Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Ed Miliband's victory: will it bring about change we can believe in?

by Melanchthon Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:12:34 PM EST

FT.com / UK / Politics & policy - Ed Miliband wins Labour leadership by wafer-thin margin

Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour party, after he rode a wave of support from trade union members to beat his brother, David, by the tightest of margins.

In front of a packed hall in Manchester, Ed Miliband struggled with his emotions as he pronounced his love for his elder brother, and said: "Today the work of the new generation begins."

Ed Miliband's victory was secured in the fourth round of a leadership contest after the elimination of Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls. To gasps in the hall, he ended with 50.65 per cent of the vote, with David Miliband winning 49.35.

So, what change in the Labour policy proposals and strategy can we expect? Will the fact that he owes his victory to the unions lead to a Labour party more equality and social justice-oriented?


In a brief speech, Mr Miliband said he would be a "responsible" opposition leader, supporting the coalition when it was doing the right thing, and said Labour had to change.

"We lost the election and we lost it badly," he said. He vowed to put Labour on the side of people looking for a home and seeking affordable university education and to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
...
David Miliband had insisted on sticking to the last leadership's policy of halving Britain's huge deficit by the end of the Parliament. But Ed Miliband, the younger brother by five years, has suggested that this plan could be delayed or ditched if necessary.
...
Meanwhile Ed Miliband supports maintaining the bankers' bonus tax, increasing the annual bank levy and a new financial transactions tax; he also supports a "living wage" across Britain.

What about his position towards the European Union? About the foreign policy? Will it start an internal infighting within the Labour party?

Ed Miliband elected new Labour leader | Politics | guardian.co.uk

MPs who supported David Miliband warned that Ed Miliband's reliance on the union vote was a "disaster" for the party - leaving it open to charges that its leader would be in the pocket of its leftwing paymasters, and wide open to attack from the Tories and rightwing elements in the media.
Will it increase the propspect of a Labour victory in the next elections?

Let our friends from the wrong side of the Channel chime in...

Display:
Gary Gibbon on Politics - Low union turnout pushes Ed into first place
The Tories will go hard on Ed Miliband being the prisoner of the trade unions. He'll be watched like a hawk after a result that delivered him victory only thanks to the trade union section.

<snip>

I spoke to Derek Simpson of Unite and he insisted the leadership hadn't been leaning on its members, but with turnout that low they would've been mainly counting votes from the most highly politicised who tend to think like the union leaderships they elect. That low turnout probably did for David Miliband.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:25:31 PM EST
Being a prisoner of the unions -> v. bad.

Being a prisoner of the City -> the natural order of things.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being a prisoner of the Tabloid press - That which shall not be mentioned.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 03:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, Ed Miliband received the votes of many more party members than did David Cameron in the Tory Leadership election.  Does getting more votes from people imply you are their prisoner, or is it not rather evidence of a better democracy at work?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 07:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
evidence of a better democracy at work?

I suspect this is the UK version of IOKYAR--It's OK if you're a Republican. Thus, in the US, Republican politicians these days seem to get free passes on all manner of things for which a Democrat is excoriated.

by Mnemosyne on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 10:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason why the Labour arrangements are considered less democratic than those of other parties is that they do not produce a one member, one vote, one value  election.

The electorate votes in three equally weighted blocks, with different qualification rules. The first block consists of Labour Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament. The second group consists of the membership of Constituency Labour Parties. The third (and most problematic) group, is the membership of affiliated organisations which are mostly trade unions.

It is possible to qualify for and exercise more than one vote. Dennis MacShane MP claimed to have five votes.

The system is not as totally undemocratic as it used to be, since the affiliated organisation leaderships no longer cast the votes as a block for the whole organisation.

I am not certain that it is still the case, but it may be, that each of the affiliates purchase a number of votes which is not necessarily related to the number of individual members paying the political levy (which the members of the trade unions with a political fund do, unless they individually go to the trouble of opting out). It may therefore require an individual vote in the affiliates section to be weighted, so the appropriate number of votes can be cast on behalf of a particular organisation.

It seems to me that the simplest reform would be to abolish the electoral college and give a single vote to all party members and those people in the affiliated groups who opt to become individual affiliated members of the party (ie the qualification to vote becomes a personal one rather than as part of a collective membership). Until something like my suggestion is implemented the Labour leadership election system will continue to be open to criticism.

by Gary J on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 08:19:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If David Miliband had learned from Cameron, he would have offered more to the unions | Michael Savage | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs

So, in the end, it was the unions what won it. David Miliband's refusal to pander to the left, either by attacking New Labour's record or hinting he wanted to spend more time wooing the Labour base, cost him dear.

