Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Most Boring Leadership Contest in History Ends

I am still at a bit off a loss to explain the reason why the Labour leadership contest has bored most people rigid - even those who have taken part in it. Most of my Labour friends say it has inspired no one and been a total letdown. The only explanation I can think of is that Labour is now in the position the Tories were in 1997 - no one's really interested in what they've got to say.

Well, this afternoon we find out which Milibrother has won. From the start I thought Ed Miliband might pull through on second preferences and the betting markets seem to agree.

If it is indeed him, he has an astonishingly difficult task ahead of him. I joked the other day about him being 'Red Ed'. I don't axctually believe that for a minute. He's done what he had to do to get votes among Labour members and trade unionists. Cynical maybe, but in the end probably effective. If he shows that same degree of electoral planning as leader, the Tories may find themselves with a more formidable opponent than they had imagined.

I won't be able to blog the result live as I shall be ensconced in my seat at Upton Park and then I'm driving up to Manchester. But please use this thread to discuss the events of the afternoon.


Michael Heaver said...

Boring contest but quite an interesting finale. I think it's going to be very close and the future direction of Labour will be determined by whether it's David or Ed. Still think Andy Burnham was the best of the five.

GBN said...

It has been pretty awful and more fun watching the opposing Miliband camps rip into each other.

We do need a strong opposition and imo that's not people like Ed "let me be clear I am progressive" Balls and Andy "I'm not from London" Burnham.

Maybe things will change once whoever is elected has been leader for a while.

For Labour's sake, I hope so.

Leadership result already announced ;-)

Max Atkinson said...

What I'm waiting for, of course, is the winner's acceptance speech. Yesterday, I discovered that video of the minor classic by Neil Kinnock in 1983 seemed nowhere to be found on YouTube or, as far as I could see, anywhere else on the internet.

So I've rectified it by uploading a copy at

Whether bored or excited while waiting for this afternoon's result, your readers might like to entertain themselves by watching this pretty lively performance from the Windbag in his prime - and prepare themselves to compare it (and its content) with the new leader's speech.

Unknown said...

The battle between the Brothers Milliband has been the only factor to inject some interest into the election.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Iain - loved your Thanking Our Troops post.

Which puts the insignificant event of which bland, pointless communist is going to take the reigns of the most destructive, corrupt and bankrupt party ever to have been wreaked upon the people of the UK for the last 13 years somewhat into perspective.

girlie_boi said...

The pundits should have looked at the Labour Party Website about 5 minutes before the result was announced. The website displayed 5 pictures in the following order, Ed Miliband, David Miliband, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, Diane Abbott, the exact order the candidates were to finish! What a coincidence!

Cynic said...

Labour just voted for at least 2 terms in the wilderness

...........or rather the Unions just voted for Labour to have 2 terms in the wilderness

"The peoples' flag is deepest red,
And that is why we went for Ed.
The members vote we will ignore,
For they don't count here anymore.

It's Unions Unions all the way
To bugger the economay
With threats of Strikes, we will ensure
Our members jobs go out the door

Then when around our ears its collapsed
We'll shout "It's all the fault of Thatch"
For we don't want the plebs to see
We've got no ide -ology

Sean said...

Well none of them was destined to be the next PM so who cares?

Geoff said...

3 1/2 hours since you posted this, and no comments yet. Rather proves your point that 'no one's really interested in what they've got to say', doesn't it!

Sauti Ndogo said...

So, the candidate who came second was declared the winner.

I can't wait for that AV referendum next year...

John said...

What rot Dale. This contest has been interesting and relevant because whatever your persuasion, we can all agree the winner has a genuine chance of becoming the next PM. Unlike in 1997 when whatisname won the Tory leadership, or in 2001 when, erm, whatisname won it or in 2003 when...oh hang on your lot didn't even have an election then (and yet I don't recall an outcry about an unelected leader...). So the last Tory contest to be even remotelyh interesting was in 2005...and then was when you led the defeated candidate's there's a lot to be said for a quiet life eh? Unlike the Tories in 1997 and 2001, Labour has bounced straight back from defeat...and you're frit!

Unsworth said...

So the Unite candidate won. Well, bang goes any form of Democratic Socialism. I look forward to seeing how Miliband E shapes up - if at all.

And who is going to be pulling his strings? Take a good look at the animals who are really in charge of the Labour Party now. They are the ones who want to get their hands on the levers - and our money.

golden_balls said...

Have we just voted in a Tony Blair or a Gordon Brown the Tories do seem to have a smile on the face which isn't a good sign.

Anonymous said...

@John. Sounds like you will joining Red Ed, Red Ken, Bob Crow, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson when they march with the red flag fluuering in th wind to protest against cutting the debt mountain that Red Ed and Banana David jointly built with Gordon.

Thorpe said...

@ John.

You are right, the newly elected leader of the Labour Party does indeed have "a genuine chance" of becoming the next PM. About 1 in 2,000 in my view.

What an issue for Labour. Ed Miliband is 40, so still with a great deal of youth on his side. When he loses in 2015 he'll only be 45, so not old enough for the Labour Party to kick him out to get an even younger new Leader (those Sure Start nurseries are even now running classes in political leadership).

