So, the votes have been counted and verified and Labour will soon be able to announce the winner of the 2010 Leadership Competition… Sound familiar? Yes, Big Brother of course – but in Labour terms this has happened. Months of struggling and slogging over the nitty-gritty of who supported what in the last thirteen years; who was in whose camp; who would have vetoed the ‘War in Iraq’, we’ve heard it all. But all this will soon end and the next person to answer any of these questions will most probably be at the dispatch box in opposition (as the leader of the opposition). Exciting times come for whoever will be successful. But the Fabian Soceity and the Guardian both report that the two brothers are in direct competition for top spot – potentially a 50-50 split, or a realistic 30-30. Whoever wins on Saturday will surely have to give four years of service to one of the most famous parties in Europe.
There are a few turns of the steering wheel that either leader will need to take when he or she becomes leader. They need to ensure Labour returns to the centre-ground where the real votes are born from. They need to ensure criminal justice policy; benefit policy; immigration policy; electoral reform directives are all sketched in the ‘ears to the ground’ form. My advice would be to get right out there and find out what the Gillian Duffy’s of this world are really thinking. Do they believe in tough sentencing? Capping immigration? It’s not about telling the public what t
hey want to hear, but it is more about getting in tune with what the public believe. Labour, between the last election and the 2010 election, become out of touch with the public and became monsterous in the way it operated. It grew from a slim vegan to a large carnivore; ripping up everything in its site. Criminalizing the marginalized, smearing sleaze all over the gates of Downing Street and showed extreme ineptness. Gordon
Brown was a great politician, he is also a great academic, director – but, he failed to be a greater Leader. I, personally, thought he was a super Prime Minister – but, a poor communicator. This was why Blair was so good, which is where one of the M’s have to show flexibility and pull Brown and Blair together and put it in themselves. That will be the most effective way of equipping themselves for government.
Personally, the one who looks naturally equipped to lead the Labour Party and to defeat David Cameron week-in-week-out would be David (M). He shows confidence, articulation and passion when he talks. He would quite clearly adopt effective campaigns, aimed at
from the bottom
upwards. Grassroots campaigining is where the Lib Dems have sustained themselves in recent years and is an area Labour should adopt. However, the candidate who looks most likely to be able to forge a mix of Blair and Brown is Ed. He is young, ruthless and intelligent. He has the political skills and articulation skills of Brown, but on the surface appears as though he is missing the communication skills of Tony. This
is something which only you, the Labour members, TU members, etc. have your say. I wish the candidate all the best.
Upon arriving in power the leader needs to adopt a new and experienced shadow cabinet. Ideally speaking it may be wise to keep those wishing to be put forward where they are now as they already have the expertese. However, a consequence of this is the hammering they would regularly take in the Commons as their poor track record. New faces is a fresh Labour. Fresh Labour would be electable in the circumstances. The Party need to return to a party of freshness and popularity, but it needs to also add a kick of naivity to it. This was why Blair was so good; he uplifted a country and made them believe in him. He walked into power at No.10 and was immediately struck by the immensity of it all. T
his. Is. Good!
Finally, the winning candidate needs to build on their own personal support that gained them the leadership and develop and reach out to those who they didn’t get the vote from. Trade Unions will need to trust David if he is to win; other MP’s and local councillors would need trust Ed and that he can lead the party to a safe election. Such a close margin would mean that the mandate of one particular candidate could not be directly followed as it would face massive backbench rebellion. Tactics need to be played and happiness and satisfaction need to be created.
Good Luck Labour.