The reasons for doing this seem noble enough. It was a principled stand, and he always wanted to frame himself as the most likely to win a general election. In doing so, he made it hard to win the contest to lead his party.

On reflection, after refusing those opportunities to topple Gordon Brown, it was another sign he lacked the ruthlessness to be PM.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 04:39:20 PM EST
LOL. Some people just can't get their minds out of the circular logic of triangulation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 04:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...in addition to the nobleness of pander that is the natural order of things and pander which shall not be mentioned.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 04:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By choosing Ed Miliband, Labour have handed David Cameron the next election - Telegraph
On Saturday, David Cameron won the next general election. As Ann Black, the chairwoman of Labour's National Executive Committee, announced the results of the fourth round of the contest and it became clear that Ed Miliband had won by the narrowest of margins (50.65 per cent compared to his brother David's 49.35 per cent), a collective sigh of relief rippled through the ranks of the Coalition. Could Labour truly have hurled itself so gormlessly into the abyss, or, more accurately, to the sidelines? Could the party that governed for 13 years so lazily settle now for being soothed rather than being challenged? Could it really have chosen the wrong Miliband? Yes, it could.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 05:01:58 PM EST
So, the Torygraph would have preferred David?

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 06:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron? For Labour leader?

Absolutely. He only needs that one last party to complete the set.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 06:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krishnan Guru-Murthy (krishgm) on Twitter
telegraph reports there were hisses in the hall when ed said he loved david in acceptance speech...have to say i didnt hear any


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 07:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the Torygraph (And all the other right wing press and TV reporters) are hardly going to present the Labour party as anything other than disorganised, riven with splits, and no hope for being in charge. Anything else seems to me guarantees electoral failure at the next election.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 07:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least with Ed it seems that they MIGHT be able to claim with some credibility that they have started to address more of the needs of the people rather than The City. But will they have the campaign contributions to capitalize on this? He should start wooing enough Lib members to bring down the coalition.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 07:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is noticeable that the more Blairite Labour Twittering journalists are following the telegraph line, that this slight move to the left is the end of the world, that will destroy the Labour party and guarantee that the Tories will be in power for twenty years.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 08:44:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the Con-Lib coalition survives for a year after their first budget goes into effect they both might find it challenging to even claim minority party status after the next election, presuming there is one. If Labor of any other political organization can get a clear message of alternatives across to the public I suspect they will find lots of willing supporters. One of the best things Ed Miliband could do would be to give even tacit support to the Liberals in their efforts to investigate violations of the law, especially with regard to civil liberties, under NuLab. The results could well solidify a move to the left by Labor by removing many of the NuLab stalwarts or, at the minimum, discrediting them.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... outside the party. What a wickedly NuLab way to reduce the influence of the NuLab cabal.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 10:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now Bruce, it's not a purge. It would just be consolidating the historic core of Labor against impostors and saboteurs.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 10:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Its not a purge, its just a purge."

I do have to admit that

consolidating the historic core of Labor against impostors and saboteurs.

... is quite the way to actually describe the purge when talking to the mess media.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 01:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as if the tiniest step towards authenticity could do anything but invite doom.

where do they get these people?

oh yeah, central casting. silly me...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 04:21:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha !! Well, as most people would point out, it's a very bad idea to take advice from people who wish to see you fail.

As far as I'm concerned, scorn from the Telegraph is a good thing. But it does make one question the wisdom of Ed's first media interview, in the Telegraph

You also have to remember that tony Blair was painted as a dangerous near-Trotskyite by the right wing British press when he became leader. So this is just par for the course.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 07:41:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
scorn from the Telegraph is a good thing

And can we imagine the Torygraph shaking in its shoes and saying "the Tories are screwed" if David M had won?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 09:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no, that story would have run whichever of the top 3 had won. But if they were genuinely unconcerned, they would not have attacked at all.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 09:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dave Gorman (DaveGorman) on Twitter
If you'd like your child to be a Labour politician when he/she grows up, don't give them a name that rhymes with 'red'. Press love that.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 05:25:44 PM EST
Could have been better (Ed Balls) but could also have been worse (David Miliband).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 05:33:49 PM EST
I have mentioned before that, in modern British politics, experience and actually having achieved something seem to be negative qualities for leadership contenders.

Cameron and now Miliband have been elected leaders in their second Parliament. Clegg was elected during his first term (although he had been an MEP before that). Longer apprenticeships used to be required.

