The case for a change in leadership….

I supported Ed Miliband, enthusiastically, for the Labour leadership. I did so because his stated politics were closest to mine, excepting Diane Abbott who is simply not leadership material. When presented with a choice between him and David Miliband it was simply a no-brainer and I genuinely believed that he would grow into the role of leader. I thought his election would at least open up space for a flourishing, vibrant and more democratic Labour Party, if not create a beacon of socialism which Ed was never going to deliver.

He hasn’t grown into the role of leader. Why? Well, I think on a personal level he has yet to come to terms with the shock of beating his treasured elder brother to a post the latter has openly coveted and seen as his own in all but name for some time. He did so by the narrowest of margins too which has scarred his tenure from the off. His first decision was, rather than to firmly stamp his imprint on the Party, to conciliate the wounded feelings of the losing faction in a vain attempt to consolidate a weak position.  Rather than provide the bedrock of stability Ed hoped for, this has had the opposite effect, Alan Johnson repaid this by undermining him at every opportunity and Ed Balls, at least thus far, his proved a loyal shadow chancellor. Furthermore, it was a mistake because it gave off the impression that this leadership was too self-conscious of its own narrow margins and definately was for turning. It is my belief that the Parliamentary Labour Party, which should have been dealt with by a firmer hand, will never fully accept Miliband and since he wont undermine its power through democratic reform this is a major weakness of his leadership.

This has all encouraged the barely concealed factionalism which, if we are honest with ourselves and the voters, Labour is still rife with. All sins stem from this first – it is fair enough to still be formulating policy but now, a thoughtful process looks to the public like dithering. Miliband is seen as weak because he is and the central authority is weak – so weak that a more organised shadowy cabal of Blairites seems to be outfoxing it at every step. On Party democracy, as on other issues, Miliband is too heavily influenced by thinking imported from America – restoring the sovereign role of Party conference in policy making, for example, is a priority which requires no consultation.

Electorally, Miliband’s performance is adequate but gains in the local elections we would have made as a protest vote were offset by a disastrous result in Scotland and the leaders political judgement tainted by his close association with the Yes to AV campaign which was resoundingly thumped.

This week has proven beyond reasonable doubt that this leadership is terminally broken – new leadership is required for Labour to make the move back to government. It has prospered electorally despite its leadership, which is a constant source of endless speculation, not because of it and the time will arrive, sooner rather than later when this leadership represents an objective barrier to the progress of the Party. What should replace it should the subject of urgent debate but, whether Labour can enter government again under its current leadership is no longer a subject of hope nor expectation in my mind, it is a matter of fact it will not. As such, new leadership is required….


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11 responses to “The case for a change in leadership….”

  1. oldpolitics says :

    Remove Ed, and you will get two things. First, a Leader from the hard right of the party, and, second, a section of the party on the left as determined to undermine the new leader as the Blairites are to undermine Ed, and with more justification to stir and plot than the Blairites have now.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Not necessarily. I think the left/centre can find a stronger champion/leader. Th fact is this leadership wont last anyways soooo, basically might as well go with the flow rather than be swept away with it….


  3. oldpolitics says :

    Seriously, who? Those to the left of the current leadership only even got on the ballot last time by picking a celebrity, calling in favours, and throwing themselves on the mercy of the right, and the right almost won. The left and centre of the party is by nature pluralist, I voted for Ed partly because I did want a leader who listens, negotiates, and thinks, not just one who storms down and tells the party how it’s going to be – those figures almost always come from the right.


  4. John p reid says :

    Alan Johnson undemined Ed at every oppurtunity, Alan said it had’nt been decided to keep teh 50P upper rate ax and Ed said it had, and Alan said that he felt that tehy would have stuck to Alisatir dalrings plan to have had 80% of the cuts had labour won, and Ed said we would’nt have had the AListiar dalring 80% cuts, 2 times that they disagreed ,harldly undermining him,


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Chukka springs to mind but all this is barely the point, he hasnt got the guts to win a general election, hes not prime minister material so ye….we need one of those from the left, somebody with spark and spirit else the Blairites will sink the ship….


    Yes he did.


  6. oldpolitics says :

    Chukka has been an MP for about a fortnight, not exactly a position of strength from which to dominate the party in the way you seem to want an MP to. He’s also been a strong advocate of the (sensible left-wing) positions that have been upsetting people who think (based on some simplistic ideas guaranteed to lose votes) that they’re on the left, so I don’t know where his base would be.


  7. John p reid says :

    Yes he did, when then ,examples please.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Go read Miliband’s comments in the Observer and tell me this man should lead the Labour Party….


    Errr you gave them didnt you?


  9. John Reid says :

    all 2 of them ,isn’t constantly, and alan johnson saying that the 50p upper tax rate wasn’t permanent and labour would have 80% of the cuts were our policy at that time,

    my other comment has disapeared


  10. darrellgoodliffe says :


    There were other comments about the graduate tax too, remember them?

    Dont know why that is at all….had nothing to do with me, I promise…


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  1. The Kamikaze Blairites | Left Futures - June 12, 2011

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