The warming up for the follow-up of Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn is in full swing. Seven of the bookmakers’ eight favorites are women. It would be the first time that British socialists would not be led by a man in the future.
A kind of red Margaret Thatcher, an memetic Iron Lady who will win one election after the other. That is by now the dream which excited left in Britain. The days of Jeremy Corbyn have been counted. His letter of apology, distributed yesterday for the biggest defeat of Labor since 1935, is bad for some of the supporters. Although Corbyn says sorry, he maintains that he has correctly assessed the needs of left-wing voters, but he claims that he is not understood. It was also the fault of the media that wrote about him too negatively. The latter may be true, but Labrador activists report on British television and in social media that Corbyn was mainly unsaleable themselves when they rang the doorbell to raise votes. To the left, too vague about brexit, sometimes antisemitic and furthermore “no charisma” or “not to be trusted”. Those were the most heard complaints that led left-wing voters to vote for Boris Johnson.
Once the follow-up procedure at Labor starts formally, probably in January, the party must find a new leader within three months. The women who, according to the bookmakers, have the greatest chance of succeeding Corbyn are already positioning themselves. The majority are around forty, the mother of young children and from the north of England, the part that Labor must regain after the victory march of Boris Johnson.
Much mentioned is the often very involved speaking Jess Phillips (38). Birmingham studied economics and history and is a recognized fighter against violence against women. She presents herself as a socialist – she left the party under the “right-wing” Prime Minister Tony Blair – but is not one in Corbyn’s line. According to Phillips, Labor should not be “intolerant” but rather want to listen more humbly to the people for whom the party claims to stand up.
Rebecca Long-Bailey (39) is of Irish descent and also comes from Greater Manchester. Former employee of a pawnshop where she says she “learned more about the problems of life than any other education”. Shadow Minister of Energy and Industrial Strategy, among others. She’s in Corbyn’s wake.
Lisa Nandy (40) has been representing the northern city of Wigan for ten years. She worked before she went into politics for the homeless shelter Centrepoint and then for an organization that takes care of young asylum seekers. When she did not support Corbyn in his re-election, she said that she was exposed to threats from the extreme left. She compared those threats in terms of impact with the hate emails of the extreme right when she first became a representative of the former mining town of Wigan. “What is the point of nationalizing the railways if many cities no longer have a station and have been relying on buses for years?” She criticized one of Corbyn’s major projects.
Angela Rayner (39), who was born in the Manchester area, is good at Labourkiezers who don’t like extreme views. A teenage working-class mother who did not finish her school but then worked her way up to become a social worker and union worker. Has special alarm buttons installed in her house after death threats from someone who said he was a Corbyn supporter. Rayner had said that Tony Blair, denounced by the left, still has a role in the party.
Yvette Cooper (50) is a Scottish Labor veteran who was a minister under the (Scottish) Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Very experienced but discredited by hassle with tax deduction for a second home. Voted against the appointment of Corbyn as Labor leader, specializing in refugee issues.
Emily Thornberry (39), shadow minister of Foreign Affairs is against brexit. Jurist, from the south of England. Verbal not beating. She always made an impression when she debated with Boris Johnson before he became prime minister. Most of the time Boris gave it up to her. Her main handicap is that she still remains convinced against brexit, while the majority of the Labor Group thinks differently.
One man is also regularly named as a candidate: Keir Starmer (58), a London magistrate who spoke on behalf of the party during the Brexit debates. Downside, the magazine The Spectator writes somewhat teasingly: he is a man.