I admit some people did not like what I wrote about Dan Jarvis yesterday. Most were on Twitter. Most misread or seeingly misunderstood what I wrote, wilfully or otherwise.
I stand by what I wrote. Dan Jarvis said he wanted to tackle inequality. So do I. But he only listed some minor tinkering with corporation tax rules and a national infrastructure committee to spend an unspecified sum supposedly free of political interference as the basis for delivering this goal that will supposedly be supplied by better trained people, although how this latter objective was to be achieved was less than clear. I criticised because the ‘plan’ did not stack for me. Frankly, it hardly seemed to justify that description, let alone that of a vision, as it was described by some in the press.
I admit was slightly surprised to find that my comments dominate the front page of the Morning Star today.
I was less surprised to find some in the media agree with me. As Sebastian Payne says in the FT this morning:
There has been no public proof that Mr Jarvis could be the saviour of the party. If I were to grade his speech, it would be a B-, since it hit the bar of being a solid decently delivered speech. But it did not offer a particularly inspiring alternative to Mr Corbyn’s agenda nor a platform for disgruntled MPs to rally behind.
You could argue that since no coup is on the horizon this does not matter. But based on this address, a Jarvis leadership would be nothing better than continuity Ed Miliband. If Mr Jarvis wants to be Labour’s election-winning leader, he will have to up his game significantly.
That was the point. It’s an uncomfortable fact for some that critical analysis is a necessary part of any process of change and as political economy goes, Dan Jarvis’ speech fell short of the mark.