Sunday’s News Review

Abbott on This Week


“Since she began chumming around with the sons of Satan that are Michael Portillo and the more repugnant Andrew Neil on their amateurish late night TV show, the whiff of sulphur has stuck fast. Is it really OK for an apparently avowed fighter for equality, justice and decency to throw her head back and laugh merrily along with an ex-Murdoch lackey who used to carve up people’s reputations for profit? Where does that cosy friendship sit with high principles? And further accusations of hypocrisy follow her when famously, after having publicly attacked others for opting out of state education and sending their children to private schools, Diane Abbott did precisely the same with her own son.” – The Herald

“Ben Bradshaw, the former cabinet minister, was strikingly open on BBC 1’s Question Time last week about the fact that he did not agree with Diane Abbott. The way he spoke of her, she might as well have been a member of a separate party. The Labour Party has always been like that, of course, but usually the niceties of party unity are observed in public. Now, transparency and openness are the motifs of the times.” – Independent on Sunday

“Her maverick stance is her trump card. She said she knew what the Compass members were thinking: “Subliminally, I don’t look like a credible Labour leader”. But she proclaimed a new era for her party and “so I might be just what the next leader looks like”. After lukewarm introductions to David and Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham, the hall at the Institute of Education in Bloomsbury roared its approval for Abbott.” – The Herald

Ed Balls on the deficit

The Leadership Race

“It is important to get the deficit down but… arguably the path we set in government was too fast,” he told the audience of around 1,000 activists. “If you try to do it too fast, you actually end up stifling the economy, leading to more unemployment, slower growth and in the end a bigger deficit.” – Ed Balls, The Press Association

“So the Milibands are not, as Ed has claimed, “too weedy to fight”. The latest Labour leadership debate produced the first needling dissent as he challenged his older sibling David on the Iraq war. “The first two hustings were polite and, frankly, a bit tepid,” he says. “We need to disagree, whether we’re brothers or not.” ” – The Telegraph

Labour's Ministerial Fruit Bowls


“Ed Miliband yesterday pledged that he would allow the Scottish Labour Party to run its own election campaign next year and develop policies independently. The leadership contender said Labour in London needed to “lighten up” after years of the party at Holyrood having to look over its shoulder towards Gordon Brown and Tony Blair before making policy decisions.”  – The Scotsman

Getting Fruity

“It wasn’t just David Miliband and that banana. Labour’s health ministers practised what they preached when they encouraged people to eat healthier food. They filled up their office fruit bowls at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £100,000. For 13 years all five ministers at the Department of Health were given £8 of fruit a day.” – The Times

Alan Johnson’s electoral reform

“Mr Johnson, who was the favoured candidate of many Labour MPs to replace Gordon Brown as prime minister, has always been a passionate advocate of electoral reform. If he fought, and won, a by-election on the issue in his seat of Hull West and Hessle – next door to Mr Davis’s seat – it would put him in prime position to play a leading role in a referendum campaign to change the way all MPs are elected.” – The Telegraph

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