They won’t even give you the time of day now so what hope for the future?

As elections go, the Labour leadership contest might go down as one of the dullest ever. If ‘none of the above’ had occupied a slot on the ballot papers, I am sure it would have romped home.

As the two front runners are both related, we have even been robbed of the fun of a bit of viciousness and proper negative campaigning.

All polls point to the Milibands being way ahead of the rest, which has castrated the battle and is making the scramble for second preferences the only lively aspect of the race.

David’s campaign are so desperate they are now relying on the ‘Tories fear him’ argument, and Ed seems to be saying anything to anyone to get a vote, which is never a good sign for a future leader. Let’s see which way he jumps when the inevitable strikes come along.

The entire list of candidates lacks the depth of the party. Call me an inverted snob, because I am, but the fact that all the leadership contenders are Oxbridge educated is a bloody tragedy for Labour.

Andy Burnham passes the George Bush ‘who would I like a drink with’ test, but he hadn’t built up enough of a head of steam in government to stand a chance in the election.

Ed Balls seems to have the ideas and the fight but just hasn’t got the charisma to make voters, in or out of the party, warm to him.

Diane Abbott has the biggest media profile of them all but the least chance of winning – still, if her candidacy inspires just one member of an ethnic minority to get into politics then it will have been worth it.

None of the leadership contenders have an interesting back story, or what the Americans would call ‘an inspiring narrative.’ You might have an over-excitable policy wonk from Tunbridge Wells plaster ‘I voted Ed’ all over their Twitter avatar, but can you really see anyone outside of the party being seriously inspired by a nerd?

With two public schoolboys in charge of the country, this should have been time to offer an alternative view of Britain. Imagine the next leadership debate: Nick Clegg, David Cameron and one of the Milibands.

They all look the same, sound the same, near enough think the same and are about as far away from the common man as it is possible to be. People will turn off in droves. It is a crying shame that there is not a talented, charismatic candidate from the working classes to run rings around the public school millionaires Gideon, Dave and Nick.

After all, those three are just waiting to be hated by the public.

The last front bench Labour politician to have an inspiring back story is Alan Johnson, who came through the once-traditional route for bright working class aspiring politicians – the unions – to power.

Where will the next great working class hero come from? Social mobility seems to be at an all time low in most industries. In my game, journalism, it is the same; there used to be characters who could walk into a pub and get a story. Now there is just an endless stream of white middle class people with straight ‘A’ grades and an eye on a subsequent career in PR.

But by its very definition and history, the Labour Party should be a haven for bright young things from the working classes. However in the late 1990s, when it looked like the Conservatives would be out of power for a generation, all the Tristams, Jeremeys, Torquils and Henry Farquar-quar-quars who normally would have gone to the blue side joined the party on the up.

Over the years they have prospered, with their lack of regional accents and perfect educations, and are now in key positions in the party (and therefore by extension in the five leadership campaigns).

These posh toffs have no experience of being skint or growing up in a house where money is too tight to mention. They do not have the empathy of the poorest. It is bad enough that the vast majority of MPs live on a different planet, but now the people surrounding them are several social stratospheres away from the most vulnerable in society. The chances of really helping the vulnerable, if the party gets into power, are severely diminished.

When brand new pressure group Sandwell and Dudley Vulnerable Against Cuts was set up to fight cutbacks which affect the mentally ill, the disabled, the infirm and the vulnerable, they couldn’t even get the time of day from the leadership candidates or their minions.

Though it is a non-political group, which will criticise Labour councils to the same extent as the Tory-Lib government if the vulnerable are being adversely effected, SADVAC reached out and asked the leadership contenders for their backing. Only a member of David Miliband’s team replied, and that was to say he’d get back to the group, which he never did.

If these five can’t be bothered with the most vulnerable in society during an election campaign when they are scratching around for votes, what are they going to be like when they are leader of the party, and even further away from the people who need them the most help?

Steve Zacharanda campaigned with the Jewish Elvis, Jelvis, for Barack Obama in the swing state of Florida during the 2008 American Presidential Election.

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2 Responses to “They won’t even give you the time of day now so what hope for the future?”

  1. JG says:

    Really? Please don’t hide behind your perceived class to mask your own failures. It makes those of us who do come from a working class background and who don’t let it hold us back a bit annoyed.

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