I spent half an hour on Saturday studying the blogs of the contestants running for deputy Labour leader and my conclusion was that Harriet Harman clearly deserved to win, even though the odds were against her. But at least one poll showed she should win on trust.
I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion too if you scrutinise their blogs, the way they expressed themselves and communicated. How closely did their blogs mirror their personalities? How seriously did they take this form of interactive communication?
At the end of the day, HH was the best communicator, she regularly updated her blog and responded to comments. Interestingly, she has stated on her blog that she would like an enquiry into the Iraq war when our troops have returned home, as well as a debate about our relationship with the US. Time will tell if she can deliver on these, whether they get the support of Gordon Brown. It certainly show she wants a more open and accountable government.
Meanwhile Alan Johnson, despite securing the skills of the very competent Stuart Bruce, has not updated his blog for more than two weeks. In fact, he didn’t write any of the posts himself. What purpose did it really serve if he was not using it to interact and show his “human” face? I do not feel it did him any favours.
Hazel Blears’ blog was quite dreary and did not allow comments to be posted, while Jon Cruddas‘s site attracted several comments and he published some YouTube posts too. Only several of his posts were written by a campaigner, particularly recent ones. This did not give his readers the opportunity to interact.
Hilary Benn didn’t write a blog and at one time found he was considered the most popular contender. And I think Peter Hain tried, but he also relied on guest authors and provided very few comment facilities, so again, there was no real interaction. But he can take comfort in having most friends on facebook.
So I concluded that HH wrote the best blog, and maybe that’s why she she trumped them all and deserved to win on this basis. I also think she will be a great asset for Labour as their deputy leader, especially helping to win back women voters and she will work vigorously at trying to restore trust. She will be a big threat for the Tories. However, I am disappointed for her that she has been sidelined as Party Chairman and not appointed deputy prime minister.
I hope she will continue to write her blog.
P.S. I wonder if any of the candidates would have been interested in this position if they had known they were not going to be offered the job of deputy prime minister. What is the point of being a deputy party leader and party chairman and going through such an intensive campaign?
Great headline in today’s Sun: “Out of Harm’s way for Gordon“.