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PC1: Resignation of Neil Kinnock
#1
"What next for Labour?"

Closes: 23:59 Wednesday 17th June
Max | A Team
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#2
Firstly I would like to wish Mr Kinnock the best for his health, we may not see eye to eye on everything and we had our disagreements but I do hope he recovers to full health, I also hope John Smith recovers fully.

But with this leadership change, it’s a chance for Labour to get back to its values, to get back to why the Labour Party was founded. And that is why I am supporting James McCrimmon and Tommy Dawson in this election. I have worked with these fellow comrades in the Socialist Campaign Group and in Parliament and I know they are ready to lead our party and lead our country. I trust them to ensure electoral success for the Labour Party so we can reverse the tyranny that Thatcher has caused for many working class people across this country since 1979.

The economic project of Thatcherism has failed and now it’s time to revolutionise our society so that we give a voice to the voiceless and work for the working class and those who have been neglected and harmed by the cruel and callous Conservative Government we have seen in recent years. The Thatcher project has failed the people of this country and should now be abandoned to a new new economy based on protecting worker’s rights, investment, upholding standards with regulation and limiting the impact on the environment when possible.

I trust Tommy and James to do this, they are fine people and Parliamentarians and have done so much to help those who are in need. Labour needs a new direction to take us into the 21st century and I trust Tommy and James to do that. But not just to take our party into the 21st century, but our country as well. Thatcherism has failed, and now it’s time for real change. It’s time to put people before privilege and build a new fairer society to take us into the new millennium.
James Davies MP
Labour MP for Islington North (1987-)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education & Science (1990-91)

Faction: Socialist Campaign Group
Additional XP: 1XP from PC
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#3
Labour needs a leader who is actually willing to implement real democracy in this country, and not prop up the sham of a political system we currently have. Focusing the debate on narrow internal factional interests - as I am entirely sure Labour will do - is not what we need right now. We need Labour's leadership contenders to focus on how we build a political system in which we never witness the rioting and civil unrest of the past decade again. 70,000 people were out on the streets, angry, over Mrs Thatcher's Poll Tax. As long as we still have a ping-pong winner-takes-all system, people will be ignored.

This may surprise some, but I don't think it matters if the next leader of Labour is a flag-waving Maoist socialist, or if they're bluer than Mr Heseltine - it matters if they actually want to change our political system, and gear it towards listening to people! We need more voices to loudly back regular referenda, recall of MPs, and rebuild links between communities and politicians. We need more politicians who are willing to take politics out of Westminster, and who don't just get elected to enjoy their ministerial cars. I hope at the very least, me and my colleagues in the Democrats are trying to do politics differently. I would love to see more join us in that tradition.

I have a lot of time for Mr Kinnock, as I think he well knows, and seeing a Welshman at the top of British politics was of genuine inspiration to me when I first entered Parliament. He is a good man, and it is to his credit that he was trying to do things differently as leader. Confronting Militant was politically brave, and it is to his credit that he had the strength to do so. It is a shame that he has had to step down, and I do wish him the speediest recovery possible.
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#4
I would like to take a moment to say that my thoughts and prayers are with Neil Kinnock, John Smith, and their families at what must be a most difficult time for them all, politics is about people and if we lose sight of the fact that our opponents are people then government will lose its humanity which is something we must never allow to happen.

However this puts the Labour Party at a very dangerous crossroads, Mr Kinnock has resigned for all of five minutes and the Militant Tendency, the far left, and the hardcore socialists have already re-emerged from the woodwork to claim rightful ownership of the Labour Party. The country deserves better than a hard left forever railing against your right to own your own home, take home your own wages, and be in any way not conforming to the centralised views of the state. The Conservative Party will never surrender to the hard left, Labour need to remember Mr Kinnock's speech in the last decade and ensure that they never surrender to the left either.
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#5
First of all, my thoughts are with Neil Kinnock, John Smith and their families. This must surely be a difficult and stressful time for them, and I wish them all the best and a speedy recovery.

That being said, I'm sure they will not be thrilled to see the direction the party seems to be going. Of course only one leadership ticket has emerged thus far, with more I assume to come, but James McCrimmon and Tommy Dawson do not represent the future of the Labour Party, or the country: they represent the failures of it's past. The last time James McCrimmon was in government, it ended with massive inflation, widespread dismay, and the unions driving this country into the ground, with rubbish piled in the street, graves unfilled and hospitals blockaded.


That seems a lifetime ago now. If Labour continues down this leftward drift after the concerted effort of it's current leadership to curtail the hard left, we may soon be risking going back to those times.
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#6
Echoing the statements from my colleagues, my heart is with Neil Kinnock, John Smith and their loved ones. While we didn't always see eye to eye, it was a privilege to stand alongside them as we defended working people all across Britain from assault after assault and I look forward to seeing them both continue the fight once they have time to recuperate.

