Labour’s Mayoral cadidate selection more interesting than leadership race

Maybe it’s a bit of London parochialism or maybe it’s because the Mayoral election will be a number of years before the next General Election (hopefully) but I find myself much more interested in who will be Labour’s Mayoral candidate than who will be their party leader.

Livingstone has made it clear that he wants to have another crack at the job. He has also spent the last two years building some pretty big barriers to entry for anyone else, he is still a regular attender at MQTs, has held a number of “Progressive London” events and has written about London issues in the media. Whoever else puts themselves forward will need to be able to counter this relentless London focus.

Alan Johnson’s name has been floating around as a possible candidate, an option looking a little more likely since he chose not to stand for Labour leadership himself. He would be a fairly credible candidate except that he has been an MP for Hull West. “I so love London I represent Hull” isn’t a great tag line.

Peter Mandleson has been floated as a possibility. Ha,ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!! Ohhhh please let it be him, please.

More seriously the names of Oona King and Diane Abbot have recently entered the fray. Both have strong London credentials, both are clever and well regarded, both are widely known by non-political anoraks and both are good with the media.

If the two I think that King had/has the reputation (possible unfairly) of putting party before anything else and in London that could be a disadvantage. Abbot has never been afraid to criticise Labour when she felt it was necessary. London voters like that.

I’m keeping my eyes on this competition, it could be much more influential to the long term recovery or otherwise, of Labour than their leadership race.

8 responses to “Labour’s Mayoral cadidate selection more interesting than leadership race

  1. Oona King has loads more potential as a politician than she was able to demonstrate in her short time as an MP.

    You are absolutely right that she needs to kick the reputation as a party lacky, but a couple of years in opposition should avoid this problem.

    But she has a lot of work to do if she is going to win against Boris. Lots of appearances on Have I got News for You, a regular column in a newspaper or magazine, and a few headline grabbing gaffes should be all that is needed to give her the publicity required to become a 'Personality'.

    It is not policies or capabilities which make you mayor of London. An appearance on the X-Factor or a regular role in Eastenders ought to do the trick!

  2. Oona King has loads more potential as a politician than she was able to demonstrate in her short time as an MP.

    You are absolutely right that she needs to kick the reputation as a party lacky, but a couple of years in opposition should avoid this problem.

    But she has a lot of work to do if she is going to win against Boris. Lots of appearances on Have I got News for You, a regular column in a newspaper or magazine, and a few headline grabbing gaffes should be all that is needed to give her the publicity required to become a 'Personality'.

    It is not policies or capabilities which make you mayor of London. An appearance on the X-Factor or a regular role in Eastenders ought to do the trick!

  3. I always felt that Oona King was the wrong type of politician. One that was in it for herself. She regularly called herself a “champagne socialist” in TV interviews, and this helped bring about her downfall to George Galloway.

    It's these type of politicians that the public is fed up with. It's okay have a mix of style and substance, but Oona King in neither. Just overly ambitious.

  4. I always felt that Oona King was the wrong type of politician. One that was in it for herself. She regularly called herself a “champagne socialist” in TV interviews, and this helped bring about her downfall to George Galloway.

    It's these type of politicians that the public is fed up with. It's okay have a mix of style and substance, but Oona King in neither. Just overly ambitious.

  5. Simon,
    That may be how she appears on TV but she used her role as MP for a lot of good that may not be so headline grabbing.

    What led to her downfall to Galloway was her support for the Iraq war, internal divisions in the local Labour Party, and an anti-semitic campaign against her.

    She needs to improve her style (as that is what winning mayor of London is all about) and prove her substance.

  6. Simon,
    That may be how she appears on TV but she used her role as MP for a lot of good that may not be so headline grabbing.

    What led to her downfall to Galloway was her support for the Iraq war, internal divisions in the local Labour Party, and an anti-semitic campaign against her.

    She needs to improve her style (as that is what winning mayor of London is all about) and prove her substance.

  7. “I so love London I represent Hull” isn't a great tag line.

    No more than “I so love London I represent Henley” was. I think people wouldn't be too interested in that.

  8. “I so love London I represent Hull” isn't a great tag line.

    No more than “I so love London I represent Henley” was. I think people wouldn't be too interested in that.

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