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Labour can’t rush its leadership election; why not have a TV debate?


10:11 pm - May 12th 2010

by Tom Watson MP    


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There’s so much I want to shout out about the last 13 years. There are so many great achievements I want us to organise to protect – Sure Start and the Building Schools of the Future programme to name but a few. And there are the inevitable mistakes that I want us to learn from.

First though, I want the blisters on my feet to heal and the many thousands of Labour members – our volunteer army of progressives and community builders, to get a well earned rest. We asked a lot of them these last months and years. And in the face of adversity, they helped prevent a hubristic David Cameron command an overall majority in the House of Commons. I’m proud of them for that.

In the whirlwind of Westminster news cycles, my colleagues and I sometimes develop a kind of collective anxiety that drives us to instantly react to every twist and turn of events.

When under pressure and facing uncertainty, it’s an understandable response. Yet at these times it is often more effective to be still. We are in a period when our movement should remain calm and reflective.

A couple of months for the party to take stock, to work out what we did right and wrong, would help prepare our new leader for the challenge of a ConDem government.

I’ve not often gone in for toff-bashing but one thing I know about these two particular public school boys in Number 10 is that they’re both well-mannered, charming and utterly ruthless. The idea that their partnership will fall apart by October is missing just how well-trained they are for power. They’ll do anything to win. Dissent will be charmed away or crushed.

A number of colleagues have said to me that Liberal Democrat back benchers will not stomach seeing their front bench colleagues make the compromises that ministers very often have to make. This misses the point. With 20 odd ministerial positions, all Nick Clegg has to do is promise his 57 MPs a turn in the ministerial Prius over the next five years.

His job is easy. He could even have a ministerial rota. It’s harder for David Cameron to manage the expectations of his party old guard but many of them retired last week. So we’re in this for the long haul. And though depressing, it gives us plenty of time to prepare for the next general election.

So why don’t we learn from Michael Howard? Why not turn our conference into a platform for our future leaders. Give a day to each candidate to make their pitch. We could even test their TV skills with a big election-style debate.

The Labour Party couldn’t do this for much of the 1980’s because it was split. Using our conference to focus on potential leaders would have been suicidal. Yet we now have some amazingly talented potential candidates. They’re all broadly pro-european progressive social democrats who can make a difference.

Whichever of them wins, they’re going to lead a newly invigorated Labour party. I’m told 3000 people have joined or re-joined in the last 48 hours. We should give these members the chance to have their say about the future.

So let us slow down, be calm and think about what we’ve done right and wrong in the last 13 years. Then we can have an enjoyable, positive leadership election that focuses on the future.

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About the author
Tom Watson used to be civil service minister in the Cabinet Office. He is MP for West Bromwich East and tweets here
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


Very well said, important not only for the party but also the country.

2. Alisdair Cameron

Dissent will be charmed away or crushed

Sounds like Mandy.
Seriously though, which station would air this debate? Or, if you mean a TV-style debate, ie not broadcast, well, why not just call it a debate, and have it as such. Much simpler.

3. George W Potter

“think about what we’ve done right and wrong in the last 13 years.”

If only you’d thought about that kind of thing when you were in government instead of now I might have considered voting Labour. Still, I hope that you can rediscover yourselves in opposition.

4. ChristopherMars

Alisdair – Clearly on Sky, presented by Kay Burley. “Why don’t you just go home and let the Tories rule the country in peace?”

Some good thoughts, although I do wish Labour MPs would express some anger over the fact that we now have a Gov that includes Osbourne, May, IDS, Hague et al… Yes I understand you probably need a rest but c’mon, let’s have some of that fire in the belly attitude that Brown (!) displayed in one of his last speeches.

I’m told 3000 people have joined or re-joined in the last 48 hours. We should give these members the chance to have their say about the future.

They won’t be entitled to vote for six months, that’s after the leadership election.

Personally, I’d have a competition to see who can hurl the foulest, most accurate invective at Liberal scum.

A couple of months for the party to take stock, to work out what we did right and wrong

Mandelson running the show was one where you went wrong, Tom – DE(B)A, the assault on civil liberties. 10p tax, there are so many areas that NuLab went wrong and it seems, even now, that those who are Blairite are about to re-state their claim to the Labour Party.

Tom, New Labourism MUST be banished from the party. Instead D’Mil will be the leader, there is no progress there.

