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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

MNHQ have commented on this thread

Webchat with John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor, Tuesday 18 September at 11am

353 replies

JustineMumsnet · 17/09/2018 10:24

We’re very pleased to announce a webchat with the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, this Tuesday 18 September at 11am.

John has been Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington since 1997. Born in Liverpool, he studied at night school while working before going to university. He went on to work as a union official and in local government at the GLC and at Camden Council. He campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn to win the Labour leadership in 2015 and has been Shadow Chancellor since then.

He describes his vision for the UK economy as ‘socialism with an iPad’, centred around research, investment and ‘alternative forms of ownership and control’ such as nationalisation, co-operatives, and locally-owned enterprises. He has proved a controversial figure in some quarters, with particular attention paid to his 2003 remarks about the IRA, for which he apologised. He has described Labour’s anti-semitism row as a low point, and has been quoted as saying ‘we have got to sort this out’.

Please do join the chat on Tuesday at 11am, or if you can’t make it, leave a question here in advance.

We’re expecting this to be a busy webchat, so only existing Mumsnet users are able to post on this thread. Apologies to anyone new who can’t post - please stick around, we’ve got lots of other things coming up Grin

As always, please remember our webchat guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is overwhelmingly dominating a discussion with a guest, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks.

Webchat with John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor, Tuesday 18 September at 11am
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bellinisurge · 17/09/2018 10:55

John, why have you shared a platform with people who seek the destruction of Israel?

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Alltheprettyseahorses · 17/09/2018 11:12

John, I can't afford an iPad so your fancy socialism/luxury communism/whatever seems nothing but a middle-class wet dream. What has happened to Labour? Whining about Blairites supposedly backing Tory cuts when they're the actual people who put the progressive measures in in the first place, racism, misogyny, austerity, deliberate misinformation, drastically limiting opportunities for working-class people and so on.

I suppose my question is can Labour ever regain its status as a progressive, outward-looking political party after the debacle of the last 3 years or should the decent MPs just look to form something new?

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bellinisurge · 17/09/2018 11:17

John, what's your view on self-ID?

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SonEtLumiere · 17/09/2018 11:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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1981fishgut · 17/09/2018 11:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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UnderHerEye · 17/09/2018 11:31

Its been 100 years since women first voted in the UK. Women are underrepresented in politics, and many feel that currently there are no parties who represent their interests. How can the current Labour Party appeal to women ?

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NC172938 · 17/09/2018 11:33

Hi John, thanks for doing this webchat.

I met you waiting in a taxi queue once and you were very nice!

I am self employed in what's technically the gig economy (I am paid per task, not per hour/day/month). My skill is professional (writing) so it is better paid than Deliveroo, Uber etc, but the format is the same.

Various proposals for gig economy reform have been floated, one of which is to insist on a basic hourly wage for all gig workers. For some gig economy workers an hourly wage would represent a rise, but I would actually earn less per hour than I do now (as I manage to cram of work into a short space of time).

How would the Labour Party ensure a fair wage for all while preserving the flexibility and exciting, self-directed entrepreneurship that the gig economy can sometimes offer?

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NC172938 · 17/09/2018 11:34

*cram a lot of work

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AsleepAllDay · 17/09/2018 11:50

So many goady questions. Love ya John Mac

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bellinisurge · 17/09/2018 11:59

@AsleepAllDay this thread is about asking questions not sucking up.

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Nomorechickens · 17/09/2018 12:01

Hi John, how can Labour improve its media management without going down the discredited Blair-style spin doctor route?
Because frankly the whole anti-semitism row has been a PR disaster for Labour - delayed low-key denials and failure to attack the Tories for equivalent (and worse) behaviour.
This has allowed the media to establish a popular perception that Labour is anti-semitic through and through, which is just not true.

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woeface · 17/09/2018 12:02

John, to whom do Labour MPs owe their first loyalty - their constituents, or their constituency labour party?

If it's the former, how will you vote on mandatory reselection?

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WineCheeseSleep · 17/09/2018 12:04

What are your thoughts on the Universal Basic Income? I think it's such an interesting idea, especially with the increase in automation meaning there will increasingly fewer full time jobs.

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lonelyplanetmum · 17/09/2018 12:07

Hi John, thank you for coming on Mumsnet.

I’m a lifelong Labour voter but have now left the Party due to the Leadership’s support for jettisoning our existing EU membership.

