of candidates for regional office
TWO OF Labour's deepest instincts are at war. One is the commitment to spread power around, the other the urge to keep every last shred of it to itself. At issue is a simple question: now that Blair has entrusted local communities with power, will he let them pick their own leaders? Labour has failed to understand the logic of devolution. It still believes the usual rules of party discipline apply, still assumes the old hierarchies of obedience can remain in place as the system itself is transformed. He should let London pick whoever it likes. If he gets involved, he gets blamed. If he stays out, he can let them make their own decisions - and their own mistakes.
LIVINGSTONE AND Morgan are defying attempts to prevent them running for Mayor of London and leader of the Welsh Assembly. The Blairites are at last learning that, to adapt Lincoln's adage, you may control all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time - but not all of the people all of the time.
THERE ARE no signs that Labour has yet identified a credible star to rival Mr Livingstone. All the signs suggest that Mr Blair and his colleagues have got themselves into a tangle about Labour's mayoral candidate, without much idea how to get out of it. Livingstone will give them no help. Why should he? He has nothing to lose, and nothing would make him more gleeful than to triumph over the New Labour machine. It is too soon to say how this story will come out, but Downing Street will be very rash if it supposes that the Livingstone bid can be dismissed or easily crushed.Reuse content