Tuesday News Review


“Mr Burnham stressed his ordinary working class background. Both the Milibands pointed out that they were the sons of immigrants who went to a comprehensive school and even knew people who didn’t sit exams. They didn’t mention their well connected Marxist intellectual father or the influential opinion formers who attended dinner parties at their North London home. Mr Balls revealed he once trotted along to a party conference to look after the kids while his wife did the important business of speaking.” – The Times

“There were some real stand out moments this evening. Perhaps most notable was Andy Burnham’s somewhat surprising decision to come out in support of the Iraq war. Burnham feels that we need “a framework for intervention”, but on Iraq itself he said, “I stand by the original decision.” Whilst at times Burnham appeared to inspire the crowd with his aspirational narrative about his own background, and “ordinary kids without connections”, it is hard to believe that his comments on Iraq won’t draw the most attention.” – Labour List

“According to the poll, Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, is emerging as a compromise candidate, with the second highest number of first preferences, and the most second and third preferences. In contrast, David Miliband is a “Marmite candidate” – either liked strongly or disliked – and is struggling to pick up second and third preferences.” – The Telegraph

“Emma Burnell asked the candidates for the Labour party leadership “are you a Socialist – and what does the word mean to you?” at the hustings event co-hosted by the Fabian Society, Compass, LabourList, Left Foot Forward, Progress and the Young Fabians at the Institute of Education in London. Gaby Hinsliff challenged the candidates to give a “one line” ideology for this final question of the hustings event.” – Next Left

Red Ken

Ken Livingstone is hoping to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor

“The influential backbencher Jon Cruddas throws his weight behind Ken Livingstone today as London‘s former mayor fights to become Labour’s nominee once more. The endorsement is the first high-profile support for Livingstone as some within the party decide whether to give him another chance or to back Oona King, the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, who also intends to run.” – The Guardian

“The general secretary of the Labour party today dismissed claims that the party has “rigged” the mayoral candidate selection process in favour of Ken Livingstone, the former mayor who was defeated by Boris Johnson in 2008. Labour chief Ray Collins hit back at accusations about the integrity of the selection process levelled by Jim Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse, who is backing Oona King‘s bid to be the party’s mayoral candidate.” – The Guardian

“There’s another election taking place within the Labour party – that of who should be their candidate in the next London mayoral race in 2012. Like the contest for the leadership this will be completed by the time of the party’s conference in September. Such a truncated process so far ahead of the mayoral election itself has sparked off a row within the party suggesting that this is being designed to help Ken. For in such a short time scale it will be hard for other contenders to establish themselves.” – Political Betting

“A huge row erupted in Labour today over claims that the London mayoral selection process has been rigged for Ken Livingstone. Former London Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has written to party chiefs warning that the contest is being “tainted” by a timetable and rules that make it harder for outsiders. His letter, seen by the Standard, says the selection is being rushed and claims that the Livingstone camp could be receiving insider information.” – The Evening Standard

Future direction

“All of the leadership hopefuls now agree that the agency worker directive should have been implemented, but Balls has become a lone voice among the candidates in arguing for restrictions in free movement of labour. Not only does he want restrictions on eastern Europeans but he wants movement restrictions on unskilled Turkish workers to be a condition of Turkey’s EU membership.” – The Guardian

“The Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party have some serious soul searching to do. Both need to reconnect with their membership, both need new structures of organisation that allow great freedom and democracy to membership. Both need a leadership that is flexible, listening and capable of standing up not for entrenched privileges but for the basic needs of those it seeks to represent. It will fall upon the leadership of the trade union movement and the Labour Party to think outside the box of its comfort zones.” – Liberal Conspiracy

Osborne’s Budget

“It will not have taken long for George Osborne to regret giving away the right to fiddle the Treasury’s economic forecasts. The Chancellor is a week away from an emergency Budget and had hoped to advance a clear narrative: that things are much worse than thought, so the cuts will have to be deeper than he had admitted during the election campaign. But, embarrassingly, the economy is not playing along. Things just keep getting better.” –  The Telegraph

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