« The London paradox | Main | Fairness, decentralization & capitalism »

August 13, 2015



The Greens weren't illiterate - they had "principal speakers"

That apart, well said

Luis Enrique

this is a bit off topic, but another approach could be to decentralise and allow for experimentation.

If they pick Corbyn, centrists or others who think his ideas are unworkable might defect (although where I do not know - Lib Dem?) or just not vote, and if they pick Cooper, *real* left wingers might defect (to SWP?) or just not vote. If they split, each type would have somebody to vote for who better represents their views.

I know I have suggested this before, but what about an amicable divorce? Then we could find out which variety is most appealing to voters. Can somebody who knows about how politics work explain to me whether, if the party split, the two sides would be able to do things like agree not to compete in certain constituencies? If these two parties openly said that they envisage entering into a coalition government with each other plus Greens plus Lib Dem (a grant anti-Tory/ UKIP alliance) would it work?


More bubble speak from the anti bubble campaigner. You are assuming people are investing in leaders in this election campaign and not policies. i would argue Corbyn's supporters are rejecting the Blairite vision of smarmy leader and embracing radical policy prescriptions

You should have brought this up when that war criminal twat Blair and his gang carried out their coup against labour, or in the intervening years.

This just seems like another variant of, what can we do about this loony Corbyn.

Ralph Musgrave

“Our media demands strong leaders”??? I suggest the plebs also like having one easily identifiable leader. That keeps things simple for them. Saves them having to think. It explains why every country since the world began has had a single easily identifiable leader: king, dictator, or whatever.

Steven Clarke

I expect a lot of voters just go in the booth and think 'which leader seems most like a good PM?'

Unlike Ralph, I don't think this makes them simple and unthinking. Seeing the ideas of those that do think a lot about politics, I think it's quite sensible.


There will always be a number one, it's human nature. The best leaders build a good team. New Labour were Blair, Brown, Mandelson and Campbell, a range of skills.
It's too early to tell if these candidates have team building skills, and that's the weakness of the process.


I basically agree with this, and with your general dislike of managerialism and support for decentralised decision-making.

But it seems to me that Corbyn (who I'm not completely sold on) stands in opposition to all of that. Three examples plucked at random:

a) He wants to elect a shadow cabinet rather than select it himself
b) He is already embracing the crowd-sourcing of policy ideas (e.g. the process for reaching his policy on the North)
c) He has rejected the old-school top-down bureaucratic model of nationalised industry that you were specifically concerned about.

And meanwhile, in stark contrast, the anti-Corbyn party establishment has focused on his personal qualities, his leadership ability, his ability to "win the trust" of the electorate and so on.

Any thoughts?


Something a bit different about politics. If a mid range corporate needs a new head honcho then HR calls up a head hunter and says 'get us a £250K person'. The talent pool is trawled and with luck someone who can talk the talk and maybe walk as well gets hired. A political head hunter has a smaller talent pool of mainly £70K fish who are despised by their colleagues because the stakes are so low.

Herein lies the rub. The Tories do draw from a richer talent pool, they do credibly slip in and out of big jobs. But the Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP do seem stuck with the minor players - people who might fit in the local council but that's all. I take no pleasure from this but I think it expresses a malaise in politics. The parties start from different places, Tories and the rest.


Greg -- that's absolutely the case. One of the funny things about this contest is the fixation of the party's centre/right wing on how Corbyn will drag them back to the dark ages, without them noticing that his plans for decentralised decision-making offer them a pretty good opportunity to dilute whatever kerrazy socialism they're worried he will push on them.


rogerh - you're assuming that the smartest people are the ones with the biggest salaries. Where's the evidence that's true?

Igor Belanov

I'm sure that Labour's centre/right have seen Corbyn's plans for decentralised decision-making. Given that they have spent the past 30 years (if not a century) trying to resist members' activity it completely goes against their whole instinct. I also think they realise that they have ceased to possess the ability to persuade the party's supporters, and all they are left with is blackmail.
"Vote for us or the Tories get in"
"Vote for us or we'll never get elected"
"Vote for us or we'll split the party"
"Who of you wants Jones back"....



Very well aware there is a lot more to good leadership than a high price. I did say 'talk the talk and maybe walk'. A common observation is that very intelligent people make poor leaders, low cunning or stultifying dullness is a better guide.

The Tories suffered when Thatcher left - she had sucked all the oxygen out of her succession. Took a while to recover, Blair did much the same quickly followed by Miliband and similarly a period of recovery will be needed. Succession planning is rarely well handled.

gastro george

@Igor - well said.

The Today programme this morning was quite farcical - Kendall was asked directly why she thought that Corbyn was so popular compared with herself. Her answer was effectively that he was offering them sweeties that he couldn't deliver. Has nobody told her that it usually doesn't help to tell your electorate that they're stupid.

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad