Today, after nearly four months of campaigning, the new leader of the country’s main opposition party will finally be announced.
Let’s look at the candidates again.
The surprise frontrunner, the veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, has been criticised by the mainstream media as being in the pay of the unions, being anti-war, and speaks to alleged facists and anti-semites.
Andy Burnham, the punter’s favourite in the beginning, is tainted by some of his actions in the last Labour government, and was criticised for being a serial flip-flopper on party policy (He abstained on the government’s controversial welfare bill, but later announced he would have voted against it).
Yvette Cooper, is also tainted for her actions in the last Labour government, and the fact that she is the wife of (thankfully) former chancellor Ed Balls.
Liz Kendall ….who? Despite her best efforts, she trailled heavily throughout the contest, and commentators wondered whether she would be more at home along the ranks of the Conservative party.
The leadership election should have been dominated by the battle for ideas, principles and beliefs, but it understandibly turned into one huge bitchfest, with all four candidates and their supporters openly attacking each other. There has also been criticism level at how the contest was adminstered. Whose stupid idea was it to encourage people to join for £3 just as a supporter, therefore increasing the threat of fraud, and leading to a potential legal challenge?
There has endless column inches in the national press about the contest, most of the articles written contained a lot of complete rubbish. For example, The Guardian (which backed Labour this year, but supported the Liberal Democrats in 2010) has a long list of columns and articles which a newspaper editor would normally be rejected. They have never asked about the candidates’ views on issues like how would they improve public services, the country’s role in the world, and the economy.
Whoever gets to lead Labour will see the party in a long, slow decline. Some commentators saw this coming, but most people within the party didn’t until it was too late. What happened at the general election should have been a wake up call. Look at how many Labour votes went to the likes of the Scottish National Party, the UK Independence Party, and the Greens. When one puts the non-voters in the mix, the party will find it very difficult to attract them back in the forseeable future.
With the party split many ways, allowing the Conservative government to get away with implementing their controversial policies in parliament, some commentators argue that it would take a miracle for the new leader to keep Labour together. The party’s very existence is at stake.