Please Sir, why are the leaders of the 3 largest UK-wide political parties all white middle aged grey suited men?

With the result, announced today, that members of the Liberal Democrat Party have selected Sir Ed Davey to be their new Leader it means the leaders of the 3 largest UK-wide political parties are back to being middle aged, white men in grey suits. Hardly an endorsement of multi-culturalism or a boost for women in politics.

What’s more the new leaders of the 2 supposedly progressive parties, Lib Dems & Labour, are both ‘Sirs’, a title that hardly makes either of them look like politicians of the people and probably more akin to establishment figures. Both are seemingly widely regarded as ‘a safe pair of hands’ following both parties going through periods of political trauma, but they’re also spoken of as ‘boring’. These sober but uninspiring traits will hardly inspire voters to move towards more progressive politics I fear.

As a radical progressive of the left and a member of the old Liberal Party and Lib Dems since 1980 I’ve seen uninspiring leaders (both of my own party and indeed other parties) before and it usually ends in tears. You may not have liked Blair, particularly after Iraq, but he was an inspiring figure that the electorate really took to in his early years, like they did Charles Kennedy, John Smith and Paddy Ashdown. What worries me is how Starmer and Davey can gain the hearts and minds of voters when neither seem to have the ability to do that. I very much hope I’m wrong about this I might add.

Yes, of course, I was backing Layla Moran MP to be the new Lib Dem Leader as she seems to me to have all the qualities that are seemingly missing in Starmer and Davey. It was always going to be an uphill battle for her though as the Lib Dem establishment were not keen on her radical progressive politics which I guess they thought could well frighten the horses. The big money went to Sir Ed and his campaign which clearly gave him a huge advantage – I think I had 4 mailshots from his campaign which generous donors clearly paid for. However, that around 50% of the 100,000 Lib Dem members did not vote at all tells its own story.

It will be interesting to see if Sir Ed can actually step up to become an inspiring vote winner, as it will of Starmer but let’s put if this way, my feeling is that the uphill struggle for progressive politics in England and Wales has sadly got a little steeper via the election of Starmer and Davey. Again though I would be very pleased to be proved wrong.

More on the dilemma that Labour MP’s face

I have been following, as readers of this blog site will know, the dilemma of Labour MP’s after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as their Leader. It is all too obvious that the vast majority of Labour MP’s did not want him as their Leader and they still don’t want him.

Yesterday of course the Labour Leadership via Shadow chancellor John McDonnell did a huge U turn and decided not to support the Tories financial planning for the public deficit, a plan they said they were going to support only a few days ago!

Also, have you noticed that Labour MP’s who do not support Jeremy Corbyn seem to express their loyalty to the Labour Party and not to their Leader? This has to end in tears.

So here we have a political party which its ordinary members and supporters now have a Leader they want, voted for by a huge majority and are loyal to. None of the other candidates came anywhere near presumably because Labour members thought they were all too far to the right. Yet the vast majority of Labour MP’s are backers of the 3 candidates who lost, or to put it bluntly got hammered, in the Leadership election.

My reading of this bizarre situation is that this is far from being a sustainable situation and that something has to give. In the real world of party politics the ‘give’ can only really be a coup by Labour MP’s or the MP’s who are not supportive of Jeremy Corbyn being deselected.