He's been an MP for 5 years, with bugger all real world previous experience. In his last Ministerial role he managed to publicly stuff up an entire Government Department. If he were to win in 2015, does anyone trust this son of a committed Marxist with no real world experience and whose only Ministerial job ended in abject failure to handle the job of PM of one of the world's great powers?

Tapestry said...

New Labour dies. Hurrah!!

Old Labour's back. Booooo.

Jimmy said...

"So, the candidate who came second was declared the winner."

This confirms my suspicion that tories believe maths is for other people.

Unknown said...


People had commented but you could not see them as Iain has a life and had not approved the posts by the time you commented.

That's the problem with this type of moderation.

Disqus is the way.

Cynic said...

Thats my investment in Banana Futures buggered up now.

Unknown said...


He's been an MP for 5 years, with bugger all real world previous experience.

David Cameron, first elected to Parliament in 2001. Became leader of the Conservatives in 2005, having been an MP for 4 years. 9 years after first being elected he is now Prime Minister.

Nick Clegg, MEP from 1999 to 2004, when he was elected MP for Sheffield Hallam. Leader of LibDems in 2007, having been an MP for 4 years. 10 years after becoming an MEP and 6 years after becoming an MP he is now Deputy Prime Minister.

Assuming Ed Miliband see Labour through the next General Election, he'll have been an MP for 10 years and Party Leader for 5 years. The same as David Cameron.

So what's your point? That he'll be as good as Cameron; or that, on the basis of your criteria, Cameron is as bad as Miliband?

Seems to me that just as the Conservatives looked for an "Heir to Blair" in Cameron, so Labour has chosen a "Cameron Clone". And another professional politician who studied PPE as an undergraduate at Oxford.

In fact a quick glance at the list of MPs from all Parties who studied PPE is both revealing and disturbing.

You're right to be concerned about a lack of real world experience, but look at that PPE list and let your concerns grow.

John said...

@ norman - you're not making any sense. I think you're trying to repeat the Tory / Mail line about 'Red Ed'...which he isn't so you're an idiot.

@ thorpe - Ed became leader of his party after 5 years as an MP, Cameron did so after 4, so what's your point?

Mick Turatian said...

Labour has bounced...

Like a dead cat.

...and you're frit!

You wish!

Steve C said...

Millband .E has 3 inter-linked problems to contend with.
1) he didn't win convincingly, he scraped through. Chances are therefore that there will be those in his party, particuarly the PLP, who will have no qualms about briefing against him whenever it suits them;
2) He scraped through on UNION votes. The same unions who are becoming more militant as each week goes by and that's before the spending review outcome is announced! John claims that Ed isn't an out and out 'RED' - well the Unions obviously think he is and also I suspect they think that his youth and inexperience compared to the other candidates make him most easliy leaned on to move the party noticeably to the left;
3) That (inevitable?) lurch left will scare the crap out of the middle classes in general, and particularly the many millions over 40 who remember how awful the period 1978 - 1984 was when last the Unions thought they could decide how the country was run.

Ed's attempt in the media this morning to say he is 'for' the middle clasees will not go down well with the Unions who voted him in and will turn out to be mere rhetoric which has little foundation in fact.

Dave H said...

The winner has already been cruelly nailed:

"Mr. Ed, the incredible talking horse's arse"

Steve C said...

@Cynic - like the verse a lot lol. Just one thought- it's not that the unions have 'no ide-ology' it 's that their ideology hasn't moved on from 100 years ago.

I would make your last 2 lines -
'For we don't want the plebs to see
Our backward looking ide-ology'
Doesn't scan as well as yours I agree.

Matt said...

The look on Dave's face said it all. The hatred and contempt for Ed and his followers could not have been more clear.

Anonymous said...

@John. The reds like Crow, Wodley and Simpson know better. Insult won't you get far you Labour fool ( I had to use this responding to your Labourite insult) Go to your leftist Foot blog by that substance-sniffing man of Straw Jnr.

Anonymous said...

"@ thorpe - Ed became leader of his party after 5 years as an MP, Cameron did so after 4, so what's your point?"

The point is the Milibands dodged the hefty inheritance tax after their father's death. Hence Red Ed has to be careful when starts throwing epithets about bankers and Tories.

Best if you argue with your agreesing comrades in the Straw Jr's blog.

Sauti Ndogo said...

@Jimmy - remind me, what is the Labour's current position on the AV referendum?

Matt said...

@ John.

Whenever our cat uses his litter tray, the turd he produces bounces.

Whilst this is true, it doesn't bounce very far and it still stinks.

Jimmy said...


As far as I know the position is as it was in the manifesto. If Cameron wants the referendum all he needs is a bill dealing solely with the issue and it will sail through Parliament. That's if he really wants it.

Anonymous said...

@Sauti Ndo. The faithful labourite like Jimmy will say that Red Ed will take a position opposite to whatever the colaition position is!!

Barking Spider said...

We've been so badly treated and lied to and sold down the river by Labour that nobody gives a damn what they've got to say or which commie idiot leads them. We've all had enough of them and we don't believe a word they say - Cameron would be well advised to take note of that.