Tuesday, 18 May 2010

I was, of course, completely wrong - Cruddas rules himself out

It would appear Jon Cruddas has ruled himself out of the leadership race, if a piece he's written for the Guardian's Comment is free section is to be taken at face value:
I am determined to play a full role in the re-invigoration of a party that stands as the best hope for the people of this country. But to put it simply, that role of rebuilding and energising the party is a job that doesn't have a vacancy.

I would like to be involved in the debate about the future direction of the party and how we reconnect with our lost voters. But I cannot enter a leadership election just to contribute to a debate; to go into this must be on the basis of running to win and hand on heart I do not want to be leader of the Labour party or subsequently prime minister. These require certain qualities I do not possess. (1)
While that seems pretty definitive, I can't help but wonder if he's preparing a second piece, rather along these lines:
I had no intention of running, no desire to run, but I was told by so many people ... so many trusted people ... that I had to run, that I feel it would be wrong, even selfish of me, for me not to ignore the advice of all these good people. I said i don't want to be the leader of the Labour party, but if I am elected to this great office, I will do my very best to serve the needs of the party ...
I hope this is just a ploy, a tacit appeal for the hackneyed 'ground swell of support' of trite political parlance. After all, after the megalomania of Blair and brown, surely the last thing Labour needs is someone who actually wants to be leader? Or it could be a bid for the deputy leadership - or perhaps even a sign he's thinking of the London mayoralty.

But without Cruddas, there is no candidate I can see that won't just repeat the mistakes of the past. And none of the other candidates look at all electable.
1 - "Hand on heart, I do not want to be Labour leader," by Jon Cruddas. Published in the Guardian, 17th of May, 2010. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/17/labour-leadership-jon-cruddas)

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