Another day, another reminder of what John McDonnell is really like. This time these remarks in 2013 are in the news.
Yes, Labour’s shadow chancellor did welcome the financial crisis. Yes, he did tell supporters that he’d “been waiting for this for a generation”. But don’t take it the wrong way. It was just a bit of banter. Only a bit of fun.
“It was a joke,” protested John McDonnell this afternoon, at a leadership campaign event for Jeremy Corbyn in London. “I think it was taken as a joke. If you listen to the tape, people fell about laughing.”
Oh my sides.
But come now, Mr McDonnell. Isn’t this a time for “straight talking”? Being thuggish, nasty and stupid is your “honest politics”.
Remember this meeting in 2011? It’s where you “joked” about spitting in the managers’ tea (from 8:25). Tee hee, shall we say.
This was your punch line:
It’s that form of “we’re not taking it anymore and we’re gonna give it back” I think builds up a climate of opinion, a climate of dissent, which I actually think, when combined with industrial action, will produce a tipping point that will force this government out of office and that’s got to be our objective.
Here are a few more of your hilarious lines in this clip alone:
– “Beginning to move into a sort of physical force mode” when you sit opposite Tory MPs in the House because “a few of them need a bit of a slap” (from 3:45).
– The direct action antics of “UK Uncut” were a model (from 6 minutes).
– So was the student riot in London when “they did kick the hell out of Millbank” (6:30). A big success. Ed Woollard, the idiot who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers from the top of Millbank, was not “the real criminal”. The criminals are in the government, of course.
– You’ve been here before of course. Remember when you called for “solidarity!” with Ed Woollard at another meeting?
– Going back to this raucous “spit in the managers’ tea” session, climate “activists” are another model (from 8 minutes). Superglue for “direct action” – great! Even gluing oneself to Gordon Brown. Ho ho!
All of these words were part of your central message on how “the many against the few” can win. Street thugs together with trade unions – that’s your winning ticket. Never mind boring old political campaigning, for it is “direct action” that works.
The “kindler and gentler politics” of your boss Mr Corbyn – now there’s a good joke.
Update: just to underline the point that thuggery is Mr McDonnell’s way, here is another clip where he says “sometimes you feel like physical force, you feel like giving them a good slapping” when talking about Liberal Democrat and Tory MPs (from 1:25). “We will resist in every form possible” and “where we will win will be on the streets” with “direct action”, he continues. This is what he really thinks and proudly repeats, not an unguarded, one-off comment that he later regretted.