Friday News Review

The candidates

Andy Burnham calls for Labour to be the party of "aspirational socialism"

Andy Burnham today calls for Labour to exhume its socialist roots and become the party of “aspirational socialism”, running on ideas that include the large-scale purchase of private accommodation by councils. He also redoubles his campaign for a 10% inheritance tax on estates to pay retrospectively for care in later life, which is aimed at swing voters in the south.” – The Guardian

“This week, Ed Miliband backed the idea of extending the right to request flexible working to “every worker, not just those caring for families”. This is an idea first proposed in 2007 by Beverley Hughes. Back then, Hughes argued that “everyone has a life outside work, not just parents . . . many people make valuable contributions to their communities in their non-work time”. When you read that quotation now it feels like a “big society” argument, yet the coalition is going in the other direction.” – The New Statesman

“This week Ed Miliband put a revived “21st-century social democracy” at the heart of his own leadership campaign. Miliband has always seen himself as a social democrat, even in the years when the term was almost as unfashionable as socialism in Labour circles, and in this week’s speech he called on his party to “turn the page on New Labour orthodoxy”, with a different kind of economic model based around industrial policy, stronger regulation and the promotion of “responsibility” in the boardroom.” –The Guardian

“Referring to Liam Fox’s comments on troop withdrawal, Mr Miliband said “the foreign secretary, the defence secretary and the prime minister can’t go a couple of days without disagreeing with each other about the most important issue which we face which is Afghanistan.” David’s right; there’s just something undignified about the Foreign Secretary playing party politics. You’re not in opposition now, William. Sadly.” – Tom Harris Blog

Electoral reform

“A referendum on a new electoral system is expected to be held next year, the BBC has been told. Sources suggest that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is due to announce that a vote on the alternative voting (AV) system will be held on 5 May 2011. This is the same date as English local, Scottish Parliamentary and Welsh Assembly elections.” – The BBC

“Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and Labour leadership contender, told the Guardian that voting reform was “a peripheral issue” and added: “It is not my party’s job to prop up the Liberal Democrats by helping them win a referendum that is important to them.” Burnham, a long-time sceptic about voting reform, said he was leaning towards reform, but the party could not officially take sides. He said: “The party nationally couldn’t campaign for any one position – you know, it really couldn’t. Those who are calling for retention of first past the post are making an incredibly important and legitimate argument.” He added: “Let’s not get obsessed by this issue, because it really is irrelevant. It’s a kind of fringe pursuit for Guardian-reading classes.”  – The Guardian

Bill calls time

Ex-MP and Defence Minister Bill Rammell has announced he will not run for election again

“FORMER Nazeing and Roydon Labour MP Bill Rammell is calling time on his Parliamentary career following his defeat at the hands of Conservative Robert Halfon in the General Election.In his first interview since losing his Harlow seat to Mr Halfon in May, 50-year-old Mr Rammell said he felt he would be approaching his “sell-by date” by the time of the next election and had no desire to join the ranks of ageing MPs sitting in the House of Commons.” – Hertfordshire Mercury

Ken vs. King

“Her speech was well-received by an Oona-friendly audience, which applauded her I-am-not-Ken observation that, “To beat Boris you have to be able to reach beyond Labour’s core vote.” Her words were wisely free of lapses into think-tank jargon that seeped into her address at that recent hustings in Redbridge. Oona is the race’s outsider in most eyes, but a more focused picture of how a King mayoralty would look is now forming. The string of hustings coming up will be the more productive as a result.” – The Guardian

“Labour mayoral candidate Oona King today said she would seize more operational control of the Metropolitan Police if she won the City Hall job. The former MP, who is running against Ken Livingstone, agreed with Tory plans for directly elected police chiefs, which in London would be the mayor. She told the Standard that taking an “active chairing role” was the only way of making the mayor more accountable to residents over crime.” – Evening Standard

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Friday News Review”

  1. Harry Barnes says:

    I am associated with an initiative which asks the candidates in the leadership election to issue “Manifestos of Intent” related to the commitment to democratic socialist principles which is contained on the back of each Labour Party Membership Card. The first candidate to respond favourably to this proposal is Andy Burham. John McDonnell has agreed to be a signatory to our proposal. See –

Leave a Reply