A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The wrong fifth candidate

The Labour leadership race did need more ideological diversity and candidates of more diverse backgrounds.

But much as I get on with Diane personally I would have preferred a BME and/or woman candidate on the ballot who was not Hard Left, or a hard left candidate who hadn't sent their kid to private school.

As it is I expect those MPs from other wings of the party who nominated her to help her get on the ballot to get a nasty surprise when she polls very well because of higher name recognition than the other 4.


Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I am sure you posted here or elsewhere you were in favour of both McDonnell and Abbott being on the the ballot paper so all six candidates could be heard. I am glad we will have a decent debate on the future direction of the Labour Party. It is a shame John did not get on the ballot as I (and Frank Field) think he represents a significant section of the Labour tradition. Since he is not going to be on the ballot it probably will come to no surprise to you that I will probably vote for Diane as first preference, as for the others....
Our union (Unite) seems to favour Ed Balls, but out of the Millibands, I quite like Ed, so it will have to be one of them for the second preference, although to be fair to all 5 candidates I'd want to hear them all out.

1:48 pm, June 09, 2010

Anonymous Junius said...

Yeah - it would have been much better to have chosen the guy who likes to "joke" about assassinating old women!

McDonnell is the true voice of the Labour Movement - and what a miserable, whiney sound it is!

1:51 pm, June 09, 2010

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Thurs 20/5/10 Luke's Blog - "On Diane"

Luke said
"However, I think it's good that she is running and hope (though doubt) she can get the 33 MPs necessary to get nominated - we need a genuine ideological debate to take place involving candidates from all wings of the Party so that the leadership result measures opinion in the Party and gives a political mandate to whoever wins. I also agree with her point that the field needed some diversity in terms of its gender "

1:52 pm, June 09, 2010

Blogger Mark Still News said...

I would not call Diane Abbott hard left,(hard left in the LP is very rare) she seems very right wing to me and would not be a significant change we need in the party.

Moderate John McDonnell was the best one to go for and Right Wing Frank field even backed a moderate candidate, as he knew he was the most intelligent out the lot and had something to offer.

1:59 pm, June 09, 2010

Anonymous North said...

Given the lack of news in Hackney Today, I thought the council paper would have jumped at the chance to celebrate that someone who had served eight years as a Hackney Labour councillor had been elevated to the House of Lords.

Not a dicky bird. Funny that, eh?

2:01 pm, June 09, 2010

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Junius, I agree the comment was in bad taste, he did apologise though, mind you I've have heard worse,

"I think Margret Thatcher's funeral will be the only state funeral where 20 (sic) gun salute will be aimed at the coffin"

"They say the state funeral for Thatcher will be £20m. For that money they could pay every man, woman and child in Scotland to dig a hole so deep they can hand her to Satan personally"

These were taken from a popular TV show called "Mock of the Week" as (closely as I can remember it...) said by Frankie Boyle. He was later ejected from the show about comments he made about an olympic swimmer looking like a "reflection of a spoon" probably the tamest of all his barbs.

I am sure personally Mrs T is a very nice person, however as PM she was awful. And while McDonnell's comments were in bad taste, especially as she survived assassination attempts herself, there are communities in Britain today who still are suffering from the failure of Monetarism. Less whinging and more an unabaited sense of injustice. What is needed is a better articulation of this anger rather than offensive comments such as the one McDonnell made.

2:17 pm, June 09, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think she will be a good candidate because she will raise issues which need to be made, and because she is less doctrinaire than McDonnell

I'm still going to vote for Ed Miliband but I'll put Diane second

4:17 pm, June 09, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

Diane Abbott will be a diaster if she wins. Labour will never win an election with her in charge.

6:13 pm, June 09, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

Andy Burnham by far the best candidate.

6:17 pm, June 09, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

If you want any chance of fighting the Tories you have to elect a candidate that is willing to tackle immigration.