Min wage was brilliant – but it should have been the Labour government who brought about the 10k Tax. Obviously the wars didn’t help, nor still do.

The Labour Party has to have a complete autopsy not just a time for reflection at what they did wrong.

Well mannered, charming and ruthless is exactly what we need after ill mannered, charmless and incompetent!

Unless the Labour Pary faces up to the fact that it has been living a lie for the last 13 years it will make no progress. These so called amazingly talented progressive social democrats – are they the same ones who supported the Iraq war, abolition of the 10p tax rate, deregulation of the banks, the worst neo con American administration ever, privatisation of parts of the education service and parts of the health service, PFI etc? The party has merely been posturing as progessive social democrats whilst acting like second rate Conservatives. Your only achievement has been to fool so many of the people so much of the time. Progressive? Social Democrat? Yes please. But first take the scales from your eyes and face up to the reality of the last 13 years otherwise it will be more of the same.

10. Nick Cohen is a Tory

cjcjc
Why do you car, Thatcherite troll.
Typical after all these years of wishing for a Tory government, you post on a thread about Labour.
How are you going to spend the evenings ?.

I expect defending the Tories when they bring in the 42 day detention rule after the first terrorist outrage.

11. Nick Cohen is a Tory

cjcjc
Why do you care Thatcherite troll.
Typical after all these years of wishing for a Tory government, you post on a thread about Labour.
How are you going to spend the evenings ?.

I expect defending the Tories when they bring in the 42 day detention rule after the first terrorist outrage.

Vote Balls!
(please)
The Tory contest made Cammo.
But no-one had any idea who he was.
Who is Labour’s “brand new” candidate?
I suppose by definition we don’t know yet.

13. Illegal immigrant

Good god – I’m agreeing with Tom Watson.

With two of the main three parties now in government, we will need a principled and coherent opposition to keep us honest. We’ve got some terrible decisions to make on the public spending front, and it would be nice if your critique came from a well-considered position (rather than sniping aganist all cuts regardless).

Your challenge today is somewhat different from ours in 2005. Our party wasn’t too badly split – we had to address our failure with the electorate. Your failure with the electorate is understandable (13 yrs in govt will do that to you), but you have got some pretty deep internal chasms to bridge. Blairites vs. Brownites – and that’s before you get onto the lefties. A quick fix election will only paper over those gaps if you don’t think long and had about what you actually want to stand for.

So take your time. And listen to the public, not just the membership.

*Partisan hat back on*

Ed Balls for leader! Charlie Whelan for Shadow Chancellor from the Lords! Jack Dromey for BIS!

cjcjc
Are you a libertarian by any chance? Is it just on LD Iv’e noticed that even when libertarians get what they want they carry-on whinging.

“They’re all broadly pro-european progressive social democrats”

I knew there were reasons I wasn’t a labourite. Two right there…..England isn’t a social democratic country and seriously, pro-european? On the day they announce that they’ll have to approve future budgets?

16. Yurrzem!

I think New Labour underachieved in any progressive aims it may have had. A lot could have been done in 13 years and yet the list is very short compared with all the wrongs that now need righting within the party and the country.

I agree with those who suggest a long hard look at what Labour stands for rather than a fudged compromise and more-of-the-same-with-a-different-smile.

17. Yurrzem!

My posts aren’t appearing. What’s going on?

It’s natural for Labour to want to lick their wounds. A period of introspection could be a good thing, but non-members on the left and centre-left are going to need a hell of a lot of persuasion given the record of the past 13 years.

In spite of the undoubted achievments in certain areas, the current Labour leadership and membership stand accused of instituting and tolerating some of the most illiberal and plain wrong headed policies since the heydey of Thatcher.

To make matters worse, we are presented with the Blunketts and Reids of this world telling us how good it would be for us to have a dose of Con/LD coalition. The arrogance is breathtaking if not exactly surprising from the New Labour inner party.

Take as long as you want to elect your leader: just don’t expect us to follow you unless you can convince us the New Labour project is dead!

Dear Tom

Didn’t Michael Howard rig the timetable to give David Cameron a chance to show how he looked down the TV lens?

BTW – your bio brief here needs updating

Peter K

http://petergkenyon.typepad.com/peterkenyon/2010/05/will-harriet-led-the-labour-party-by-example.html

“…..Yet we now have some amazingly talented potential candidates. They’re all broadly pro-european progressive social democrats who can make a difference.”

