The Labour leadership contest throws up 5 candidates who in terms of experience and qualifications are remarkably alike; all 5 have been in Parliament and the Labour Party long enough to know the ropes when dealing with both institutions and all 5 are Oxbridge graduates. In terms of who to pick therefore it would be difficult to choose the smartest, they are also roughly the same age; all 5 are good commons performers and all 5 come across well in the media; some people will obviously claim special preferences for their candidate because they will argue that their choice is in fact smarter, better qualified and more experienced etc, but; I personally think there is not enough between them to decide using such criteria.
How to choose then? For party members there is only one way, what do they stand for and what are their records like on the issues that you as a Labour Party member consider to be significant? 4 of them have similar voting records and comparable opinions on some big issues. These 4 are in favour of the Iraq War, Trident, PR and Reducing Immigration. The 5 th. is opposed to these policies; she is Dianne Abbott; she also described Peter Mandelson as “a source of poison in the government” Her reputation as a staunch Socialist did take a dent when she opted to send her son to a private school, she took flack for this and deservedly so, so much so in fact that some so called left wingers are trying to use that as a motive for not supporting her. I say to them; if you buy this line this you are suggesting that sending your child to a private school is a greater transgression for a left wing candidate than supporting the Iraq War, PR, Retaining Trident and playing the Race Card over immigration. For her opponents that is not a sustainable argument if you are genuinely on the left.
From what I can see she stands where I do on every issue and she is closer to the Labour traditions than any of her opponents. She would take the party in a leftward route, back to our roots in the working class communities and lead the fight back which is urgently needed. She would provide a new impetus; she is a charismatic intelligent fighter for Socialism, oh! and did I mention that she is black and that she is a woman? She and Labour have the chance here to make history let’s go for it.