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Does Progress want Ken to win? (updated)

The November issue of Progress magazine carries three articles on the theme “Can Ken Win?” The cover story, by Dan Hodges, that good friend of Labour who now writes for the Torygraph, concludes: “That he will lose is inevitable“. Fortunately, Dan’s election predictions are, famously, almost never right. The justification for this prediction, it seems, is that Johnson is the insurgent and Ken the establishment candidate. Sound familiar?

Peter Kellner contributes an article which appeared on his YouGov blog online in September, and in the October issue of Prospect magazine. More old “news”. This time, on why Ken lags behind Boris.

Finally there’s a piece by David Lammy that outlines just how bad Boris is and we are entitled “to a mayor who wants to be just that, not the prime-minister-in-waiting or a newspaper columnist. That man is Ken Livingstone”. No Labour member could disagree with anything in David Lammy, but that last sentence is the only positive note in the entire “Can Ken Win” special issue of Progress.

Is this really the best they can do in what David Lammy rightly says is “the biggest test for the Government before the next election“? Just whose side are they on?

Update: I added the following comment on Dan Hodges’ article:

The most interesting thing about this tired and unoriginal piece, not in the same league as Dan’s best, is that Progress chose not only to publish it at all in the run up to what David Lammy calls “the biggest test for the Government before the next election”, but that it gave it such prominence and reinforced it by re-cycling Peter Kellner’s two month old article.

What a contrast with Progress’s failure to give similar prominence to a discussion about the damage Tony Blair was doing to Labour’s national prospects back in 2005 and beyond.

It’s true that Ken is no longer ahead of his party like he was for so long, but in large part that is because of the deliberate and conscious attacks on him from his own party – from people associated with Progress in fact. And Dan Hodges still harping on about Labour lacking “the maturity or foresight to even come up with a new candidate” is yet more of the same. Don’t think no-one will notice the disloyalty that underlies the pretence of Progress acceptance of Labour’s change of direction.

You seem all for winning back for Labour in the south-east, but not in seems in London.

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