Saturday News Review

A contest of comrades

Now, with the Lib Con alliance established, Mr Balls can pursue his own ideas. Though he will not say so, there is a sense of relief that his closest ties with Mr Brown are finally severed. “I had more blazing rows with him than anyone. You had to do that sometimes to shut Gordon up.” The leadership fight is, he says, long overdue. “History will show it would have been better if Gordon stood [against Tony Blair] in 1994 and there had been a contest in 2007.”  – The Telegraph

“Look, I went through the Brown-Blair deal of 1994. I think it’s much better for the party that we have this contest. The one thing I am certain about is that David and I being in this contest will ensure this is a contest of comrades and not people trying to do each other in.” – Ed Miliband, The Guardian 

“Ed Balls is struggling to gain enough support to challenge for the Labour leadership, it was claimed last night. A well-placed Labour source said Mr Balls was having difficulty in winning the backing of the 33 MPs needed to secure his nomination.” – The Daily Mail

“Ed Miliband’s supporters do not like comparing him to his brother and there is a noticeable absence of war (and major policy differences). When pressed, they say David offers brains without charisma while Ed offers both and can therefore reconnect with Labour’s lost supporters while uniting the party. Ed Miliband’s critics claim he lacks the experience or instant judgement to handle unexpected events and would offer compromises rather than strong leadership – more Neil Kinnock (one of his main sponsors) than Mr Blair. Mr Brown is said to have described Ed Miliband as “a cross between an academic and a preacher”.” – The Independent

“The party’s ruling National Executive Committee wants to bar union bosses from writing to individual members to tell them how to vote in the contest. It has also imposed a £156,000 cap on spending by each candidate to limit any advantage for contenders whose campaigns are financed by unions. MPs were today speculating that the big loser under the reforms could be shadow education secretary Ed Balls, who is expected to win the backing of Unite general secretary Derek Simpson and other union leaders.” – The Evening Standard

“ED BALLS has been pushed out to 10/1 with Ladbrokes to be the next Labour leader as punters have deserted the ex Cabinet minister. Andy Burnham has replaced him as the shortest priced alternative to the Miliband brothers – at 8/1 – as support for the former Health Secretary continues. Diane Abbott has also shortened to 20/1 (from 25/1). David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “We’ve barely seen a penny for Balls in the past few days. Of the big players he seems to have the least momentum. Burnham is on the charge.”” – Live Odds


“Ed Balls, the former education secretary, on Friday night became the first Labour leadership contender to condemn the invasion of Iraq by unequivocally saying it had been “wrong”. The comments, which were partially echoed by Ed Miliband, suggest a determination of the new generation of Labour high-fliers to distance themselves from the Brown-Blair years.” – Jim Pickard, The FT

“Two of the candidates attempting to become the next Labour leader have criticised the decision to invade Iraq. Ed Balls, the former children’s secretary, told the Daily Telegraph the war was “wrong” and “a mistake”. And in an interview with the Guardian former energy secretary Ed Miliband said the way the decision to go to war was taken “led to a catastrophic loss of trust in Labour”.” – The BBC

“Mr Balls said: “On the information we had we shouldn’t have prosecuted the war. We shouldn’t have changed our argument from international law to regime change in a non-transparent way. Saddam Hussein was a horrible man. I’m pleased he is no longer running Iraq. But the war was wrong.”” – The Mirror

One Response to “Saturday News Review”

  1. namak says:

    Question arising from these comments: “Do you believe that Iran and its nuclear development programme poses a threat to the World” as is being claimed by US neo-cons and the Israeli hawks?

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