michael grieveMichael Grieve says he wants a unifying UK Labour leader, but the narrowing of the field to just two candidates leaves him with no-one to vote for.


I have been a member of the Labour Party since 1983, and have supported every leader since then. I may not have voted for them – I never voted for Tony Blair and I never voted for Ed Miliband – but I supported them as leader because they had a democratic right to be there. They had been voted in by the membership, by the trades unions, by the MPs and MEPs and by the socialist societies. I had cast my votes and it was democratic.

The way our leader used to be elected meant with a vote for my Labour Party membership, a vote for my Co-op Party membership, a vote for my Fabian Society membership and a vote for my Unite the Union membership I got a more than fair say in the leadership elections.

That system has now changed, but even if I still had four votes I would feel disenfranchised right now as I simply do not want to vote for either of the candidates. Neither of them inspire me to vote for them.

I don’t believe that Jeremy will ever get the support among the electorate that Tony Blair had, so I don’t see Labour getting into government and that’s the main reason for our party’s existence. We are not a protest group – our main aim has to always been to get into government and at the moment under Jeremy we are not even an effective opposition.

That does not mean that I want a leader who is a “Blair copy”, and that’s what I think Owen Smith is. What is annoying me is that the PLP had their coup and Angela Eagle soared in (see what I did there) took the flack and then dropped out leaving us a straight choice. Now I have always believed that the Labour Party is a broad church and the leadership election should reflect that. But neither of the two remaining candidates reflect the Labour Party I want or what I want in a leader.

I want a leader who is not divisive, who is not seen a right or left but seen as Labour. A leader who can unite the party again. At the moment we don’t have anyone stepping forward to do this and it now seems it’s too late for a candidate that could actually save Labour.

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20 thoughts on “Can Labour be saved?

    1. Michael is saying what many people are thinking if they are honest with themselves. It’s frustrating to see the party slowly unfold and be powerless to stop it.

      The way it looks to me is that UK Labour is out of power for 9 years at least, but even then, there is no guarantee it will be our ‘natural turn’ to govern again.
      There has been such a swing towards the nationalist right in England, encouraged by the tabloids, that there may be no realistic way back for Labour even as a moderate socialist party, regardless of the leader. Fast forward another decade and it could be even worse, with a half privatised NHS and workers conditions and rights stripped back to the bare minimum.

      In Scotland, Labour has a chance to forge our own path and a real opportunity to return to power here after independence.
      But for Kezia and many others it would be too much like losing face to backtrack at this stage, so we will likely get dragged down with the UK.

      Surely there must be many who just want to vote for a real Scottish Labour party in a real Scottish nation state?
      We might not be one of the biggest economies in the world, but does that really matter? What really counts is the standard of life for people who live here. We can set an example as a modern progressive European nation that treats our citizens with dignity and respect.

  1. Which party is it you want to save? The Red Tory party or the Socialist Labour party? You have to be more specific.

    “I don’t believe that Jeremy will ever get the support among the electorate that Tony Blair”

    What? Come again? Are you another drone from a far distant alternate universe? Jeremy Corbyn has already exceeded the electorate support Blair had at his peak. Blair managed during his God awful term in office to lose 4 million supporters from the electorate. Corbyn during his much smaller term as leader has already increased electorate support to a point where it exceeded Blairs!

    You’ve got the moronic Red Tory Blairites actually telling the electorate through their equally moronic media sycophants that Labour is unelectable! What do you think the result of that is going to be? If they cant run the party they will happily run the party into the ground just to make sure it never again becomes a Socialist or Socially Democratic party once again.

    What is it with Labour and the army of self deceived delusional drones? Don’t you know that being a Blairite means you’re a fucking Tory by Ideological default?

  2. BTW Blair has endorsed his long term pal Owen Smith for Leader even after Owen declared he was no Blairite. And that’s in spite of getting John McTory Blairite McTernan to head up his campaign.

    FFS if you want to fool people you cant do it by being in your face stupidly dishonest you have to be believable and credible.

    The moron might as well deny being a Red Tory Blairite after having “I’m a Red Tory Blairite” tattooed on his forehead!

    1. Of course the truth is that Blair hasn’t endorsed Owen Smith, and John McTernan is not heading up his campaign.

      FFS Mike, if you want to fool people you can’t do it by being in your face stupidly dishonest you have to be believable and credible.

  3. Owen doesn’t excite me either, but at least he could make a decent stab at presenting himself and the party as a government. It is a sad commentary on the party that the field is so limited. Actually, it looks like Jeremy will be with us for some time, so we probably have five to ten years to get a credible socialist programme together, and, who knows, a credible socialist leader. I need to live in hope. Then again, perhaps Parliamentary democracy has had its day in the clickocracy and governments don’t have any power to do anything. Perhaps Jeremy’s evangelical indignation and protest movement is the way of the future. At least everyone feels good in the hall. I sometimes also despair.

