Thursday, 20 May 2010

Five Men and a Lady

Diane Abbott has announced she is tostand in the Labour leadership race. At last there is some diversity.

I don't just mean in her race or gender either. Now we have a diversity of views. When John Cruddas announced he wasn't standing I thought we were heading towards a vanilla election not just the white middle-class males, some would say all five looked like brothers rather than just the Milibands, but also in their opinions.

Now all us political wonks know that Diane is more free-flowing with her views on the new Labour project, on the This Week sofa, sipping the Blue Nun proffered by Andrew Neil, she has disagreed with both Blairism and Brownites in the past. She truly is a breathe of fresh air into the Labour leadership contest.

Maybe sitting those weeks in the studio with ex-leader Charles Kennedy and the man who missed his chance for leader courtesy of the voters of Enfield Southgate in 1997 Michael Portillo she knows she is up for the task at hand. As she said launching her campaign:

"The other candidates are all nice and would make good leaders of the Labour Party but they all look the same... We cannot be offering a slate of candidates who all look the same. The Labour Party's much more diverse than that.

"I looked at the field and said 'If not now, when?' And 'If not me, who?'

"It's important that we recapture the civil liberties agenda from the Tories and the Lib Dems.

"It's important that we re-energise the party and bring democracy back to the party.

"We need a proper debate on immigration, where children of immigrants like me also have a voice."

If I were a member I'd probably vote for her. As a member of another party I'd be worried if she actually won. She may well be the person to shake up Labour and give New Labour it's Clause IV boost. Depends how the party is felling about such a shake up. In the words of the classic Goodness Gracious Me Sketch the party may still want the 'blandest thing on the menu' maybe Diane is just too spicy for the Labour Parties tastes.

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