The Newsnight debate last night was a bit like builder's bottom - not very pleasant but you just can't help but look! So I stayed up for the debate, or rather I switched from a channel with the inevitable programme filmed from the back of a police car as cops go chasing crooks, to watch this drivel. So here are my impressions of Labour's democracy in action (ie the surrogate for the important election that Labour members were denied).
John "Who the Hell is He" Cruddas, a former Downing St spin doctor, standing on a platform of, errrr, getting rid of the spin doctors. Fortunately for him, he's no turkey voting for Xmas as he's not been spinning for Tony for 6 years. He's going for the left wing vote. (You shouldn't have voted for the Iraq war then John!) As Tony abolished the left wing of the Labour party, he doesn't stand any hope of getting elected. Watch what happens to his 2nd preferences.
Peter "He's No Liberal" Hain. A former socialist, he wants to be against everything he has voted for over the past 10 years so that he can win the backing of the person voting for John Cruddas. He's a self confessed opponent of the Iraq war who happily backed it 4 years ago after reading the Observer Book of Weapons of Mass Destruction. He wants the situation "internationalised" (ie hasn't a clue what to do and you have to be joking if you think other countries are going to bail out the US and UK now).
Harriet "Looks and Sounds Like a Tory" Harman, a former fan of the war in Iraq who now understands the appalling consequences of the decision to invade (such as making it very difficult to get elected as Labour deputy leader - fortunately for her all the other candidates voted for the war as well!)
Hazel Blair-Apologist Blears. Hazel was given special permission by her mum to stay up so late to be on this programme. She is unbelievably working class, a point she never, ever, ever, at all, not in any way mentions during this election as she thinks it will count against her in a party dominated by millionaires.
Alan "Postman Pat" Johnson. Alan used to deliver the post to Dorney Wood, a grace a favour house that all the candidates are hoping to move into. He is well known for liberalising the mail delivery sector whilst failing to liberalise the ownership of Royal Mail. Presumably he's hoping to put the latter out of business and see all his former colleagues retire early.
Hilary Zzzzzzzzzzzz Benn. If you're suffering from insomnia, he's the deputy leader for you! His campaign technique is to bore people into voting for him. This is working rather well and the bookies have him down as the favourite.