David Blackburn

The Labour leadership contest waltzes onto Newsnight

The Labour leadership contest waltzes onto Newsnight
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With ill-repressed horror, James Macintyre reports that the remnants of New Labour fear that Diane Abbott might win the Labour leadership, courtesy of the preferential vote. Mildly amusing I suppose. If Ed Balls would be a catastrophe of Footian proportions as leader what would Abbott be? There are no historical parallels.  

I can’t see this latter day Rosa Luxemburg enticing Labour members. But if she does, then David Miliband, that auteur of absurdity, is to blame. Abbott’s weapon is communication. Unlike her four opponents, she doesn’t sound like an under-manager at Furniture Village. She is accessible, particularly on television – and the hopefuls will be up before Paxman tonight. As David Miliband grasps and gurns for another intransitive verb, I wonder if his stupidity will dawn on him.

Incidentally, last night the Fabian Society asked the candidates to define ‘socialism’. David Miliband, who is expected to sweep Cheam, professed that he has only heard of ‘social democracy’. And Andy Burnham admitted that his socialism was inspired by Billy Bragg. It’s almost as if they want to lose.