Monday News Review

Time for a chair?

John Cruddas wants to be chair of the Labour Party

Jon Cruddas, who has announced he would like to run as chairman of the Labour Party, admitted he found the politicians’ attempt to distance themselves from the Gordon Brown’s administration “unedifying”. He told Sky News’ Adam Boulton he was concerned by the “velocity by which people are running from their own involvement in some of the decisions” saying he would respect them more for standing by the choices they had made. – Sky News

Left-wing Labour MP Jon Cruddas has called for the party to have an elected chairman in future. Mr Cruddas told Sky News that he and stand-in leader Harriet Harman both backed the change, and that he would be interested in running for the job. It was time for the party to hold a thorough debate on policy following its “second-worst defeat since 1931” at the recent general election, he said. – The BBC

What does Labour stand for?

While the contest drags on, Labour is left rudderless at a time when David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the Coalition are enjoying a prolonged honeymoon with voters. Although Harriet Harman, the acting leader, is running the party far more competently than many of her detractors believed she would, and has struck some decent blows against Mr Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions, the Prime Minister has no fear that the Opposition will lead an effective summer offensive against his Government.

Whoever emerges triumphant from this tortuous process, with the party due to proclaim a new leader on the opening day of its annual conference in September, will have to find a quick and coherent answer to the question: what does Labour now stand for? – The Telegraph
A little goes a long way

The shadow energy secretary drew in £8,000 in low value contributions in 24 hours, after issuing an online plea for funds along the style of that used by Mr Obama’s team during his successful campaign for the Democratic nomination two years ago. Donations ranged in size from £500 to just £2, with the average backer giving £32.79. – The Telegraph

The policy debate

In an article in The Daily Mirror, Ed Miliband said: “The party of the minimum wage somehow became the party of maximum flexibility to work. But we all know that flexibility for employers can lead to low wages and poor employment conditions. We didn’t take enough steps to offer better protection.” Reading between the lines – which is what Labour activists are good at – this paragraph suggests state intervention into labour markets, greater regulation of business and the sort of restrictions of the free market that would send Conservatives into a state of apoplexy. – The Caledonian Mercury

Our Harriet

Job well done. In PMQs, she was specific and detailed, although but sticking to Labour’spre-election policy before the election she sounds like she’smakesde her sound stuck in a time warp and she could have shown more humour. more humour and detail at PMQs, She made principled decisions in her leadership and showed occasional flashes of brilliance, (backing Abbott) but sometimes there was shambolism in the behind-the-scenes running of the party. – The Guardian


According to several people who know Brown well, he went through a “black period” immediately after leaving office. He had been desperate to secure a coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats and despite Nick Clegg’s statement that he could not remain as leader, felt he could remain in place for up to a year in order to secure the nation’s economic recovery. He was “stung” and “very upset” by the Sun’s front page headline which branded him: “The Squatter in 10 Downing Street” and which failed to recognise his constitutional duty to remain in place until a coalition deal was complete. – The Scotsman

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