Vote Peter Hain!

Hain for LabourIt’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.

9 thoughts on “Vote Peter Hain!

  1. That’s funny, I just got round to linking to your apparent Cruddas endorsement, and now I find this. I think we’re probably thinking on roughly the same wavelength though. I actually started off favouring Hain before shifting to Cruddas. Harman is the only other candidate I could enthusiastically support I think.

  2. Harman is also a civil libertarian, being an ex-chair of the organisation which was renamed to Liberty.

    I shall be voting for her above Hain, I think, on the basis that she seems a little more radical, and is much more likely to win.

  3. The benefit of a Single Transferable Vote is that you don’t have to worry about who’s most likely to win… or I guess I’d be voting Harman.

  4. Why is it STV when it is an electoral college?
    Surely each candidate’s first preferences should go forward as a percentage of the membership vote into the final shake-up.

  5. Doh! You must be right, I don’t know where I got the STV idea from, we must get a simple X. In which case, I guess I’m voting Harman.

  6. I’m surprised that you’ve allowed Cruddas to drop from 1 to 5 … over iD cards … didn’t ALL the others vote for them? Hain and Blears might as well be discounted immediately. Harman and Cruddas will be neck and neck 3 and 4 after the first two eliminations. Whoever squeeks ahead there will get most of the others’ transfers and could even burst into the lead. Benn will probably be ahead of Johnson. So where will Johnson’s 2nds go? Benn or Harman/Cruddas? This could be an amazingly close run thing.

    Were there four rounds at Man Wit? Or did Benn get there almost immediately.

  7. Cruddas is the only one I’ve heard actively pushing ID cards. The others’ failure to speak out (except for Hain at election time) is very disappointing, but they do have the excuse of being bound by collective responsibility. Apart from the recent example of Trident, Cruddas is no dissenter (the Guardian has variable tuition fees as his only other act of rebellion). His full voting record is here.

    Not that I’m looking for a rebellious sort, though I know others are. I’m no longer convinced that he’s right for the role.

    I think the key point is that the deputy is the least dependent on the PM’s patronage and so has an opportunity to speak more freely.

    Such a role would be wasted on Blears. Johnson and Benn would be more fruitfully engaged running departments of state. Hain would hold a torch for civil liberties, social justice at home and abroad and proactively promote workplace rights. Harman combines strong civil liberty and feminist credentials.

    And as it is STV, there’s no tactical voting to worry about.

    (On Manchester Withington, I can’t recall how many voting rounds it took for Benn to secure the nomination.)

  8. I still don’t understand why it’s STV. Why must all of the membership’s vote go to one person in the electoral college?
    Am I the only person who thinks that’s crazy?
    Stephen did you hear Hain on the Five Live speed dating hustings?
    I thought he was outrageously arrogant.

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