Labour Death Wish I is how some commentators are already describing the successful nomination of Ken Livingstone for the London mayor candidacy, which makes you wonder how they would have categorised the nomination of his rival Oona King?
Presumably the same people are lining up an Ed Miliband victory tomorrow as Death Wish II. The leadership race is so close and so complicated that no one can really call the result until the caravan draws to a halt in Manchester. All we know is that the media machine is ready with its "Red Ed" and "Heir to Blair" labels depending on which of the Miliband brothers wins.
Both can expect a great deal of doom mongering from the losing side, never mind their political opponents, but remember that there will be plenty time for a new leader to establish himself.
It's also a wee bit early to be dismissing a Ken Livingstone comeback in time for the 2012 Olympics. All the party strategists agree that 2012 is when the real pain from the coalition cuts will kick in and when the Conservatives and Lib Dems will begin to feel the electoral pinch. Ken, the man who brought the Olympics to London, might be able to capitalise on that although Boris, I hear, is working wonders in convincing the Treasury that London is a special case and should be exempt from the harshest cuts.
In that sense next year's Scottish parliament and Welsh Assembly elections will take place in a phoney war atmosphere, the deepest of the cuts won't have kicked in during the campaign and the winners will the the ones taking the blame the following year.
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