If we are looking for a prime minister in 2020, then my vote goes to none of the above. I honestly don’t think any of them are up to the job and nor do I think that the Labour Party, as presently structured and inhabited, is a party of government. (I think the last time we had a prime minister and a party fit to govern was Atlee in 1945.)
But as a member of the Labour Party in good standing, I have a vote. And I have spent some time considering my options, because I wish to use that vote wisely and well.
I would love to be able to vote for a woman. It is well past time for Labour to embrace a female leader. But unfortunately neither Ms Cooper nor Ms Kendall are right. Or rather, they are. I have significantly more political differences than agreements with both of them. And as for Burnham, well, Andy tries to be all things to all men and is therefore nothing at all to most of us.
Which brings me to Jeremy Corbyn.
I will ignore the fact that he is a vegetarian. I will ignore the fact he has, in the past, voted for some unfortunate policies and has contacts – I will put it no stronger than that – with some dodgy organisations. And I will ignore the fact that he has voted against the Labour whip on I don’t know how many occasions.
In fact, I welcome the latter. If Burnham really abstained in the vote against the welfare cuts merely because his unelected interim Leader told him to, then he is a fool and a man without principle.
Corbyn opposed those cuts, rightly reflecting the views of the vast majority of the 63% of the country that did not vote Conservative.
And let us be clear, we are currently voting not for a prime minister, but for a leader of the opposition for the next five years.
It is the duty of the opposition to oppose the kind of policies which Cameron and Osborne are proposing during this government and, indeed, are already implementing. Harriet Harman’s decision to abstain was a disgrace. It was a betrayal of principle, a betrayal of the last Labour manifesto, and a betrayal of all those by whom Labour was elected.
I am distressed that it took 25 reluctant MPs, many of whom are now apparently regretting their action, to nominate Corbyn, and I think this tells us as much about the Labour Party we have allowed to evolve as it does about Corbyn.
I am impressed by Corbyn’s commitment to socialist causes, even if that has provoked the scorn and fear of so-called socialist leaders from the past.
I am also conscious of the parallels between Corbyn and Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries: both are re-energising their parties and, particularly, the next generation of leaders, those who will be running their respective countries when I am long gone but my children and grand-children are struggling to make sense of the world they have been left by the Blairs and Camerons of this generation.
So, yes, I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and for Tom Watson as his deputy. Yes, I shall be returning from holiday in order to ensure that my vote is registered and counted. And yes, I am looking to him to ensure that nothing proposed by the egregious government gets through without scrutiny, without argument, without opposition.
Today from the everysmith vaults: a random selection from the iPod - Warren Haynes and the Boston Pops, with Warren playing Jerry's guitar (Wolf) in a tribute to the Dead.