New Labour, Newer Leader

The title is a kid of plug for Tom Miller’s site, Newer Labour. However, the post is about what is shaping up to be the longest and most tedious leadership battle ever.

I have a pretty good record – I have never backed a winner in the Labour leadership contest. I voted for Gould in 1992, abstained when Benn challenged Smith in 1993 and supported Beckett in 1994.

So, before I put the kiss of death onto anybody else’s campaign, I have some thinking to do. I might as well do it out loud.

My basic view is this. I will probably vote for the most viable, most left-wing candidate, as long as there isn’t a more viable candidate to the right of Brown.

At present, that means John McDonnell, assuming he gets the necessary 44 MP nominations. If he fails to but Michael Meacher gets in to the vote proper, I suppose I’ll back the wacko. Perhaps. I met Meacher once, and he was a pretty nice guy. But the whole 9/11 conspiracy thing is a bit much.

If, for example, Milburn or Clarke enter the fray and seem to be picking up support, I will be forced to support Brown.

I might think about it a bit more deeply, but my essential feeling is that Brown is the best option in reality, but I want to register a protest from the left if it won’t jeopardise his candidacy. Of course, if a better option put themselves forward (Hilary Benn anyone?), I’d jump on that bandwagon.

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Posted in Politics. Tags: . 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “New Labour, Newer Leader”

  1. daniel Says:

    You’re right – Meacher is a nice bloke. Just a shame about 9/11, his 9 homes, supporting the war in Iraq/Foundation Hospitals/tuition fees/cuts in benefits for single parents…

    He’s being interviewed by readers in the Independent by the way:

    You Ask The Questions

    … for Michael Meacher MP, challenger to Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party and former environment minister. The questions are for an article as part of our You Ask The Questions series. Send your query to myquestion@independent.co.uk with his name in the subject line.

  2. Richard W. Symonds Says:

    So it looks like Hilary Benn, then ?!

    Good pedigree.

    But why, oh why, did Mum and Dad choose the name “Hilary”.

    Just imagine – Hilary Benn as British Prime Minister, and Hillary Clinton as American President ?!

  3. el tom Says:

    Cheers for the plug.

    I reckon the only serious challenger will be to the right of Brown. It will be interesting to see who it is.


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