Chuka Umunna must not become the new Labour leader

Blue is the colour (of this man's politics): Chuka Umunna should be in the Conservative Party and should never by the leader of the Labour Party.

Blue is the colour (of this man’s politics): Chuka Umunna should be in the Conservative Party and should never by the leader of the Labour Party.

Mr Umunna posted his intention to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party on his Facebook page – so Vox Political has posted a response there, as follows:

“Chuka, you’re a member of Blue Labour, with some very poor ideas about the benefit system; you’re supported by Peter Mandelson, one of the architects of neoliberal New Labour; and you recently said a Labour government would invite Michael Heseltine – MICHAEL HESELTINE – to become an advisor.

“You would turn the Labour Party into exactly what the SNP and its supporters called us – Red Tories.

“On no account should you become the leader of the Labour Party. If you did, it would not be the Labour Party any more.”

Does anybody think Umunna would do anything other than turn Labour into a pale imitation of the Conservative Party? Shouldn’t Labour be kicking his kind of politician out, rather than promoting them?

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77 thoughts on “Chuka Umunna must not become the new Labour leader

  1. amnesiaclinic

    Sadly, the rhetoric is that the left brand lost so now this lot, waiting in the wings will reclaim the banner to ‘save’ the labour party.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They need the support of Labour members to do so. It is up to Labour members to deny it to them.

      1. Chris Mckenzie

        Thats why I joined today, to stop the Blairites re-writing history and over-simplifying why Labour lost. To stop him becoming the leader. Sadly in the age of celebrity, he looks good in a suit, which can work up to a point. Its Andy Burnham for me all the way.

      2. John Gaines

        “the support of Labour members to do so”

        I expect you mean The Unions, did they not stick us with the useless Milli-idiots? The choice was between Tweedledum and Tweedledee and now its back again to those same TT’S, give it to Kinnock, maybe Third time he can get lucky…or, all the Torys will die of gluttony after feasting upon our bodies.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I mean members of the Labour Party, including the unions. In case you have forgotten, the Labour Party was formed to give unions a voice in Parliament, and it is perfectly reasonable for them to have a say in the choice of a new Labour leader.

    1. John Gaines

      Hell Yes! How many times must we be stuffed with Fifth rate, braggarts.

      Even after all that, we’re still British:

      Preferred Citation
      Gaines Family Papers, 1766-1905. Accession 24417. Personal Papers Collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

  2. Nick

    he would never get his policies right to lead a positive labour campaign he also is not up to his opponent in 2020 which will be Boris Johnson

    Tristram Hunt has wide country appeal and is the only choice i feel if you are going forward

    as for looking out for the sick and disabled that will have to be choice alone as the country will never support that group neither a party

    it’s easy for the SNP as that’s a small country with a small population but in the real world the sick and disabled are going to have to fight hard to just stay alive like i do at the present time

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Tristram Hunt didn’t know whether he supported or opposed Conservative policy when he appeared on Question Time!
      If you want somebody completely useless, go for him.

      1. Nick

        There is no more old labour mike those day are over the public will only go for positives across the board and ideally with personality

        The next leaders of the labour party who have put their name forward are not going anywhere. My belief is that Tristram Hunt has the ability to go forward and appeal to the conservative voter whereas not all the others do

        i am not a labour supporter but one of the others who with those that don’t vote make up the majority of the electorate and would be in power if everyone turned out to vote for the others

        now there a thought a party of around 15 million voters not voting waiting for a Nicola sturgeon to crop up and although that’s going to be very difficult to achieve that’s the reality in the real world

        personality is key just in the same way you would watch a play it’s a psychological imprint in all of us when we meet or hear someone we can either bond or not and that alone will determine on how we will vote in the future and it will also inspire the non-voter who as i say in the majority

      2. Graham

        “There are Hunts in both parties and nothing between them”

        John – are you sure you spelt “_unts” correctly?

    2. Florence

      Nick, if you’re not a Labour supporter, then your opinion on the choice of leader is useless, and sterile. If you want Hunt to lead the party, then support the party and join it and have your say. Until then, please, no more stodge.

      1. Nick

        Florence i am not a labour supporter and never have been for the very good reason i’m looking for the real deal and not someone who is a good speaker.

