McDonnell accuses corporate media of ‘lie’, ‘pure invention and complete rubbish’

Shadow Chancellor sets example for Labour MPs in confronting media dishonesty
John McDonnell on an earlier angry occasion

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has reacted in the bluntest terms to a claim that he was pushing for “Brexit to be cancelled”.

“This is pure invention and complete rubbish… It’s a lie. The Tory press… will use every lying device to try and divide us.”

The article, in the Mail on Sunday, claims that Labour MPs in leave seats have reacted with ‘fury’ to McDonnell’s supposed push and was shared on Twitter by centrist scribbler John Rentoul. McDonnell’s response could scarcely have been more strongly worded as he accused the Mail of dishonestly making it up in preparation for a general election:


Labour MPs should take a lesson from McDonnell and attack media lies head on – and since the corporate media will only push negatives, Labour needs equally to be disciplined in getting its positive message out constantly.

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  1. He is however ESSENTIALLY scheming for Brexit to be cancelled since he pushed for a second referendum to take place before the first one is implemented, thereby abandoning Labour’s commitment to respect the referendum result.

    The fact remains that without a No Deal Brexit, Labour will have no legal ability to renationalise the sectors privatised by the Tories let alone to take over traditionally privately-owned sectors which richly deserve nationalisation such as the banking and finance sector which has cost us over a decade of austerity. But many of the contemporary Labour “Left” activists, mired in their post-Thatcher left-liberalism, do not really care about the extension of public ownership since, when push comes to shove, they don’t actually want to change anything very much. The Left is now fundamentally the force of the status quo.

    1. Re “no legal ability to renationalise” – is it really that clear cut given the context? Putting the AEIP nonsense to one side, is it possible that the extension of public ownership could be part of a deal? Surely, nobody knows for sure the answer to that.

      1. No, John, it is absolutely not that clear cut, and not necessarily dependent on a new agreement or deal either (I am sceptical about the possibility of such an outcome). There are many factors at play, but I have found it difficult to persuade Danny to engage with some of these!

      2. BTW having abstained from the SkwawkB poll for deputy leader, can I propose Ben Stokes for that role? (A real team player).

      3. No, John, the right to ignore absolutely core EU Single Market competition and state aids rules by the UK as part of a “deal” is totally implausible – because the EU bureaucracy neoliberals are well aware that many, many, EU states would then want identical dispensations. That is not the function of the EU – which is to implement ever more intensive implementation of neoliberal rules and objectives across the EU trading bloc. There is no dubiety about that. It is self-deluding fantasy to think otherwise. But then self-deluding fantasy IS the core feature of the majority of Labour Party members views on the EU – based on their ideologically impoverished Left Liberal mindset and total lack of socialist analysis.

        John McDonnell’s repeated wail of faux anger at the supposed “misrepresentation ” of the MSM of his Brexit position, is simply a joke. McDonnell, and Diane Abbott, have over the last few weeks, simply reneged on every previous analysis they made in their distant pasts as supposed Leftie MP’s on the neoliberal EU, and betrayed the Labour Leave voters in our heartlands whose 2016 Referendum vote they promised to “respect” in the 2017 Labour Manifesto. And with their now open personal commitments to voting for Remain and a Second Referendum, safeguarded their own Remainer seats, they have helped guarantee Labour cannot win the coming General Election. Supposed long term radical Labour Lefties, McDonnell and Abbott , and now , finally, the politically isolated old Bennite, Jeremy Corbyn, are today the shameful “Renegade Kautsky’s” of UK social democracy. That is the fact , no matter how much Skwawkbox tries to spin the reality

      4. I think that jpenney is probably right about that implausibility, but what he and Danny are ignoring is that there are “dispensations” already in place within the EU. Just to give one example, there are named regions within the UK, exempt from the usual rules/limits. Membership of the EU does not have to mean a substantial/total block on labour’s manifesto commitments.

