Saturday, September 25, 2010

Labour Party Leadership

Gordon Brown is speaking to a Labour Party conference in Manchester, warming up the crowd, and reminding them of their achievements. Forceful and bullish, he asserted that 'markets need morals', and contended that the Labour Party is now the only progressive party in the country. The Labour Party, he said, is the 'greatest fighting force for fairness' ever seen in Britain. He got warm applause for his speech, and seemed at peace with his diminished role.
Harriet Harman, acting Labour leader and elected Deputy Leader is making the case for Labour's position of strength. She's describing the defection of LibDem party members to Labour, and is commending all five leadership candidates: Dianne Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, David and Ed Miliband.
Ann Black, of the National Executive, is about to announce the results of the election as the candidates walk in. The announcing of the results is as tedious, perhaps, as Labour's torturous voting methods!
Ed Miliband has just been announced as the Leader of the Labour Party, pulling through on the basis of his support amongst the trades unions. His brother was the first to stand with applause. I would probably have voted for him as the more left-leaning of the two brothers, but he will have to avoid getting bogged down in technocratic management-speak whilst simultaneously developing a coherent critique of coalition economic policy, which will almost certainly be the major concern during Labour's spell in opposition, however long that lasts. Of course I personally hope that he draws back on the graduate tax he has been proposing, that he opposes the renewal of Trident, and that he begins to critique the war in Afghanistan. On all of these I have my doubts, but it will be interesting to see how Ed Miliband begins to tie the key political themes into a cogent narrative in the coming weeks and months.

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