The former Labour MP Oona King is challenging Ken Livingstone for the Labour nomination of Mayor of London. She has an attractive, charismatic personality. Great wit and self-deprecation. Her memoirs House Music made for enjoyable reading. The concern is over her lack of a big idea. In her speech launching her campaign she made the point that Livingstone lost in 2008. It is "no time to hark back to old battles."
Why does she think Livingstone lost last time? What mistakes does she feel he made as Mayor? What policies does she offer for London that are different to those available from Livingstone? Various London Labour MPs have been willing to criticise Livingstone, for instance Nick Raynsford. Will Oona?
I think she would offer a more positive and honest campaign than Livingstone would (although that is not saying terribly much.) But Oona King's real problem is that she shares Livingstone's belief in Socialism.
Her memoirs showed that while publicly loyal to New Labour she privately kept faith with Socialism. During the Tory years she imagined that a Labour Government spending billions of pounds would, for example, banish squalor from the tower blocks.
As a Labour MP during her Labour Government she became dismayed by all the failings. But sitting in her endless surgeries listening to her constituents plead for a higher slot on the waiting list in the centrally planned chaos on social housing, she never quite manages to accept that Socialism is the cause not the solution of their problems.
The selection will be decided at the Labour Party Conference.