Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell calls for collective ownership of land – a policy straight out of Marx’s Communist Manifesto
Shadow Chancellor was speaking at a rally in St Pancreas Church in London
Vowed to replace House of Lords with elected senate and nationalise utilities
He also said collective land ownership could shake up power dynamic
By CHARLIE MOORE FOR MAILONLINE 13 November 2018
John McDonnell last night promoted the collective ownership of land and said if he gets in power he will transform the state from within.
Speaking at a rally in St Pancreas Church in London, Labour’s shadow chancellor vowed to replace the House of Lords with an elected senate and nationalise utilities.
He implied that Labour MPs who don’t support the party leadership would be held ‘accountable’ and said collective land ownership could shake up society.
‘One of the big issues we’re now talking about is land, how do we go about looking at collective ownership of land, Community Land Trusts, the development of those by local communities that’s a huge challenge to the existing power relationships within our society at the moment, it’s one I think that could be fundamentally important.’
Community Land Trusts are set up by local people to collectively build, own and manage houses in their community.
There are now almost 290 CLTs in England and Wales, and the sector has grown six-fold in the last six years.
Mr McDonnell said CLTs contribute towards his broader aim to dramatically change the power structure in the UK.
He said: ‘It’s the development of the ideas of “in and against the state” at the local level.’
Mr McDonnell said the state forces working class people ‘to conform to the existing distribution of wealth and power within our society’ and needs to be fundamentally re-thought.
He said his mission was ‘to gain power to empower,’ reported the New Statesman.
The 67-year-old celebrated Labour reaching 50,000 members but added: ‘We’ve got to convert ordinary members and supporters into real cadres who understand and analyse society and who are continually building the ideas’.
The policy of collective ownership was advocated by German philosopher Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto.
It comes after an ally of Jeremy Corbyn has said last week all private homes should be ‘nationalised’ by giving town halls the right to buy them.
Hard-left Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle told a rally that council bosses should be given the power of first refusal on houses up for sale.
The plans would see swathes of privately-owned property being taken into public control.
In response, Tory chairman Brandon Lewis tweeted: ‘Even your home is not safe from Labour now.’
Mr Russell-Moyle, 32, also said he wants to tear up planning laws to allow local authorities to build high-rise flats in suburbs and leafy villages.
He claimed Labour would order mass compulsory purchases of former council homes sold off under Margaret Thatcher’s Right To Buy scheme.
The MP for Brighton Kemptown made his controversial comments at an anti-austerity conference in London.
He declared: ‘Let’s not just talk about council houses – let’s get those bloody private houses back into our hands.’
Speaking under a banner reading ‘Stand With Corbyn’, Mr Russell-Moyle said a future Labour government would abolish the right to buy and ‘compulsory purchase en masse’ housing stock which had been sold.
‘We need to develop a system that slowly over time takes property out of private hands and puts it into public hands,’ he said.
Former housing minister Grant Shapps branded the plans ‘pure madness’.
The Tory MP said: ‘The truth’s out – cuddly Corbyn wants to nationalise your home.’
The party’s deputy chairman James Cleverly tweeted: ‘Your home isn’t safe under Labour. That ‘right to buy’ will be at a price of Labour’s choosing and it won’t be at its full market value.’
In response to the speech, a Labour Party spokesman said: ‘This is not Labour policy.
‘Labour will end the housing crisis by building 100,000 genuinely affordable homes a year, introducing controls on rents, longer tenancies and improved renters’ rights and taking action to end rough sleeping.’