Ballot papers for the Labour leadership have gone out today and even though four out of the five contenders are retreads from the last discredited Labour government, political pundits are already wetting themselves with excitement. Whatever else they may say, one thing's for sure: This contest promises to be one of the most gripping since Iain Duncan Smith won the conservative leadership campaign back in 2001.
But who exactly are the contenders, and what do they stand for? Here is our run-down:-
David Miliband - Known to his colleagues as "Camp David." Son of a revolutionary socialist and a leading light of the last Brown government. David is a proponent of what they're calling "New Marxism" that believes in embracing the market and giving large amounts of money to wealthy bankers. Says David: "It is clear that Marxism needs to be rebranded, and what better a way of doing this than by "changing the world" as Marx himself so aptly put it." Dave's strategy is to carry on doing what he was doing before but with "renewed vigour and compassion." It is clear that he is the one to watch (if you've misplaced your sleeping pills).
Ed Miliband - Known to his colleagues as "Time for bed, ZZZebEdee". Son of a revolutionary socialist and a leading light of the Brown government. Edward is a proponent of what they're calling "Green Marxism" that believes politicians, rather than bull-dozing the countryside, should cover it in wind-farms. Says Edward: "It is clear that my father's Marxism is due for an overhaul and that means - wait for it - green is the new red". Ed won the adoration of crowds recently at the Pamplona bull-run when he waved a green rag in front of a bull and it humourously ignored him. He is definitely the one to watch (when you're bored watching his brother).
Ed Balls - Known to colleagues as "Balls" on account of his humourous surname. Close friend of the former prime minister Gordon Brown. Ed believes only through a process of vigourous renewal can the Labour party renew and re-invigourate itself. He says: "We in the Labour party have lost sight of the fact that politics can be exciting and visionary. But I'll be blown if I know how to make that happen." Ed has won respect in many quarters for his original surname, which, if elected, he promises to draw regularly upon to help renew and re-invigourate politics.
Andy Burnham - Known to his colleagues as "Trouble at Millbank". Although considered an outsider, Andy will be within spitting distance of the leadership if the other candidates stand down. Andy is a no-nonsense Northerner, who cherishes his roots and believes they are his passport to success up North. He says: "One thing I do know. The Labour party has its roots up North, and God-willing, that is where it will have its final resting place." Andy is determined, if elected leader, to re-invigourate the ancient Northern art of cloth-caps and whippets.
Diane Abbott - Known to her colleagues as "That big fat hypocrite who sent her kids to public school". Diane is a rank outsider but considered a shoo-in in the event of everyone else getting bored and giving up. Says Diane: "I'm not in favour of coronations. Look where it got Gordon. But if the other candidates stood down and begged me, it's inconceivable I'd refuse the crown." Despite her misgivings about coronations, Diane is known to love coronation chicken which she tries to eat "at least five times a day". She never leaves home without her portable microwave which she considers invaluable when she's "a tad peckish on the campaign trail". She adds: "One thing's for sure: No one ever lost an election through having a big appetite - nor for being a big fat hypocrite for that matter."