        I vote others and always have done the past 40 years as i expect when voting that the person or party i’m voting for is up to my level and not beneath it

        I have known many mp’s over the years and apart from the likes of a few labour mp’s and liberal mp’s the vast majority are found wanting in many areas

        my youngest daughter who is a political researcher agrees with that most mp’s all they seam to wont to do is be social but without any sincerity running up hundreds of pounds of restaurant bills per week dragging her along for the ride

        It needs someone like myself to put forward a name of a person of honesty and integrity and that look the part in going forward

        As i have stated those that don’t vote or like myself vote for others are the majority and if we were forced to vote we would be calling the shots under a new political platform make no mistake about it

        The vast majority of people in this country are decent and they will not vote for rubbish they will at best vote for others like myself or not bother at all saying a load of rubbish or words to that effect and stay at home which is wrong they should vote for the others to prove the point of 15 million voters voting for the same thing

        what we have now is 11 million out of 45 million voters voting Conservative more like a dictatorship and if not now well on the way of becoming one

        I do not expect a solid labour supporter to support my take on who to vote for or who is best as that will never be determined in a blog that can only come about by a person who is sincere and when you see that person you will know it and vote accordingly

        As for myself i live in hope but i can assure you it’s not Chuka Umunna / Liz Kendall with 5 years of experiences or Yvette cooper to much excess baggage

        However i do like the profile of Luciana Berger and have asked her to put her hat in the ring

        It might well be that the labour party will die completely if the next leader is of the wrong choice so it would be very wize to hold out for a few months

        Harriet Harman will fill in nicely for the time being

  3. laurajane1955

    Yes I agree with you totally. Also I would love to get back to the time when the Labour Party really supported the working man. In other words somebody a lot more left of centre than we’ve had for a long time. Otherwise, Left Unity here I come!

      1. laurajane1955

        Thanks Florence but I really feel the party is going too far right for my liking. I want a party that goes far left! x

  4. chriskitcher

    In fact the whole of the recently demised shadow cabinet should be excluded from standing. Simplistically they are the ones that should have stood up to the direction the party took and are responsible for the mess.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      How is he going to challenge the Conservatives, when he agrees with most of the things they say and do?

      1. Spat

        Provide a balanced and constructive case. What are his strengths and his weaknesses? Weigh them on an objective scale. Do the same for all the other candidates. They have all worked for the Labour Party over the years. Chuka has worked hard, tirelessly and with all loyalty. He deserves credit not a backlash which could further alienate some loyal Labour voters. What you have done in your article is to simple empower the Tories! Don’t simply do what the Tories do – character assassination!

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        No, I haven’t done anything to empower the Tories. If you want Tory empowerment, give Chuka the big job. He’ll do more for their cause – by trying to emulate it – than David Cameron could.

  5. azumahcarol

    What I think would be a disaster for Labour – not just the party – but the movement, is the inability to have a robust discussion without it resulting in major splits and schisms. Blairite neoliberalism would not be my first choice. What I want is a Labour leader who can generate the credibility and popularity to win. He has to appeal broadly to those of us on the left and those on the right. But actually id rather Blairite neoliberalism that a Tory win in 2020. The next five years are going to be tough enough. Chaka used to be a DJ. He doesn’t have a great deal of passion – or charisma. But I wouldn’t rule him out. And if he wins, I’ll support him.

    1. Florence

      Chukka is a soulless empty husk of neo-lib blairite nihilism. If he’s got Mandy’s backing, then it’s time to give him the heave-ho.

      1. azumahcarol

        tsk – you;re probably right. At this stage, I am so utterly desperate to get rid of this nasty, dangerous, vile regime – I’d settle for anything that can win us an election. I’ll vote for the NotTory party and settle for the anything but the Tory leader.

  6. daijohn

    I’m on the cusp of chucking my membership, I can’t see where a progressive leader is going to come from, and definitely will if this guy get the job.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Do NOT leave the Labour Party because of people like Chuka! Labour needs real socialists more than ever before – otherwise it really will turn into a weak copy of the Conservative Party.

  7. Paul James

    I liked Ed and I like Andy Burnham, both I fear are unelectable. Is there a leader who could return the Labour Party to it’s principles while being electable? Possibly Tristram Hunt but I’m not sure.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Absolutely NOT Tristram “I don’t know whether I support Tory policies or not” Hunt.

  8. Catherine Cooper

    Tristram Hunt is another no, no. Private education and looks and speaks like a Tory. Why is there an apparent obsession with moving closer to the Tories? I have only just joined the Labour Party because I need to be inside to try and change anything.

    1. Florence

      The grass roots must be stronger than the Blairites in getting a better vision, and a better leader than Hunt or Umanna. It was so stupid for Miliband to resign, as the party needed a leader to stay and have that “conversation” about the direction, and then chose the leader for that job. By electing any of Mandy’s mates that will close down the conversation for another decade.

