Monday News Review

Noel and Liam, Michael and Fredo, David & Ed?

With the vote for the new Labour party leader less than a month away, the race between the Miliband brothers is hotting up – with both Tony Blair and Lord Mandelson intervening on behalf of elder brother David. Mandelson told the Times a vote for Ed Miliband, who is urging a return to pre-Blairite Labour policies, would lead Labour into an “electoral cul-de-sac”. Blair himself is expected to use an Andrew Marr interview on BBC2 this Wednesday to make it clear that a vote for Ed will be destructive. Even if he doesn’t explicitly endorse David, the message will be clear. – The First Post

Ed Miliband has declared he is ready to sack rival brother David as the pair step up their fierce battle for the Labour crown. The shadow energy secretary has ducked the question in the past but showed his ruthless streak as ballot papers are sent to activists this week. The pair have not spoken in two weeks. And Ed, 40, was asked on a radio phone-in whether he could ever bring himself to axe David if he won. The former minister said: “I would have to make the right decisions.” Pressed on whether that meant he was prepared to give his brother the bullet he added: “Of course that is the case.” – The Mirror

Opponents enjoy portraying the Milibrothers as Michael and Fredo Corleone in The Godfather. But I suspect Ed would have little trouble serving in a party headed by David. The tantalising question is whether David could work for Ed. David has been led to believe for years that he can become leader. If Ed hadn’t stood, bookies’ would’ve stopped taking bets in a coronation rather than a contest. And as elder brothers everywhere know, it’s hard to play second fiddle to the young’un. Labour needs another psychodrama after Blair-Brown like a hole in the head. – The Mirror

Sound bites man

In casual conversation, David Miliband is warm, colloquial and unaffected. But having spent a day following him on the campaign trail, I now get the joke. Listening to him talk about politics is like playing a computer game programmed by Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, for he literally cannot open his mouth without a soundbite falling out. “The change I’m arguing for is the change Britain needs.” To win the next election “requires vision – and it requires victory”. His leadership style will be “future-orientated” and, as he likes to tell his colleagues, “You’ll bring out the best in my leadership if I bring out the best in yours.” As leader, his job will be to “Expose what the Tories are doing, oppose what they’re doing, and have our own proposals as well.” At this last one, even his own aide groans. “OK, I won’t say that then,” Miliband laughs, and has another try. “We’ve got to be an intelligent opposition, and an alternative government.” – The Guardian

Ed Milibands grand plan

Ed Miliband has much more than winning the Labour leadership in his sights. He is convinced he can complete the first realignment in British politics since the Social Democratic Party of David Owen and Roy Jenkins left Labour in 1981. Why is he so well qualified? Because he shares the Liberal Democrats’ agenda on civil liberties, ID cards, the detention of terrorist suspects without charge and university tuition fees, he replies. “The Liberal Democrats are on a journey. Clegg is taking them in a direction a lot of Lib Dem supporters are deeply dismayed about,” he said. “I offer a home for Liberal Democrat voters in which they don’t have to trade abolition of ID cards for a reactionary assault on the welfare state, and they can be true to their values on both civil liberties and economic policy.” – The Independent

Ed Miliband has called on Labour to propose raising taxes for the better-off and impose a £5bn-a-year tax on the banks as he marks out a new dividing line with his elder brother David. In an interview with The Independent, Ed Miliband claimed New Labour was haunted by three “old ghosts” which shaped its policies when Tony Blair became party leader in 1994. He said they were a fear of increasing taxes for high earners, a fear of Old Labour’s anti-Americanism, which resulted in the Iraq war, and an unnecessary desire to protect the public from the views of Labour members, which led to a “control freak” style of party management and “hollowed out” party. – The Independent

Summer tour

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham visited Newhall Labour Club, in High Street, Newhall, as part of his campaign to drum up support among grassroots members in South Derbyshire […] He said: “The reason I am making these trips is to tell people at a local level that I think it is time that we rebuild the Labour Party from the bottom up. I want to give the Labour Party back to the ordinary person on the street. By courting the media elite and the business elite, this party has lost touch with ordinary people and all of that has to change. I am quite happy to be the true grassroots candidate. Labour can’t have more of the same — it would be dangerous for Labour to carry on as we were.” – Burton Mail

Would-be Labour leader David Miliband warned supporters in Norwich the party faces a difficult fight to get back in to government and winning back its lost seats in the East of England would be crucial to its success […]“Norwich was a Labour city partly because of the efforts of its MPs and councillors and partly because of the efforts of its members, who went out and knocked out on doors in the 1990s and beyond,” he said. “The reason I am standing is that places like Norwich need a Labour government as much as places like (my constituency) South Shields.” – Eastern Daily Press


2 Responses to “Monday News Review”

  1. All 5 candidates have now produced what they see as Manifestos, see http://dronfieldblather.blogspot.com/2010/08/manifestos-of-intent.html

  2. Mike says:

    only the Lib Dems could move to sack 1,000 nurses at NHS Direct and claimit will be a better service as health minister Burstow claims

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