by Atul Hatwal
The ballot has finally arrived so it’s time to vote. Time to back the candidate who is right about what Labour must to do to regain power; to give a second preference to the candidate who could yet save Labour from self-immolation and register a third preference for a candidate not called Jeremy Corbyn.
Liz Kendall is my first preference. She has displayed guts and determination in her campaign. She’s right about the big issues and of all the candidates is the one who grasps the magnitude of Labour’s challenge in winning back public trust on the economy.
The personal abuse and level of misogyny that she’s faced is ludicrous and her response has revealed the type of steel Labour needs in its leaders.
Despite the trolls and the torrent of hate, she’s managed to secure endorsements from council leaders, trade unionists and the best and brightest of Labour’s new generation of MPs such as Chuka Umunna, Tristram Hunt and Emma Reynolds.
Liz Kendall and her platform are the future of the Labour party. It’s just a shame that her campaign hasn’t harnessed this as effectively as it might.
Too often, the message communicated to Labour members has been that they’re wrong and have to accept they are wrong.
Whatever the bald facts of a situation, simply telling voters’ that they’re mistaken is always a losing strategy.
Just as Labour’s economic message cannot continue to be based on telling the public they were wrong at the 2010 and 2015 election about the party’s spending record a decade ago, so an aspiring Labour leader cannot just be the bearer of bad tidings to the membership.
In 1994, the Blair leadership campaign was built around bridging the divide between the membership and the electorate, not telling them to jump it.