Angry leftie

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No, not here. Over at Though Cowards Flinch. Dave is understandably disappointed at McDonnell’s failing to get nominated.

I still tend towards thinking that the party would have benefited from having McDonnell as a candidate – even with the risk of him making more stupid jokes and embarrassing the party. Having Abbott as the ‘outsider’ candidate is not quite satisfactory because:

1) She can’t be taken too seriously as a representative of the Labour left. John McDonnell, for all his faults, is more of a principled Labour leftist who could have contributed to a healthy ideological debate. Abbott cannot rid herself of the stench of hypocrisy.

2) She emphasises her sex and her colour over her politics. The main argument for moderates to nominate her was because there needed to be a woman candidate. I would have preferred her to stress an ideological identity rather than one based on gender and ethnicity. Of course it is good to have a black woman running for leader, but I’m worried it’ll seem that tokenism has trumped raw politics.

3) Like all the other candidates, Abbott is an Oxbridge graduate. Before becoming an MP in a safe seat she worked in the media and civil servant. If tokenism is going to be allowed to play a part in this contest then could we at least agree that the trump card in this respect is CLASS. Surely every Labourite should be able to agree that class remains the principal social cleavage and that this analysis determines the fundamentals of our politics?

4) As the leftfield, left-wing candidate with a high profile I am slightly concerned that Abbott may win!

Anyway, I’m off to see the candidates battle it out at a leadership hustings in East London tomorrow. Still genuinely undecided, though at the moment I expect I’ll probably end up first preferencing Miliband the younger. This could change though – watch this space!

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