Saturday, 3 July 2010

Labour leadership candidates - Who are they and what do they want?

As a card-carrying Labourite, I'm in the enviable position of helping to choose the next leader of the opposition.

Many will assume this is a pointless exercise; that whoever wins can only become Prime Minister by tugging a forelock at the markets and Mail. I take a less cynical view, of course. Politics without optimism is like a pub with no bogs.

So who are these brave souls, selflessly gambling their reputations on a shot at greatness? More importantly, who is likely to win?

David Miliband: The former Foreign Secretary and "heir to Blair" is distinguished by an unshakeable faith in his own genius. Miliband isn't completely self-obsessed, though - he famously took one for the team when he gave Hillary Clinton a good seeing to on a diplomatic trip to Helmand. Leadership potential 8/10.

Ed Miliband: With his mild manners and puppydog eyes, Ed looks more like a history teacher than the future of socialism. Don't judge a book by its cover, though. Wrestling his own brother for the party leadership shows a contempt for the natural order that could kill a Tory at twenty paces. Leadership potential 8/10.

Ed Balls: The Phil Mitchell of the centre-left, the former Education Secretary is a balloon-faced psychopath who shits 24 hour tribal politics and cites Suge Knight and Cardinal Torquemada as heroes. Balls allegedly convinced Yvette Cooper not to stand for the leadership by threatening to cut her face. Leadership potential 4/10.

Diane Abbott: A lifelong contrarian, Abbott’s early onset Alzheimer’s has led her to believe she’s still fighting the battles of the '80s. The Hackney MP can often be seen wandering aimlessly around Greenham Common, or chanting “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Out, Out, Out!” on late night discussion shows. Leadership potential 3/10.

Andy Burnham: A diehard party loyalist who looks like George from Rainbow, Burnham joined Labour after reading an NME interview in which Noel Gallagher referred to Thatcher as a "Tory twat". He claims the current clamour for constitutional reform is "a sideshow for people who read books”, and that David Cameron and Nick Clegg are, “toffee-nosed Southern ponces, up to their arses in rugby and croissants.” Leadership potential Nil.

I'm still not quite sure to vote for to be honest. Anyone got any advice?

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