    1. “Owen doesn’t excite me either, but at least he could make a decent stab at presenting himself and the party as a government”

      In what universe? Where will he find the ground roots support when they’re backing Jeremy Corbyn by a massive majority?

      You cant be a Government if the only people who vote for your candidates are the candidates themselves and their families!

      For crying out loud! Your PLP is fighting its own support! Its like sawing off your own legs in the hope that your torso can move around faster.

      Cant you people see that the cancer in Labour is the red tory Blairite faction which only gained power in the first place because they lied about who they truly were and when Labour voters cottoned on they stop voting Labour in their millions!

      Its not the socialists in Labour who are unelectable its the fucking Red Tory Blairites! And they actually don’t care! if they cant get a Red Tory Blairite Government in power or opposition then they will happily destroy any chance of any other kind of Labour party ever getting into power!

      Wake the fuck up and eject this cancer from your party before you truly are terminal!

    1. Owen Jones denies there is such a thing as a Red Tory in Labour. He wont acknowledge that Labour policies mirror Conservative ideology. Just another drone in denial.

  4. Michael, I think your comments will strike a chord with many.
    Trouble is, I don’t think the person you seek is out there, although some “dark horse” could emerge, someone we have never heard of, dripping charisma and purpose, to captivate and motivate us all………….but probably not!

    I still think there will be a split.
    Corbyn is heading for another victory, the media detest him, he cannot unite or close down opposition in the PLP, and there will be money “available” ( with strings) for a “new” Party.
    Whatever way this goes, it is a bleak future that awaits traditional Labour for years ahead.

    1. Corbyns main fault is the fact that he isn’t ruthless enough! He should have clean swept the Blairites from his PLP when he first took power! This insurgency could have been avoided and would have been if he wasn’t the nice guy is he.

  5. Michael,
    What you want in life and what you have are rarely the same.
    There is only one way to unite the Labour Party now. The division between the members and Labours’ MPs is so great that those MPs who do not support their leader have to be removed. Deselected is the term. I think it should go further than that, I believe their membership of the party should be cancelled. This is the only option left. It is the right thing to do. The MPs no longer represent the wishes or beliefs of the members.
    I have said this in other comments on Labour Hame. This present crisis within Labour could see an end to the party as a serious political force in British politics. Dangerous times require drastic actions. The consequences of this coup need to be spelt out. If the coup fails there has to be a purge of those MPs that defy the party leader. If not the attrition will contimue and as I say the Labour will become an irrelevance. There is another important piece to this, those MPs that back the challenger have to know that walking away to form another party after the coup is put down is not an option. If they decide on a course of ultimate betrayal they cannot do so as a sitting MP, as a Labour MP. This has to be put to them before the leadership ballot because if if it is not, that is exactly what will happen.

  6. “That system has now changed, but even if I still had four votes I would feel disenfranchised right now as I simply do not want to vote for either of the candidates. Neither of them inspire me to vote for them.”

    I could draw parallels between that view and the views of a good chunk of Scottish voters when it comes to the binary choice of the UK’s parties. THAT system hasn’t fundamentally changed – it’s one where only a Labour or Tory leader can become PM.

    But hey, I don’t know why you’re complaining. At least you get a choice – Tory party members did not, nor did the rest of us. The system at work.

      1. Duncan,
        I am blocked from Labour List for calling Gordon Brown a liar. Any chance you might use your massive influence and have a word with Peter Edwards. I sure they must be missing me.

      2. No it proves John McTernan is a liar. Probably why he made a career out of it.

  7. Michael you will have to wait until Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership election against Owen Smith who is being set up as the fall guy by the dark forces of Peter Mandelson and Neil Kinnock who are waiting in the wings with loads of dosh from Blarite supporters to engineer a split from the Labour Party and set up a new Labour Party along with I50 Blairite MPs so you will have to either stick with the what’s left Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party or the New Blairite Labour Party with a new unelected leader name of Stephen so hey ho something for you to mull over.

  8. Mike, Mike, Mike.

    I know you hate Blair – everyone does.

    However you might want to consider that your hate figure [a Labour Party member hating the one Leader who got them back into power!] was the most successful Labour politician for decades. He took an unelectable rabble and turned it into an election winning machine.

    Your last few leaders and now Comrade Corbyn have managed to reverse that process completely.

    Here’s a little tip for you – the UK electorate always votes for the middle ground; a little bit left sometimes or a little bit right. Jeremy, bless him, is way too far to the left for the UK electorate and the party is now infested again with the hard left.

    You just don’t realise that you are ensuring Tory governments for the next 8-10 years plus.

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