Welsh Assembly

Welsh Assembly

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Labour's Scarlet Future - The case for Andy Burnham...

This may come as a surprise to you but... the more this leadership contest develops, the more I find myself thinking Andy may be our man.
Why you ask? Why should Andy take Labour into the future and not one of the other sterling candidates.

Well for me there's many reasons.

Im yet to decide 100% who im going to vote for, but this is my opinion at the moment....

Andy Burnham talks of 'aspirational socialism'. Now, i know the S word can be taken 2 ways in this situation. Firstly, the new labour lot will see it as an anchor from the bad old days of unelectable labour. Secondly, the real socialist will decry Burnham's involvement in new labourite governance and see it as merely rhetoric. 

But, and its a big one, I think there's more to Andy's use of the S word than meets the eye. One of the fundamental things in any "progressive" (current chateratti buzzword) ideology is the need for wholesale change and socialism/social democracy is not exempt for this. We believe that society is flawed and by changing it fundamentally we can create a better place.

Brotherly rule?
David Miliband, the front runner, Brains, or the other leadership candidate that looks like something out of captain scarlet, presides over the Tony Blair mantra of labour party politics. Granted he has more ideological zeal, but is he really going to change society? He can face up to cameron, but he won't fix our problems (even if he does have by far the most campaign funds....suspect?).

Ed Miliband, on the contrary is the flipside of the miliband pound coin. He has the ideas; living wage, women shortlists etc etc but when it comes to oratory he leaves a lot to be desired and i cant help thinking that although both brothers are comp educated, they are far too intellectual for us everyday people.

This brings us to Balls, what can i say, Brown's pugnacious lovechild. I would have rather seen his wife run, but there we are. I cant help but find his motives dubious.

Abbot then, idealist in the true sense, but couldnt communicate her ideas to anyone. in fact, in a radio 4 interview today she was quizzed about private education (hypocrisy galore) and said nothing, literally, for 2 minutes. Not much of a leader.

So back to Burnham, why does he persuade me he can do things all the others cant?

He has the ideas, national care service, decentralisation from London, fundamental reform of the postcode lottery society, re-purchase of council houses. He has the oratory capability, and the rhetoric. He can bring our party out of the new labour era, and in to a new stage of labour politics, where we are no longer about Blair or Brown, or David or Ed, or backroom briefings and spin. But instead about standing up for working class families across the country on the issues that matter to them . He can lead us on a new path, create a labour thats not old or new, but encompasses the best of both.

Labour's Scarlet Future

This is why I think i'll be voting for Andy.

....But I could still be swayed!

Various links:

Happy reading



  1. We need someone strong in opposition - you are right in saying that we need someone with policies, but we also need someone who is charismatic and bold in Parliament, because whether we like it or not, Cameron is a fine orator.

    At present, I'm not convinced that any of the front runners for the leadership have the skills-set to lead the Labour Party in opposition.

  2. This is awesome, I was thinking of trying to encourage people to write who they're voting for and why...or who has unexpectedly impressed/not impressed them during the campaign so far. And you've used pugnacious, which is always a brilliant word.

    Yeah I'm surprised by Andy Burnham too. I always thought of him as very Blairite because of PFIs and ID cards and disliked him because of that. However, at the hustings he said he was regretful about PFIs and defended ID cards in quite a principled way (although I still disagree).

    I like the way he talks about socialism using old fashioned, every day vocabulary to talk about his ideas. I liked what he said in the Cardiff hustings about grammar schools and parachuting in ppc selections as well. On LabourList there was a blog by someone saying that when she met him he was easily the most approachable, too. My only reservation is that he isn't attacking enough, maybe a cabinet with him&Balls moving in kind of a team? idk.

    &Also I like that he's an English Lit. graduate like me hahah.

    - Rach

  3. the threat of cameron is huge. he is a fine orator, even if most of what comes out of his mouth is rubbish. but still we need someone who can hold their own.

    I met david miliband, and whilst he is very considered and a good speaker, he didnt set the stage alight. It didnt enthuse me anyway, which is a shame. I do think he could be a little bit more vociferous but we'll see.

    post up your own choices and why, its a good idea! Gutted i missed the cardiff hustings, didnt he criticise private schools quite a bit?