John McDonnell has never had an easy relationship with big business. The shadow chancellor thinks there is a ‘lot to learn’ from Karl Marx and says one of his favourite pastimes is ‘fermenting the conditions to overthrow capitalism’. McDonnell is hoping his latest charm offensive to woo businesses will help them to forget those remarks. But the shadow chancellor might have to try a bit harder to win them over.
The Labour Business Fringe Reception at the party’s conference last night was a chance to do just that. A smattering of businesses, including Microsoft, were there. The only problem? John McDonnell was nowhere to be seen. After waiting over an hour for the shadow chancellor, many of those attending took the hint and decided to move on elsewhere. Mr S. is sure it’s nothing personal…