It’s no secret that whenever two or three members of the party meet, the conversation will turn to the leadership situation and they will all have different views on Starmer and his successor. But this is not merely an issue for Labour. It is vital for everyone.
That is why the Survation poll in The Observer on Sunday, which showed that Johnson is considered to be a better choice of prime minister than Starmer, is so concerning. Especially as the poll came shortly after Johnson was booed by the attending Royalists at the Jubilee celebrations and, a few moments later, Starmer was - well, ignored. Barely recognised.
And then came this. The word cloud. Which words would you use to describe Sir Keir Starmer? The larger the type, the more frequently the word was used.
Boring. Bland. Untrustworthy. Useless. Weak. Dull. Unknown.
Of the most prominent descriptions, only honest figures. With which I disagree, having on my noticeboard the 10 Pledges which he published in his leadership campaign and subsequently repudiated.
So if not Starmer, to whom does the party turn?
Andy Burnham has shown, as Mayor of Greater Manchester, that, released from the Westminster bubble, he can fight for the people. But he is longer an MP.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow Chancellor, would move Labour substantially to the right of the Tories.
Lisa Nandy ditto.
Ed Miliband has rediscovered his wit and anger in recent months, but he has had his chance.
Angela Rayner confuses me. She is clearly positioning herself for the leadership but her policy U-turns and vicious attacks on the left (especially the Jewish left) are not likely to convince me or the membership.
My choice, for the moment, is Emily Thornberry. I have met Emily. She he is bright, committed, has a sense of humour, hard-working and has a great relationship with Matt Western, our MP, who deserves promotion and needs it to make an even greater impact.
Today from the everysmith vaults: The Jacques Loussier Trio Plays Debussy, recommended by Doctor Dark last week, has now arrived and lives up to its pre-publicity. I’ve played it a great deal in the last few days, with an end-of-the-day glass of wine in the garden, alternating with Les Nuits d’Eté sung by the wondrous Frederica von Stadt. Summer is icumen in.