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.