Gaitskell, Wilson, Callaghan and Foot were all first elected to Parliament in 1945. They became Labour leader in 1955, 1963, 1976 and 1980 respectively. Kinnock and Smith were first MPs in 1970 and leaders in 1983 and 1992. Blair and Brown arrived at Westminster in 1983 and became leaders in 1994 and 2007.

Ed Miliband, MP from 2005 and now leader in 2010, has less prior Parliamentary experience than any of his post First World War predecessors.

I do not know if Miliband is going to be a good leader. He seemed to me to be the best of an appallingly low quality field. Like Cameron before him, we will only find out how good he is over time - he has not done enough before becoming leader to enable me to hazard a guess.

by Gary J on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 06:27:36 PM EST
I have mentioned before that, in modern British politics, experience and actually having achieved something seem to be negative qualities for leadership contenders.

Well, over the last 30 years, very few British politicians can claim any achievements in office that aren't entirely negative...

by TYR (a.harrowellNOSPAM@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 11:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How much is Britain like the US when it comes to elections? That is to say, in the US, there is massive concentration of wealth in the upper 1% which leads to a tiny voter base trying to keep power. They do so by pitting factions of the have-nots against each other via propaganda/advertising/outright lying and the have-not idiots fall for it. Is that how it works in Britain? Is there really a grass-roots support for the tories?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 08:11:52 PM EST
Well you have the added twist that the Tory party is in some ways the Monarchist/Nationalist party. whereas the Labour party has an air of internationalism/republicanism Theres a concentration of wealth that has been there for nearly 1000 years (As there is in many parts of Europe) so you have people who believe that the richest actually deserve to be rich while the rest deserve to be poor.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 08:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... so you have people who believe that the richest actually deserve to be rich while the rest deserve to be poor.

WOW! Truly the mentality of a slave class.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 08:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes indeedy.

Why do you think Nietzsche went on (and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on) about Master and Slave Morality?  The necessary first step to get out from under the Landlords (Aristocracy) or the Bosses (plutocrats) is to privilege oneself as worthy and, therefore, refuse to be dominated psychologically and intellectually.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:06:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well they have a folk memory of 45 generations of a single family mostly being in some form of charge, so more background noise than slave mentality

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:10:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This only goes to show how superior the British political system is over the US system.  You dudes (and dudettes) have an automatic supply and re-supply of in-bred ignorant brain-damaged toffs for the House of Lords.  WE have to go out and find 'em for the US Senate, at great effort and expense, too! (I may add.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:17:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm in the middle of reading the guide book to the Aristocracy (amongst others) and there are many who deserve to be put in charge of something, im just not sure what

Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics Brewer'S ...: Amazon.co.uk: William Donaldson: Books

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:29:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't know there was a Brit version of the Boone and Crockett hunting guide.

Or do you still run the classic

competitions?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 10:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Someone's in great form tonight. You been drinkin'?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope.

(Although that may change in about 3 minutes.)

Just letting 'er rip.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 10:07:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the excuse of the idiot to me. My lineage is abject poverty but I have the good sense to tell the wealthy to go fuck themselves.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:34:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour's new chief is the first British political leader to 'not get round' to the conventions of wedlock and fatherhood | Mail Online

As the son of a North London Marxist intellectual, you might expect Ed Miliband to have a less than conventional approach to traditional family values.

And the birth certificate of his 15-month-old son, Daniel, would appear to bear this out, as it includes everything except any mention of the boy's proud father.

Although the section headed `Father' is blank, Daniel's mother Justine Thornton is named, along with her Manchester birthplace and profession, barrister.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:01:56 PM EST
And so it begins! LOL

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
North London Marxist intellectual

Oh c'mon Glen! Get with the program already.

You forgot "Muslim' you dumb ass.

Send you the memos and what do you do?  Eat the pages?  

No TV talky-head pundity job for you!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's the list of the official negative adjectives to use on the "enemy"?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Sep 25th, 2010 at 09:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Un-effing-believable.

This is the 2010s, people...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 03:32:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, yes...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 03:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Under British law (Children Act 1989), if the parents are not married at the time the child is born, even if the father is know only the mother has parental responsibility automatically. I bet you more than one Daily Mail reader would pop an artery over that.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 04:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So the mother is a barrister, and, given the nature of British family law, she is simply taking the most effective step possible to prevent herself from having her child taken away by a politically powerful husband.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 10:41:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MPs who supported David Miliband warned that Ed Miliband's reliance on the union vote was a "disaster" for the party - leaving it open to charges that its leader would be in the pocket of its leftwing paymasters, and wide open to attack from the Tories and rightwing elements in the media.
So the Parliamentary Labout Party is a bunch of right-wing concern trolls?

