Friday, May 14, 2010

Can we persuade Yvette Cooper to run?

Someone who commented on my previous post noted how narrow Ed Ball's majority was in the recent general election - it's a major handicap to him becoming Labour leader. So I guess that's him crossed off the list. What about Yvette Cooper instead? She's ruled herself out, but can the Labour movement persuade her to change her mind?

She would make a decent contrast to the bland Miliband brothers, and an even better contrast to the two posh boys in Number 10.

Here's the bones of her C.V.:

She was born in March 1969, the daughter of Tony Cooper, a Nuclear Industry specialist who was appointed by the last Conservative government to their Energy Advisory Panel, and the grand-daughter of a miner.

She was educated in a comprehensive school in North Hampshire, and then went to Balliol College, Oxford to read PPE. She then won a Kennedy Scolarship to Harvard University in 1991, and when she finished that, got a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics.

She then worked in Arkansas as domestic policy specialist for Bill Clinton in the lead-up to his successful bid for the US Presidency in 1992.

She's been the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford since 1997, winning large majorities in what is a very safe seat. She married Ed Balls in 1998, and the couple have three children.

The main barrier to her seeking the Labour leadership appears to be the ambitions of her husband. But instead of her doing the traditional thing and stepping aside for her husband, wouldn't it be nice if he stepped aside for her? It would make a telling contrast to the posh boys at No 10 and their Stepford wives.


jams o donnell said...

Now there's something to consider

Anonymous said...

Cooper is my preference, I agree she would make a great Labour leader and I feel it's a real shame that she isn't running. But chances are, she's deferring to her husband. Balls is still a serious contender, despite some flaws. Hypothetically, he might drop out and Yvette might enter if his own campaign does go badly, but I wouldn't bet my life on all that happening, I'm afraid. Also, one of David Milliband's problems is his perceived dithering on whether to challenge Gordon a few years back- having now firmly ruled herself out, Yvette might face questions about her own decisiveness if she then later opts in.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to post again, but I found a couple of links that might be worth a read. Apparently, Ed offered to defer to her, so her odds went up yesterday.

Rob Seymour said...

Ed Balls is on record as far back as April 2009 as saying that his wife would be an ideal future PM. Apparently, she said then that she wasn't keen on the job.

Whilst I think YC could be a superb party leader, I don't think anyone who needs to be persuaded to run for the position is the right person. The job is such an all-consuming one that it would be no good having someone who wasn't 100% up for it.

Joker said...

I have no solid reason for gainsaying Yvette Cooper as Labour leader other than the fact that she used to be a journalist on The Independent. It jarred. Of course, it shouldn't have. A lot of people don't get the point of The Independent, that it contains many views, most of them extremely partial, but broadly balancing each other out. You can get some real scum writing articles, and many have.

And then there was that day over the Classic Film Collection...