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Tuesday News Review

06/07/2010, 07:34:33 AM


labour leadership debate

David Miliband in action at the Cardiff hustings

 Pity the Labour leadership contenders. They have made themselves hoarse on the hustings, but there are still three sweaty months to go. Yet they know they can only be a sideshow at this stage in the post-election cycle, when all eyes are on the coalition. It may be some consolation to the contenders to know they are doing their party some good as recruiting officers. At least 25,000 new members have joined up since Labour’s election defeat, a mixture of returners and disaffected Lib Dems. When ballot papers go out to MPs, trade union supporters and activists on 1 September, newcomers’ votes may have a disproportionate influence. – The Guardian

A common theme was the need to acknowledge that the last Labour Government had not only stopped listening to the public but had stopped listening to the Labour Party’s own members. Ed Miliband in a powerful moment declared that, “I do believe our society is too unequal. The gap between the rich and poor is too wide. That’s why I’m campaigning for a living wage, not just a minimum wage and for action on high pay.” This won the vigorously approval of Lord and Lady Kinnock who sat in the front row keen to champion their chosen candidate. – Western Mail

 If ever there was a moment for Labour’s rebirth, this is it. The C2 voters who walked away will bear the brunt of Conservative thrift, the once-Blairite middle classes are contemplating the scrapheap, and Lib Dem supporters are appalled that Nick Clegg has become the Trojan horse for Tory cuts. Yet in the greatest crisis to engulf Britain since the war, Labour seems oddly absent. The people’s party has become a travelling circus in which the five leadership candidates perform at endless hustings and get reacquainted with an electorate that told them to take a running jump. – The Telegraph


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