Thursday, May 17, 2007

Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss

I still haven't changed my mind about Ming's demands for a new election, despite the fact that there will be no ballot for the leadership of the Labour Party. In fact, I was most likely going to vote for John McDonnell if he had the 45 nominations, but he couldn't do it, and that he failed to convince more than a couple of dozen MPs that there should be a contest with him in it goes against me.

However much I would have liked to put my X down, I have to say that I didn't actually want McDonnell to win. In fact, what I wanted was a convincing victory for Brown, with a more than insignificant Left vote.

We can't have that, but the outcome is pretty much the same.

So now the battle moves to the Deputy Leadership. Apparently, some left wingers are saying that they will no longer back Cruddas because he nominated Brown.

Which of the other 5 candidates didn't then?

Cruddas seems to me to be the best chance for a 'member-led' renewal of the Party. He's not a Campaign Group socialist, and neither am I. He's been fairly loyal to the Government, but I think that he's hit on some key areas where it has not fulfilled the promise of 1997 (even my hopes were a bit higher than the outcome, and I was not gooey-eyed just because we had a landslide).

Hain is saying similar things, but I don't know why I just can't trust the guy. Is it because he's a former Liberal (and they don't like him much any more)? Is it his manner? I don't know.

Benn is not his father, so is not some great white hope of the Left, he just made the nominations, and he'd be better in the cabinet. I reckon that the Deputy should replace the bogus 'Chairman' and be in the Cabinet as a democratically elected link with the Party at large. Benn's abilities lie elsewhere, I feel.

Johnson is a Brownite, and we already have a Brownite as a dead cert for the leadership. Laura Moffatt is a PPS for him, and I expect she nominated him. He seems ok, but I think he comes across as too similar to John Prescott - with the credentials in terms of background, but will be loyal to the leadership to the point of madness.

Blears is the right wing candidate. Why would I vote for a Blairite, when we're just seeing the back of the man himself.

Harman just keeps telling us we have to vote for a woman, well, just because. I'm no misogynist dinosaur, but I don't think that it's right to say that jobs have to be determined on the basis of gender. Her one 'big idea' this week - the 'Department of the Family' - is just another example of gesture politics. Besides, now that Blears is standing, you don't have to vote for Harman to vote for a woman, do you?

1 comment:

Skuds said...

I think you are right on Cruddas.

I like Harman. She was a SE London MP when I lived in SE London, and a successful woman MP when there were still few of them around, but I just don't see her as deputy leader in the sense of what I see the job being.

I like Peter Hain as well, but mainly because he was the first PPC I ever campaigned for, when he stood in Putney - when I lived in SW London. But again I don;t see him as deputy.

I agree that Benn is better in a 'proper' cabinet job.

Blears just doesn't register with me at all.

I think too many people see the job as being deputy PM but the job is actually deputy leader of the party with responsibility for developing the party - and we really need someone doing that.

The deputy PM idea is as silly as us having a deputy leader of the council as a post in its own right. There is no good reason why we shouldn't lose that post and just have the leader nominate another executive to act in his absence - and no reason why a PM can't nominate his Chancellor, Home Secretary or someone else to deputise when necessary.

I could really get contrary and question why the leader of the party has to be an MP... why not an MEP or union leader or NEC member? In other words, why does the leader of the parliamentary party have to lead the wider party?