Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It remains to be seen what the general public make of events (and particularly the 10% or so who have been supporting the Liberal Democrats in recent polls).

Anyone who was going to give up on the Lib Dems, because of Conservative elements in coalition policies, has probably already done so.

by Gary J on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 06:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Strategically, the issue is The Third Party is no longer credible as a Labour vote splitter.

From the days of the Soc Dems with Shirley Williams and the rest, the splitters have made it possible for the Tories to push through policies that have no real electoral support.

I have no idea if Williams knew what she was doing, but considering she ended up working for Harvard and the Institute of Politics I wouldn't find it surprising.

Clegg is part of that long-lasting Third Party tradition, with the difference that his enabling has been overt rather than covert.

So we're back to Milliband's Blair-ish weak-tea third-wayism - which is better than having Tory nutters running around breaking things, but only marginally.

If I'm right I think we'll see another splitter movement during Milliband's second term; they're just too useful not to have one around.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 06:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who do you think would lead the SDP mark 2. David Milliband perhaps? If the kid brother can have a party to run, why not David?
by Gary J on Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 06:55:44 PM EST
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In the logic of what you suggest, a splitter movement would only be necessary if Ed Miliband were to quit the Blair-ish weak-tea third-wayism.

What do you say, Ed?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 02:44:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ed Milliband strikes me as a bit more sincere than Blair.  I was wondering if he was aspiring to be a Labour version of John Major.

John Major was famously a cricket fan. Ed Milliband outed himself as also being one, when he appeared on the BBC Radio Test Match Special programme a few weeks ago. He then admitted that the old Yorkshire and England player (and famously opinionated commentator) Geoff Boycott, was his childhood hero.

I do not think think attending the cricket was just a sham, just to get some niche publicity. Not only did Ed Milliband attend The Oval Test (in south London) when he was on the radio, but the Second England v South Africa Test at Leeds where he was attending in his own time. The commentators on Test Match Special reported that, during a rain break, the Leader of the Opposition was seen following Boycott (the Yorkshire County Cricket Club President) to go and look at the Yorkshire cricket museum.

What all this says about the policy Ed Milliband would follow, if he became Prime Minister, is difficult to say. Labour has been quite evasive about exactly what they would do if they were restored to office, since the last general election. I suspect it would not have been enormously different from what the coalition has done, so far as austerity politics is concerned.

by Gary J on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For better or worse, being evasive until much closer to the election has been the opposition tactic for about 20 years now. I doubt we'll get much more understanding of Ed until the next election looms.

FWIW, I think Labour would have started out on the austerity road in a similar fashion to the coalition, but would have U-turned by now. There are plenty of Blairites who are in love with the nonsense economics of austerity (and the class war side-effects) but where Tory and the remaining Lib Dem voters are all for shrinking the state, no matter what the cost, there would be more pressure on a Labour government to change direction.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 06:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Ed probably is more sincere than Blair (what a benchmark...).

But being a Geoff Boycott fan doesn't plead in his favour. I mean, cricket, yes, but Boycott...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 7th, 2012 at 03:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well having listened to the Interview, His earliest International was the game where Boycott scored his hundretdth century, during a test match and was carried shoulder high by the crowd. You can see why it would have an impact. (TMS is a cultural icon and with a sunlamp and apropriate herbal acompaniment was my winter holiday on my sofa, especially when play was in the Carribean)

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 Aug 7th, 2012 at 06:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boycott can definitely run his pie-hole.  Imagine how entertaining it would be for him to start holding forth on political topics.
by rifek on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 12:14:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sir Geoffrey rocks

I was listening to the Test Match commentary. And Jonathon Agnew was complaining that the security had been so tight it took him an hour to get into the ground. So out of nowhere came Geoffrey Boycott, who sneered "We've Tony Blair to thank for that."

"I'm sorry Geoffrey," said Agnew, with a hint of "WILL you keep quiet" but Boycott asserted "Tony Blair's to blame for that. He was told if we went to war with Iraq it would increase the risk of terrorism but he wouldn't take any notice."

"Well," said Agnew, "I think it's the terrorists to blame really," mumbling as if he had a dozen producers yelling into his earpiece "SHUT HIM UP - distract him by suggesting he was weak against left-arm spinners or something."

But Boycott held firm, which was how British radio broadcast for surely the first time ever the sentence "We should never have invaded Iraq in the first place that's pushed out gently on the off side and there's no run."

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Fri Aug 10th, 2012 at 10:09:24 AM EST
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Gods, that's funny.  The latest test with SA could have used such a distraction.
by rifek on Wed Aug 29th, 2012 at 01:53:24 PM EST
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What would it take to be less sincere than Blair?  Richard Nixon's dead.
by rifek on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 at 12:12:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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