The Totaliser

THE Labour Party website is embracing the spirit of openness and showing us exactly how many nominations each candidate in its leadership race has. Like a Blue Peter totaliser, the panel above confirms Ed Miliband has already hit the target to enable him to stand officially – a full house of red boxes on the scoresheet. Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Andy Burnham in comparison have one endorsement between them.

The choice of ‘mugshots’ is always tricky. The picture they have chosen for Abbott makes her look delighted at her empty slate of grey boxes. David Miliband looks puzzled that he is, so far, trailing his brother. Ed M in comparison looks cock-a-hoop at being in pole position. They should have done the latter with all of the candidates, matching photos with the scores on the doors. There should be a a glum looking Abbott (if such a picture exists), a pensive Balls and a frowning David M.

There’s a lesson in this for new councillors at Camden Town Hall, who will have been photographed by the council for a stock library of images. These are the shots that are more often than not used in the press. So look too thumbs-up delighted and you sometimes get the odd situation in the local papers – and this applies across the country – where councillors look thrilled with the world, right next to stories about the scourge of drug dealing or the closure of old peoples homes, etc etc…

1 Comment on The Totaliser

  1. Peter Brayshaw // May 26, 2010 at 1:04 am //

    A few years ago at a Labour Party Conference, badges were sported with “my favourite Miliband is…” (David or Ed). My favourite Miliband was their father Ralph. I was an LSE student in the sixties (graduating class of ’68). Ralph was my bail surety when I had been arrested on a student demo and locked up in Brixton, later to face an Old Bailey trial. Ralph Miliband’s marxist scholarship (not just “Parliamentary Socialism”, but also “the State in Capitalist Society”) still has lessons for us today, especially after the global crisis of unregulated free-market capitalism and the need for progresive States to intervene.

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