Hmmnnn… you think? You see, this is my problem with New Labour’s coming grail-quest to re-invent itself. I’d call myself a pro-European social democrat, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t acknowledge the front runners for the Labour leadership as such.

Of course, I could be convinced. Let them come out in their campaigns and announce they favour repeal of all the anti-civil liberties legislation, that they agree with the scrapping of ID cards, to scrap a Trident replacement, support PR (and really mean it this time). There’s a long list: doubtless you’ve heard it before.

You could of course wander off into the deep red long grass on the left, tho that didn’t work so well in the 80’s did it? Or you could stick with New Labour, which despite reports of it’s demise appears worryingly uncowed by the recent defeat. No doubt there are plenty of Blairite and Brownite true believers still out there deluded enough to think they can re-brand New Labour… (Ultra Labour, Labour Extra, Labour Excel….?).

Or you could actually take the time to realise that you blew it. Jack Straw might think you lost it because working class “C” types were worried about “fairness” and immigration, but they weren’t why you lost. You lost because of the Faustian pact implicit in the whole nauseating New Labour experiment. “The people” didn’t abandon you Tom, you abandoned them.

The way Miliband is off around the English voting area because as he said this is the main loses, well the Tories went from one seat to eight in my area in two elections I think that should be a worry.

Why is Miliband not waiting until it’s open and all the candidates open up lets have a fair contest

“Personally, I’d have a competition to see who can hurl the foulest, most accurate invective at Liberal scum.”

Sorry if this offends any fellow Labour friends but I hope it offends the Lib Dem tory poodles………………………

FUCKING CUNTS!

You could not have a TV debate onthe labour party election leadership,
because no one would watch, and advert space would not pay, just like labour, a dead loss.

You could put up the leaders in a style of who speaks like a rich Toff, the Milibands would would walk that one, which one had private education, dam the Miliband would walk that. You could put up which one told the poor the sick the disabled to get back to work, that’s about four of the possible leaders covered. Leaves Cruddas but i doubt he’ll bother.

So we will end up with a New labour government who will fight the next election on welfare reforms getting back ID cards and kicking immigrants out of the UK, what a platform

@Alisdair Cameron

There are plenty of stations nowadays with audience figures well below Labour membership numbers. BBC Parliament would be a good choice, if it wasn’t for that annoying balance requirement (how about arguing the other parties can also have their leadership election debates televised, they just have to hold a leadership competition…)

steveb – I’m not moaning about anything

I’m in quite a good mood…though I’m sure it won’t last!

27. Keir Husband

It is refreshing to find someone within Labour who acknowledges that there is at least a chance that Con/Dem may pull off their coalition. The tone of too many has been that all we have to do is sit and wait for 6 months at which point the Tory right will begin foaming at the mouth and Clegg & co will throw themselves across the floor of the house begging for forgiveness.

Although I am depressed at the prospect of 5 years of Tory rule (however tempered by by the LibDems), and close to apoplectic at the antics of some on our side that made absolutely sure that’s what we would get, I am looking forward to having the chance to change the party for the better.

We do need to look at making ALL our policies more progressive and ambitious. It is nothing short of a scandal that we left the failing Railway structure in place for 13 years and only got round to considering High Speed Rail at the very end. It is ridiculous that we were made to look to the right of the other parties on civil liberties. And there is no shortage of irony that the last remaining PPP part of the Tube was renationalised by Boris Johnson the day after election day.

PPP and its like are a nonsense. I have no objection to private industry being involved in building schools etc under public sector management, but, as has been detailed time and time again, the financing issues are simply a licence for banks and investment companies to print money.

So, yes let’s have a detailed and thorough debate, where candidates can outline some vision. The last thing we need at this moment is someone simply delivering good news messages to the part along the lines of “We are in a better position than 1992′, ‘We need to hold our ground and we shall win next time’.

Next week the National Executive Committee should delay the election for the Leadership of the Labour Party and in its place instigate wide ranging discussions throughout the Party about how Labour should operate in the future and what its major policy objectives should be. It is only following such discussions by the membership of the Labour Party, its affiliated organisations, the Co-operative Party and the Parliamentary Labour Party that the leadership contest should be set in motion. The discussions do not need to lead to a firm policy programme, but we need to find out what views on Labour’s future direction exist within the Labour Movement so we can then have a meaningful leadership contest in which the candidates and those voting understand each other.

