The would-be hard-men
Pritti Patel - she's had a crack at it; but not very convincing
Boris - trying to box clever: widely assumed to be adopting a Cummings-strategy of invoking a Culture War that he can win. Probably better at this than his utterly, culpably lame Covid performance (see also Starmer below)
Stormzy - yup, he's pitched in, but with cash rather than outright leadership
Owen Jones - feeble, predictable stuff; and he's quickly risen to the Boris Bait on trans rights
Gary Lineker - ditto feeble & predictable
Oxbridge Armchair revolutionaries - still armchair-bound: well, Social Distancing, don't y'know (!)
A.N.Other - well Marcus Rashford has certainly trended strongly this week: & perfectly responsible, too, if we allow footballers to input politically (see also Demands below). Any other nominees?
The parliamentary Left
Diane Abbbottt - not really trying. Along with the rest of Team Corbs, she's vacated the field (at least for now)
David Lammy - started exactly as we said: voice of reason & nuance. Has decided to go for it a bit more in the last couple of days - so, one to watch. In the obvious absence of any clear leadership, he's keeping all his options open
Sadiq Khan - as confidently predicted, he's been ducking & diving all over the shop. And will continue to do so, triangulating and calibrating every inch of the way, every hour of the day. Is anyone impressed by this? I've never met anyone on the left who considers him anything other than a (successful &) unscrupulous careerist. Then again, ditto Boris ... so everyone has that wary degree of respec'
Kier Starmer - aloof, as we knew he would be: but the whole Starmer picture needs to be covered in more than just a one-liner: some preliminary observations below
The missing Demands
Infinite kudos to Rashford - he's come up with something concrete and deliverable! For the rest, they're floundering. I have seen the word "reparations" crop up a couple of times (and not just BTL on this blog). Anyone else spotted something in the "feasible / deliverable" category? - besides the laughable "bi-partisan statue protection" policy ...
No sign of the XR-style strategy being readied by Government: but I'm sure it's on the shelf - they have laudably tended to act by bold strokes that take people by surprise. Nobody's really formulated it as a demand yet, although there are loads of vague desiderata in the air. We must believe it's being ruminated upon in the camp of ...
This man's willingness to piss off the Left knows few limits. As I've suggested here before, he's presumably decided an out-and-out showdown is inevitable, so let's get it on, and out of the way. But his reactive and non-combative output is driving the left beserk. Classic example: his own condemnation of the weekend confrontations didn't attack "racism" in those terms - but Boris' did!
Strategically he must be right to be precipitating off the Left per se. But there is a danger for him in this: it seems that BAME members are quitting Labour at a disproportionate rate, to cries of "the BAME vote is being taken for granted". The optics are obviously awful.
As we said before: he needs to watch his back, even if he thinks Labour has nowhere else to go for leadership. (Incidentally, he does benefit from a posse of heavyweight Blairites watching his back for him.)
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The "Labour Together" election report will be published soon; and we must suppose the EHRC will come off the pot eventually. They'll be important events in the grid.