It’s a tough choice this Labour deputy leadership thing and while I kind of talked myself into Jon Cruddas the other week, I’m not so sure now. At last week’s Manchester Withington event I ended up voting Harman, Hain, Cruddas and then I don’t remember. Hilary Benn won the day.
I’d finally got around to watching the Newsnight hustings and what really stood out here (and has stood out elsewhere) is that nobody’s happy with the way the party been run, which is kind of Hazel Blears job. And Blears constantly reminding us she’s a woman was annoying; Harriet Harman has a more convincing claim to the feminist vote. I lost any faith in Blears when she took part in hospital protests which undermined efforts to reform the NHS and appeared to endorse people’s fears. So Blears is my least favourite candidate.
Now with Brown talking tough on terror laws and apparently warming to ID cards, it’s clear we need a tough talking civil libertarian in an unsackable position. Cruddas’s support for ID cards means he cannot be that man.
Interestingly, Hain has won the endorsement of more trade unions than any other candidate and his proposed Employment Rights Commission would work pro-actively to ensure workers get all their entitled to under the law. Cruddas rightly flags up the threat of the far right; Hain is a founder of the Anti-Nazi League who cut his political teeth fighting fascism.
So I guess I’m thinking Hain, Harman, Benn, Johnson, Cruddas. But the ballot paper’s yet to arrive… they’re all too good.