6:21 pm, June 09, 2010

Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Of course John McDonnell was my preferred candidate, and I do think the last couple of weeks demonstrate very well the inadequacy of our leadership election system (David Miliband shouldn't have to nominate a rival in order for an experienced candidate like Diane Abbott to get on the ballot paper; Labour MPs should not have to be inundated with emails from activists in order for a candidate with the broad activist and trade union support of John McDonnell to get half way).

However, we are where we are, I'll go for Diane first, and Ed Miliband as second preference.

1:36 am, June 10, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

How can you lot say Abbott is left wing. Hardly working class sends her kids to private school. She talks out of her arse. She hasn't a clue why labour lost the election and flatly denies that immigration was a major factor.

Labour lost the election because it's mps are so far removed from reality that they simply don't know what is going on in the everyday lives of hard working tax payees.

You lost millions of votes purely on the issue of immigration. And biggott gate was a clear example of how senior labour mps viewed ordinary working people.

You middle class wets wouldn't last five minutes in our world. Oxford and Cambridge may well prepare you for a life in politics but try spending 9 months in a war zone or living on some of your lovely council estates.

If labour are to recover by the time the next election is called you need to get some mps that have humble backgrounds. It really is time to reconnect with working people.

Andy is the only candidate who fits the bill. Time to stand by labour standards and practise what you preach.

8:04 am, June 10, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diane, hard left? She prepped her son to go to City of London school, his godfather is former disgraced Tory minister, Jonathan Aitken, who organised a lavish christening party for him, attended by Tories. And she's spent years cosying up to Portillo on a sofa on the telly, raking in loads of money. Have I missed something from her cv? can't think what else she's ever done for the 'people of Hackney'

10:45 am, June 10, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diane, hard left? She prepped her son to go to City of London school, his godfather is former disgraced Tory minister, Jonathan Aitken, who organised a lavish christening party for him, attended by Tories. And she's spent years cosying up to Portillo on a sofa on the telly, raking in loads of money. Have I missed something from her cv? can't think what else she's ever done for the 'people of Hackney'

10:45 am, June 10, 2010

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Did'nt Andy go to Cambridge? Did he ever have a job outside politics? I suppose a paper round might count....

5:08 pm, June 10, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

No he didn't Ravi and his father was a communications engineer, he has working class roots. Too few labour mps have links to ordinary lives.

Unless labour change you better get used to be being in opposition.

You lot talk about race and gender but the safest thing of all is how few mps you have that have working class beginnings. The message you are sending out is that ordinary people are not good enough to be PM in Britain.

Unless you realise where you are going wrong you will never be in power again.

6:25 pm, June 10, 2010

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Well Rich according to this he did


What did Andy do after graduating from university?
Assuming his birthday is accurate, he went to university in 1988, three years later he graduates in 1991 and was a researcher for Tessa Jowell in 1994. Not much real life experience that you seem to hanker for.

On the other hand,

Her dad was a welder and her mum a nurse. Worked in the civil service for 2 years then for a civil liberties organisation for a further 2, before becoming a journo.

Labour are not going to change if Andy becomes leader. As nice a bloke as he is, he hardly represents change. I thought you'd be glad to see the back of new labour, why do you want to see some of its ardent supporters in the top job?

10:03 pm, June 10, 2010

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Mind you it is wikipedia, so it all could be wrong!!!!!

10:04 pm, June 10, 2010

Anonymous ben said...

the problem of profile and identification will be markedly lower because its a party internal, i dont think abbott is particularly more known than any of them within the party

11:37 pm, June 10, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

Ravi, I agree but don't you think it's time that our parliament reflects the communities they represent.

There are lots of things cameron talks about that I agree with but at the moment very few labour mps are talking a language that the average voter understands. From my own perspective that means labour are out of touch.

We now face at least 10 years of cuts. While I'm dreading it I think some good may come out of this. I think cameron is commited to curbing the pay abuse by top civil servants and money grabbing consultants. This weeks papers ran a story about how housing associations are wasting billions of tax payees money.....cameron is very aware of what is going on. Labour either don't know or don't care.

So here comes the axe let's hope it hits the right people.

8:18 am, June 11, 2010


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