I just can’t make my mind up whether this picture of the Great Leader (currently of Southwold) is genuine or not. If it is, there’s someone much more colourful in there than the dour individual who dresses on holiday much as I did at 14 (in 1959! – I don’t mind you knowing my age!).
The problem for Labour is that they should have had a leadership election a year ago, instead of a ‘coronation’. Then ‘El Gordo’ might have emerged as a John Major figure 1991-style; remember, the one that won in 1992 with the highest vote ever recorded for a political party in Britain. As it is, it’s more as though the Tories had brought back Ted Heath in 1995 – he who had spent ages thinking the leadership should rightly be his getting his dues at last – but briefly!
But it’s too late now to think what they should have done. I see no way out of the hole they have dug for themselves. Milliband is a bit of a busted flush really. He should have put up in 2007 as Portillo should have done in 1995. He didn’t, for all sorts of reasons, the latest having to do with the adoption of his second son. But, as with Portillo, his behaviour to date raises questions over his seriousness about wanting the job…..he’ll have it if someone gives it to him, but otherwise there’s always the telly and some memoirs etc.
Jack Straw doesn’t want to be a latter day Michael Heseltine – or even a Geoffrey Howe (as it was his Commons resignation speech that really did for Maggie). All the way back to Brutus the assassin never gets the crown. This really goes for most of the senior Cabinet figures as well. So none of them really want the job enough.
Only one man does – Gordon Brown…………..
But what about a woman? Does Harriet Harman fill the bill as the ‘first woman in charge of the nation since Margaret Thatcher’ (with apologies to Her Majesty, of course – mine, that is, not HH’s)