Early on,the Party announced its excellent six step tests for any new arrangement. I was so relieved and felt that my lifelong faith in the party was not misplaced. I have selected four of the tests I am most concerned about.Taking each test in turn do you genuinely believe each of the following tests are likely to be met by Chequers (or any likely alternative Tory replacement)?
•Will the deal ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU?
•Does it deliver the “exact same benefits”
•Does it defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom?
•Does it deliver for all regions and nations of the UK?

Will you vote against any deal, or a non deal, on the basis that it fails to meet the Party's tests ?

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eggsandham · 17/09/2018 12:12

Hi John.

One of the things that really pisses me off about the state of the Labour Party at the moment is how many people within it are slagging off the 1997-2010 Labour Govt. Of course, it got many things wrong - but its achievements were astounding.

So I'd like to know - which achievement of that Labour Government are you most proud and why? And what more can you do to make sure people in the Party aren't talking down those achievements?

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Lollygaggles · 17/09/2018 12:15

What is your definition of a woman?

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Peregrina · 17/09/2018 12:15

What plans if any do you have to sort out the mess that is now education, with free schools and Multi Academy Trusts? Do you plan to legislate to return them to LA Control if such a school fails?

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FermatsTheorem · 17/09/2018 12:40

Hi John, thank you for taking the time to come onto MN.

In the past you praised the Venezuelan government under Hugo Chavez for its model approach to socialist policies - increasing employment, public services, literacy, its health service. Your praise was understandable at the time; these achievements did indeed look laudable, and are the sort of things a civilised society should be aiming for.

However, in recent years, the Venezuelan economy has crashed catastrophically. A recent Guardian article points to their inflation rate heading for a million percent. In Davos this year, you said you felt that this was because the revenues from the countries oil resources had not been invested properly, and the issue lay not with socialism per se but with wrong decisions made by the Venezuelan government.

In the light of this, what lessons do you think should be learned by a potential labour government looking to invest in the public sector, cut unemployment and put money into the health service and public infrastructure, and looking towards a programme of increased public ownership. How would you, as chancellor, fund putting these policies into place while avoiding a Venezuelan style economic meltdown?

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Neshoma · 17/09/2018 12:46

John can you explain how the Labour Party plans to fund all these wild pledges, rather than just repeating you have 'costed them'? Will it be taxpayers like me? What are your plans for taxing the middle class?

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Velella · 17/09/2018 12:48

Hi John
Thanks for coming on.

Ex -Labour Party member here. I'm truly hoping your answers to the following 4-part question will persuade me to rejoin: (Simple yes or no would be great, as I know you are pressed for time). Hope you can prioritise this Q ahead of biscuit questions.


Can a woman have a penis?

Is it actually possible to change sex?

If 50% of MPs were men and 50% were transwomen would equal parliamentary representation have been achieved?

Are you troubled by the 4000% increase in young girls thinking they are the opposite sex who are embarking on lifelong medication and serious surgery?

Thank you.

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ilovesooty · 17/09/2018 12:54

Hi John,
Unfortunately I'll be working during the webchat but -

Who inspired you to establish yourself in politics and which younger politician do you admire most and why?

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DioneTheDiabolist · 17/09/2018 13:06

Given the shambles that is Brexit, do you think it's time for a cross party vote on putting the breaks on the whole thing?

If not, what is Labour's proposal for the Irish border?

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CheeseTheDay · 17/09/2018 13:06

Hi John,

I'm Jewish, and have been a lifelong Labour voter, but due to the antisemitism row, I currently feel in political limbo. Now of course, not all Jewish Labour voters feel like this, BUT how do you propose Labour 'build bridges' with those of us in the Jewish community, who do feel let down by the party on this issue?

Thank you.

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Bombardier25966 · 17/09/2018 13:14

My question is about the role of people with disabilities in society. How will Labour work to ensure we can be better represented in politics, in the workplace, and in society as a whole?

@Neshoma, the manifesto details the spending plans and how they will be financed, as well as any changes in taxation. It's very thorough. Perhaps have a read and John can address any particular points that aren't clear?

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MissusGeneHunt · 17/09/2018 13:35

Hello John

Thank you for coming on to Mumsnet.

My question is this: If your party came to 'power', how will they better support those in the community who have lifelong mental health diagnoses, who do not 'fit' the model of critical care (i.e., hospitalisation), but also do not 'fit' the model of a 'quick fix' of online help or group therapy? Thousands and thousands are stuck on waiting lists currently for more in depth assistance and more frequent appointments with NHS psychiatrists and their situation worsens. Thus, the critical care admissions back up and community care is even more inaccessible.

Look forward to hearing your views. Thank you.

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