The attempts to caricature, pigeonhole, smear and ridicule will be at least as bad as for the Miliband leadership: right now, 80% of the press are hooting and baying in their support of Young Dave and his jolly good chaps, egging them on to pass legislation that satisfies the requirements of Themselves Personally Now. Anyone so much as suggesting that they have an alternative offer is likely to receive less than favourable treatment.
The mind games have already been deployed following the decision of Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis that he will not put his name forward for the Labour leadership. The Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn has Tweeted “Dan Jarvis is ruling himself out of Labour leadership (ht @chrisshipitv). Big sigh of relief in No10”. Like Cameron is going to be bothered, with his Cabinet appointments to finish off.
Then there is Yvette Cooper. She is also hugely experienced, but she, too, carries the baggage of previous Labour Governments. Yes, she’s a good media performer, and a sharp debater, but the more I think over her candidature, the more it comes back that, as with Burnham, her presence will be drowned out by press abuse, not least because she is married to right-wing hate figure “Auguste” Balls.
Liz Kendall (and not Rachel Reeves)
That leaves two significant hopefuls: Leicester West MP Liz Kendall, and Streatham’s Chuka Umunna. Both would be instantly monstered by the Mail for not being Married With Children; Ms Kendall would in addition be smeared as a “luvvie” by proxy as her partner Greg Davies is a comedian. Umunna would get borderline racism, in the same way as Miliband was constantly on the receiving end of borderline antisemitism.