Labour’s leadership contest boiled down to Robertson vs Little. Little represents the unions, in a sense “old Labour”. Robertson projected a more modern, urban image, and very literally represented Young Labour.
We the Party have chosen, by the very narrowest of margins, the old Labour / union path. In my usual dithering way I have mixed feelings about this. Some argue that the time of the unions (in a political sense) is over, that a modern Labour needs to move on. On the other hand some argue that Labour should be true to its roots, and ask exactly what a “modern” Labour Party would stand for.
Either way the path is chosen and we will all support the new leader. It is both an opportunity and an obligation for the unions. They have their man as leader, that’s an opportunity. Now they need to support the Labour Party and grow the labour movement – that’s an obligation! The Nats have always hated unions and will continue to attack them – that needs to be countered.
Little says the 2017 campaign starts now. I expect to see plenty of action from both the Party and the unions. I expect to see a big effort to reach out to Young Labour – they are the future of the Party. I hope, truly hope to see the best of both worlds, a modern active labour movement aligned with a renewed and vigorous Labour Party, and a great result in 2017!