  9. Ian Young (@youngian67)

    If he’s interested in Michael Heseltine than he’s not a neo-liberal but interested in ideas of mixed economy corporatist planning. Which means showing leadership in areas where business is failing badly and not delivering the goods. Not sure if Umuna’s the man for the job but donning the mantel of the white heat of technology will do Labour no harm.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I didn’t say he was a neoliberal. Blue Labour rejects neoliberalism. He’s still a Tory, though.

  10. chriskitcher

    After 5 years of Tory brutalism the political climate will have changed out of all recognition. Any new leader needs to be aware of the hatred and despair that will coexist in 2020 and will have to be able to offer choice of a more inclusive, less divisive society which I am sure even those left wing Tories voted for this time will want to see restored.

  11. Martin Dore

    He’s my local MP and he’s extremely popular here. I can’t see a more credible candidate than Chukka. We seem to have lost the last election as the party was thought to have lurched too far to the left. reclaiming the middle ground could be our only way of avoiding another Tory win. Ask yourself this, forgetting whether he’s a little too left or right for your tastes, do you think he can persuade undecided voters? That’s an essential criteria for the next election. Burnham definitely can’t but I reckon Chukka just might.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Credible? He’s a Conservative, posing as Labour. No – the party was NOT thought to have lurched anywhere, particularly not too far to the left. Only the right-wing media and right-wingers in the Labour Party are telling you that.
      Can Chuka persuade undecided voters? Certainly. He’ll persuade them to vote for the REAL Tories.

  12. perkleangel

    I disagree, I have met with Chuka and discussed his ideas. He is very socialist but sees the importance of business (as we all should). When confronted about NI and making the tax system simpler, he stated that NI needed to be protected due to its contributory nature, thus protecting people from it being a “Handout”. He is a human being, he came across as a person not a politician and actually answered my questions. Simply, I think you are wrong. He supported Ed, is all about Ed and is a socialist or Ed wouldn’t have picked him for a shadow cabinet position.

    I am aghast to hear you say he’s blue labour or a red tory. Divide and conquer is a Tory game, and I am disappointed you are feeding the beast.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He IS Blue Labour. Blue Labour is an organisation within the Labour Party and Chuka Umunna is a member.

      Blue Labour advocates the belief that working class voters will be won back to Labour through socially conservative ideas on certain social and international issues, such as immigration, crime and the European Union, a rejection of neoliberal economics in favour of ideas from guild socialism and continental corporatism, and a switch to local and democratic community management and provision of services, rather than relying on a traditional welfare state.

    1. Florence

      Tom Watson, or Michael Meacher? There are others, too. Dennis needs to have a better prospect at his age than the cut & thrust needed for the next 5 years. But he is a national treasure.

  13. jim

    first time I disagree with you the guy can bring us back to being electable for christ sake I would have him and tom watson we need someone who people believe can run this party on this you are WRONG

  14. Ian

    Good grief, folks, Tristram Hunt? Like, really? I know Umunna is an objectionable Tory git who should just cross the floor of the house and have done but whatever the questions you have, Tristram Hunt is definitely not the answer. He is genuinely clueless. He’s one of the production line of know nothing, say nothings that Labour seem to specialise in these days. As Mike hints at above, he was mindbogglingly useless on QT, even a cretin like Michael Gove had him on toast. Michael Gove, ffs. Any half decent shadow education minister would have eviscerated that ridiculous little fart.

    Problem is, looking at the possibles for the leader’s job, they are all bland, identikit nothings, same with the rest of the Labour MPs. That might even be part of the problem, who is going to vote for drab, uninspiring, talentless, empty, careerist, cryptoTory wonks?

  15. Timro

    Paul Flynn has endorsed Umunna. Unbelievable! Surely so oily and insubstantial a character (and fan of Michael Heseltine) as Umunna couldn’t possibly ever be elected Labour leader? Surely not? God forbid.