        Some while back, Danny came clean, and offered the obvious, but rarely seen, caveat: namely that membership of the EU means that we don’t have sovereign control over procurement rules, state intervention etc. Well of course! However, this is not the same as saying state intervention, nationalisation of various sectors, special procurement arrangements etc are out of the question.

        I guess, as the excellent Craig Murray puts it in the link recently posted by Maria, it’s unfashionable to take a nuanced position.

      5. Paulo, Labour having different priorities and untainted negotiators will make a big difference to how the EU regards us – no further brexit cost or loss to other members will be immensely attractive to all 27 I’d suggest.
        The Tories queered the pitch for themselves but not for Labour – the EU will probably come over to join in the street parties in Downing Street when Doris is out on her ear.
        The cost to the EU of Labour’s manifesto will be close to zero – to pretend the EU’s neoliberal “principles” (spits) will outweigh that fact is, I think, an argument only the dullest troll would pursue.

      6. David your first two paras are practically irrefutable. Depends, what you mean by “cost” in your final point though. I don’t think the EU can make the UK a special case. What I question, though, is whether the excellent but relatively mild manifesto commitments are as out of reach within the eu as Danny and JP claim.

        Okay, so no response re Ben Stokes having the right stuff to replace Watson; what about Jack Leach? Are myself and Jeremy the only ones to comment?

      7. Paulo, if you’re talking cricket you’re talking to the wrong man – I’m an ignoramus with no interest in cricket or any other sport I’m afraid. I even had to google those two names to make sure they weren’t MP’s.

        Penney, you’re gonna feel stupid on stilts if JC’s already got an understanding with the EU and we win the coming election.

    2. Yes, there was a referendum and Leave ‘won’ but it was in an atmosphere of profound confusion among the electorate of what the consequences would mean. That confusion was compounded by deliberate lies, misinformation and illegality.

      Togeter with Farage and Cummings, Arron Banks who agreed that the referendum result was achieved using emotion not facts, laid out £8m to hammer home his Leave message in heavily targetted areas of vulnerability. John Barnes the ex Liverpool footballer summed it up well on BBC Question Time when he said ‘I consider myself to be an average man of intelligence and I didn’t understand the full implications’.

      Some cling to the promise that the referendum result would be honoured. Sometimes it is more honourable not to honour a promise when the outcome would harmful. If you promised to buy a car or a house and then found it had serious mechanical or structural faults which had been deliberately concealed from you, you would be crazy to go ahead. The referendum was in effect a ‘distance selling operation’ and in distance selling, by law you have the right to change your mind when you see the goods.

      The only fair way forward, now that we have more information about the consequences, is another referendum. If people want to change their mind either way they can do, if not they can stick to their original choice. There is nothing undemocratic about the that. And if we choose to Remain there is nothing to stop Corbyn in government implementing Socialist policies.

    3. no your wrong.
      the real left ..ordinary people want and need a labour government, brexit will be over and when the pieces are being picked up if its not a labour government putting the country back together we shall be suffering more years of extreme right wing carpetbagging.

      the brexit obsession is a sideshow now ..the election is the important thing.

      having a second referendum on whether to accept the eventual deal, whether to leave with no deal or whether to remain …….is a solution for everyone as we are now all much more informed of the consequences.

      because brexit has been hi-jacked by hard leavers who say they have a mandate and are ignoring the ones that want a soft brexit ……democracy has been failed. but that was and is the point for the ones who pushed for this.

      so back to the main point here: ..the MSM are liars and we have not been informed accurately or honestly and this is not going to change in the near future…worse to come.

      second point: the general election and a labour government is the most important thing right now and anything and anyone that causes this point to be reduced in any way is not a friend to the country or the party or the poor, helpless and vulnerable that need things to change.

      we are not the force of status quo we want socialism and not neo-liberalism …you are wrong!

