Friday News Review

Ed confirms family rift

“In the battle between the two Miliband brothers for the Labour leadership crown, things are getting a little bit tense. Ed admitted to the Daily Mirror that hadn’t spoken to David in two weeks – but he insisted the contest would not damage their relationship.

He accepted there was an “honest disagreement” between them about the direction of the Labour Party. Ed launched into his strongest attack so far on his brother’s tactics and his closeness to Mr Blair’s New Labour project. Banging the desk, he all but accused David of being trapped by the right-wing press into thinking only a move to the right would see Labour back in power.” – The Mirror

Other candidates round on Milibands

“From candidates who said they wanted to move beyond the new Labour / old Labour debates of the past, there is a danger of walking into caricatures. What we actually need to do here is put together a programme that is credible on the economy and on interest rates but at the same time will deliver the decent public services and the fairness that the majority of lower and middle income families want. The idea that we should either only focus on unskilled working people on the one hand or only focus on middle England on the other, I think both those things are pretty out of date. I worry that they’re rerunning the debates of the past.” – Ed Balls, Left Foot Forward

David Miliband was wrong this week to warn that radical tax reforms of this kind are a retreat to a Labour comfort zone. Instead, the comfort zone we risk slipping into is the New Labour comfort zone that says minimal change and more of the same is the way to go. When Tony Blair pledged Labour would be tough on crime, he spoke for millions who live in areas where people lose their liberties through fear of crime. So I disagree with Ed Miliband when he says that New Labour got it wrong on law and order.” – Andy Burnham, The Guardian

Balls takes on coalition cuts

“Ed Balls will attempt to inject new momentum into his Labour leadership bid with a call to the party to reject the coalition Government’s claim that there is no alternative to swingeing cuts. The shadow education secretary will use a keynote speech in the City of London to accuse Chancellor George Osborne of pursuing an “economically-unsafe” austerity programme which risks tipping the country into a double dip recession.” –

David Miliband indicates preference for a graduate tax

“I’d like to see a bigger higher education system. I’d like to see more vocational education as well. I think we need a fairer funding system, especially for part-time students. We’ve got to make sure people aren’t deterred from going into higher education by the loan system. But graduates will have to pay more money back when they’ve got decent, paid jobs.” – David Miliband, The Guardian

Jack McConnell to stand down from Scottish Parliament

“The Motherwell and Wishaw MSP, now known as Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, said the decision marks the beginning of “part two” of his political career. The former Scottish Labour leader is the longest serving First Minister since devolution in 1999 and his five-and-a-half tenure saw the introduction of the smoking ban north of the Border. In a statement, published on his website, Lord McConnell, 50, said: “I have been an elected representative for most of the last 30 years and it is time to move on.” – The Telegraph

Boycott is my hero – Ed Miliband

“Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband has revealed his hero is the outspoken former Yorkshire and England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott. His other choices were motor-mouthed tennis player Jimmy Connors and recently deceased snooker hellraiser Alex “Hurricane” Higgins. Mr Miliband, whose Doncaster North constituency is in South Yorkshire, tells The Spectator he saw Mr Boycott score his hundredth first-class century at Yorkshire’s Headingley ground in 1977 and that he skipped school to watch his final innings at Lord’s.” –

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