29. Watchman

@28, Harry,

Perhaps it might be worth remembering that parties are coalitions also, and if there is no leadership, no way of focussing efforts, the Labour party will start to go its own way and do its own thing, with various factions effectively operating independently. For the sake of the party there has to be a leader who can be followed, even if as an interim measure. Perhaps that will be Ms Harman, but I am not sure that an unelected appointment with a possibly divisive leadership campaign in which they are not involved will have the strength to direct the party. The mistake was made in accepting Mr Brown’s resignation so soon (do you know, I never thought I’d say that…).

28

I agree with Watchman @29, I can’t see your scenario playing out. Some navel gazing is to be expected, hell even encouraged, in an effort to find all those principles jettisoned over the past 13 years. The trouble for the party is that it needs a leader reasonably quickly, and that doubtless the various candidates will set out their stalls.

Whether any of them – particularly those most complicit in the New Labour project – are capable of leading a “renewal” must be open to question. Whether the aim is to try and gain a majority in an un-reformed parliament, or to position yourselves to form a coalition with the LD’s and/or others if the ConDems see AV introduced, you can’t simply carry on.

It wasn’t the false consciousness of the voters that deprived you of power, nor was it not being “Labour” enough. There is a window of opportunity for someone to re-cast the left of centre space: the question is who?

31. Nick Cohen is a Tory

What is it with sicko’s like cjcjc and illegal immigrant (lovely name) (these are people your in bed with lib dems, so hold your nose)
Why post / gloat on an opposition debate.
Why do you care ?
You have a government who has no opposition.
1. weak Labour opposition
2. all the papers supporting you bar one.]
3. A BBC with Robinson, Portillo and Neil.
4. A ITN / Sky who is so full up with Tories, they can’t fit them all in
5. Channel 4 controlled by Cammos best buddy Johnson
6. 80% of the blogosphere.
At least during the Labour years 70% of the press and, blogosphere, media hated them.
There was a balance.
There is now no balance
We are now an elective dictatorship with the tyrany of the majority.

32. Illegal immigrant

NCIAT @ 31

My moniker is the same that I use on ConHome – and was devised purely because the first time I decided to argue with strangers on the internet it was because they were frothing about immigration.

And in what way have I been gloating? I have posted precisely because we have no meaningful opposition. And that is a very bad thing. See New Labour 1997-2005; if we hadn’t been so unremittingly shite for most of that period then the government may not have got away with some of the cr*p legislation that they did.

And please don’t fall back on this ‘persecution-in-the-media’ crap – it’s not as if Blair got a hard time until Iraq (in fact, until after Iraq). This is also not a good thing. Give it a couple of weeks and the Mail and the Telegraph will revert to type from the right.

So, scrutiny is a good thing. Moaning at people on the internet – particularly if for no good reason – not so much.

33. Nick Cohen is a Tory

My moniker is the same that I use on ConHome – and was devised purely because the first time I decided to argue with strangers on the internet it was because they were frothing about immigration.
I apologise if you are telling the truth
And please don’t fall back on this ‘persecution-in-the-media’ crap – it’s not as if Blair got a hard time until Iraq (in fact, until after Iraq). This is also not a good thing. Give it a couple of weeks and the Mail and the Telegraph will revert to type from the right.
I don’t know, go back to the old copies of papers and the Labour government were constantly critised. My problem is the opposite there will be no press opposition.
As for Mail and Telegraph they will stick back your boy even if they moan that the cuts are not deep enough. My concern is the support from the liberal press. There will be no analysis just propaganda.
Take the 55%. Now be honest if labour had said they were going to do the same thing the Labour government would have been accused of been chavists.
This is major change to constitution and yet there is no debate.
Also what about foreign policy.
Gove and Hague are arch neo cons , deeper than Blair , are the LIb dems now part of that philosophy.
What are they going to do about Iran ?
No debate

So, scrutiny is a good thing. Moaning at people on the internet – particularly if for no good reason – not so much.
Why not moan ?
You have been moaning for 13 years ?
Also why are you concerned about the opposition, it seems perverse because who ever leads the labour party they will have no influence and you never want them elected anyway who ever they pick

34. greensocialist

“England isn’t a social democratic country”

England isn’t a country. As for Britain not being social democratic, polls of the public’s views on a number of issues suggest otherwise.

