Thursday, May 20, 2010

Diane Abbott: UK Twits Say Tomayto USA Twits Say Tomarto

So comrades, Diane Abbott MP has joined the leadership race report The Guardian. Twitter is all a tweet. Bookies are offering 25-1. Curtains for John McDonnell MP's bid? LOL have been calling on him to give way to and back a woman on the left for some time. Now's his chance. He can make it the first update on his John4Leader site since March 27. What's happening?

Tweeters, myself included, have been using two spellings of Diane/Dianne. The correct spelling has trended worldwide, though trailing "#songstohavesexto" rather badly. The incorrect spelling is bronze medalling in the UK, also behind said groovy hashtag. Which brings into question the whole Worldwide/UK trending algorithm, not to mention our literacy.

MEANWHILE: Centre Left Grassroots Alliance blogger and NEC member Peter Kenyon hails Diane's declaration as a galvanising gamechanger. Her fans (er, not) have commented. They say Lemon. Actually the anonymous troll one syntaxes like a Balls. Coincidence I'm sure.

Peter also reveals behind the scenes moves for a substantial extension to the nominations window. Perhaps even to the end of July.


Matthew Stiles said...

Well, ideally both Diane and John would be on the ballot. John as a principled, eloquent left-winger from a working-class background. Diane as an eloquent, left-wing black woman. Not sure the numbers are there though due to the high threshold of nominating MP's needed. Isn't the Campaign Group functioning at all?

David Lindsay said...

I would not vote for Condoleezza Rice, and I do not care that she is a black woman. Yes, I would vote for a white man against her if his views were closer than hers to mine, which would not be terribly difficult. Yes, I would have voted for George Galloway against Oona King. Diane Abbott does both her sex and her ethnic group a grave disservice by putting herself forward merely because "there has to be a black woman candidate". What, any black woman candidate? Oona King? Condoleezza Rice?

Abbott falsely told John Humphrys that John McDonnell had conceded and withdrawn, a claim which the Today programme has had to correct. There is no way that both she and he will secure thirty-three nominations. McDonnell, who would certainly have won forty per cent of the constituency section in the immediate post-Blair days and who might even have carried that section at that time, is seeking to identify, and to begin to build, the Labour Left Party to be set free by electoral reform. Abbott merely thinks that one of the candidates should be a black woman, just because.

As for her having sent her son to a private school, that does not compare to Ed Balls's having attended one by the choice of his parents. However, it must be said that Harold Wilson sent his children to private schools while he was Prime Minister. Anyway, the school attended by the Milliband brothers was at least as swanky as that attended by Balls, only maintained at even more direct and generous public expense. Andy Burnham, however, may be a grammar school boy, since those beacons of educational light and hope were maintained by Labour in Lancashire in spite of Margaret Thatcher first as Education Secretary and then as Prime Minister. Someone should ask him about grammar schools. Alas, we probably would not be surprised. But we might, just might, be.

Chris Paul said...

David - on what evidence or agile calculation do you think John McDonnell would have won 40% of the constituency section against Brown? I really don't think you're correct there. If that were so the left would be winning selections in winnable seats and it ain't been happening all that much has it? But we'll never know.

I simply don't think McDonnell should assume he is to be the candidate of the left. He probably cannot unite 33 comrades closest to him in politics because those 20 or so places to the right of him are drawn to the best of the young guns. So how would he unite 250?

Clearly if the objective is to get 33 nominations from the left and knowing that prople will vote for someone no more than say 15 places left of them in the continuum you need to start selecting from 18th in. That's the calculation.

Whatever his good points are John has spent his local government and parliamentary career dissing people who almost agree with him the most. He is not the right candidate. Diane may not be either but she has at least as much right to stand as Maccy D and she does add something to the choice on offer.

Not sure what you're saying about Grammar Schools, but surely making every single school a good school and having no secondary moderns for those who failed some obscure tests at 10 or 11 is no bad thing?

Chris Paul said...

Doh! Realise Mr Lindsay has pastyed an entire blogpost from his blog into my comments unamended. Oh dear.

Al the Greengrocer said...

David Lindsay clearly needs a history lesson. Andy Burnham went to a school in Newton Le Willows which just happens to be in the Borough of St. Helen's, Merseyside and not in Lancashire. Newton was previously in Lancashire up to 1974 when Andy Burnham was 4 years old!!! So, by the time Andy was 11 and went to secondary school, Newton had not been in Lancashire for 7 years. Incidentally, Andy Burnham attended St. Aelred's R.C High School in Newton and not a grammar school.