John McDonnell offers an ambitious alternative economic policy


SO FAR the Labour Party’s annual conference has very much been John McDonnell’s. The shadow chancellor not only delivered today’s keynote address in the main hall. He’s been ubiquitous in the media and on the fringe. This is as it should be. Mr McDonnell has provided the Labour Party with the closest thing that it has to a radical new idea: forcing companies to give their workers shares worth perhaps 10% of the total.

Mr McDonnell’s big speech was hardly a rhetorical triumph. His voice was beginning to fail (he’d repeated Theresa May’s mistake of giving too many interviews on his big day, but without such disastrous consequences). He engaged in a spell of Trump-style press bashing by praising Jeremy Corbyn for standing up to press “attacks” over anti-Semitism. He raised the issue of Brexit only to say nothing of any interest other than that Labour wants a general election (“bring it on” provoked predictable applause). He ran out of energy towards the end. But it did give us an insight into the way that a man who could easily be Britain’s next chancellor of the exchequer views the world.

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