    4. Danny: your claim that “without a No Deal Brexit, Labour will have no legal ability to renationalise the sectors privatised by the Tories let alone to take over traditionally privately-owned sectors which richly deserve nationalisation such as the banking and finance sector” is, quite simply, bollocks. And as a Professor, you must know it. This “Lexiteer” nonsense has been exposed as garbage time and time again – eg here:

      So, Danny, by all means stick to your insular, little-England fantasies. But please don’t insult people’s intelligence by claiming that the EU would prevent Labour implementing its manifesto.

    5. “The fact remains that without a No Deal Brexit, Labour will have no legal ability to renationalise the sectors privatised by the Tories”.

      I’m sick of that negative pussy argument. We can do what we like in our own country. What are they gonna do, invade?

    6. So, in your opinion a majority of voters now do not want Brexit, but they should be ignored and forced into it because you want it?

  2. Take all the MSM into Public Hands! Facilitate the take over of all MSM by the workers! Ban all oligarchs along with all the other rich, powerful, stupid and greedy arses from owning any media at all! A free media is a peoples media! Anyway, it cannot be worse than what we’ve got now!

  3. We are in for a very dangerous and dirty fight for the country.The MSM and tory supporting lackeys will try to divide the membership and corbyn……The strength is in our membership and the enemy know it..!We fight back and our message will get through.Don’t lie down and take it…..The Corbyn supporting mps and loyalists within the HQ….The NEC and all the Labour party administration that we the Labour party membership are standing with the people within our party that show loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn and Socialism….solidarity comrades!

  4. John McDonnell was absolutely right to call out the lies in the media. This needs to happen every time and we need to take a firmer line with interviewers too, picking up on any inaccuracies and clarifying the situation there and then in a polite and non confrontational way thereby exposing their ignorance and bias.

    1. David, you’re not wrong and if we leave the EU we should be sectioned not sanctioned.

    2. It’s one thing to call out the lies, but entirely another how much media coverage it gets. Anyway…..

      Any newspaper worthy of the name – as with editors and journalists – would of course check with the person that has had a claim made about them to get a response from them, but the ONLY thing it says in the Daily Mail article is: ‘Mr McDonnell denied the ‘revoke’ claim last night’. And I can only assume that given that the article was initially posted on their website at 22.04 last night, and UPDATED at 09.31 this morning, that John’s denial was directly in response to the claim/Mail article, and the Mail then updated it this morning to include his denial (if not precisely what he said!):

      1. Afterthought: In the Mail article it says/claims: ‘And Northern Labour MPs, who fear they could lose their seats in Brexit-supporting constituencies if Labour defies the 2016 Leave vote, have reacted in fury’, and yet it doesn’t quote a single one of these ‘Northern Labour MPs’ who supposedly ‘reacted in fury’, which it WOULD have done of course if THAT were the case, and not only ONE of them, but two or three of them at the very least!

  5. Danny, British banks should have been let fail in the crash and then nationalised, certainly – but many banks and “finance,” though London-based, are international and therefore unable to be nationalised.
    Thatch/Reagan’s deregulation created the casino markets which caused the crash and Tory austerity was a political choice to blame it all on “Labour overspending.”
    The rest of what I assume you copy-pasted from ‘thefullbrexit’ (given that it’s the only source you ever link to) is pure bollocks.

    One nation alone can’t defeat global neoliberalism – that’s the essence of Labour’s and the world Left’s problem.
    Neoliberalism is a plague – if you don’t kill it EVERYWHERE AT ONCE it’ll mutate somewhere else, grow strong again and come back to try to kill you again next year.

    Outside of the EU we’re toast.
    With Corbyn as PM Trump will do his best to turn us into a failed state. (He’s a moron but he doesn’t hate Venezuela – he just hates and fears socialism, like all the rich.)
    With Doris as PM he’ll just buy the best bits.
    The US’ huge, insatiable, vicious and vindictive economic power can only be resisted by a comparable power (and market for its goods) like the EU.

