Posts Tagged ‘Derek Simpson’

Kevin Meagher looks at the new leader’s in-tray

28/09/2010, 09:23:37 AM

THIS week, of all weeks, Ed Miliband will not find himself short of advice. Whatever his critics, myself among them, have said about his campaign, he has executed his strategy expertly. Quite simply, he intuitively understood the centre of gravity in the modern Labour party far better than any of the other candidates.

His appeal to the Guardian-reading, soft left, public-sector urbanites who comprise so much of the party’s grassroots, was perfectly pitched. These are principled, decent people who can be swayed by pragmatic arguments, as they were (initially) by Tony Blair; but ultimately they retain their original, earnestly held views. They saw many of their cherished beliefs battered and bruised during Labour’s years in office and were grateful to have a candidate to vote for in this contest who actually chimed with how they see the world.

The trouble is that their views are not necessarily the views of the broader electorate. Or, indeed, our lost Labour voters. Both Gordon Brown’s former pollster, David Muir and the Open Left team at Demos have made this point in recent days.

So the balance between idealism and hard-nosed electoral reality needs to be better calibrated. And our new leader will not have long to do so. He has to adapt to a fast-changing political landscape with firmness and quickness or risk being on the back foot from the off. To his right-wing media critics he is already “Red Ed” – a rollback to Labour’s Jurassic period.  I am sure we can expect some subtle but firm rebranding in this afternoon’s speech.


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Brothers stand fast against a “grand coronation.” Alex Halligan reports.

04/06/2010, 04:46:41 PM

Delegates at unite’s policy conference voted to ensure that all candidates are on the ballot in the labour party leadership contest. This is effectively an endorsement of the veteran leftwing MP John McDonnell. Unite is in the process of contacting MPs in their Parliamentary group and urging them to “nominate wisely” to ensure a proper contest.

The union boasts by far the largest Parliamentary group. And its influence within the party is far-reaching, having donated £11 million pounds in four years.

A packed fringe meeting hosted by unite’s ‘united left’ faction met in Manchester on Wednesday night and was addressed by McDonnell. Delegates cheered the rebel MP as he urged them to over-rule the unite executive, which they duly did the following day. (more…)

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