The necessity of that fight to advance the cause of the many has become more evident now than at any point since that great Post-War Labour Government. Just as the Tories have been relentless in assaulting the trade union movement and our public services, condemning working communities to incalculable misery and working families to countless nights of sleepless despair so that their wealthy mates may accumulate more, the Labour Party must return to its roots and proudly stand at the forefront of the fight to shift wealth and power irreversibly into the hands of the many. I'm running for Deputy Leader because we must mobilise those who justifiably feel alienated and disengaged from politics after a decade of policies intended to disempower them, a decade of intentional Tory disinvestment that has resulted in the decay of towns and cities in our heartland while the mansions of the City bankers and bosses grew more grandiose. If we fight for the class interest, if we demand a just society where all can self-actualise and fully enjoy the pleasures of life free from the scourges of poverty and despair and if we demonstrate that just as the wretched Tory political project of the last decade compounded that misery, if we struggle toward a project for economic justice that better world can be won. 

Further, I was honoured to be in attendance as my good friend James McCrimmon launched his campaign for Leader and introduced the Second People's Charter. I was incredibly moved by his inspiring socialist message and vision in connecting the historical thread between the 19th century Chartist struggle for justice and the struggle for a better world in our time. He understands that now, more than ever, is the time to broaden our fight and channel the righteous anger felt by so many all around this country into a campaign for the uplifting of the many.
Tommy Dawson
MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Deputy Leader of Labour (1990-Present), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 7 XP. Media Darling, Campaign Guru
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#7
Despite our many differences and disagreements both inside and out of parliament, the news of the health complications and resignation of Labour leader Neil Kinnock is sad and a loss for the Labour Party as a whole. Mr. Kinnock has a remarkable record as a Labour politician and leader in this country and his departure is certainly an unexpected end to what would have been a successful premiership of our great country. Under the leadership of Mr. Kinnock, Labour support has risen significantly and this was because we have remained true to our socialists roots-- to what makes us Labour. What we are witnessing across the United Kingdom is the fallout of each and every hard British worker and their families seeing the impact of backward Thatcher-government policy and Labour's response-- true to the socialist ideal which is really at the heart of our British being-- is proof of the need to seize this moment and implement a truly socialist agenda that works for the United Kingdom, that works for people that has the support of the people. Now is not the time for leadership endorsements or politicking but reflecting on the legacy of Mr. Kinnock and the current position of our party after his leadership, it is evident that now is the moment to mobilize the moral imperative of socialism and take back the levers of power from those who seek to keep us down.
Kenneth Neil McIntyre
Labour MP (1983- )
Kilmarnok and Loudoun
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#8
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Neil Kinnock, John Smith and their families. Political divisions are one thing but there are more important things -- and it's in situations like this one that we are given the opportunity to fully realise that. We can all agree that health is a matter of utmost importance.

I don't think I should be telling the Labour Party what to do. Yet, what is evident, is that there are dangerous tendencies that I think the Labour and their supporters should be very cautious about: radical socialism and Marxism, moral relativism, clear ambitions to erode the British society. I'm optimistic in that I believe there are enough good and sensible people in the Labour Party who shan't allow these tendencies to gain more resonance and power. As we are seeing in Russia and Eastern Europe, communism has failed as it should have and there's no reason why this country -- or any other -- should seek inspiration in its failed ideals.
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#9
My thoughts are with Neil and Glenys at this moment. Like so many of my colleagues across politics I wish Neil Kinnock a speedy recovery. But likewise, I wish to pay tribute to his contribution to the Labour Party throughout these difficult times. It is as many colleagues have said - the Thatcherite project has been deeply damaging to this country, and it must end sooner rather than later. When Neil entered office, he found a party that was ill-equipped to do so - we were embattled even on the front of values that should have been ours. He leaves us with a lasting legacy in the form of the Policy Review, which returns our party to its original purpose - to present forward-looking policies that work for ordinary people up and down this country. We cannot afford to turn back to the time of, in Neil's words, far-fetched resolutions that become rigid dogma irrelevant to real needs. We owe it to Neil Kinnock's efforts to see his hard work through to the end - the progressive Labour government this country needs.
Ruan Preston MP
Labour MP for Midlothian (1983-present)
Shadow Home Secretary (1990-present)
Progressive | Biography | 2 XP | Safe Pair of Hands

"The true purpose of democratic socialism and, therefore, the true aim of the Labour Party, is the creation of a genuinely free society, in which the fundamental objective of government is the protection and extension of individual liberty."
- Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, Democratic Socialist Aims & Values
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#10
I didn't always agree with Neil, but we always fought together for the right causes. But we should not let our sympathies for the man and his family cloud our judgement on the future of this party. We must be true to our principles. We must be a friend to the worker, to the vulnerable, to the downtrodden of this country. But we must also be electable. These are not mutually exclusive objectives. But the rhetoric from many of Mr McCrimmon's supporters in the wake of the Policy Review means some in the party do not understand the complexity of the electorate. We must understand that we can achieve very little from opposition, and we must band together under the Labour banner to deliver the best outcomes we can for the British people.

We must take and evolve the policy agenda we started on with the Review. Unfortunately I do not see that coming from Mr McCrimmon, who I personally respect but cannot support for the position of leader. We must forge unity in our party and look toward a Labour Government in power, and the best person to do that is Mr Morrison.
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