Thursday 9 May 2019 / 12:01 AM John McDonnell

John McDonnell speaks at IPPR

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, speaking at the launch of the Institute for Public Policy Research’s (IPPR) Centre for Economic Justice and its first report on the UK in the global economy, is expected to say:


“Not the threat of a global downturn, nor the threat of environmental breakdown, nor the human challenges threatened by accelerating automation, can be addressed by countries acting alone.

“If socialism in one country was ever possible, it certainly isn’t now.

“There is an urgent need for those of us on the left – in all countries – to work together in rescuing the concept of internationalism from how it has developed in recent decades.

“We are living with the consequences of a world in which international cooperation has come to reflect the neoliberal economic paradigm, just as so many other aspects of life have done.

“I don’t need to remind you of the unforgivable actions of the European institutions and the IMF towards Greece when it faced a crisis they were complicit in creating.

“The role of the global financial institutions in pushing a particular economic model is now well established.

“It’s not just grotesque unfairness like the gentlemen’s agreement that means the head of the IMF is chosen by Europeans while the head of the World Bank is chosen by the USA. As if nobody else in the world had an interest.

“That’s the most obvious kind of hypocrisy by the powerful. But it’s also hypocrisy to protect working conditions for workers in the UK, while undercutting them by allowing workers in other countries to be exploited to a far greater degree.

“It’s hypocrisy to talk about tackling tax evasion at home while doing nothing about British tax havens that suck wealth out of other countries. It’s hypocrisy to wage and fund wars across the globe and refuse entrance to refugees from those wars and to put all the burden for carbon reduction onto the parts of the world which were not responsible for creating the conditions that are causing global temperatures to soar.

“Neoliberal internationalism hasn’t worked for those in poorer countries. And as more people in wealthier countries also turn against it we must not pander to the likes of Donald Trump who offer reactionary isolationism as the alternative, but instead articulate a clear vision of why working together can benefit everyone, not just the already powerful.

“Socialist internationalism is about cooperation and solidarity. We can’t act alone but must do so collaboratively to raise living standards – in the broadest sense – across the board.

“The principles of that international cooperation must be agreed across borders. Just as the solutions must be.

“So we must begin by us listening to those with experience of the problems. It’s up to us on the left to make the case for internationalism which the liberal so-called centre has done so much damage to in recent decades.

“Only by learning from the paths not taken and making that international socialist case will the left prevent a turn to destructive nationalism, build a sustainable growth model for the UK, and ensure that the coming decades are peaceful and just ones in Europe and the rest of the world. Labour’s policy document ‘A World For The Many Not The Few’ describes our alternative to neoliberal internationalism and Dan Carden is taking forward the great work done by Kate Osamor in this area.”



Notes to editors

John McDonnell MP will be speaking at the cross-party launch of the IPPR Centre for Economic Justice on Thursday 9 May

The IPPR Centre for Economic Justice paper, ‘The UK in the Global Economy’, will also be published at 0001 on Thursday May 9 at Please contact David Wastell, Head of News and Communications, at [email protected] for more information or advance copies

‘A World For the Many, Not the Few – The Labour Party’s vision for international development’