More on the Nulabour leadership contest

Ed Balls, (OMG!)

Ed BallsEd Balls
When this was posted poor old Ed Balls had yet to get his full list of names for nomination to the leadership elections of Nulabour. Well that's behind him now and so he's in the race. While always unpopular Balls is needed here to satisfy the thuggish end of his party, his constituents are not too keen on him for his majority is only just over a thousand votes. We can all remember the pictures of long queues outside polling stations just imagine if something had 'gone wrong' on polling day in Morley and Outwood. But it did not, so Balls just made it back into parliament.

But Balls is not that bothered about the arithmetic of democracy, he has the trade unions behind him, as did his old boss Gordon Brown when there were tales of the undue influence of people like Charlie Whelan, political director of Unite, upon the PM. The thought of Whelan having such power was a cause for concern and harmed Brown's reputation; this relationship with the unions may turn out to be a mixed blessing for Balls too. Also Balls will be forever seen as Gordon Brown's dog, a post he has held since 1994. If trade union activity increases, as well it might, then Balls will be associated with long queues here and shortages there plus all manner of militant goings on. The core Nulabour vote will love this, so will Balls, but the rest of the nation? There is a chance it will not, so to be linked to this won't make his task easier.

While the vast majority of the population are only too glad to see the back of Nulabour there is a particular fascination to this contest that will, in time, reach out beyond the political geeks. For a start it will last for four months; why so long? Good question as a general election can be called and fought in just six weeks. Perhaps Nulabour aim either to bore two pairs of pants off the nation, or are keen to show us how they have changed? The latter could be a tricky move not just for Balls but for all the candidates. The question must be:"why wait all these years"? Talking of the other candidates, it's generally assumed that the Miliband brothers are out in front with David Miliband likely to win even if a little research shows he's not that good and anyway we are talking about Nulabour.

So it's possible that Balls will get plenty of media coverage and a high degree of support from his party. This says a great deal about Nulabour. Of the candidates only Diane Abbot could be worse, again this says a great deal about Nulabour. However, at the time of writing this post Abbot only has one supporter (herself?). The very fact that Nulabour has sunk so low shows just how lucky they have been in the past. For all its flaws the Blair, Brown and Mandelson alliance can now be seen as fortuitous and a fluke.