Home > Analysis, Labour > How Red is Ed?

How Red is Ed?

If his father, Ralph Miliband and famous Marxist historian, was alive he would probably laugh and call his son a Tory. As a Conservative Tweeter said: “he’s only red in comparison to his brother which everyone is doing.” By everyone it can only be assumed that he is referring to the right-wing press and the Lib Dems.

Ed won the Labour Leadership by 1.3% – an incredibly close competition by anyone’s standards. Some have pointed out that he only won due to a “Union bloc”. They have little understanding of how the college system works, how AV works and how the Labour Party works.

The college system is far from ideal as it gives an individual the potential for more than one vote, but one also has to recognise that the Labour Party was established by Trade Unions, Socialist Societies and individual left-wing Parliamentarians. By recognising the obscure construction of the Labour Party the college system becomes more self-proving. As many members of the affiliates and unions aren’t members of Labour, the college system limits their power to restrict outside influence on the party.

By saying that Ed won because of a Union Bloc disregards the turnout for the Union vote at 10%. And it is also individual union members that vote not the Union Leaders. However endorsement does help. Either this is because the Union Leaders have gauged the opinion of the majority of their members or it gives a banner for undecided members to aim for. Take, for example, ASLEF who gave their endorsement to Diane Abbott – the majority of ASLEF members voted for Diane and not Ed thus further disproving the ‘Union bloc’ theory.

Now moving onto AV. AV is a preferrential voting system whereby a candidate needs 50% of the vote plus 1 in order to win. Low and behold Ed received more than 50% of the vote because he was more preferrable than David. In order to obtain over 50% of the vote Ed had to appeal to the broad cross section of the party. He obtained an overwhelming majority in the Union and Affilates section. Was close behind David in the MP and MEP section as well as the Membership section. One can rely on ‘ifs’ but the reality is, is that the alternative didn’t happen.

Now that Ed has won he needs to start including the membership in decisions of the Party in order to win around members that didn’t vote for him in order to unite the party. The Top heavy structure that was developed so superbly under New Labour must be dismantled to usher in Ed’s “new generation”.

As a Labour Member and supporter of David I am disappointed that David lost, but I’m not disappointed that Ed won. I’m happy that Ed won, as I did vote for him, and Labour has a new Leader.

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