Why I am supporting Ed Miliband….
I don’t think this declaration will surprise regular readers of my blog; for quite some time I have admired the ideas of the ‘other Miliband’ and think, with the regards to the manifesto he did the best he could under the circumstances he was in. So, why choose now? Although it does feel a little premature the truth is first impressions count. My first impression of David was nothing that shook my original conception; maybe he has conviction when he speaks but I struggle to believe it; I struggle to see somebody who shares my values, hopes and aspirations for this party. He reminds me too much of Tony Blair temperamentally and we have been there, done that and chucked away the t-shirt.
My first impression of Ed Balls did not come from his launch today but having met him during the course of the election campaign. He has many fine qualities none of which make him suited to the top-spot; he is a fighter, a scrapper and somebody whose skills will be needed in the top team but ultimately he simply likes the finesse needed to lead and although his dogged determination will inspire, in a leadership role it will mean he lacks the required subtly. Maybe the place for the other Ed is in the Deputy Leaders slot or, in John Prescot -style, aboard a battle bus but it is not in the top slot.
This leaves us with John McDonnell whose policies would probably be close to the top of my wish list. However, leadership is about more than having the right policy set and his ill-tempered intervention yesterday made a bad first impression. It showed he cannot grasp the mood of the moment and is possibly dogmatic; where Cruddas might have been more tempting he falls down. Although his polcies are worthy of consideration I know in my head (and to a lesser degree my grudging heart) they cannot all be adopted by Labour nor would I expect them to be if this party is to remain a coalition of different wings; something it must do.
All of which leads me to the Ed. What strikes me is that Ed is somebody who myself and the likes of Luke Boizer can agree on and this, to my mind, signals that he has what it takes to forge a historic alliance; completely opposite to the one formed by Tony Blair between Labour’s radical left and it’s centre. Ed, I believe, can bridge the divide and chart a course for this Party that will see it become once again the radically progressive force it should always be and eventually this rebirth is what will carry us back to government. He can navigate the tricky divide between our hopes and dreams as Labour and the harshness of the ‘real’ and having to deal with the world as it is; not as we fervently wish it would be.
This blog will aim to remain critical of all camps but who I support in this election is clear; Ed Miliband is the right leader for this Party and I will do everything I can to help him achieve that position.