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Choice?

One election behind us and another looming.

Who will be the next Leader of the Opposition? I’d have put my money on Chuka Umunna until it emerged that he wasn’t backing himself. The bookies are saying Andy Burnham, but his association with the ogre Len McCluskey may cost him. Yvette Cooper is second favourite but her association with her husband, rejected by the electorate two weeks ago, will surely taint her. The coming man is said to be Tristram Hunt, but a quick glance at his CV reveals him as ‘Tony Light’ or even ‘Tory Light’, take your pick. Then there are the outsiders Liz Kendall, and Mary Creagh, of whom the less known the better.

I won’t be taking up Harriet Harman’s invitation to register to vote in the election, but I have taken a look at the background of the five potential candidates. At once an interesting common fact grabbed my attention: each one of them is a Oxbridge graduate. Only Chuka does not have a degree from either Oxford or Cambridge, but his name won’t be on the ballot.

If I was a Labour supporter, that’s a mould I’d be trying to break. The People’s Party seems to be no more; it has become as elitist as the crowd across the floor of the Commons, and there is nobody on offer who is going to reverse that trend, especially not Mr Hunt, the man I suspect may win out in the end and whose personal manifesto seems to be ‘Let’s pick the best bits of Conservative policy and copy it.’

If there was a second election next month, and the SNP fielded candidates in every UK constituency, running on an out and out left wing manifesto, how would it do? Very well, I suspect.

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