Sunday, 25 March 2007

Labour Leadership Dilemma

The leadership “battle” is getting tedious: the papers and TV are full of stories / comments which are pro-Brown, anti-Brown, anyone but Brown, pro-Milliband. There is nothing about policy only personality or lack of it in Milliband’s case, (apparently).

Mind you, despite being tedious I’m writing about it again.

I assume the thinking is that Milliband will continue with Blairite policies whereas Brown is seen as a threat to their continuing. Why the Blairites should worry about Brown’s direction is beyond me because, it seems, Brown is actively supportive of all of Blair’s controversial policies.

With Milliband and Brown seeing similar paths forward, my gut feel is that Brown, despite all the negative press, is Labour’s best chance of fending off Cameron but it is an unwanted choice. Unwanted because neither of them (B and M) espouses the policies closest to me.

We need much more left-wing policies but there follows a very obvious and basic question: “What is the point of having left-wing policies if you don’t have the power to implement them?” Opposition isn’t a great place to have good policies.

Therefore it is better having right-wing policies with Brown / Milliband than right-wing policies with Cameron.

No wonder the Labour leadership is tedious: all the policies are similar, it’s about personality.

But perhaps, just a teeny-weeny bit perhaps, there is another route. I haven’t read his policies but I have heard that John McDonnell is running for leadership on left-wing policies – I must check them out. Is this not simply a dream for people with my views: that John McDonnell could win or even influence the policies of the winner?

The argument will go something like this, I’m sure. By supporting John McDonnell you are flagging up splits in the Labour party which will hinder its chances of winning the next election. Therefore, please come back in from outside and support a candidate who has a chance of winning the election.

There is an unerring logic in this but to follow it would mean leaving beliefs behind. Blair, damn him, has been brilliant at using this approach which is why he has been able to push so many of his unpopular policies through despite some opposition. It’s a shitty position: compromise my beliefs and have right-wing Labour or righter-wing Tories or stay with my beliefs and have righter-wing Tories.

I was almost writing “Hey, now that I’ve actually written this down it’s obvious. Whatever I do I get right wing policies. Therefore I can safely support McDonnell” But, as I was typing, the following doubt arose, “Yes, both might be right wing but sure as hell the Tories will be worse than Labour.”

The Labour leadership dilemma ....

1 comment:

  1. calum. You can read about John's policies and the long campaign he has been running at
    All I can say is that I have organised two meetings in my constituency for him and he wins people over every time. Watch the videos on this site too!