31 July 2006

John Denham, potential PM?

It's good to see more and more Labour party members coming round to the leadership qualities of John Denham - a centrist Labour loyalist who opposed the Iraq war.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war there is no denying that it was hugely unpopular and has done untold damage to Labour's credibility and electability. A principled man such as John Denham could be the way to win voters back without lurching to the far left candidates such as John Mcdonnell. Denham has all the attributes needed to win UK modern elections (a believable sincerity, not too old, English and still has a full head of hair - sadly, age, nationality and hair matter!) and can take us in the radical direction we need to go for a centre left party.

It looks (unless Labour can re-invent itself - which is still possible though unlikely without radical change) as though we are heading for a hung or Tory minority govt in 2009. The gods (well the Tory press have finally wore the electorate down) seem to be against a Labour victory. This electoral system will once again be the 'Left's downfall. The 'Left' are always in a majority but we end up with Tory or rightwing Labour governments every time under this system that punishes the 'Left' for it's splintered vote (encouraged by the press's divide and rule tactics).

John Denham recognises the need for electoral reform. He knows that radical progressive government (which is the will of the majority) is as unlikely under this system as an England victory with Urs Meier as referee!

Those who think electoral reform a minor issue should think again. We are playing political monopoly and giving the right wing the head start of owning the orange properties. How long is Labour tribalism going to blind us to the advantage we give to the right wing under this system? For the sake of the poor we need to understand it is policies, not parties that matter. Let's trust the electorate and help them avoid the fate of the poor of the United States, trapped by an electoral system and media that ignores their popular call for decent universal health, education and redistribution. We may be only an election or two away under this system from joining their desperate plight.


  1. His seat is very safe, he even won in 1992. Not as if that would matter under Denham as he would get rid of safe seats by changing the electoral system.

  2. *Reminisces* When I used to go to school in So'ton in the very early 90s, that seat was our big hope, and turned out to be one of the few bits of good news that night. Remarkable majority to hold after all this time, though there are/have been a lot of boundary changes in Hampshire.

  3. Well, since the Liberals got the boot from the Candian voters, the Conservatives now HAVE to govern. It is kind of fun (in a sick, twisted sort of way) to watch them twist on their own broken promises. They had all the answers before the last election, they are re-trenching now!
    And you know, the world keeps on turning.....

    So I see that Ward Healing is alive and well in your neck of the woods as well! Do you think it works?

  4. Denham is now advocating keeping Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants out of Britain. Some progressive he is. He doesn't see why this might lead people to call him "racist". I guess he must support removing "national origin" as one of the things the Race Relations Act bans discrimination on, then.

  5. Well, I wouldn't agree with him that Romanians and Bulgarians should have to wait 7 years before having the same access rights as other EU countries...but his position is hardly racist.

    There will always be some restrictions on movements of people while we have such an unequal world. You could argue that any trading bloc like the EU is discriminatory, but it is less discriminatory than nation states going it alone- the EU is a step in the right direction.