  16. Nick

    Labours days are over if you don’t like Tristram Hunt then you will need to stick with Harriet Harman

    Umunna is not the right man trust me and neither is Yvette cooper

    Caroline Flint might be better. Luciana Berger could be great if i got to meet her my professional qualities are putting people in the right job but it is not easy when i have not met them

    And just watching someone on the TV will get you nowhere you have look at them face to face and preferably spend the evening with them so you get to see how they react with others and how others react with them which is just as important

    my tory mp is good he goes for walks with the public he picks up litter etc he scales down buildings for charity he’s out and about he’s part of our forum in crawley so is at the end of a pm for example

    he is not perfect he thinks i am better or was better in the old days and i was but you get my drift it’s about having a get together with the locals be it in the pub or the mosque it’s we are together

    That is the sort of person labour needs to lead a leader that is leading not in words but in deeds and to be seen out and about like my mp

    anything else is certain failure and you will need to shut up shop as the public demand the best and they’ve not got it

  17. Jim Round

    Labour Party members (like your good-self) need to either mobilise against it or get used to Blairites circling for the leadership.
    I keep repeating it but it is very true that all the parties want is power, and they will do whatever they see fit to get it (think back to the Lib Dems in 2010)
    The remaining unions supporting Labour need to grow a backbone and withdraw support if they continue with neoliberalism.
    Just like The Tories cling on to Thatcherism, Labour clings on to Blairism (historic third terms and all that nonsense).
    Have you ever spoken face to face or had a meaningful twitter exchange with anyone in Labour who is still to the left? What are their thoughts? Why do they stay loyal?
    I still (sadly) believe that the country will not elect a left wing party, not at least for two generations, or until capitalism finally fails.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Capitalism failed in 2008. The neoliberals have been trying to resurrect its corpse ever since.

      1. Jim Round

        No, I mean when it REALLY fails, when house prices drop by over 50% and the banks can no longer be bailed out for example.

  18. Pat Roberts

    I’m with Mike here! Umunna is wishy-washy and has no personality to speak of. He agrees too much with the Tories and doesn’t instill any feelings of excitement that he may be the next leader! I’m not excited by any of the favourites to be honest,I really like Andy Burnham but not as leader, too quietly spoken and not full of oomph, which is what we need! We also need to hurry the leadership along and be ready for the opening of Parliament with a leader installed and ready to face what will be a very in your face and nasty party left to their own devices! A Maggie Thatcher 5 yrs we are looking at, their hero!

  19. Guy Ropes

    So if cheeky Chuka is voted in – democratically – to become leader of the Labour Party, can we interested onlookers have your word that all naysayers here will withdraw their memberships because you feel so strongly about it? Or will you all ‘work from the inside’ to effect his removal? You are priceless.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Of course not – what a silly suggestion. Why would I even want to tell other people what to do? As for myself, I would stay with the party in order to try to prevent any damage that might ensue.
      And no – YOU are priceless.

    2. Pat Roberts

      You are priceless!perhaps we shouldn’t have an opinion different to yours, perhaps the Labour leadership that affects all of us members should just stop now and we all bow down to your superiority and shut up! I’ve fought and fought for 5 years for Labour, donated,walked, posted, talked,donated weekly to the campaign and neglected my family at times, hubby and dog, not kids! I’ve joined many Labour groups, I really liked Ed Milliband, he stood for everything that’s good in this country, fairness and honesty! He has been castigated by the Bully boys from Hill to burn and I’m gutted for him!It obviously lacked something the campaign and it needs sorting out! I will have my say who comes next as I am a member and have the right to! And you say I’m priceless???

  20. Steve Grant

    Chuka is far too young and still an idealist….he makes enemies very quickly .I think that if he waits his time will come….but not in the Labour Party.The safe hands and articulate candidates are Yvette Cooper or Chris Leslie….either will do….

  21. Hemal

    Though Chuka isn’t my first choice to be leader of Labour (I much prefer Liz Kendall/Tristram Hunt) I think we have to be realistic about how we will win in 2020. This won’t be by becoming the much more left wing party than we once were (though I personally would prefer that, it wouldn’t sit well with the unappealing leadership and ideas that only really appeal to our very core electorate. Our policies will mean nothing to people if we don’t present them with a good face. We speak of New Labour as if it lost us three elections than actually won us three. Though I don’t think going back to New Labour completely is a good idea but a revitalised version of it would win us back English voters, which is where the election will be won. We don’t want to spend anymore time in opposition than we have to, we need Labour in by 2020.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t believe any return to any kind of New Labour values would win back votes. People are more educated now; they can see that there’s very little difference between New Labour and Tory; and also the crash happened under New Labour, remember. If they want that kind of right-wing government, they’ll go the whole hog and vote Tory, rather than watered-down Tory.
      You’d consider Tristram Hunt as leader? Ye gods…

  22. Steven Smith

    When a social democratic party abandons its core supporters and moves to the right to capture centre- ground voters this can work electorally in the short-term : you can gain more new supporters than you lose old ones . The trouble is these new supporters tend to be fair-weather friends who turn away from the party at the first sign of trouble ; and when they do nothing but an empty shell is left behind . This is the road Chuka Ummuna and his like are proposing to take us down .

