Lost Bewildered

When Campaigning Goes Mad (aka Missing the Point of Leadership)

You know that feeling when you’ve eaten too many sugary things to make sure you stay awake until the really exciting thing happens so your brain goes a little ‘Off’ and you forget what it was your were actually doing? Sadly this appears to have happened to Andy Burnham.

Earlier today the right-of-left-of-right-centre-left candidate had a member of his staff (or maybe he did it himself) tweeted the following.

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith’s policies towards the sick and disabled are summed up by his fantastically unnuanced stance that, “work is good for your health”1

To flesh that out a little more – and not from a left-wing news source:

Too many people with “common” mental illnesses rely on benefits when they could be in work, Iain Duncan Smith will say on Monday in a speech designed to emphasise that work is “good for your health”.2

Exactly what a ‘common mental illness’ might be – aside from being a weasel worded phrase of convenience, we may see later when the devil in the details slithers out.

None of this is surprising, it’s not as if the current Conservative government, as ideologically radical as any of those under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership – has hidden its intentions.

Lost Bewildered
Lost Bewildered

Surely what is truly shocking is that any runner in the Labour Leadership race feels that it is somehow noteworthy to point out that he or she “will take this on” when they become leader. To think that making this point is anything other than stating:

“When I am the boss I will stop the lions eating you! But until then, soz… campaigning to do and that. Laters.”

Labour’s lack of fight in opposition to the Cameron government is certainly one of the factors that has set the Burnham, Kendall and Cooper campaigns so far off the apparent public desire to see Corbyn provide a decent, effective second voice in the mechanism of British government.

Buck up Andy.


1Telegraph“Iain Duncan Smith vows to overhaul ‘perverse’ sickness benefits”
2ITV – Iain Duncan Smith to announce further overhaul of disability benefits, saying: ‘Work is good for your health’

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