Every Labour Party member is currently drowning in a sea of paper. Some have suffered only minor paper cuts; others haven't been so lucky. I have received roughly 23 letters since I wrote the previous sentence. My postman has suffered a nervous breakdown. Enough is enough. Based on this constant barrage of letters, I imagine each Labour leadership candidate spent their entire campaign devising an effective postal policy. How, they assumedly asked, do we send the most letters, delivered at the best time, with the clearest message? It seems only fair, therefore, to judge each potential leader on their ability to send an effective letter.
Let's start with Andy Burnham. Burnham's postal policy has been wildly inconsistent. At first, he was sending letters at midnight and now they arrive at midday. I imagine he is trying to ensure that each member receives a letter at his or her ideal time. This tactic seems to have backfired. I now have no idea when to expect the next letter. Burnham should stop dilly-dallying and stick to a single time slot. The messages in Burnham's letters start in a column on the right hand side yet move to the left further down the page. It's all rather confusing. If Burnham simply sent a clear message at a consistent time, I imagine most members would support his postal policies.
Liz Kendall has outsourced her postal service. She claims, controversially, that 'whatever works, works'. At first, this seemed like a great idea - her letters were arriving efficiently. Then, one of the postmen fell over and the outsourced company's profits were threatened. The company reneged on the contract and members didn't receive her letters for three days. Kendall's letters, when they eventually arrive, are simply blank pieces of A4 paper. I'm not sure what her letters offer, as most Britons already own plenty of A4. Some members have criticised Kendall for using blue stamps. This seems a tad harsh. Labour HQ has asked Kendall to stop sending letters to prevent members from reading Jeremy Corbyn's letters. She has declined, as she apparently loves the postal service too much.
Yvette Cooper sends one letter per week at exactly 2:25pm on a Monday. Cooper's first letter was the same as her last. Cooper's postal policy has a level of consistency the other candidates haven't quite managed. The letters are evidently feminine and contain one simple sentence: 'This is the only credible letter - the other letters are rubbish'. I would have enjoyed the letter far more if she elaborated and explained why her letter is credible. A huge opportunity has clearly gone awry, as Cooper is certainly one of the greater distributors, but her current postal policy is utterly uninspiring.
Corbyn offers the most radical postal policy. Corbyn's letters are consistent, as he has regulated his service to avoid the volatility of the free market postal system. There has been some talk of Corbyn nationalising his letter distribution, but critics argue it is unaffordable. At the very least, Corbyn seeks to ensure the rich pay for the poor to receive more letters. There is certainly some enthusiasm surrounding Corbyn's postal policy. The problem, however, is that while Labour members enjoy Corbyn's postal policies, the wider public ostensibly prefer less radical postal solutions.
Each member has adopted a different postal policy. There is certainly a choice in this leadership election. Those drowning Labour members must decide which letters they would like to receive on a permanent basis. Can you overlook Burnham's inconsistent delivery times? Are you enticed by Kendall's outsourced A4? Has Cooper really sent the only credible letter? Are Corbyn's radical solutions a catalyst for change, or simply a wayward dream of a postal utopia?
All I know is that I'm growing slightly tired of paper cuts. The onus is now on MPs and members to accept whichever distributor proves most popular. The party must unite behind a coherent postal policy. If Labour can achieve this, then the party will have an opportunity to challenge the Conservative's abysmal service and offer Britain a fairer postal policy in the years to come.Suggest a correction