Labour leadership vacuum has led to disarray
It was only a few months ago that the Labour party looked set to take control of 10 Downing Street after a five year absence. Since then, divisive leader Ed Miliband has stepped down, whilst Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander lost their seats in surprising constituency results that foreshadowed the eventual Conservative win. What has remained is a leadership vacuum within the party – but how can they rectify this?
The general election in May ended up being far less spectacular than expected – polls anticipating another hung parliament ended up being well off, with the Conservatives earning a fairly comfortable majority win. In the end, Labour earned their lowest amount of seats since 1987, and there is now a race to find a viable candidate to lead the party into the future.
Harriet Harman is currently acting as the de-facto leader whilst they look for a permanent candidate. She’s already suffered from dissention in her short time in control, with 48 Labour MPs rebelling by voting against a welfare bill that Harman had herself endorsed. One of these included Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently one of the favourites to gain leadership according to a YouGov poll, despite many opposing his far-left views.
Corbyn’s campaigns against austerity and his view that the rich should be taxed more has been accepted by many trade unions and grassroots members, but figures such as ex-Labour leader Tony Blair have been vocal in stating that under Corbyn’s leadership the party would regress “back to the old days.”
Similarly, Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman, argued that Corbyn’s uncompromising socialism and scruffy appearance might seem attractive to the young and idealistic, but will be nothing more that – idealism. As it stands, Corbyn’s main opposition is Andy Burnham, who succinctly summed up the situation by saying “It was a mess, wasn’t it?”
The current crisis within the Labour party, with multiple fringe candidates, shows the importance of having a solid management system whether that be in politics or in business. Labour urgently need to consolidate themselves and find a leader who can appease not only the MPs but the general public as well.
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