  23. julielloyd44

    My choice would have been Dan Jarvis ,excellent leading credentials and left of centre untainted by Blairism ! This a pity he’s not been persuaded !

  24. Dave Styles

    I was once a member of Labour for a short while (when John Smith was the leader). When Blair became leader, the party ceased to be socialist and discarded its roots – becoming ‘Tory Plan B’. I left the Labour Party shortly after that. What followed was 13 years of electoral success for Labour – but also Iraq, PFI, massive privatisation of public services (more than under Thatcher) and almost all of the Blair/Brown economic policy was in essence Thatcherite. This is why the Labour Party lost its core support – I would even go so far as to say ‘lost it’s soul’ (despite being an atheist). For me the Labour Party will remain in the political wilderness until it re-connects with ‘its soul’. I doubt that this is likely in Scotland and I have strong doubts that this will happen in England. Frankly Labour is no longer the party of Bevan, Skinner, Foot or Benn (to name a few) and no longer connects to its roots in the Labour movement. As such it is no longer fit for purpose and has nothing with which I can identify (other than being a marginally better option at elections than the Tories or Lib/Dem’s which is hardly an accolade). If I am wrong then I may have to reconsider – but equally I am sure that neither Umanna nor any other Blairite is any part of that process.

  25. aussieeh

    What is needed is a young Dennis Skinner some one who is not afraid to stand up and tell the truth. Surely that is what is missing in parliament today, call it as you see it.

    1. Nick

      it’s a bit late in the day i think for that type of politics’ you have to remember the press run the country as it is there overall influence on people on how people vote

      not everyone will vote the press way but most do

      1. chriskitcher

        This is a very sad truism. Why not see it as an opportunity and challenge the press through social media. I feel very strongly that whichever party wins the next election it will be much more through interaction with people on social media than through the press barons of today. Get in there first Labour.

  26. bookmanwales

    The past is the past and whether we believe it or not the conditions for a far left party are simply not there. There are not enough dying / starving / overworked people in the country for anyone to pay attention to, ( though even 1 dying or starving is enough in my book)
    Any transformation has to appeal to all sections of society not just the “poor working class” Lots of working class people don’t see themselves as working class instead see themselves as middle class and on the way up, a far cry from the 1920’s to 1960’s

  27. Nick

    Whatever your take on politics the bottom line is we wont agree among ourselves and on that basis alone it’s a very lonely journey for an opposition politician

    The only upside is the pay is good and rising and also the perks

    for most mp’s it’s ideal as once out as a mp they then start to look at where my daughter works in Westminster trying to get back in as a consultant but please to say most fail as her boss is not daft

  28. jim

    well lets get a leftie who will apoligise for all the bad things that new labour did mike the crash happened under us but wasn’t our fault new deal, minimum wage, surestarts, nhs vastly improved police increased, 3 election victories, rights to working people, human right bill, and I can bloody carry on the party has to show to EVERY person we are ready to govern why the hell did ed not explain how the crash happened instead of bloody apoligising half the time for what we did yes we spent but for the right reasons and it was slowly starting to recover before that morons took over I getting fed up of listening to lets not go back there why not? we won 3 times because we appealed to everyone we need someone like chuka to stand and be a leader because if we get anyone else we have no hope in hell getting back in

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I find it hard to understand your stance here, Jim. You partly argue in support of my own opinions, then leap to supporting Chuka Umunna. Why do you think someone who is practically a Conservative in Labour clothing would be a good Labour leader? We don’t need quislings.

  29. jim

    quislings thats a snp saying I think isnt it? we all harp on about how bad the new labour era was? was it bad for all the things it did and got done? what I am saying is he can appeal to other voters to swing back to labour then repair all the things that the tories have done because we are still a party of the nhs and equality and I think that will happen and calling him a quisling is low

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      ‘Quisling’ – a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country. Seems a pretty apt description for someone in the Labour Party who thinks corporations, rather than working people, are wealth creators.
      You need to understand that Labour would not repair the damage caused by the Tories under the leadership of such a man. Instead, it would increase the wealth gap between the rich and the poor, as the Blair/Brown government did to its eternal shame. That’s not to say that New Labour did not achieve some good things – it did – but it also increased private involvement in public services and brought in changes to the benefit system that have caused an unknown amount of harm; we won’t know until the DWP passes that information on to me, as it is now legally bound to do.

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