Was it not a problem that NuLab was in the pocket of its rightwing paymasters?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 03:31:35 AM EST
Migeru:
Was it not a problem that NuLab was in the pocket of its rightwing paymasters?

Not for NuLab Dave supporters, they were presumably quite comfy in that pocket.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 03:57:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sure they are, they sewed it up.

politics=petulant, parlous prima donnas, pandered to by a vacuous media.

labour needs a new tony benn, to speak for the poor who presently have no party or spokesman, not more turd-way clones.

till then, parlour politics-as-usual, toffs carving up the pie.

go ed, revive the spirit of keir hardie!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 04:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The comrades take on the coalition

Nevertheless, the unions are far from a spent force: the 7m Britons who still carry union cards remain, collectively, an important social movement (by comparison, only around 4m people attend church once a month or more). Concentration in the public sector has helped to preserve their power. Strikes by transport workers can cause chaos if commuters are unable to get to work. A recent two-day walkout by workers on the London Underground, for example, caused widespread disruption in the capital; one estimate, from the London Chamber of Commerce, put the cost to firms at £48m ($75m) a day. A full-blown rail strike would be much worse. A walkout by teachers would require millions of parents to stay at home minding their children; binmen could leave the streets as filthy as some were in the "winter of discontent"; and so on.

All this is plausible, which is why some are suggesting further curbs on union powers. Policy Exchange, a right-leaning think-tank, argued on September 11th that bigger unions should be broken up and strikes made harder to call. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, a trade body for managers, has suggested a ban on strikes in key industries such as transport. For the time being, the government is taking a conciliatory line. Francis Maude, a Conservative who runs the Cabinet Office, said on September 13th that the government wanted a "partnership" with the unions, and ruled out a return to the days of "standoffs" between the two.

But with many government departments facing real cuts of 25% in their budgets over the next five years, that olive branch will almost certainly be spurned. The order of battle ought to be clearer after October 20th, when the government's spending review will spell out the exact shape of the retrenchment.

Keeping the public onside will be vital in any conflict--and there are early signs that the government is losing the battle. Although one poll conducted by the BBC suggested that 60% of respondents supported cutting the deficit in principle, another for the Times found that 75% felt the planned cuts were too deep and being implemented too quickly. It may get worse, too: some senior Tories reckon that voters have not yet grasped the sheer scale of the cuts--nor their potential impact on the users of public services, as well as their unionised providers--and that opposition will harden from next April, when they take effect in earnest. If the unions can get the public on their side, ministers will find it much harder to resist them.

(In the Econ before the vote)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 06:55:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very humorous. I especially enjoy the waving of dubious poll data saying that the British public, having been given the choice of being impaled or hung, drawn and quartered have opted for being impaled as their favorite option.

nobody has ever made a case for a proper jobs stimulus so, given the unanimity from the Serious People whoa re allowed to have televised opinions, it's not surprising they don't imagine other options. It's labour's job to put that case, something Ed Balls began during the leadership campaign and which Ed should allow him to continue.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 07:48:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Typical tactics by economists since Malthus -- frame the problem as a choice between two repulsive alternatives. The key to Henry George's appeal was that he framed things as a clear choice between a repulsive and an attractive choice. The UK and USA are both paying the price for more than a century of systematic mis-education of policymakers and the public in matters economic. Even labor is viewing this through a Neo-Classical frame. They will not succeed until and unless they break that frame -- or at least make clear to the public that there is a choice of frames: one that serves great fortunes, finance and their retainers, and another that serves the remaining 98% of the population.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 12:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Next Left: Could it just have been YouGov wot lost it for David Miliband?
The Labour leadership was perhaps the least polled recent party leadership contest, but projections that the race looked neck-and-neck, and that Ed Miliband might just prevail were borne out in the result.

However, analysis of the final results (full details) present the intriguing theory - an unprovable hypothesis perhaps - that Parliamentary reactions to the YouGov polling of the race might just have had a decisive influence on the knife-edge outcome.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 06:18:08 AM EST

Labour's leadership race There are great opportunities for whoever takes the crown. The party does not need a huge leap in parliamentary seats to win the next election. Polls already put it close to the Tories--before its new leader is unveiled and the coalition's austerity drive bites. Even if no candidate matches David Cameron, the prime minister, as a political performer, Labour could have a stronger front-bench team than the coalition. They have many politicians with the profile cabinet experience bestows, but who are still young enough to represent the future.

But daunting challenges await the new boss too. Labour may be rising in the polls precisely because it is leaderless: voters are not being asked to choose between the government and a specific, perhaps less attractive, alternative; the Tories do not have an enemy to attack. (Having once feared Ed Miliband more than his brother, they now see David as the bigger threat.)

