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We all enjoy a good leadership election, and now it’s Labour’s turn –
although, of course, being Labour they’re nine months behind the game
and it will take them twice as long as everyone else.  Whoever said Tony Blair
had ditched the trade union traditions of his party?

The leaking of the notorious departure memo to the Mirror and the departure date to The Sun
have clearly fired the starting gun for the race to succeed Blair.  Equally
clearly, this is A Big Story, right up there with the Pakistan ball tampering
allegations and the Australian crocodile chap.  In our relentless quest to
ensure that our readers have the most up-to-date and informed inside commentary, Conservative Home therefore presents its
Form Guide to the Labour Leadership Race and analysis of the main
contenders.
 
Brown_gordon_head_tilted
GORDON BROWN (11/10)
Current job: God, apparently.
Campaign soundbite: "I’m going to win and when I’m Leader I’ll
break both your legs if you didn’t back me."
Unique selling point: Only Gordon Brown has the experience, the
ability and the bright ideas to solve Britain’s deep-seated and long-term
structural problems.
Potential downside: Gordon Brown has in fact caused most of
Britain’s deep-seated and long-term structural problems.
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter. 
Watch out for 9 months of damaging leaks revealing failure and incompetence in
the Home Office, the Education dept, the Home Office, Defra, and also the Home
Office.  Rumours to the effect that Brown has hired James Frayne as his Campaign
Director are so far unconfirmed.

Reid_john_smiling_5
ETHELREID THE UNREADY (9/11 from 7/7)


Current job:
Minister for Alarmist Media Stunts.

Campaign soundbite:
 "You’ll only get one chance to shaft Gordon,
so make sure it counts."
Unique selling point: A dynamic, canny operator with his finger on
the pulse of Middle Britain’s hopes and fears and a enviable CV of some of
Government’s toughest portfolios.
Potential downside: He’s a complete <edited>
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter. 
Watch out for 9 months of speeches about the need to cut taxes on the poor, the
threat to Britain’s global competitiveness from over-regulation, why the next PM
should have experience in Health/Northern Ireland/Defence/Home Office etc etc. 
Rumours to the effect that Reid has hired Iain Dale as his Chief of Staff are so
far unconfirmed.

Johnson_alan_1
POSTMAN PAT (6.5/10 must try harder)
Current job: Minister for Fiddling Exam Results.
Campaign soundbite: "I’m English."
Unique selling point: As the owner of Jess, his black and white
cat, he is the candidate best placed to fill the void in British public life
created by the death of Humphrey, the Downing St moggie.
Potential downside: Can you really bear the thought of 10 years of
Postman Pat jokes?
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter.  As a
former union leader it could be argued that he has just the skills Labour need
most right now: the ability to cobble together a corrupt compromise which rides
roughshod over the views of the membership.  Rumours to the effect that he has
hired Bob The Builder as his Media Spokesman are so far
unconfirmed.
 
KONNIE HUQ (5/5.30, Mondays to Fridays)
Current job: "Blue Peter" presenter.
Campaign soundbite: "And here’s a public service reform package I
made earlier using sticky-backed plastic."
Unique selling point: The only candidate who’s really convincing
with children and animals.
Potential downside: Might have trouble with those
"Elephant-in-the-room" issues – remember what happened to John Noakes, Peter
Purves and Valerie Singleton?
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter.  The
true geo-political strategic significance of "Blue Peter" was not widely
recognised before the leak of the Downing St Memo, but now it’s in the open
anything could happen.  Konnie could form an early dream ticket with Chris Evans
and sweep-up the crucial "Songs Of Praise" bloc vote.  Rumours to the effect
that Konnie has hired Danny Kruger as her Speechwriter are so far
unconfirmed.
 
IVAN DONNELLOVITCH DZHUGASHVILI (1919/1)
Current job: MP for Hayes & Harlington and Commissar of the
People’s 4th Armoured Tractor Brigade.
Campaign soundbite: "We must show the peasants that the
organisation of industry on the basis of modern advanced technology, on
electrification which will provide a link between town and country, will …."
etc etc
Unique selling point: The only socialist standing in this
election.
Potential downside: No, no, straight-up: he really is a
socialist.  They do still exist.
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter.  Any
socialist able to survive under Blair is likely to be tenacious and cunning, and
he will be the only candidate who treats his electorate as grown-up adults.  So
he’s toast, then.  Rumours to the effect that he has hired Arthur Scargill as
his Campaign Director could actually turn out to be true (he’s unlikely to be
able to afford to hire Peter Franklin).
 
PATSY TOKEN (9/5 with enhanced time off for maternity
leave)
Current job: Minister for Token Women.
Campaign soundbite: "As a woman, I’m ideally placed to be Deputy
Leader."
Unique selling point: Modern, dynamic, assertive, Blairite
female.
Potential downside: Modern, dynamic, assertive, Blairite
female.
Summary: You may safely write-off this formidable street-fighter. 
 
DAVID NERD (3.14159/1)
Current job: Minister for Pointless Internet Gimmicks.
Campaign soundbite: "I’ll make the best Leader of the Opposition
once Cameron gets in."
Unique selling point: Since he’s only just left school, there’s a
pretty good statistical case to assume he must end up as Leader at some point,
unless one of his colleagues pushes him under a bus.
Potential downside: Tendency to annoy dangerous Irishmen could be
considered a negative.
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter’s
ability to make himself look a total prat during the campaign: it’s likely to be
the only entertainment of the whole tedious farrago.  Rumours to the effect that
he has hired Guido Fawkes as his Website Designer are unconfirmed but almost
certainly true.
 
TONY BLAIR (evens)
Current job: Prime Minister.
Campaign soundbite: "Nine months of these deadbeats stabbing each
other in the back will remind you why you elected me Leader in the first
place."
Unique selling point: As Leader he is able to manipulate the
timetable in favour of his preferred candidate (himself).
Potential downside: Labour Party members might not consider him an
improvement on the current incumbent.
Summary: Don’t underestimate this formidable street-fighter.  I
mean, do any of you really believe he intends to resign?

14 comments for: William Norton’s Form Guide to the Labour Leadership Race

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