LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s main opposition Labour Party wants to radically transform the economy, forming a Socialist society where “we’re not going to get ripped off any more”, its finance policy chief, John McDonnell, said on Sunday.
With Labour almost neck-and-neck in the polls with the governing Conservatives, who lost their majority in last year’s election, its leader Jeremy Corbyn and others are setting out their stall ahead of a new election not due until 2022.
McDonnell told the BBC that he had been talking to business leaders to offer them clarity on Labour’s policies.
“Some of them you will like and some of them you won’t like, I accept that, but there is nothing up my sleeve,” he said of his message, adding: “You’ll get a fair rate of return but we’re not going to be ripped off any more, simple as that.”
Asked about his entry in the Who’s Who directory of influential people which lists his passion for “generally fomenting the overthrow of capitalism”, he said it was a joke about beer-making.
But he added: “It’s (about) transforming our economy.”
“I don’t think there is (a difference with overthrowing capitalism) … because I think at the end of the day I want a Socialist society and that means transforming in a way which radically challenges the system as it now is.”
He also said Venezuela, which is reeling from hyperinflation and shortages, was not a Socialist country.
“I think it took a wrong turn when (late leader Hugo) Chavez went, and I think unfortunately since then I don’t think they have been following the Socialist policies that Chavez was developing.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by William Maclean