Finally, Vote for Diane Abbott for Mayor and give Sadiq Kahn your second preference. This is an odd one, there’s little to choose between the candidates on policy, although Gareth Thomas is for Heathrow Runway 3 and all the others oppose it. Jobs vs. Air Quality. I like Sadiq Kahn’s commitment to planting trees and buying up London’s Hospital’s debt, although there may be issues of ultra vires and I like Abbot’s bravery in pursuing rent controls, which should be Labour policy. With few exceptions, I expect each of the candidates to nick the best policies from each other, so it’s important to hear from them using their own words. Certainly at the South London hustings, Christian Wolmar was congratulated by several of the candidates for his transport policy initiatives and there’s little doubt that many of his ideas will make it into the manifesto.
The issue here is heart and commitment and I am supporting Dianne. She has a record of getting the big questions right.
I shall be voting for Tom Watson for Deputy and ask you to do so too. He is a long term campaigner on the side of the good. He has shown he stands up for what he thinks is right and has Government experience having served in the last labour Governments in Defence and the Cabinet Office. In 2010, he took the citizens position and opposed the Digital Economy Act, and during the last Parliament he opposed the Governments repeated attempts to introduce and legalise mass surveillance, most recently 15 months ago when he led the opposition to DRIP, an opposition he took to court and won, with the unique result that the courts have put a judicial sunset clause on the Act. He has also taken the government to court to have their information sharing with the USA declared illegal because of the military use the American make of it. He led the majority on the Culture Media and Sports select committee on phone hacking and media plurality
The political choice in selecting Labour’s next leader involves choosing a platform and strategy. The platform choice is pretty clear, growth vs. austerity-lite. The strategy choices equally so, triangulation vs. a clear choice. So that’s simple then; it has to be Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour’s electoral roll for its 2015 elections has now closed. We took a decision last year to extend the franchise for the election of Leader, Deputy Leader and its candidate for Mayor of London to supporters and over 120,000 people have signed up as well as over 100,000 new full members. I hope that this is a first step for them in helping Labour rebuild and create an effective opposition, although not only do we need them to stay with us, we need to respectfully listen to them.
As one minor elected voluntary official I welcome you to Labour’s movement.
Left Foot Forward publishes an article “Who is the ‘human rights candidate’ for Labour’s leadership?”. This is based on a post on the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, who publish the candidates answers in their own words on their own blog. One of the LCHR’s questions was on Surveillance, and none of them have consulted me ;), but Cooper and Burnham both support the need for judicial authorisation and probable cause. Kendall and Corbyn both support strengthening the legal framework in favour of civil liberties. Kendall states she opposes the privacy breaches inherent in mass surveillance. Corbyn that he thinks mass surveillance is ineffective (and thus not justified?).