In the wake of Labour’s colossal defeat at the polls last week and Ed Miliband’s rapid exit, the shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna has now confirmed he will be standing for the Labour leadership. Viewed as a natural heir to Tony Blair (maybe not a good sign?), the slick talking Umunna is regarded as a pro business moderate who would try to pull the party back to the center and away from the ‘old Labour’ direction Miliband had taken the party in. Here’s the London born politician announcing his leadership bid in a video post to his Facebook page:
The party is embarking on some serious soul searching with many New Labour figures re emerging to denounce the party’s focus on the very poor and the very rich. They argue that Miliband forgot the centre and ran a campaign based on class warfare, a tactic Umunna has made clear he will avoid. He told the Observer: “Our vision as a party must start with the aspirations of voters: to get on and up in the world, to see their children and grandchildren do better than they did, to get that better job, to move from renting to owning, to take the family on holiday, to move from that flat to that house with a garden.”
Not exactly inspiring stuff, but given the thumping Labour took perhaps the only way to get elected is to promise everyone low rate mortgages and tax free travel to the south of Spain. For those convinced that Britain is fundamentally on the wrong path and that poverty and inequality are structural, Umunna’s candidacy will be a huge let down particularly given he is favored to win. This means Britain can look forward to another era of politics where there are no major differences between the major parties, where business takes precedence over people and fundamental problems are never addressed because they would disrupt the interests of the rich.
This is not to say that Labour under Umunna would not be a vast improvement over the Conservatives, who look set to embark on another round of vicious attacks on the welfare state. It just isn’t the revolution many on the Left were hoping for.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.