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Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson,Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Tony Blair and now David Blunkett have all joined in bashing Jeremy Corbyn because he is the front runner in Labour’s leadership election and they are desperate to stop him.
Anyone but Corbyn is Campbell’s cry. Peter Mandelson has been up to his old tricks using back channels to try and get the election cancelled. The only person who has been wise enough to keep quiet is Ed Miliband who is leaving it to the members.
Yet what are these grandee’s credentials today for saying that Corbyn is unfit to lead Labour while the others would be fine.
Alastair Campbell’s reputation for plain dealing took a hit over the Iraq ” dodgy dossier” and is now a freelance journalist, a lobbyist and earns some of his money from dodgy Central European dictatorships like Kazakhstan.
Peter Mandelson has enjoyed a reputation for the ” dark arts” of politics and now is a strategic lobbyist with strong connections to Russian oligarchs who sympathise with Putin. We don’t even know the rest of his client list.
Gordon Brown is nowadays concentrating on education in Africa and stood down at the last election.
David Miliband is living in the United States doing good work in trying to provide humanitarian relief to Syria.
Tony Blair is concentrating his entire life in making money from any country that will pay him large sums of cash – it is described in detail in Blair Inc, my new book with Francis Beckett and Nick Kochan.
David Blunkett along with Gordon Brown appears to have been the least avaricious but spends a lot of his time as an after dinner speaker.
None of them can say they are really in touch with the present mood of Labour Party members, and some of them, notably Blair and Mandelson, have more in common with the wealthy global elite than a traditional Labour Party supporter.
And Labour Party activists long treated as foot soldiers and not given their head over policy formation by these grandees are revolting. Ever since Blair reduced their power at party conferences they have had a diminishing say along with the unions.
The main charges from the grandees is that Corbyn will be hated by the press and that he could never win an election.
But whoever leads the Labour Party will be monstered by the right wing press. Expect a simple nasty sexist campaign against Yvette Cooper saying ” vote Cooper get Balls” implying that the Ed Balls – just because he is married to her – will be inside Downing Street directing matters.
If it is Andy Burnham it will be that he is in the hands of the unions. If it Liz Kendall it will all be about inexperience etc
So people have remained unimpressed that by NOT voting for Corbyn they will escape the media’s wrath.
The election itself is five years away and Labour has a long time to redefine policy. Also with Corbyn’s promise of elections to the Shadow Cabinet – Labour will be more diverse than just one faction.
What is quite clear that people want someone who will stand up for the party and launch a distinctive programme. They will not want a pale shadow of the present Conservative government- they can get a proper version already.
Yvette Cooper’s campaign has been disappointing. Instead of promoting women it has attacked men. Andy Burnham’s started well but seems to have gone all over the place. And Liz Kendall has not made the impact one might have expected.
This left Corbyn who no one expected to take off – striding into the lead. There seems to be a hunger out of there for a radical shift of direction. On September 12 we will know whether it has happened.