At present, the contest to succeed Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour party grows even more desperate by the minute.
Five candidates have put their names forward: Andy Burnham, Ed Balls, brothers Ed and David Milliband, and Diane Abbott. Five dull and uninteresting people who were responsible for the party’s problems in office (The four males were right-wing former ministers, Abbott for her decision to focus more on her TV career than working for her constituents). A sixth, John McDonnell, withdrew, because of the party’s silly rules for leadership contenders, which was created to prevent any person from the left of the party from gaining any support.
While public and media attention will be focused on how the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will try to reduce the country’s massive budget deficit they inherited, the silence of the leadership candidates on this issue, apart from the usual swipes from some, has been completely deafening. Are any of them going to come out in public and say: “We have to accept that most of the economic problems this country is facing were created by Gordon Brown’s policies”?
There hasn’t been as yet, any apology from anybody in the party about:
- The massive budget deficit
- The widening gap between the have and have-nots
- Failing to challenge media myths about immigration, and their failure to set out a strategy to deal with it
- Public fear over crime levels
- Whitehall interference in peoples’ private lives
- Fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan
- Homeless at an all-time high, and fewer homes built now than in 1997
- Welfare systems that are too bureaucratic to administer
- Centralisation of decision-making powers to Number 10
- Mortgaging the future in order to guaranteeing the present (if there was any)
- Mass privatisation on a bigger scale than the previous Conservative government
- Wasting millions bailing out the banking sector while public services were denied vital funds
- A transport network which seems incapable of getting many people from A to B without causing a lot of stress
- Continuing to maintain a nuclear deterrent which in reality is no longer fit for purpose
Many commentators have already stopped covering the contest with good reason, because the obvious truth is that there is very little to choose between the candidates. Many inside Labour still continue to blame both Brown and former leader Tony Blair for this, but the real culprit, if any one will listen, is none other than the so-called saviour of the party, Lord (Neil) Kinnock.
As I’ve previously posted, is this seriously the best that they can do? Whoever wins the leadership election, it seems that Cameron and Clegg are going to get an easy ride.