Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hilary for Deputy!

(BBC Online)
A no of fellow Labour bloggers have mentioned who they would like to see as Deputy Leader (see here and here for example).
I would ideally like it to be a woman, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be anyone in the higher echelons in the Party who I think I would like to see in the role. The much maligned and misunderstood Ruth Kelly perhaps, although her track record is not impressive in some areas and she is not popular either.
So who out of the men would make a good deputy? Well apart from the title of this blog piece being a giveaway, I do like the idea of it being Peter Hain. I like Jon Cruddas, but I am not sure about the role of Deputy being distinct from that of a cabinet post. Alan Johnson I don't know much about, but of course there is Hilary Benn.
Why Hilary? Well he has been rather good at DfID, working hard to achieve those millenium development goals. He has a lot of experience at grassroots and local government level, he has good contacts, and has been involved in the running of three government departments. Like his father (although father and son are from different wings of the Party), he is charming, polite, sociable and thoughtful. Respecting those who hold different views to his own. He is also down-to-earth and the only sitting cabinet minister I have met who I have dared to address by his first name (that shows just what a friendly and approachable guy he is!)
So if Hilary stands for Deputy, then I will support him!


Andrea said...

"I would ideally like it to be a woman, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be anyone in the higher echelons in the Party who I think I would like to see in the role"

yes, I can't see any currently Labour high profile women in that role:
- Ruth Kelly: no comment...I would call back Clare Short if faced with Kelly prospect!
- Patricia Hewitt: I quite like her, but I'm probably the only one
- Hazel Blears: she's not a bad politician...but she just has to stop smiling all the time!!
- Hilary Armstrong: one of the most useless politicians around
- Tessa Jowell: less useless than Hilary, but not a great improvement either.
- Margheret Beckett: the "safe pair of hands"....but probably too old....she has been around for so long, Labour needs to renew itseld

Paul Burgin said...

Well here is my criteria:

1) Ruth Kelly - Have mentioned my views already

2)Patricia Hewitt - I quite like her, but for some inexplicable reason some people don't, plus between her and Benn I would go for Hilary.

3) Hazel Blears - Not good on live programmes compared to some politicians

4) Hilary Armstrong - Too emotional. If she is uncontrollable enough to throw a book at the Conservative benches after a nasty exchange with the PM in the Commons, and that is not the only example, then I am unsure about her viability as deputy.

5) Tessa Jowell - Not after the casinos and the scandal involving her husband

6) I never warmed particually to Margaret Beckett and her style,and she seemed to conveniently change her politics with the way the wind was blowing in the 1980's! Plus she has been deputy already

Will said...

Adele said...

Patricia Hewitt - one of the most patronising people alive

Barry Beef said...

Paul - inexplicable means something that cannot be explained. Anyone's dislike of Hewitt (either her shabby policies, her 'best year for the NHS' quote or the talking with her hands because she is so patronising) are very easily explained

Paul Burgin said...

Barry I know what the word means. Yes there are her comments about the NHS, but that is an ongoing problem, irrespective of who runs that department. Yes she can come across as patronising on occasion (But how many people do!), but compared to Margaret Beckett she is humility personified in how she comes across.

Suzanne said...

I am veering towards Hilary Benn as Deputy to Alan Johnson’s PM. Like you I would rather see a woman in the role but don’t really see a true contender.

If we were playing fantasy politics though it would have to be David Miliband as PM and Douglas Alexander as Deputy.........

Paul Burgin said...

Not sure about Milliband or Johnson, but once Gordon Brown retires I would be happy to see Hilary Benn or Douglas Alexander in the top job! Plus I would be happy to see Milliband as Johnson's deputy ;)