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Could Kitty be Labour’s Sarah Palin?

September 12th, 2008

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    Would a new completely new face in 2010 be a “game changer”?

Over the past couple of hours I have been looking over ministerial lists, scouring Wikipedia biogs and viewing video clips to see if I can I identify a “Labour Sarah Palin”.

My starting point is the notion that the only realistic way that Labour can stave off defeat in 20 months time is by replacing its leader with someone completely new and exciting – say by March 2010.

I don’t think that at that late stage before the election one of the usual suspects of names would fit the bill. It needs somebody different who is not well-known but has proved to be highly capable. Following the Sarah Palin model the choice should be a woman.

    Who could come onto the public stage and in an instant, a bit like Cameron in October 2005, be seen as the answer to the party’s problems who would generate enormous coverage. Who could change the media narrative?

Having ruled out all the existing women – Caroline Flint, Jacqui Smith, Hazel Blears, Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell – because they are all appeared tired I started ploughing through list of ministers and did further research, including checking out video clips, to create a short-list.

Quite by accident all but one of my names are current members of the Treasury team. The exception was Health minister Dawn Primarolo who is OK but not exciting. Then there was Anna Eagle, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Kennedy, and the one I think could have a dramatic impact – Kitty Ussher.

Kitty, who went to Balliol College Oxford, came into the commons as MP for Burnley in 2005 and last year succeeded Ed Balls as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. She is going places. Most of all she is bright, highly articulate, and good on TV. She comes over as a member of the human race and is a season ticket holder at the club I have supported all my life – Burnley FC.

Click on the panel above to see the only TV extract I could find.

Remember you read this first on PB.

Mike Smithson






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