Those clever people at Vote Match have developed a questionnaire which will match your views on a range of subjects against those of the Labour leadership contenders. Having completed it, I'm apparently closest in views to Ed Milliband, followed by Diane Abbot, David Milliband and Ed Balls, in that order. (Andy Burnham is not included).
I'm not quite sure what to make of that. While Milliband Junior was my favourite of the serious candidates to start with, in the course of the campaign he's blotted his copybook. In particular he and his team crassly encouraged the rumours that Charles Kennedy was about to defect. He also wrote an open letter to Lib Dem supporters seeking to encourage them to move to Labour. (Bizarrely, this encourages them to move on the promise that, if he were leader, they'd feel more at home there. At this stage, that's a big "if" and "if" David Milliband were leader they would probably not feel at home!)
He is widely seen as the most serious contender from the left, and has greater support from the unions than anyone else. He's more of a Brownite than a Blairite although he is, as is his brother, now downplaying former associations.
But why, if I most identify with the Labour left, am I still supporting the coalition? While haven't I been tempted over Milliband's overtures?
Well, although I've always considered myself left of centre - I've never been a Socialist. Although I believe in the importance of Society, I don't believe that this equates to a Big State. Most importantly in the context of the current economic circumstances, I am not only socially liberal but increasingly economical liberal too. I don't believe the current cuts and tax measures are "reactionary" in the pejorative sense but rather a necessary reaction to the current fiscal situation.
Labour has lost its way. From the euphoria of 1997 and the early promise of partial Lords reform, devolution, freedom of information, the Human Rights Act and a raft of positive social measures (equalisation of age of consent, repeal of section 28, minimum wage amongst others) through the Iraq war and ID cards to the massive deficit, it has been a long descent.
The next leader needs, for their sake and the sake of democracy, to carve out a new identity and purpose for the party. To create an effective but constructive opposition. Whoever that person is, though, even of it is Mr E. Milliband, I'll - to quote a certain Charles Kennedy - "I will go out of this world feet first with my Lib Dem membership card in my pocket."
To take the test yourself, just click on the start button below: