Labour needs anti-cuts policy, not a Blairite new leader

Submitted by Matthew on 12 November, 2014 - 11:31 Author: Jon Lansman

Labour MPs are their own worst enemies.

Many of them are panicked about losing their seats, and are sufficiently stupid and disloyal to blame Ed Miliband and brief the press accordingly. Deputy chief whip, Alan Campbell, rather than feeding reports of discontent to his leader, is whipping it up.

And yet, if Labour MPs keep their cool, there will be no Labour meltdown in England or Wales in 2015. UKIP may take a seat or two from us, and prevent us winning a few marginals. But we shall still win others from the Tories and Lib Dems, whose problems are worse than ours. And no short-coming of Ed Miliband is responsible for the rise of UKIP.

Scotland is a different story. Labour could face meltdown there in 2015 and 2016. And it will be worse if Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale win the current leadership contests. But that too has nothing to do with Ed Miliband, though a second leadership contest in the UK party would make matters even worse.

The idea of a smooth, consensual transfer of the leadership to Alan Johnson, the man who told Kirsty Wark in 2007 that he wasn’t up to the job of Leader and who demonstrated through the gaffes of his short period as shadow chancellor than he lacked a grasp of basic economics, is just plain daft.

He may be working-class, whose humble origins and tough upbringing are now well known. Len McCluskey may have suggested he be given a role in Labour’s campaign. But he’s still a leading Blairite who backed privatisation of the industry in which he worked. Without question, he would face a contest if he stood for the leadership.

There is no alternative candidate who could command such widespread support that a simple transfer of the leadership is possible. Six months before an election, just forget it.

And those who continue to speculate about it do nothing but undermine and damage their own party.

• From Left Futures

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