LABOUR MP John McDonnell demanded that the Brown government make "a choice between democracy or oligarchy" at the weekend.

At Saturday's Hands Off Venezuela national conference in London, he condemned new Labour's ongoing hostility towards Venezuela and pledged to make solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution an issue that "no MP would be allowed to dodge."

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack roused the 200 activists present when he attacked the hypocrisy of the British government in accusing Venezuela of corruption last week.

He recalled the recent privatisation of Ministry of Defence research division QinetiQ, which saw senior managers pocketing some 20,000 per cent profit.

Conference approved five motions, including one on the forthcoming constitutional reform, which condemned international media smear campaigns and "economic sabotage" by capitalist states.

Delegates also blasted the recent "biased and misleading" This World programme on BBC2, presented by journalist John Sweeney, which quoted claims by pressure group Transparency International that Venezuela is the second most corrupt country in the Americas.

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