Thursday News Review

The Candidates

“Still, one of them must face David Cameron at some point. The prime minister is a lucky politician – ducking and diving through four-and-a-half years of scrapes as opposition leader and then becoming PM despite failing to win the election. Right now he must be thinking he’s lucked out again. It is hard to see any of the five Labour leadership contenders giving him much to worry about.” – Wall Street Journal

“This is a test of the Labour Party as much as our would-be leaders. So while all the pressure is on the candidates during this leadership election, there’s also a big responsibility resting with our four million members. The question is not just who can appeal to and lead those of us with a Labour affiliation; but who can appeal to and then lead the whole country? My answer is Ed Balls.” – John Healey, The Yorkshire Post

““I don’t know them very well. They’re a different generation to me and very New Labour, which they’re all scrambling now to deny. There was a wariness [between us]. With New Labour, you were either onside or cast into outer darkness. I was never showcased. When I was first elected to the NEC (National Executive Committee) I was put behind a pillar on the party conference stage. The second year I wasn’t allowed to make a speech. The party was shocked by me.”” Diane Abbot, The Telegraph

“Around 300,000 people are required to pay the 50p rate, which was introduced by the last Labour government in April as a “temporary” measure during the recession. But Mr Miliband said: “I would keep the 50p rate permanently. It’s not just about reducing the deficit, it’s about fairness in our society and that’s why I’d keep the 50p tax rate, not just for a parliament,” he said.” – The Telegraph

Family fortunes

“Political tensions between the two brothers began to rise in July 2008, when – in one of Brown’s lowest moments – Labour lost the Glasgow East by-election to the Scottish National Party. The younger Miliband was one of the few ministers to defend Brown publicly at the time. His brother, meanwhile, seen by then as Brown’s strongest rival for the leadership, wrote a highly controversial article in the Guardian which attacked the Conservatives but made no mention of Brown, adding to the sense of crisis around No 10.” – The New Stateman

“One wonders what “the brothers”, and others in Labour, will make of that. In making accusations like this, Balls must be confident that he is not briefing against any of the other candidates. However, it should be said that none has emulated David Miliband, whose decision to only allow on-the-record briefings from his press secretary Lisa Tremble was, in effect, a challenge for others to do the same.” – The New Statesman

“David Miliband could ‘walk away’ from frontline politics if he loses the Labour leadership contest to his brother, party sources have warned.The former Foreign Secretary is said to be so ‘hurt’ by younger brother Ed’s aggressive campaign that he is questioning whether he could work for him.” – The Daily Mail

The pitch

“The homogeneity of this quartet was not the only reason that Diane Abbott gave the sparkiest performance. The most common objection to TV debates is that they favour the visually schooled and Abbott, as the first weekly TV co-presenter to take part in small-screen hustings, perhaps proved this point: her sense of where to look, and how, and when to interrupt was vastly superior.” – The Guardian

“The MPs have largely cast their nominations, and the Famous Five are now touring the country speaking/pandering to various audiences in the constituency section of the Labour party, but soon the unions are going to come into play, and the focus will be on gaining the recommendations of the union executives. Unison and Unite, the biggish two of the unions, gather in Leeds on two consecutive days – 2 and 3 July – to meet the candidates and make a recommendation.” – The Guardian

One Response to “Thursday News Review”

  1. Jane says:

    I think Ed Balls is following the nasty pattern of briefing which he has demonstrated throughout his years as an adviser and MP. It is he who is briefing the press against the Milibands so called brotherly infighting to try and win votes for himself. God help us all – we will never win an election if Mr Balls becomes leader. We do not like bullies….

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