Thursday, May 20, 2010

A crowded field in the Labour leadership stakes

There are now 6 contenders in the race for the Labour leadership. I was still in bed this morning only half awake when Diane Abbott announced her candidacy. I responded by pulling the duvet over my head and going back to sleep until the newspapers arrived and were deposited next to the pillow.

Whether all 6 will survive the nomination process is yet to be seen. My assumption is the Milibands and Balls will get through to the final. Andy Burnham always seems to look like a startled bunny caught in the headlights of an on coming vehicle. However, he has successfully smoothed his way from being an ultra-Blairite to being a largely unknown Brownite. He could be the joker in the pack.

Diane Abbott said she put herself forward because she wanted to avoid a contest in which all the candidates "look the same". That's a reasonable point but not sufficient on its own. What matters is content and at the moment each candidate has repeated what the others have said. Perhaps Diane Abbott needs to avoid sounding the same as well as looking the same if she is to succeed.

I think however her sofa chats with Michael Portillo are likely to be her undoing. I can't see her being taken seriously.

Anyway, we now have 4 months of Labour leadership contenders looking and sounding the same until one of them emerges as leader. Oh what fun!
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