35. Illegal immigrant

NICAT @ 33

Good morning – and apology accepted 🙂

Sorry I didn’t respond last night – I got engrossed in the cricket.

I agree that the press were pro-Tory in the run up to the GE – and indeed post-2005, apart from in 2007 when even the Telegraph and the Mail pretty much came out for Gordon Brown. But, they have to appeal to their readers, and the same was true for Labour pre-1997. I expect the Telegraph and the Mail to resume hostilities against Cameron (which were merely suspended over the last 6 months) pretty quickly – indeed the AIFM Directive that we’ve been dumped with is going to cause some serious angst over the role of the EU next week.

Foreign policy hasn’t been scrutinised for three reasons, I think:
a) we’re skint, so can’t really afford to have one
b) all three parties are actually quite close, despite the rhetorical differences
c) I believe that David Cameron is closer to a Hurd than a Blair – I suspect that we’ll be quite practical (Iran is very difficult, but I suspect that we’ll take our lead from America)

On the 55% issue, I think that this is being over-hyped (which is not to say that it is right). I don’t think that this is a power grab by the Tories – to me it makes more sense for the Lib Dems to have inserted it to prevent the Tories dissolving parliament for a cut-and-run election at the time of their choosing. There does need to be some mechanism to that effect if the fixed-term parliaments are to be meaningful. Not sure what the mechanism might be at the moment- but I’m hopeful that this was an approach that seemed like a good idea when they’d all had about 3hrs sleep in the previous six days and can be dropped sharpish.

Finally, once again, I care because we were rubbish between 1997-2005. This allowed Labour to get away with some seriously shoddy governing. Over the course of this parliament we are going to have to take an axe to the state – as Alistair Darling said, he already planned the biggest cuts since the immediate post-war period – and there is a risk that we will go too far in some places. If you aren’t coherent in your opposition that becomes a racing certainty.

For my part, my heart says you should go for Balls (because I think that might lead to the end of the Labour Party!); my head says that you need Cruddas in a leadership position (although I’m not sure if he is the right guy to be ‘the’ leader).

That is all.

36. Nick Cohen is a Tory

II
Thank you
I don’t agree with you about foreign policy.
Look at neo con sites like harrys place, who have Gove in their pocket. They hate the lib dems. Read the rhetoric from the neo con side, they despise the lib dems. There is a real difference.
Cameron is very close to Daniel Johnson , the editor of Standpoint, that is the direction they will go foreign policy wise. At least in the rhetoric.
Wait for the next Israel attack on Gaza.

As for the press, I am sorry your wrong , this mock hatred of cameron is a sham, they know Dave is one of them. Look at his history.
This governement will be more Thacherite than thatcher.
Agian
I apologise

A TV debate would not serve Labour’s interests at this point. The Party and its prospective leaders need time to ref-focus and re-align after a very dissapointing performance at a General Election. A TV debate would create an unneeded association with the General Election, it would prolong contemplation on that defeat and appear reflexive rather than reflective.
What Labour can and should do is utilise the process of selecting a new leader as a forum for change and reorganisation, a repackaging if you like that is responsive to the nations judgement on their last administration. Labour would be served better by an opportunity to focus on getting its own house in order before coming back to the public as a viable alternative to the Con – Dem alliance.
They need to be appearing to listen to the people of Britain who have rejected their current incarnation emphatically.
They need to establish strong opposition under a dynamic new leader who can challenge Cameron and Clegg when the opportunities arise ( as they surely will ) during the next few years. The point now is what can Labour offer as a credible alternative to the coalition ?
Rebranding Labour may be a more difficult process than its supporters imagine right now but we know change is key to any future election success. Labour might have to look to its soul rather than sound bites and shiny new policies but its main goal should be to improve its current communication techniques and re-learn how to speak to the nation.
Until it does that Labour will remain out of Government.

I also doubt that the scunners Cameron and Clegg will fold this year.

The Tory right’s righteous indignation re the 45% rule for dissolutions doesn’t rank with that which stalwarts like Teddy Taylor and Enoch Powell would have expressed I fear. Quite right that the National Liberal payroll vote and the quiescent tories, still smarting from 13 years on the sidelines lying about Liberty, won’t be bringing this perverse orc of a Government down quickly.

