The Left

The Choice

Today is the day that we discover who will be standing against Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party.

The choice is as follows:

(A) Michael Meacher: Seeker of Truth

David Aaronovitch, writing (also) in The Guardian, brusquely dismissed Meacher’s claims and quoted an alarming remark that Meacher had made on ITN: acording to Meacher his information came “from the collection of data that I have been doing meticulously. It comes from websites across the world.” I can confirm this at least with second-hand and anecdotal evidence. Meacher and I have a close friend in common. Our friend was so baffled and alarmed at the nonsense Meacher was retailing, that she asked him where it came from. When he showed his sources, they turned out to be print-outs from crank conspiracist web sites and nothing else; nor was this conspiracy theory the only one whose merits he presented.

(B) John McDonnell: Peace Campaigner

At a gathering to commemorate the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, Mr McDonnell said: “It’s about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table. The peace we have now is due to the action of the IRA.”

Contacted later by the Sun, Mr McDonnell stood by his words. “The deaths of innocent civilians in IRA attacks is a real tragedy, but it was as a result of British occupation in Ireland,” he told the tabloid.

“Because of the bravery of the IRA and people like Bobby Sands we now have a peace process.”

What an exciting day!