Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Diane's alright, but...

So today they've sent out the ballot papers for the Labour Party leadership fight. It looks like Vote Match is telling me I'm a strong Abbott supporter, but truth be told none of them get me very excited.

It's absolutely true that I share a number of political positions with Abbott, and she's likable enough, but I just don't think she'd be a very good leader.

When it comes to war, privatisation, racist immigration policy or a refusal to take the environment seriously the Labour Party is in the grip of the right, and there's no immediate prospect of that changing any time soon.

Of course there are some Labour politicians I respect a great deal, admire even, but right now all the leadership contest has drawn out is how far Labour has to go before it seriously reassesses where it's going. Nor does there seem to be any significant grassroots revival taking place.

Even moderate figures like Harriet Harman or Jon Crudas could have substantially improved this contest and given members an opportunity to vote for someone who can articulate left of centre politics. That said they'd have been pretty thin gruel for those with firmer politics or more principled ways of doing things.

It's going to be a long road back to power for Labour I think, and I have my doubts that they'll be a meaningful break with neo-liberalism in the meantime. If it's worth anything if I had a vote it would be Diane Abbott 1 and Ed Miliband 2 but I'd cast that vote with a weary sigh. (h/t Iain Dale for Vote Match)

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