But the EU may bring Events, Dear boy Events! The splits on that won’t need a colourist to dramatise.

I don’t think that our Conference should be used in quite the most obvious way to produce hustings, we need to present ourselves a a serious party.

But I agree with Tom wholeheartedly that delaying the Leadership Election until after then is best. Recall that Chameleon’s good conference performance and Dave Davis’ poor one were seminal to bringing the impetus they needed. But recall that, while we are far more nearly one party than they ever will be again, we do have debates which we shall conduct honestly and to our great and good purposes: Government and a Better Future.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  2. Adam White

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  3. Sunder Katwala

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  4. Martin O'Neill

    RT @nextleft: Labour can't rush leadership election says @tom_watson http://bit.ly/bTZYPX Another call to use Autumn conference as conte …

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  19. tom_watson

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  20. Will Straw

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  26. Peter Watt

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  28. Matthew McGregor

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  29. Paul N

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  30. Ian Adderley

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  31. Liberal Conspiracy

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  32. Paul Loman

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  33. Adam Cranfield

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  34. Stuart King

    @tom_watson says of Cam & Clegg "Dissent will be charmed away or crushed" nice phrase…and true http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  35. Soho Politico

    .@tom_watson, part-architect of the Brownite coup that got the party where it is now, tells Lab about choosing a leader http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  36. Tony Burkson

    RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  37. Sinead G

    RT @tom_watson Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. http://bit.ly/bRcKXa >> Excellent idea!

  38. Thomas Kiley

    RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  39. Patrick Hadfield

    RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election: take some time to think. http://bit.ly/bRcKXa >society needs strong, healthy opposition

  40. Hopi Sen

    RT @tom_watson: Lab leadership – take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa > my next blog post now redundant!

  41. Matt Eyre

    RT @tom_watson Labour's leadership election – why we should take time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa ///-interesting

  42. Rob Smith

    Here Here. RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  43. Lisa Johnson

    RT @mcgregormt: RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  44. samuel hargreaves

    RT @tom_watson: Labour's leadership election – why we should take some time to think. Then hold a TV debate: http://bit.ly/bRcKXa

  45. Graham Watson

    RT @libcon Labour can’t rush its leadership election; why not have a TV debate? http://bit.ly/cLROeA

  46. Labour should go slow | Left Foot Forward

    […] William Hague and IDs in a post-election rush. This point is echoed by Tom Watson MP, writing on Liberal Conspiracy, who also calls for a TV debate: “So why don’t we learn from Michael Howard? Why not turn […]

  47. Liberal Conspiracy

    We hope it will be a long contest, with a wide slate of candidates, as @tom_watson said this week on libcon: http://bit.ly/bTZYPX

  48. Leon Green

    RT @libcon We hope it will be a long contest, with a wide slate of candidates, as @tom_watson said this week on libcon: http://bit.ly/bTZYPX

  49. Tank the Tories

    I do too RT @libcon We hope it will be a long contest, with a wide slate of candidates, as @tom_watson said on libcon: http://bit.ly/bTZYPX

  50. Labour leadership election | Tom Watson MP

    […] And why the candidates should be tested out at our Annual Conference. […]

  51. Liberal Conspiracy » Exclusive: Ed to launch leadership bid on Monday

    […] Labour MP Tom Watson wrote on Liberal Conspiracy this week that the party would be better off having a slow leader […]

  52. That was all very nice, but what about the Calling for Politics? « Bad Conscience

    […] What Labour really needs is someone who can storm the stage and inspire belief in the electorate. No matter how nice a guy Ed Miliband undoubtedly is, he doesn’t have that special leadership extra. Which, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean he shouldn’t be leader of the Party. He’s certainly preferable to D-Mil and the odious Balls. But my advice to Labour is to keep looking. Waiting in the wings could be somebody altogether special. It happened for Barack, after all, and it’s worth seeing if it can happen for us too. Which is only one more reason not to rush things. […]

  53. Dave and Nick: well-mannered, charming and utterly ruthless : John Connell: The Blog

    […] Watson MP, on the Liberal Conspiracy blog, on why the Labour Party should take its time in choosing a new leader. He suggests that the party […]





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