Friday, September 08, 2006

John Denham for Leader

There is now no doubt that we will face a leadership election in the next year, and bitter arguments seem to be raging between the Brown people and the Stop Brown people. Brown's popularity sadly seems to be sinking, as the blows from the Blair side register with the public, and I'm starting to think that it might not be retrievable. And the other side, Reid, Clarke, etc, look equally unappealing.

So it might be worth looking outside the cabinet for a new leader, and I think John Denham fits the bill. For me, the only non-negotiable is the economics, which I believe must remain the same if Britain is to win the next election - but this can easily be resolved by whoever winning appointing Ed Balls as chancellor. On Iraq, there needs to be a change of direction.

John Denham is New Labour, but crucially, a humane version, he's kept faith with the original ethos of the project. He's a man of conscience and integrity who resigned over Iraq. His judgement on Iraq proved spot on. The public like him, he's good looking, he is youngish (he's 53) but not out of nappies like Cameron, and he is English. As far as I can tell he has no enemies and the whole party should be able to deal happily with him. He would probably win back many voters who deserted in 2005 to the Lib Dems.

Here's his CV for those interested.

* Born John Yorke Denham on 15 July 1953 in Seaton.
* Educated at Woodruff Comprehensive in Lyme Regis and the Southampton University where he did Chemistry
* Elected Member of Parliament in 1992 as MP for Southampton Itchen
* Resigned his position as Home Office Minister in March 2003 in protest at Iraq
* Now sits on the Home Office Select Committee

(Before anyone accuses me of partisanship - he is not my MP, I'm from the neighbouring constituency of Southampton Test.)


Political Umpire said...

Snowflake I'm interested to know what change of direction you think is advisible on Iraq and also what Denham's proposals are. I set out my own reasons why I disagreed with the war at

Also a blogging question: how do you get the little map at the side telling you the number of hits on your blog? As with all blogs I tell myself I'm doing it for me only, though secretly I'd be interested to know more about the readership (if I have one!)

jams o donnell said...

I was at Southampton University in the early 80s and I remember him standing in the 83 General election after Bob Mitchell defected to the SDP. Itchen should never gone tory but the legacy of the SDP meant they held it for 9 years.

I quite like Denham. I never thought of him standing for leader though.

snowflake5 said...

I think Brpwn might get so damaged by the cretins in the cabinet, that we need in place a white knight from outside the cabinet who can step in. I prefer John Denham to Alan Johnson. Johnson seems a bit sleazy to me, and he seems to be puffed mainly by Tories like Matthew parris and Iain Dale, who've wouldn't ever vote Labour.

I think the party could unite around Denham, if Brown gets hurt irreparably, and I think Denham's stance on Iraq will staunch our biggest wound.