From compassionate and aspirational to radical but credible

Before Jeremy Corbyn entered the race for the Labour leadership, all candidates agreed for the need for Labour to be both compassionate and aspirational. Post Corbyn Mania however, the three ABC (Anyone but Corbyn) candidates have really stepped it up a gear (/s). Each has a whole new message for voters.

Here’s Andy Burnham:

What this contest has shown is that the Labour Party is crying out for change. Members are sick of standing on doorsteps with little to offer voters. They want a radical vision that can inspire and excite, but also one with credibility at its heart. That is what I am offering.

Yvette Cooper:

We need to be confident enough not to swallow the Tory myths and to set out a strong, radical alternative instead. But it also has to be credible – credible enough to be delivered, and to build public confidence in Labour’s economic approach so we can win, and change Britain’s economic policy in practice.

Liz Kendall:

The most radical political ideas often begin with the simplest of beliefs. I believe that every single person in our society has potential and should be given the opportunity and power to realise their potential, and live the life they choose.

…And giving young people, who’ve been hit so hard since the global crash, credible hope for the future – by working with businesses to revolutionise skills and lead the world in new clean energy jobs.

This is the conversation I imagine they might have had:

AB: “Jeremy is winning because he’s radical. We need to be radical”.

YC: “Jeremy is not credible though. We must be”.

LK: “How?”

YC: “Just say we are radical and credible but importantly, we must never spell out what that means.”

LK: “Genius”.

AB: “But surely if we all say that, no one will be able to tell us apart?”

YC: “Well you say you are radical and credible, I’ll say I am credible but radical, and you say you want a radical vision that offers credibility.”

LK: “Great idea.”

AB: “I can see no flaws in this plan.”

Is it any wonder Corbyn is wiping the floor with all of them?


3 thoughts on “From compassionate and aspirational to radical but credible

  1. Look no further than the Radio 5 hustings yesterday.

    Burnham: “… the big mistake of the last parliament was that Labour let the Tories put the myth of over-spending around their neck.”
    “… it was spending too much before the crash.”

    Cooper: “… [she] has refused to admit Labour did anything wrong.”
    “Labour was running a deficit when it should have been running a surplus.”

    Confused? I was.

  2. I don’t think their worry is Corbyn lacking credibility. Their worry is that he has far more credibility than they all have, put together. And as he wants genuine social democratic policies instead of neoliberal ones, it scares them far more than the prospect of ongoing Toryism.

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