I’m supporting Andy Burnham in the Leadership election. He’s been around long enough to have experienced senior office in a Labour Government but at the same time he’s young enough to understand the fact that the Labour Party must reach out more to all of our potential supporters – our core and those on the margins – if we are to stand a chance of coming back from the wilderness of opposition.
There’s much talk of the need for a principalled socialist, and a return to our roots but in my view we don’t need to appoint a person who just says the things we’re wanting to here, we need to appoint a person who will be a credible leader and a credible potential Prime Minister, ensuring that the UK remains a heavyweight force in world politics and world economics. I’m sorry but Jeremy Corbyn just does not do that.
The Labour Party must look to elect a Leader who we all believe will want to win a General Election. At the end of the day we are not a pressure group or a lobbying organisation, we are a political party which seeks to represent the public and put into practice its beliefs. It may not seem inspirational to want to compromise on some of our beliefs but what we achieved between 1997 and 2010 shows that when we compromise we can make great gains for our people. I for one could not knock on doors asking people to vote Labour if I knew full well that we had no intention of trying to form a Government. It’s just deceitful. These people who prefer ideology to actual elected power are clearly well off enough not to be impacted by Tory policies that are throwing hundreds of thousands of families and children into hardship and poverty. It’s our duty as Labour members to do anything we can to put a stop to that as soon as possible.
If you’re voting in the Labour Leadership election in the next few weeks, please think carefully about the long term impact of your vote – it’s probably the most important vote you’ll cast in a generation, perhaps in your life. It could even decide whether the Labour Party has or does not have a long term future in British politics. If like me, you believe that Labour should have a long term future please vote Burnham.