Sunday, September 10, 2006

The next leader

Down for a meeting in Nodnol with the Paskini Mob, I was thinking about this question of who would be best as the next leader of the Labour Party, what qualities they would need.

They'd have to be electorally successful - capable of demonstrating an appeal to voters in some of the key electoral battlegrounds, with an appeal which goes beyond just tribal Labour voters.

They ought to have experience of investing in and improving important public services.

They ought to have good environmental credentials, with a track record of promoting radical policies and winning support for them in the face of the hostility by vested interests.

They need to have a strong commitment to social justice and greater equality - including achievements in boosting pay and working conditions amongst the low waged, and a track record of tackling discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, age or sexual orientation.

It would do no harm if they had opposed the war on Iraq, and demonstrated that they would be independent minded when it came to relations with the Americans.

And it would be nice to have someone who is good at communicating, but who isn't afraid to take on the right-wing media.

Remind me, why isn't Ken Livingstone in the running to be the next leader of the Labour Party?


At 8:49 pm , Anonymous Jo said...

Erm, I think the fact that he's not a Member of Parliament could be a factor...

At 8:58 pm , Blogger donpaskini said...


At 9:22 pm , Anonymous Gregg said...

The rules do currently prevent non-MPs from running. But rules can be changed. Canadian parties don't require that their leadership candidates be sitting MPs - and the most promising candidates in the current Liberal election race there, Gerard Kennedy and Bob Rae, are not MPs.

At 10:58 pm , Anonymous politicalcorrespondent said...

Interestingly, Livingstone has said that he made a deliberate choice to step down from Parliament (against the urging of many of his aides) precisely to rule himself out of the running for the leadership.

His reasoning was that it would be totally impossible for him to have influence as Mayor of London with the government if senior figures like Blair and Brown were thinking that he might be a rival for power a few years down the road.

He gives this as an example of how sometimes politicians are actually better off doing what they never want to do - giving away power.

At 12:41 am , Anonymous A soft socialist said...

Hmm, Ken did mention at the compass AGM that he would be a top leader of the labour party.

But I think mayor is his last job in politics and he is concentrating on making a really positive difference to London.


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