The race has pointed up serious internal problems too. On tax-and-spend, many in the party--including many unions, who help to fund it--are to the left of even the two Eds, and hope vaguely that tax increases on the rich can close the deficit. Reforming the state is just as contentious. Many at the top of the party know that opposing government plans to expand choice in areas such as education and policing could make them look like enemies of the voters. But there is intense hostility to those ideas among the many public-sector workers who support Labour.

These splits matter. Unless someone wins a crushing victory (unlikely), power will be spread among an oligopoly of shadow-cabinet big beasts and union leaders. That could make for a fractious party.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 06:57:46 AM EST
H, that's quite funny. One can almost hear the smacking of lips as their fantasies of the left run riot in their minds.

It says far more about right wing silliness than it does about left-ist obsessions.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 07:44:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News

Ed Miliband has insisted Labour will not "lurch to the left" under his leadership and he will not be in thrall to the trade unions, despite winning with the backing of their members.

"I'm my own man," the new Labour leader told BBC One's Andrew Marr show.

He said he was on the centre ground of politics and rejected the nickname "Red Ed" as "rubbish".

Thank goodness for that. And to think we were all worried there was going to be a lurch towards Socialism.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 11:34:19 AM EST
Pleased to say I got that result right, although I only got odds of two to one.

The next year is going to be very interesting indeed.

It's not so much the Unions which are potentially important now, as their membership.

I've been saying on Labour List for some time - Unions - the Big Society is You - that the 'Big Society' represents the greatest opportunity for Labour and the Unions in 100 years.

I read a good line the other day to the effect that the 19th century was the century of Liberty; the 20th century that of equality; and that the 21st century will be the century of Fraternity - to which I would add Solidarity and Equity.

Every day that goes by confirms my (no doubt utopian) view that the networked, decentralised and collaborative society now emerging will be defined by Fraternity.

Ed Miliband may just have sufficient flexibility of mind to grok this and develop it.

The starting point for policy should be to address the deficit by cutting 'unproductive' financing costs, rather than the productive people in the public and private sectors who genuinely create value rather than extract it.

I'm making a presentation next month re a 'debt/equity swap' to the top 25 UK housing associations. To refinance existing debt with quasi-equity in 'Rental Pools' would release literally billions of £ in funding, simply by stripping out debt repayments and compound interest.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 12:31:37 PM EST
Ed Miliband may just have sufficient flexibility of mind to grok this and develop it.

Oh for sure. However, given the inevitability that he will surround himself with a bubble of inward-looking focus-group-tested policy advisers (it's the way such things are done these days), will he become aware of the concept to be able to think it ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 12:41:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know one or two of the people in his team and their view is that: (a) he is genuinely open-minded; (b) much rarer for a politician - actually listens; and (c) is sharp as a tack.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 01:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
playing the site Cassandra here, but didn't everybody believe that, not only did Tony listen to them, but he agreed with them ?

I genuinely want to believe that Ed is better than either Tony or Gordon, but that's not actually hard. I think I want something better than that and am afraid I'll be disappointed (again).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 02:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why Ed Miliband shouldn't be underestimated | The Spectator

There is a feeling on the right that with the election of Ed Miliband it is back to the good old days. The thinking goes that Labour have elected a lefty as leader and it is time "to do `em over just like we did back in the day".

But this is overly-simplistic. First of all, Ed Miliband is certainly to the left of Tony Blair but he's nowhere near as far left, compared to the public, as Michael Foot or Tony Benn, or anyone like that. Second, the right in the `80s had three fronts on which to attack left-wing politicians: economics, culture and national defence. Now, it only really has one.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 02:27:35 PM EST
I saw Ed speak at the women's summit today, he was very good.  He does seem to have a good fundamental insight into gender inequality and the need to create opportunities for women to attain higher profile within the party.  I have photos but I can't get a photoshop plug in for CS3 to read the RAW files off my camera.  It will have to wait until I am home on Tuesday, I'm afraid.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 02:32:29 PM EST
Paul Waugh (paulwaugh) on Twitter
EdMili @ PLP reception, greeting MPs lined up to the right of him: "I want to apologise for walking in + lurching to the right"


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 02:35:01 PM EST
A pre election Tory Blog post

Vote Ed be dead, vote Andy be dandy.

Ed Miliband would be a disaster as leader. Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley want him to win, Tony Blair and Mandy don't. Which one of those duos won more general elections? I think I'm more inclined to trust the judgement of Tony and Peter.

