By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
During a public rally, at the weekend, the Shadow Chancellor said he would support direct action by teachers, nurses and junior doctors.
He turned on casino bankers who brought on the worst recession since the 1930s. He said that Tory Government used the economic downturn to cut benefits to the poorest in society. McDonnell also promised to end austerity, stop the privatisation of the NHS and to build a huge number of new council houses.
Mr McDonnell indicated he fully supported teachers and nurses walk out strike action and pledged to bring down the Tory Government through this type of direct protest.
It was an incendiary speech, and the claim that the era of Labour leaders’ refusing to back industrial action is “over,” may ruffle some feathers in his own party.
He pledged “solidarity” with his “brother and sisters,” who are willing to strike against savage Tory cuts and sung the praises of disabled protestors “who on a regular basis are storming Parliament.”
McDonnell said: “When they come to academise our schools, if the teachers wish to take industrial action we will be with them in solidarity.
“And the same with nurses and their bursaries – it’s the same every other struggle as we go forward now, because above all else now we need solidarity.”
He told the partisan crowd that they were able to “bring this Government down” before the 2020 election.
“We need determination that will defeat them at every opportunity – whether it is in Parliament, on the picket lines or on the streets.
“If we can work in solidarity together, we don’t have to wait to the election in 2020. We have got to work to bring this Government down at the first opportunity.”
Left-wing Labour voters would revel in his words, but the center ground of the party may try and distance themselves from some of his statements, especially his plans for Trident. On which he vowed to scrap Trident nuclear weapons “if we can win the argument in the party”.
Watch his speech here courtesy of Fourman Films