Monday News Review

Labour likes an idealist; but it hates being in opposition even more

And David Miliband, the man in pole position? He looks relaxed in an open-necked blue shirt. But he is sombre, statesmanlike, low-risk. There are no sound-bites, promises or grand gestures. Instead he warns the party that it could be out of power for ‘a long time’, and needs to pick a credible alternative prime minister to take the fight to the Tories. The coded message is simple: this is no time for an idealist. We’ve been here before, and we don’t want to make the same mistakes. Follow your head and not necessarily your heart. It is a tough, pragmatic argument. But it is one that just might work. Labour likes an idealist; but it hates being in opposition even more. – Manchester Evening News

Text campaigning first

Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband said tonight he had recruited 1,300 potential campaign volunteers in 24 hours in an Obama-style two-way text message drive. His campaign team claimed the mobile marketing exercise was a first for British politics. Miliband’s team sent thousands of text messages to Labour party members through data supplied to all candidates by the party and instead of just sending a message, asked for a response. About half of the recipients replied, of whom 45% said they were supporting the former energy secretary. – The Guardian

Burnham cancels the holiday

Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham is to break an unofficial truce by carrying on campaigning throughout August. Front-runner David Miliband suggested a two-week halt starting today to let all five candidates take a holiday with their families. Other would-be leaders, including his brother Ed, jumped at the chance. – The Mirror

Milibands brand bank levy “piddling”

The Miliband brothers – both frontrunners to be next Labour leader – have stepped up their rhetoric against the City of London by calling separately for the recently introduced banking levy to be increased. David Miliband, shadow foreign secretary, told a party meeting in south London that the tax, expected to raise £2bn a year from banks, was “piddling” and “incredibly small”. The levy – which will be calculated as a proportion of banks’ liabilities – should be doubled, he told an audience of Labour members in Colliers Wood. – The FT

Coalition brass neck

Whatever you call it, Ed Miliband is bothered by how the Tories, using the Lib Dems as cover, can be so radical and so bold without having won even a majority in May. This is what Ed said to me: “It’s very interesting what the coalition has done, a bit like George Bush in 2000. The coalition, like Bush, has won a very questionable mandate and yet they act like they own the place. The cuts [in public spending] David Cameron is making are going well beyond what he needed to do. He could have chosen a different course. He didn’t. Yet when Labour wins an emphatic mandate we act sometimes like we are squatters in power. That has to change, surely?” – The New Statesman

Andy defends Liverpool NHS trust
LABOUR leadership contender Andy Burnham made the feared threat to Liverpool’s health services one of the centrepieces of the launch of the party’s “Defend Our NHS” campaign. The Liverpool-born former Health Secretary said the news of 300 job losses at Aintree Hospital NHS Trust and redundancies looming over the city’s Primary Care Trust (PCT) workers forewarned of a Tory plot to “unpick the fabric of the NHS”. – The Liverpool Daily Post

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One Response to “Monday News Review”

  1. Harry Barnes says:

    All five candidates for the Labour Leadership have now responded positively to the campaign run by Dronfield Blather to issue “Manifestos of Intent”. On Friday Ed Balls was approached at the close of the final hustings which was held at Manchester and he accepted the proposal. This means that all five candidates have now agreed. But there are still problems to be resolved before our wish becomes reality. See –

    On 16 August balloting commences. So we are keen to gain access to the finalised Manifestos for publication by then. So far we hold some initial material from two of the candidates, although if they wish they still have time to elaborate on what we hold.

    Whenever all five Manifestos are available we will publish them alongside each other. If anyone falls out of the boat we will, however, publish what we then hold on 16 August. We can’t wait any longer than that.

    Candidates are, of course, free to publish their own Manifestos at any time they wish. If they beat us to it, we will nevertheless stick to the above timetable.

    We will also give credit where it is due to three Labour MPs who have to date helped.

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