Ed Miliband has conducted his campaign in an unnecessarily vicious way. He has his supporters briefing the press against his brother trying to provoke a response and then says `Oh, it's nothing to do with me.' Whilst David has kept a much more dignified silence and had to suffer at the hands of his brother's dirty tricks.

If anyone has read Seldon - Blair Unbound, you'd know who the real Ed Miliband was. As an aide with Ed Balls working for Gordon Brown at the Treasury, it was Miliband (not Balls) who was the real bully - stirring trouble amongst MPs behind the scenes and destabilising the party leadership and undermining policy. At one point in 2004, in his capacity as a spad, he stormed into Number 10 and reportedly screamed at one of Tony Blair's aides: `When will he [Blair] be f-king going?' Somehow believing that as an unelected backroom adviser he had the right to demand a change of party leadership.

He makes Ed Balls look like a harmless kitten in comparison and if he becomes leader, Labour will be dead.

Somehow I just don't see the logic of its argument, but they looked worried even before the vote.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 26th, 2010 at 08:12:30 PM EST
Israel has gone on the attack already:
Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the British organization which organized the boat sailing for Gaza on Sunday, has over 1,600 signatories including Marion Kozak, the mother of recently elected Labor leader Ed Miliband, according to its Web site.

In an interview over the phone from the UK, Naomi Wayne, a co-founder and acting treasurer of the left-wing group, confirmed Kozak's support and laid out her organization's manifesto.

I guess the question is whether the other Miliband would have got the same treatment.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 01:09:50 AM EST
It's hard not to see Ed's victory as a win win for Labour.  Although political fratricide is not unknown, it will be difficult for David to oppose him, and together they got 90%? of the vote.  

Any attempts to demonise Ed and his background would be just as applicable to David who seems to have become the acceptable face of Labour as far as Tories are concerned.  Thus they are hard to sustain, as are attempts to suggest that Labour is "split" if the two of them continue to appear to work together.  

Ed's "I love you, David,as a brother and admire the campaign you ran..." pressed all the right buttons.  No one wants a family to be split and attempts to do so are frowned on in conservative and/or polite society.  

Additionally Ed had achieved the appearance of a change to a new generation post New Labour even though he was a cabinet Minister in the last Government.  Tories can hardly criticise his lack of Government experience given Cameron had even less.

Labour badly need to get past Blair-Iraq and the Blair-Brown rivalry, and now in one bound they are free.  Within a few months a party badly sullied by years of establishmentarian Government can (half) credibly present itself as the party of the people again.

It will be interesting to see how the referendum on the Alternate Vote System goes.  Will both Labour and the Tories sabotage it and leave the Lib Dems in Limbo?  The coalition Government will be badly split if that happens and the very concept of coalition itself somewhat discredited.  Within a little over a year Labour could again be considered the Government in waiting putting a lot of Pressure on a Government bent on an unpopular programme of spending cuts.

The Tories could also lose their anti-EU credentials and vote as they are forced to play the EU game with little sympathy/support from France/Germany. Having Lady Ashton as (an ineffectual?) EU Foreign Minister will not help them much either.

So all in all, those who feared the UK might successfully engineer a paralysis of the EU may be able to breath more easily.  The only problem is that German/France seem to have taken on that role...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 06:48:58 AM EST
Can Labour approach the Lib-dems and try to pry them away from the Conservatives? I don't understand how this would work. For example, would it trigger an re-work of the entire set of political appointees if suddenly there were a Labour-Lib coalition?
by asdf on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 10:11:09 AM EST
the biggest problem with that is that they still wouldn't constitute a majority of MPs in Parliament. Plus, once the leader of the majority party/coalition has accepted the Queen's invitation to form a government, the only way that grouping can be changed is following a general election.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 10:22:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it'd make any sense politically anyway.  Why would anybody want to play ball with the Lib-Dems when they've anchored themselves so nicely to the Tories?  They've already been cut in half in the polls since the election, and I suspect Labour -- which isn't that far back of the Tories as it is -- will be in a stronger position once the cuts start to hit people.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 10:36:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since the coalition was formed, Labour has been displaying more than routine hostility to the Lib Dems. Somebody from Labour has said that any future Lab/Lib Dem coalition would require a new Lib Dem leader. I doubt that this approach would encourage the Lib Dems to break up a coalition with a secure majority in an attempt to form a potential minority government.

In any event the legislation for fixed term Parliaments has not yet been passed, so if the coalition broke up now Cameron could ask for (and by constitutional convention would be granted) a dissolution of Parliament. I would not fancy Lib Dem chances in an election caused in such circumstances.

