Bring back Alan Johnson, say Left Foot Forward readers

Left Foot Forward readers overwhelmingly want the former shadow chancellor brought back into the fold.

Left Foot Forward readers overwhelmingly want the former shadow chancellor brought back into the fold

Message to Ed Miliband: bring Alan Johnson back into the Cabinet. Or at least that’s the message Left Foot Forward readers have given in our latest poll.

Almost three quarters (68 per cent) of those who voted said that the former shadow chancellor should be brought back to the Labour front bench, with just 26 per cent rejecting the idea.

Six per cent of respondents said it didn’t matter whether or not Miliband brought back Johnson.

The suggestion was first mooted by former home secretary David Blunkett, who suggested last week that Miliband should bring some “oldies” back into his top team, specifically Alan Johnson. Johnson quit as shadow chancellor in 2010 and has been on the backbenches ever since.

However it looks like many on the left still see a role for him in the shadow cabinet and, hopefully, a future Labour government.

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One of the things that undoubtedly fuels public apathy toward politics is the sense that the political class are all from the same social background. This at least partly explains the success as a communicator of UKIP leader Nigel Farage. To use the tired cliche, he sounds like ‘someone you might meet down the pub’.

Similarly with Alan Johnson. Johnson grew up in a poor household and is a former postman. In the real world this isn’t particularly exceptional, but in the Westminster bubble he might as well be an alien life form. And as we’ve seen with Nigel Farage, hardly a man of the people but someone who at least speaks human, ordinariness can be turned to your advantage in a world inhabited largely by Oxbridge types.

And I suspect that’s why LFF readers overwhelmingly view Alan Johnson as a potential asset to Ed Miliband. He’s intelligent, likeable and, most importantly, he resembles an actual human being. Politics could do with a lot more people like that.

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