Skip to main content

McDonnell says left has failed to keep up with ‘evolution of capitalism’

JOHN McDONNELL has said that the left has failed to develop a winning strategy to transform society in the face of quick-changing capitalism that is heavily influenced by technology and media.

The shadow chancellor launched a seminar programme in Westminster today to discuss the future direction of Labour after the party’s general election defeat.

He said Labour needs leaders and a movement which understands the changing economy, the fourth industrial revolution driven by technology and the society in which it operates.

“Technological advance has meant that capitalism has evolved to reflect new players and resources on the block,” he said.

“We have entered the era of the finance, data-media complex, capable of combining the traditional financial clout over economic decision-making by governments with the ability to use its ownership and influence of the various media platforms to decisively influence decision-making and even elections.

“So the question is, how can change be brought about in the face of any resistance to real change by this powerful new capitalist formation?

“So far the left has failed to develop a successful strategy, but some lessons are pretty obvious.”

Mr McDonnell said Labour should start building itself into a social movement from the grassroots, and create “new platforms and outlets” that are able to fight in the “culture war.”

Labour leadership hopeful Sir Keir Starmer also called for radical devolution in the form of a federal system when he returned to the campaign trail today.

The shadow Brexit secretary was forced to cancel events over the weekend when his mother-in-law was admitted to hospital following a serious accident last week.

He will travel to Scotland, England and Wales in the coming days to hear views about how the party can “put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people.”

He said: “This can’t just be about handing power from one group of politicians to another. I want to empower people to have a real say in their workplace, in the communities they’re part of and over the public services they use.

“We will only repair the shattered trust in politics by letting people take back control of the decisions that affect their lives.”

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey also held a Labour leadership campaign event in Oxford last night after the Star went to press.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 7,833
We need:£ 10,167
11 Days remaining
Donate today