The Blairite Candidate

John Rentoul

creasy The Blairite Candidatereeves The Blairite CandidateI was brought up short by Simon Landau yesterday. He asked, of my column for The Independent the day before:

You appear to be running a campaign now against Ed M. So who is your alternative leader? (Apart from Tone.)

I was disappointed that he thought I was only now running a campaign against the leader of the Labour Party, but the question that followed demanded an answer.

Hitherto, the answer has been straightforward. The better leader was David Miliband. But now that he has made himself permanently unavailable, who would I say would be a non-disastrous Labour prime minister if the party were to win in 2015?

I think that Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander are capable leaders who understand how to take the voters with them in making Britain a fairer and better country. But they are very Scottish and both a little uncomfortable on television – trivial things that ought not to matter but do. Caroline Flint is very good, but showed poor judgement in the way she resigned from Gordon Brown’s government in 2009.

We are then driven to look to the next generation, which is terribly young (and as time goes by the cult of youth in political leadership seems less attractive). I have looked at the possibles of the 2010 intake before. Of these, I would say that Rachel Reeves and Gloria De Piero might be best at communicating a New Labour politics updated for a fiscally conservative time. De Piero is more adept at television, but Reeves, if she can learn to talk in front of a camera as well as she does in real life, has a harder edge.

There is one name that wasn’t on my most recent possibles list, which should have been, that of Stella Creasy, who I have mentioned before. Her campaign against pay day lenders has been exceptional. She would be a brilliant and energetic minister, but she can seem strident on television and I was unsure about her in a leadership role.

So I replied to Simon today: Stella Creasy or Rachel Reeves.

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  • 15peter20

    Stella Creasy is a lot better on television, possibly because she has her own campaign to distinguish herself from the (dreary and evasive) party line RR has to peddle.

  • creggancowboy

    Some say he broke Goodwin’s superinjunction and risked jail. It is called investigative journalism apparently. Gosh isn’t Owen Jones good?

  • PurbeckPashmina

    Your jealousy is reeking … He’s blocked on my twitter for being almost as out of contact with reality as you are.

  • creggancowboy

    No he is blocked on your Twitter for demanding anonymity for rape trial defendants;)

  • PurbeckPashmina

    I know my mind, it’s time you took a hold on yours.

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