For better or for worse the Lib Dems have committed themselves to the existing coalition for a five year term. Something extraordinary would have to happen for it to be politically realistic for them to change the position.  

by Gary J on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:50:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a truly disturbing pick.  If he's to be the next PM, he needs to come clean on when he stopped kicking puppies.  He ought to grant an interview with the Daily Mail immediately.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:00:10 AM EST
He's already spoken to the torygraph, I'm sure an interview with the daily Hate won't be long in coming.

Why Labour continues to court the proto-fascist vote is beyond me.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YouGov poll for The Sun, the first since Ed Miliband became Labour leader: Lab 40%, Con 39%, Lib Dems 12%, Others 9% # ..

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 05:01:58 PM EST
Normal bounce, presumably.  Lib-Dems got a bump after their conference, too.  Although I'd expect it'd be a little more sustained given that it involves a new leader.

Lib-Dems really do look finished.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 06:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I question the suggestion that the Lib Dems look finished. It is not unusual for Lib Dem poll support to slump between elections. Past experience suggests that support grows with the added exposure of a general election campaign.

Of course this is the first time the Lib Dems have been in government, so we do not know if past experience of how their vote tends to fluctuate will be a useful guide to the future.

It would be unwise to think that the depressed poll ratings, likely in the next few years, will determine where the Lib Dems are as the 2015 election approaches.

by Gary J on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 08:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Personally I believe the LibDems are finished.

they enjoyed a certain level of support for being a non-socialist alternative to the Labour party. Irrespective of their MPs sympathies, much of the membership is surely rooted on the old Liberal Party who have been horrified by the eagerness with which the leadership have enabled the ultra-thatcherite economics of George Osborne.

If they could have extracted a genuine commitment to  proportional representation, it might have been defensible. But the vague promise of a referendum on a demonstrably crap version of pr, which the tories have promised to bitterly oppose, simply isn't good enough.

The liberals are neither an alternative nor complementary to the conservatives, but they are a soft left alternative to the authoritarian streak in Labour. All those who supported them on that basis are gonna run a mile from them next time, especially as miliband jr is making useful noises about ending the illiberal tendencies of NuLab.

It's gonna be a wipeout.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 08:32:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression is that most Liberal Democrat members are cautiously optimistic, that things will turn out OK in the end. Perhaps we are delusional, but time will tell.

The party and its predecessors spent about 60 years refusing to answer the question about whether they preferred Labour or the Tories. Now, at least for this Parliament, Clegg has answered the question. This deliberate strategic decision sacrifices some of the  tactical flexibility, which allowed the Lib Dems to appeal to a wide range of potential voters.

There is some risk that the parties support will be shredded, in the way it was in the years between the World Wars when some cried left, some right and others forward. This has not happened, so far, at the Parliamentary level.

Clegg needs to preserve sufficient independence that the Lib Dems do not become a minor ally of the Conservatives, wholly dependent upon keeping on good terms with them for political survival, like the Liberal Nationals were.

by Gary J on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 11:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
If they could have extracted a genuine commitment to  proportional representation, it might have been defensible. But the vague promise of a referendum on a demonstrably crap version of pr, which the tories have promised to bitterly oppose, simply isn't good enough.

If they wiun the referendum and get changes to the election law they will have delivered systemic change that should increase their seats even if they loose votes.

If they loose, then right after the referendum would probably be the best time for the lib-dems to pull the plug on this government (and thus, I presume, trigger elections). If they need a reason they can always cite how mean the tories were in the campaign and find some promise tories reneged on.

Even with one of the crappier versions of pr, I would guess reform would get more votes then the libdem got in the last general election (if not, someone has not done their polling). When Tories and Labor congratulate each other on defeating the evils of equal representation is precisely the right moment for the libdems to try to rally those that just got voted down to "vote again for pr, and this time we will win!"

Played right, a general election coming on the heels of a referendum on the election systems, were tories and labor collaborated in the campaign, should give the libdems a fantastic opportunity.

This all assuming their will be a referendum.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 05:53:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that AV is not a proportional representation system. It is estimated that the Lib Dems will win a few more seats than under first past the post, but still nowhere near fair representation.

The value of AV is as a wedge to break the status quo. It is hoped that at some point in the next generation we could move to a more proportional system. On the other hand if AV became a new norm and there is no further movement, then the House of Commons and the political system will not be much altered.

It is hopeful that Ed Miliband has confirmed he supports AV and also did not go out of his way to attack the Lib Dems in his leader's conference speech. Perhaps he thinks that we are entering a period of coalition politics, so it is not wise to annoy any potential coalition partner.

