- There is a large constituency in the party and the movement (some of them newly recruited) who rightly feel disenfranchised; they also feel under-represented in the PLP
- The New Labour clique has not successfully colonised the Labour Party outside parliament: it has hollowed out the party of its activist base in many places, but - given the prospect of a proper debate where socialist views can be aired - 'Real Labour' people are there in force and are ready and able to get involved in campaigns
- The left can make excellent use of the internet and, just as Tribune was invaluable to the Bevanites of the 1950s, so internet forums, etc. can be a key organisational tool for the left today
- In John we have a champion who can communicate left ideas and priorities, and lead campaigns in the mainstream media, and help us drive the left out of a 'usual suspects' ghetto: his performance at the one leadership hustings and in various media outlets during that brief time when a contest looked likely underlined that point very well indeed
- That future campaigns (whatever they may be - and that's an important thread for another time) should, like the John4Leader campaign, begin outside parliament in the grass roots, because that is where our power base is.
I realise that some will think that I appear to have forgotten that the campaign was 'unsuccessful'. I'm sure others may disagree, but - in the end - the defeat of the campaign beneath the Brown steamroller was out of the left's hands; as - this time - was the political make-up of the PLP. It's worth bearing in mind that even those on the 'centre left' (such as El Tom) have expressed doubts that the 'soft left' could have delivered the 16 votes we were missing. My one bit of 'what if' 'if only' is that, had John got 30 plus nominations in the first public declaration, then I think that could have put the brakes on the Brown steamroller, and those people that had previously suggested that would have liked to ensure a contest may have maintained that position. So rather than debating 'what went wrong' (though I'm sure others will) - let's look at the positives. The left is stronger in the movement (outside the PLP) than for any time in the last 20 years, and we are building, growning, and our confidence is developing. There is an appetite for organisation, and there is a determination to build our role and our voice in our movement.
Of course there's got to be some reflection, but let us be clear that we are reflecting from a position of increased strength.