The weeks since Ed Miliband’s thrashing at the polls have seen a whittling down of potential leaders from six (mostly) Blairite hopefuls to a mere four – plus, er, Jeremy Corbyn.
With the departure of Mary Creagh, who will announce in Saturday’s Guardian the groundbreaking news she won’t be succeeding Red Ed, the field has narrowed even further, the previous two quitters being Tristram Hunt (who quit when he realised he was called Tristram) and Chuka Umunna (who somehow failed to notice that the Tory press can get a bit nosy about the private lives of Labour politicians).
The move leaves former health secretary Andy Burnham facing former work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper and the MP Liz Kendall, but only goes to reinforce how much the Blairite analysis of the general election has dominated the debate over Labour’s future.
Creagh’s piece for the Grauniad is worth reading in full, but for the lazy the key passage is here:
Labour must want big business to succeed – it’s where many of the jobs are – but pay and conditions must be fair. And Labour must want small business to succeed: it’s where innovation and creative thinking take place. All big businesses started out small. But dividing them into “producers” or “predators” alienates businesses, large and small.
Elsewhere in the piece Creagh rambles on about inequality and Labour’s rather churlish flip in favour of the inevitable EU referendum. Unfortunately for the likes of Corbyn the bleating about “aspiration”, or to use Creagh’s lame coinage “bootstrap Britain” has now drowned out any other concerns in the allegedly centre-left party.
Header Image – Mary Creagh in Parliament by Shlurder