To Cunliffe and Shearer, good luck. To the 34 people who get to choose the next Labour leader, remember your task is to choose the person who can represent a million plus centre and left voters. The man to take the centre-left to victory in 2014. Don’t you dare let petty personal issues cloud your judgement.
I’m not going to white-ant either potential leader before they even get started. But I’ll say this.
I hope no MPs are really in an ‘anyone but Cunliffe’ mindset. That’s childish bullshit. The people you have the privilege to represent deserve better. Choose the best leader for us, not your best mate.
Whoever wins must make symbolical and real breaks from the past. Real change: leaving in charge the same set of blunderers who directed the worst result in over 80 years and expecting a different result is madness. Symbolic change: the entitled attitude that the public associates with Labour has to go. No more abuse of perks and rules. No more filibustering over minor issues (and then losing after all your effort anyway). No more whinging press releases. No more minor MPs being allowed to create shitstorms and lead with their chin in the media.
A leader who is elected to win the next election and makes the leadership his own by reforming the party’s image will have my support.
And one final note. Despite the fevered desires of Tracy Watkins and the Right, this leadership contest hasn’t descended into a bloodletting exercise. Never has it gone negative. Instead, it has inspired Labour’s supporters and given both men a lot of positive public coverage. That’s a tribute to both potential leaders for putting the interests of the party ahead of their leadership bids. And a good reason for this to be a model for future leadership changes.