I doubt the coalition will be brought to a premature end. It would not be in the Lib Dems interest to get a reputation as unreliable coalition partners or to annoy the Conservatives.

The Lib Dems are in the unusual position that they could easily form a coalition with either Labour or the Conservatives. Most smaller parties in most democracies are almost guaranteed allies for the largest centre-right or centre-left party. Preserving flexibility is therefore greatly to the advantage of the Lib Dems, but does mean they are not wholly predictable. This upsets people (like partisans of other parties or journalists) who would prefer a simpler political landscape.

by Gary J on Wed Sep 29th, 2010 at 06:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gary J:
I doubt the coalition will be brought to a premature end.

I thought it was in the nature of British politics to end terms prematurely and call an election when the government (or in this case a part of the government) deems it appropriate. Is this a misunderstanding on my part?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 30th, 2010 at 03:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you have understood British political history. However when the fixed term Parliaments bill gets through Parliament the chances of an early election will be greatly reduced.

It is precisely to avoid one coalition party betraying the coalition, by forcing an early election, that the coalition agreement included fixed term Parliaments.

by Gary J on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 07:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that the larger party will promise electoral reform, and then find a way to renege on it.

I'm talking from bitter experience (PS/Verts in France). I hope I am wrong with respect to the UK : perhaps the Conservatives have more integrity than the PS (not counting on that), but more to the point, perhaps the Libs have the power / the guts to force it through (after reflection, I'm not counting on that either)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 09:38:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the AV referendum next May it is likely that most Conservatives will vote no and most Lib Dem supporters will vote yes. That was understood to be the position when the coalition agreement was negotiated.

The key to the result is likely to be the way Labour splits. Many Labour activists and politicians love first past the post. It gives them more power than a fairer voting system would.

It is interesting that Ed Miliband, in his big conference speech, announced he would support AV.

It is not certain what the result of the referendum will be. AV is not a lost cause, as some people have feared.

by Gary J on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 03:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's always theorised that the slump in support between elections is down to a lack of media exposure between elections, The vast amount of coverage being for the government of the day and the official opposition. And at the moment they seem to be getting a larger amount of media coverage than the other two parties (Apart from this last week with the conference) So if this theory is correct, then you'd expect their numbers to actually go down come the election.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 09:01:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well I'd expect a percent or two more, seeing as there's a couple of days more heavy exposure to come, whether this will come jointly from the two other main parties or unbalancedly as one spirals down the plughole is another question.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 06:46:14 PM EST
Probably.  And Milliband hasn't given his speech yet, right?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 07:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No that's due tomorrow.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 07:25:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... will be rabid while support will be lukewarm.

"I" in this case meaning Machiavelli:

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:17:00 PM EST
Nicolò was one shrewd dude.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Sep 27th, 2010 at 11:33:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the Ultimate Serious Insider, Philip Stephens of the FT:


Miliband falls into the European statist trap

Britain's Labour party has chosen an opposition leader over a would-be prime minister. The decision drives it into an electoral cul-de-sac. A glance at the dismal condition of centre-left parties across Europe explains why. Railing against unfettered capitalism and promising to put up taxes does not do the trick.

Ed Miliband's defeat of his elder brother David suggests Labour is about to repeat the mistakes of its Continental cousins. The new leader has shown he prefers to denounce the wicked spending cuts planned by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition than to acknowledge any uncomfortable choices of his own.

Some of his colleagues are already muttering as much. The narrowness of Mr Miliband's victory, his reliance on the support of the trade unions and the possible departure of his brother from frontline politics has left many at the party's Manchester conference in sombre rather than celebratory mood.

Foolishly, Mr Miliband has encouraged such pessimism by proclaiming the conference a requiem for New Labour - overlooking the inconvenient fact that the broad coalition assembled by Tony Blair won the party three general elections.

Tony Woodley, the joint head of the Unite union and one of Mr Miliband's principal backers, goes further. New Labour's time in office, Mr Woodley told the Financial Times this week, had been "a dark period for our party and our country". Better to embrace the purity of opposition than the awkward compromises of government.

Labour is thus heading into the trap that has snared parties of the centre-left across Europe.

(...)

Capitalism may yet claim another political victim.

Ooooh, Europe's statist trap. A party of the left pushing ideas of the left like increasing taxes on the rich rather than cutting services for the poor? Unsustainable "purity" Oooh.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 05:50:27 AM EST
It seems Ed Miliband is changing Labour. At least he is drawing a line under the Blair era. At the party conference today he made a speech included a repudiation of the Iraq War - which seemed to annoy brother David.
by Gary J on Tue Sep 28th, 2010 at 02:38:25 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]