    Short of some miracle we have to make the moral and economic case for socialism if we’re to get anywhere at all.
    I think our best chance is from within the EU, but I could be wrong.
    Maybe seeing the UK bankrupted, asset-stripped, sanctioned and starving at the hands of US neoliberals is just what the EU and the rest of the world needs to come to its senses.

    1. David
      im a bit more laid back about neo liberal capitalism, in my book it disappeared up its own arse in 2007, all that’s been delayed is the party to celebrate its demise,
      No one could have predicted ‘the great experiment’ to keep the corpse on life support
      there are only two ways to deal with debt
      1) pay it off, not going to happen, sooner rather than later there will be the mother of all crashes
      2) write it off and give debtors a fresh start, creditors take haircut, leads to 1) mother of all crashes
      the situation you describe is spot on, but not a UK thing, it affects the entire financial system and world economy,
      Next time there will be nothing that is to big to fail and I pray individuals will go to gaol and be asset stripped under POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) legislation
      Finally never confuse Wall Street with Main Street, the people and Socialism will rise from the ashes and rebuild a better, fairer world

      1. Doug, are you forgetting AI, the job losses that are certain to follow, the consequent total empowerment of the 1% and the irresistible temptation to disenfranchise the “non-productives?”
        After all, why should those who “contribute nothing” have a say in what’s done by “the saviours, protectors and benefactors of humanity?”
        The above only happens if we do nothing of course.
        I think it’s too soon to be laid back – time enough for that when we control the means of production.
        I also think you’ll find I’m not at all confused.

    2. “One nation alone can’t defeat global neoliberalism – that’s the essence of Labour’s and the world Left’s problem.
      Neoliberalism is a plague – if you don’t kill it EVERYWHERE AT ONCE it’ll mutate somewhere else, grow strong again and come back to try to kill you again next year.”

      Talk about thinking big. Your grand idea will result in abject failure and is inherently defeatist… ‘all or nothing’. I was always taught to take bite sized chunks when confronted with a major problem or task. One country can be a spur and inspiration to others.
      The banking system is corrupt to the core and central banks and related entities such as IMF have been a chief enforcers of neoliberalism around the world. See

      Why should private banks be nationalised, they’ve already been bailed out by the public why should the public take on even more private debt? Banks should serve the public and real economy and there are ways to ensure they lend to the real economy not asset markets. Prof Werner recommends credit guidance rules. Wealthy corps and individuals can get finance in the market, their market ie. lend to each other, sell company bonds etc.

      1. Maria, you offer only unsupported predictions of abject failure – the technique of the troll.
        Give your reasoning please.
        I’m not in the least defeatist and niether are my proffered policy suggestions – I notice you offer nothing you havent read in the tabloid comics.

      2. It has taken decades to turn much of the world to neoliberalism and economic ‘structural reforms’… how do you expect those not in political power to reverse neoliberalism all at once globally?

        Have you even bothered to watch the documentary? Instead you just call me a troll… this is why I no longer bother to post much on this site and why I am being pushed away from the current Labour party.

      3. penney: “recognise that the nation state (in this case the UK ) is the only currently viable defensive socioeconomic/political formation which provides a platform to build alternative Left-based non-neoliberal economic programmes, and work with other Left-oriented nation states to plough a Left economic path which protects our population from the worst features of globalism.”

        Except that no state is a viable defensive blah blah when there are superpowers – see Venezuela.
        As things stand the UK will leave the EU with a Tory government until May 2022.
        How does that fit into your radical socialist plans, genius?

        Professor Danny of Law – right.
        Law is a discipline that, as I’ve written before, requires much memory, little intellect and less morality.
        I decided as a child that distorting the truth to condemn the innocent and free the guilty while praising the adversarial system that claims moral superiority as it protects the rich – wasn’t the career for a decent socialist.
        Professor Danny the Radical Socialist Lawyer perhaps has a different understanding of morality, a different understanding of socialism and is willing to explain and justify them himself?
        Rather than have you try and fail?

