A decent, hard-working campaigner who produced NEC reports before he was voted off. Generally sensible left-of-centre politics, but much of his candidate statement sets off Labour language klaxons in my head: talking of “defending members’ democratic rights” while not mentioning his steadfast support of the central imposition of All-Women Shortlists. “A strong record of fairness” is meaningless unless one of ‘unfairness’ was a viable alternative. “Independent-minded”? Not sure of that. But seemingly a good egg.
Well-liked, makes good use of her effective slogan ‘Putting Members First’ and indeed does get around the country visiting lots of Constituency Labour Parties so deserves the oft-used moniker ‘hard-working’. Of course putting all members first equally is impossible, however much you are into equality, so some members are more equal than others - for her, female ones, in her support for female favouritism and exclusivity in the party. Lots of meaningless talk of ‘fairness’ in her statement, but good focus on employment rights and keeping the UK together.
Has the most nominations from constituency parties as I believe she does in other years, but I have little awareness of who she is and what she is about. Statement saying people hate austerity suggests she is of the old left, and this confirmed by her presence on the lefty slate with Red Ken and others. Plays to the lefty crowd blaming Tories, UKIP and the media for dividing people, then talking of all the money we should start spending on being nice to everyone. Little idea where she would stand on Labour’s internal processes [by the way my short submission to the Collins Review can be viewed here].
A new name for me though I am familiar with his organisation Stand Up For Labour, albeit purely from Twitter. One of the more interesting candidates, with what seems to be a genuine focus on building up the grassroots. Labour’s reflex instinct is central command and control, and we could do with some different voices in opening us up and making us more appealing as an organisation. Flintoff plans to help do this by kicking the party into being a bit more fun and engaging, but he says little else at least in his statement.
Red Ken himself: still going, though seems to have rather less nominations than I remember he used to get. His statement is a reminder of the qualities on policy and detail that made him a generally excellent Mayor of London, rather than the divisive, closed-minded character that lost successive elections to the Tory Boris Johnson in a Labour city (memories are fresh of voters on the doorstep saying: “I’m Labour but I won’t vote for Ken”). Lots of interesting ideas for a Labour government to implement, but nothing about the party. A practised exponent on machine politics and sectarian ethnic politics – which counts against him in my eyes.
Seems pleasant enough. Scores highly in Labour top trumps as a black woman and is backed by the former New Labour pressure group Progress, but has relatively few nominations. A bland, generic statement saying how nice and good it would be if we did lots of nice and good things. Gets a bit political saying we must challenge UKIP “lies” and not “pander” on immigration. “A track record of engaging underrepresented groups, including young people, BAME [Black and Minority Ethnic] groups and working class members” unfortunately sets Labour interest group sirens off in my head and doesn’t tell us how well she did at this. Being pro-immigration and pro-BAME favouritism is unlikely to please working class people who lose out materially and existentially from these things.
Sorry to mention race and gender again (personally I wish we were virtually colour-blind and comfortable with gender differences), but this is a crucial aspect of Labour’s internal politics. Osamor also scores highly here, but has more nominations than Nosegbe and is on the same slate with old left types like Livingstone and Ann Black. A reasonably nice, well-written statement which speaks to the left crowd and tells the folks what they want to hear: opposing Tories on war for example, and “challenging UKIP’s scapegoating campaign”.
A reasonably prominent LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Labour activist who has secured Progress’ second nomination along with Nosegbe. I hope I am wrong but this suggests to me an effort by Progress to reach out beyond New Labour roots to Labour’s other powerful interest groups. As an organisation Progress is widely loathed by the unions, so for the moment that leaves the identity politics groups based around gender, race and sexuality. Peel seems like a decent, sensible bloke, with decent, sensible ideas, but he doesn’t seem to be someone who will challenge Labour group-think. I think these identity politics narratives have largely exhausted themselves for being won, but he wants to press on.
I’m familiar with Reeves mostly from her presence cheerfully and effectively chairing proceedings at Labour conference. She seems like a good, sensible sort. Me being me though, I don’t much like the heading ‘My values’ followed by a bunch of stuff which isn’t values, but favoured policies – a recurring problem in Labour politics where ‘Labour values’ are often trumpeted and boasted about without being known. A cap on spending for selections is her internal politics proposal. Otherwise there is little to get your teeth into, which is probably part of the point of these things.
Familiar from her repeated presence on the lefty slate for NEC elections but otherwise I know nothing about her. Gets stuck in to her statement with an immediate attack on ‘austerity’ as an election-loser, despite all the polling evidence suggesting otherwise (not that I am in favour of ‘austerity’, but just saying). Lots of left crowd-pleasing policy stuff – cancelling Trident, abolishing the Bedroom Tax, nationalising privatised services. And – controversy klaxon! She’s against the Collins Report. Been on the NEC and National Policy Forum for 15 years so has clearly been doing something right.
Another one for whom I have little or no knowledge except familiarity with the name, and often in elections like this one, that is enough. First priorities to win the Scottish Referendum and the election. Says: “We need to dramatically step up our game” – so someone who seems to be prepared to speak truth to power. I’m also liking his talk of targeting working class communities that feel abandoned by politicians: this suggests a resistance to standard liberal-left causes like the universal – and absurd – embrace of immigration. Simple message and straight to the point, but little in the way of detail.
Comes straight out firing old left bullets – “a vision of hope for a clear alternative to austerity”, praising Ed Miliband’s steps to the left and criticising him for conceding too much on welfare, immigration and crime (does he really want more of each?). Also wants re-nationalisation, scrap Trident, tackle climate change (I’d agree on that one, with bells on), more democracy and transparency in the party (good – but not sure how that would work with the unions).
A nicely-written statement, which is something I appreciate. Another on the lefty slate; comes out with a conventional list of good things he would like and probably so would us all. Commits to write reports on NEC meetings and get around to local parties. Loads of experience, but little impression of where he sits on internal issues here.
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