UK Labour leadership contenders

June 11th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald has a feature from the Independent on the five contenders:

DAVID MILIBAND

He has a little rabbity tuft of hair going up in front. And if he was a woman you’d say it was a moustache on his upper lip. Intelligent, confident, fluent, popular, and high in the precedence of Labour. He’s backed by Peter Mandelson, and Tony Blair is said to be active on his behalf. Full grasp of policy. But he has to win every trick. You can see him trying to find something funny to say. He’s constructed, and work isn’t complete.

Tory fear factor 5/10

DM is definitely the front runner which is a good place to be, but means he will be targeted the most. Ladbrookes has him as 4/7 favourite.

ED MILIBAND

Cuter than David, has younger hair and a more welcoming attitude. He is Gonk to his brother’s Geek. Also, wider appeal (he says). Relates well to people (he says). Will bring people back to the party (he says). Proper leaders have other people saying this stuff for them. Depending on what he’s saying his mouth balloons on the right. It looks shifty.The idea of either Miliboy managing Labour by himself is a stretch.

Tory fear factor 4/10

EM would win if teenage girls got to vote. His odds are 5/2m and the odds of the next leader being a Milliband are 1/10 which is close to certain.

ED BALLS

Passionately wants to win, passionately supported by the Tories to do so. Strange, bulging eyes prove that Myxomatosis can jump the species barrier. Has a monotonous thumping voice and wonderful capacity for loathing. He is the Manichean candidate (he’s right, everyone else wrong). Relishes power and plots.

Tory fear factor 0/10

The Tories do loath Balls, as do many in his own party. He was one of the “poisoners” used by Gordon Brown. Odds are 10/1 against.

DIANE ABBOTT

Rank outsider with Harriet Harman’s backing. However, she has heart, humour and public profile. People have seen her on TV, so she’s real. She can wallop. She’s funny. David Cameron would be least comfortable dealing with her. She may be a bit bonkers on the box but these things can be reined in when the candidate is groomed. She has three months to play herself in. If she became a contender she’d electrify the contest and would make history as the first woman, the first black person to lead it.

Tory fear factor 7/10

I don’t think the fear factor is that high. Abbott can do electrifying speeches and is a good performer on TV. However there are judgement issues. She once attacked Finnish nurses on the grounds they may have never met a black person before. It was pointed out the reigning Miss Finland was black.

Her odds are 25/1, but they may improve as she will stand out from the rest.

ANDY BURNHAM

The mystery candidate. No one knows who he is. Minister of Local Communities, possibly, something like that? Tories defeat him in the noisy House but hate going on TV with him – because they always lose in the quiet and intimate battle. Pleasant, benevolent, well set-up in his background, nice eyes, nobody’s first choice, everyone’s second?

Tory fear factor 3, maybe 4/10

As a Minister he tried to bring in laws to “crack down” on the Internet as it was less regulated the television!

His odds are 12/1.

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13 Responses to “UK Labour leadership contenders”

  1. James Stephenson (2,119 comments) says:

    Guido’s place is the best for following this race – the “leaked” Ed Balls campaign diaries are a must-read.

    http://order-order.com/2010/06/10/ed-balls-campaign-diary-10/

    Oh, and Diane Abbott apparently threw a hissy when she was asked by Andrew Neil if she was bringing Diversity to the race by being “the only candidate to send her kids to a private school”.

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Great writing. You’d know it wasn’t written by anyone on the Herald payroll.

    Not that the leader issue matters much. Almost all UK politicians in either party are beyond hope, and why people vote at all for such a bunch of useless fuckers is beyond me.

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  3. Bob R (1,358 comments) says:

    ***Abbott can do electrifying speeches and is a good performer on TV. However there are judgement issues. She once attacked Finnish nurses on the grounds they may have never met a black person before. ***

    Sounds like a female Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson – a race hustler playing on white guilt. I hope she loses.

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  4. mavxp (496 comments) says:

    The only real choice is David Milliband. The rest are positioning themselves for other top jobs in a future Labour cabinet. Its a changing of the guard throughout Labour with the drubbing they received in the recent election.

    David is a well spoken, Oxford educated fabian, and has statesman-like style and leadership potential written all over him. You also dont need to be funny to be leader of team GB as Gordon well proved (and David Cameron isnt that funny either).

    What every country needs and wants is competence (and a little charisma). David M. appears to have it.

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  5. GPT1 (2,109 comments) says:

    Interesting. At the risk of threadjacking and telling you how to run your blog any chance of an Australian update sometime? I was reading somewhere that Crudd might manage to make himself a one termer but is the Coalition sufficiently over its mauling last time around to make good use of the apparent Crudd meltdown?

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  6. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter: Because they’ve bought into the idea that voting is good and that’s all they’ve got to vote for. That’s not going to change even if their voting system does. If anything they’ll just have more diverse useless fuckers trying to gain votes and potentially less of a stranglehold by the major parties.

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  7. s.russell (1,587 comments) says:

    The Economist also reports on the Labour leadership race – http://www.economist.com/node/16326384?story_id=16326384 .
    They have a slightly different take, rating Ed Miliband as potentially the most effective, though also the most left-wing.

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  8. RightNow (6,939 comments) says:

    I read that John McDonnell is vying for the leadership as well, and has been quoted as saying he would happily go back in time to the ’80s and kill Margaret Thatcher if he could.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/7808953/John-McDonnell-says-he-would-like-to-assassinate-Margaret-Thatcher.html

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  9. RightNow (6,939 comments) says:

    From the same article: David Miliband agreed there needed to be a different culture in the Labour party, but he argued that the previous government had made major achievements which should not be forgotten.
    “There are plenty of people who want to trash our record. We should not fall for the Tory claptrap that we left Britain broke and broken.”

    Sounds like a common theme for Labour around the world.

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  10. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Kids at a private school, tsk tsk one does not see any of those rabid Tories coming out of private schools.
    Hmm, did any of the UK Tory front bench not attend a private school so they could run around yelling oiks at those who voted them in ?

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  11. RRM (9,736 comments) says:

    VOTE BALLS! :-)

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  12. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Join the campaign! BALLS NOT BANANAS!

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  13. tvb (4,302 comments) says:

    Please make it Diane Abbott. She believes in state education except when she is a mother sending her child to a private school.

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