    3. Do some basic homework, McNiven. Danny doesn’t, just cut and paste The Full Brexit stuff – he actually writes many of its key articles – based on his many years as a law professor and radical socialist . Maybe you should actually try to address the solid legal points he makes about the way Single Market Rules would block a Left Government’s programme, rather than hiding behind your fatuous, content-empty “pure bollocks” claim.

      As for your typically purile claim that the only way to fight global neoliberalism is “to kill it everywhere at once” ! This is the armchair rant of the typical immature ultraleft poseur – seen every week in Workers Weekly and Socialist Worker for instance, Since simultaneous global socialist revolution (or even radical reform, simply isn’t going to happen there are three alternatives: 1) collaborate with neoliberalism but try and also get it to fund a few nice , peripheral, policies – eg Surestart and extra NHS funding, tax credits, etc under the Blair/Brown Labour government . The trouble is neoliberalism is unsustainable and really advantages and ever enriches only the superrich, and its unstable financialised core dynamic blows up the economy, as per the 2008 Crash.
      OR, 2), Claim you are still waiting for that “global, simultaneous anti neoliberal revolution” , but in the meantime just really follow the same old Blair/Brown failed neoliberal policies.
      OR, 3) , recognise that the nation state (in this case the UK ) is the only currently viable defensive socioeconomic/political formation which provides a platform to build alternative Left-based non-neoliberal economic programmes, and work with other Left-oriented nation states to plough a Left economic path which protects our population from the worst features of globalism. Socialists, rather than ultraleft poseurs, or pseudo Left Wing Left Liberals like yourself , should choose option 3).

      1. No, pinkpinny, there’s another option you conveniently ignored.
        Persuade the other 27 by argument, ideally from within, of the upcoming reality – that AI’s vast job losses across all disciplines and classes will soon change everything, and that there are two possibilities.
        Either the 1% gain total control, making governments mere order takers, or we the people take back control.
        There are those, mainly corporations and their mouthpieces, who try to dismiss the truth of AI/robotics by claiming that AI will work with people – that it will take away the drudgery and leave human workers more fulfilled – but that’s bollocks a child would see through.
        Their aim is to keep the people uninformed and docile while the super-rich build their bunkers in New Zealand and proceed with the project of replacing people with technology.

        And it’s spelled ‘puerile’, genius.

    4. David
      AI cannot lay concrete or change a lightbulb, it will create more jobs than it destroys and I think it hits the middle classes harder than the working classes,
      If communism died in 1989 and capitalism disappeared up its own backside in 2007 then there are no longer any excuses, we know what works and what is idealogical bullshit
      very soon we will own the banks they will fall into our hands, first thing we do is split them back to merchant and retail, sell 100 % of merchant and 75 % of retail, keep one in house to keep others competive, a spoiler bank,
      nationalise anything that is a natural monopoly and hand over to John Lewis style cooperative
      invoice in the post

      1. AI can already level and prepare large sites with great accuracy using automated, GPS-controlled machines – laying concrete will be easily automated and the quality will be vastly more consistent. Factory-built housing has been a reality for years.
        Who do you pay to change your lightbulbs? It’ll be a piece of piss to automate bulb changing on street/motorway/airport lights.
        Yes, AI redundancies will hit the middle classes harder – their higher wages make them more attractive targets – but everyone’s job is at risk, even the entrepreneur.
        AI can already diagnoses illness far better than the best GP.
        Personal care will be among the last chores performed by humans – personally I’ll prefer having my arse wiped, washed and towelled on a conveyor belt rather than some poor young person having to do it.
        Capitalism survived and the 1% are richer than ever – wtf are you smoking?
        In the banking & finance sector little can be done without international agreement – certainly none of what you describe now that most banks are multinationals – and agreement to re-regulate will likely only come after the next crash.

