The L Words: Leicester, Liz and Labour Leadership

I thought today, the deadline for ‘supporting’ the Labour party in this important election, would be a good day to explain why I am voting Liz Kendall for the leadership of our great party. According to supporters of a certain London based MP who is also running in this election, I shouldn’t be voting for her because she ‘isn’t from my background’. Funnily enough on that basis I shouldn’t vote for Mr Corbyn either because I didn’t go to a prestigious grammar school, neither do I buy all my vests from a stall in Islington. That aside, I hope what I present will show why voting Liz may not be the obvious choice, but it is the correct one.


Firstly, I joined Labour (as a co-operative member) in 2012, I live and campaigned mostly in Cannock Chase, a (now safe) Tory seat even though every indicator shows it should be safe Labour. I campaigned tirelessly to try and get the brilliant Janos Toth elected as member, but at 5am on the 9th May, Amanda Milling increased the majority. There was initial shock, but after a few weeks of soul searching I realised it wasn’t a shock at all. The Labour party under Miliband lost because it couldn’t get a positive message out for the future, a future which benefits everybody and this feeling echoed around Nuneaton, Corby and the rest of ‘middle England’ which Labour has lost touch with since 2010. For me only Liz can win back these disillusioned Labour voters (even some in Scotland), because she is the only one who can take the Tories to task on key issues, stand by her beliefs and offer the British public a future which doesn’t involve nationalising everything or flip-flapping between whatever the audience wants to hear.


Secondly, Labour needs a female leader, it is astounding that the party which has promoted and fought so hard for equality in the past has never given us a female leader. Like Harman, Beckett, Castle and Lee before her, Liz is a competent commons and TV performer, regularly putting her opponents into difficult situations and never letting her foot off the gas until she feels she has made her stand. Labour miss that, Miliband wasn’t tough enough, Brown was always on a loser since he didn’t call that election in 2007 and it has only been John Smith and Tony Blair that have managed to really mount an effective opposition since 1979, Liz will offer a fight.


As for the other candidates, Andy Burnham should really be my first choice, he’s a comprehensive schooled lad who did well and represents his home town constituency, but his constant changes of direction on policy issues inspires me with no confidence that he can mount a credible opposition, it often feels that Jeremy Corbyn has him wrapped around his finger and if Corbyn can do it, it’s probably in the interests of his safety that we don’t let him out on the Prime Minister. As for Yvette Cooper, other than that she is a mother and the fact she can put up with Ed Balls on a daily basis, as admirable as it is, has never really shown me the levels of fight and passion that she would need to lead the party, a respected commons performer, she is too much of the same, which made us lose the last 2 elections. As for Jeremy Corbyn he is completely unelectable and to be honest there is a real likelihood that under his leadership the party could crumble.


Liz is the only way we can win in 2020, and we must remember that only great things done in office are remembered, not good intentions from opposition. For all the great things Labour has done, the NHS, Open University, the National Minimum wage and the ban on fox hunting, the Tories are trying their best to eradicate them. Another 5 years of Tory rule will most likely finish these off, I can’t stand by and watch this happen, and that is why I will be voting for Liz Kendall in the labour leadership election.