A few missing pieces

YAWNEDY-YAWN. Is it over yet? What could have been an intriguing summer deciding who would lead the Labour Party has descended into a drab, rain-splodged endgame where even local members are not quite sure who they are backing and why? We didn’t want food fights up there on the stage, but if I was a Labour Party member I would want more fire from those claiming to be fixated with reviving their red rose.

The just-about common consensus among Camden Labour is that Ed Miliband is probably the best bet. David Miliband’s boo boo over council housing did little to endear him to the home fans and his brother has the official support.

But there is no real excitement, among the members I’ve talked this one through with, about what would happen under an E-Mil regime. He is not a Dartmouth Park Obama, he doesn’t turn heads with speeches or inspire with a three point basketball chuck.

Many members in north London are flagging too under the weight of campaign texts and tweets. Already weary from the General Election, they want their lives back for a few weeks rather than being nagged about this new dilemma. Some are even getting irritable: falling out with friends over their choices (same goes here for the Oona vs Ken quarrel). The blogs are bloody in parts.

Ultimately, people I’ve spoken too just want the ambling process – in the voting stage at the moment – to come to a swifter end. The hustings have been less inspirational than they hoped, too controlled, devoid of spark and predictable in most examples.

There is confusion too over what’s more important: who would be best for the party orwho would be more likely to win a general election? The fact that the question is even being asked should raise a portion of concern. Why would you want somebody who can win the election but not deliver on your principles? Under Blair, staunch members in Camden realised these compromises can cost dear.

The wasted opportunity for Labour is that the time to iron out all of these questions is now and yet this ini-mini-myni-mo puzzle still remains unlocked. The debate has so far been – for want of a more eloquent word – boring.

While individual branches may promote one preference or another, all members in Camden are not whipped to join a local majority and back Ed. There are still some, I suspect for the good of calmer office politics, who will say Ed but vote David. There are more who will say Ken and vote Oona. Certainly, Ed has not plugged every piece into the Camden jigsaw and rebellious types are still coughing the names of Balls and Burnham. D-Mil has his admirers too, the rebels. Yet while, for the want of a bit of local one-upmanship, this might all sound exciting to individuals in the enthusiastic phone banks, the wider field has learned little from the process. In fact, there is a risk that people outside of the competitive Labour bubbles will slowly become more interested in who wins Big Brother than who becomes Labour leader.

Not as interesting as Josie. That’s not the best starting point for whoever comes through.

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