John McDonnell interview: is Britain ready for a socialist chancellor? | Financial Times

by Faiz Ahmed last modified 2018-03-04T23:13:26-04:00
"After becoming an MP in 1997, McDonnell busied himself in various ways: chairing meetings of the anti-Heathrow expansion group, setting up an umbrella group of leftwing unions and leading a campaign against the construction industry, which had been blacklisting workers for their political views and union activities, leading to a £75m settlement. No one doubts his work ethic. Dave Smith, head of the Blacklist Support Group, says he would often encounter McDonnell at a picket at 6.30am: “When no one else was prepared to talk to us he was there . . . representing working people fighting for justice.” ... McDonnell insists that companies are “looking to [Labour] for security” in an uncertain world. His policies span the radical to the mainstream, including the nationalisation of some utilities, higher taxes to fund a more generous welfare state, billions of borrowing for infrastructure and the relocation of most of the Bank of England to Birmingham. He is interested in alternative models of ownership and in copying the Scandinavian model of enhanced profit-sharing for employees. “Are those ideas inspired by Marx? They’re inspired by socialists and, of course, Marx is one of those thinkers, alongside RH Tawney, GDH Cole, William Morris,” he says."

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