The Labour party leadership campaign sees four unique individuals jostling for the leadership position. Things have already begun to heat up with Keir Starmer seemingly covering his flank from Rebecca Long-Bailey by skewing ‘further left’ on his policy pledges during the most recent hustings in Cardiff.
What Labour may or may not realise is that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to picking a leader.
An often overlooked part of the Labour campaign is the striving for diversity racial and gender diversity – both within their own party, and in wider society. In the run-up to the 2019 election campaign, Labour put forward plans to review and increase diversity amongst the FTSE 100 by introducing mandatory pay-gap policy to close the wealth gaps between Men, women and the BAME population. They also pledged to review BAME representation amongst teachers as well as closing the gender pay gap by 2030.
With a championed narrative to ‘diversify their parliament’, backed by plans to implement a sort of ‘forced-diversity’ scheme on a national basis, they have set themselves up as the party diametrically opposed to Boris Johnson’s past racially insensitive comments. As righteous as this position may look, it creates a world of pain for the party post candidate nomination.
The current poll leader, Keir Starmer, is sitting comfortably at the top. It would be a miracle if Lisa Nandy or Rebecca Long-Bailey could claw into that deficit. The problem is they are now trapped.
A vote for Starmer would surely undercut their diversity narrative by opting to succeed an ‘old white guy’ with what can only be described as another ‘old white guy’. To have a man win despite running against only women will surely be picked up by the ‘woke left’ and the backlash could have dire consequences
A vote for Long-Bailey or Nandy, is just simply a vote for continuity Corbyn. Long-Bailey’s use of colourful language to fire back at the notion that the people rejected socialism is a sign that she isn’t looking to budge on financial policy.
The recent election was however unprecedented; it was really one issue that decided the results. However, despite being a complete whitewash in favour of the Conservative party, the votes can be taken back as they were merely ‘Lent’ to the Tory’s for Brexit purposes. Despite this, the Labour party would be mad not to consider changing their tact.
In the four years running up to this point, Labour leader has skewed the party further left each year leading to a traceable decline in votes each year.
Change could be coming in the form of ex-shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer but they need to be prepared for the intersectional backlash if he is the one that is responsible for cutting four women out of the fight for the top.