Saturday, February 17, 2007

Peter The Great?

My case for Peter Hain standing for the Leadership of the Labour Party rather than for the Deputy Leadership is added to by two passing events.

(1) Sunshine

Today's Sun carries an article supporting Alan Johnson for the Deputy Leadership in order to stop the position going to Peter. This should give Peter a standing on the Left and Centre of the Party which some had not thought of before. If the Sun is so powerfully against him, then might he not be just the right person to be Leader and Prime Minister?

(2) Tribulation

This week's Tribune claims that Hazel Blears is about to enter the Deputy Leadership race. That would make the contest even more crowded with six pressing for nominations from Labour MPs. Life is more simple so far in the contest which really matters. Only Gordon Brown and John McDonnell are currently the intended candidates. Yet for Labour MPs and the wider Labour membership who are looking for an able candidate who is neither New Labour nor Hard Labour, then Peter is the best choice. He has had a long term commitment to libetarian socialist ideals, yet he is also a political realist.

In a full Leadership contest he would probably end John McDonnell's hopes of clearing the nomination threshold. Hopefully, Socialist Campaign Group members would then come behind him to stop Gordon Brown. Yet he would not reflect John McDonnell's over-the-top position.

Who Else?

The only stumbling block to my suggestion is Peter Hain himself. He needs to realise that if he wants to be great, he needs some grit.


Tom said...

I think grit is exactly what Hain needs more of if he is to do well in either election. He's deffo getting my number 2.

Harry Barnes said...

I might not even vote for him if he just stands for Deputy, for he would seek to do that as part of an unofficial Brown ticket. This would bury what he has to offer. When he first joined the Labour Party, he was put on a Tribune platform at Conference and I boohed him. Kinnock then attacked his noisy critics in Tribune and I wrote in defending the little person's right to heckle. Peter remembers it well. I am prepared to heckle again if he doesn't do the right thing. Not that it achieved anything then - or now.