      2. My GPS cannot even get through the middle of Leeds,
        How much does it cost to rip out and replace a cubic metre of concrete, would love to see the insurance costs for that system,
        Pre built, so mega factories set up to produce components, sounds like a lot more jobs in developing countries,
        We are agreed nothing changes systemically until after next crash, but the tectonic plates move in 2007

  6. fake news from billionaire tory toilet papers
    respond ad infinitum with Labour only party that will honour 2016 result,
    vote cheap and nasty party to sell NHS to American Health Companies or remainiac for No Brexit
    fair play to JMc for opening attack

    1. Doug, “it creates more jobs than it destroys” might still be true – just – but what has been a given since the industrial revolution is right on the cusp of being turned upside down – like all the lives of younger people. I’m nearly seventy so I might not live to see it, but it’s a logical, economic and legal certainty that, when technology can do a job cheaper than you can you’re going to be replaced – because company directors are legally bound to do what makes most profit for their principals/investors – and there are no truly ethical investors.
      Watch this – 15 minutes that will convince and maybe even entertain you:

  7. Oh shit!!! Labour poncing around with the same fence up its arse – just at the time when it should be rubbishing Tory policy along with their LibDems camp followers.

    The right-wing putsch of Brexit.

    More than half the nation without a credible Party to represent their views whilst Westminster luvvies play games.

    … Scottie!!!

    1. RH
      Cheap and nasty Tory party dont have any policies, except to remain in power,
      They rely bullshit and bluster, they think if you own the Media and Toilet papers the majority will swallow it hook line and sinket
      See Trickle Down economics, which isnt even a thing or No Deal wont be that bad,
      I blame project fear and Tony Blair

      1. Today’s Guardian report of Kier Starmer’s latest statement on Labour and Brexit couldn’t be clearer:

        “The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has said Labour is the party of remain and called for unity ahead of a cross-party meeting to discuss tactics to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

        Starmer said Labour’s position on Brexit had been clear for many months: the party would put any outcome to a referendum and in that referendum Labour would campaign for remain.

        “Jeremy Corbyn has very clearly said any outcome now must be subject to a referendum and we would campaign for remain,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”

        So there you have it – the clear Labour position, now shorn of the endless logic-twisting obfuscation, that the MSM will endlessly trumpet now up to, and during the Autumn General Election. So Labour can now wave goodbye to both a huge portion of our traditional Labour heartland seats , plus those vital Leave Supporting Tory marginals we could have won. The unholy alliance of the pro EU Labour Right and the equally slavishly uncritical Left Liberal “Corbynista” supposed Labour “Left”, have together totally buggered up our chances of a Left-leaning Labour government to save our NHS and the remains of our Welfare state from the globalist , neoliberals on steroids, Johnson-led government now doomed to come.

      2. jpenney: “So Labour can now wave goodbye to both a huge portion of our traditional Labour heartland seats”

        Nonsense, it’s anti-Corbyn people like you with your own agenda, who are doing most harm by not calling out the lies and false information fed to the public by far right Brexiters inside and outside of the Tory Party.

      3. I’ve got plenty of criticisms of Corbyn, but we are where we are.

        You fail to mention the biggest thing buggering up our chances, which has been the role of the MSM. Without it, the Labour right and the whole anti-Corbyn brigade would be powerless. No one you could come up with would’ve fared any better in this context, so what’s your point? What would you have done?

        Your contributions remain negative and non-constructive. And you can’t spell “puerile”.

      4. Oh, no! Does that mean you won’t be back?
        Given that we’re dooomed I suppose your work here is done, right? Oh well.
        See ya, hope Cleverly’s cheque doesn’t bounce, thanks for all the chicken entrails.

      5. Why anyone with intellectual pretensions would think so highly of that last sentence as to copy-paste it from the Corbyn/Smith thread… Jeezus H Christ on a fucking bicycle, penney, I’ve seen text generators do better.

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