how he will pull that off. If firms are not headquartered in this country, you can’t make them pay corporation tax here. You can re-negotiate the relevant international treaty but I assume that is not what he meant by ‘forcing’ the companies to pay tax. So what did he mean? Would he actually somehow pass a law to stop firms trading in the UK unless they are headquartered here? The mind boggles.