Sunday News Review

Bring in the ringers

Alan Milburn has been appointed to give political cover to Clegg

As expected there’s been a furious response from ex-Labour deputy, John Prescott to the overnight news that former arch-Blairite cabinet minister, Alan Milburn is possibly going to return to government to act as “Social Mobility Czar” – whatever that means. Prezza Twittered: “So after Field & Hutton, Milburn becomes the 3rd collaborator. They collaborated to get Brown OUT. Now collaborating to keep Cameron IN” For the three Labour figures named were all opponents of the Gordon Brown premiership which makes it easier for Prescott to condemn them in this manner – though I do wonder whether the term “collaborator” is taking tribal politics a bit too far. – Political Betting

Labour’s Alan Milburn is poised for a shock return to Government as David Cameron’s “social mobility” czar. And it was reported last night that former Cabinet minister David Blunkett could also boost the coalition with advice on poverty, benefit cheats and the pensions crisis. His former Cabinet colleague Mr Milburn will advise the PM on helping people from humble backgrounds into lucrative careers. – The Mirror

The appointment of the former Health Secretary will anger Tory traditionalists who fear there are already too many left leaning policies being drawn up by the coalition. The announcement will be made by Nick Clegg, perhaps as early as Wednesday. A Liberal Democrat insider said the appointment had been agreed between Mr Clegg and Mr Cameron as a way of promoting the former’s “fairness” agenda. Many will see it as a way of shoring up the Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader who is facing internal trouble in his own party over the severe spending cuts he has backed. – The Telegraph

The time is now

It is a neat parable, that contains a clever political strategy. Osborne believes that Gordon Brown used benefits and tax credits to buy votes, binding people on modest incomes into financial allegiance to the Labour party. The counterattack is to discredit the whole edifice, vilifying the undeserving fringe and placing them in cahoots with the old, spendthrift regime. That is a serious challenge to whomever becomes the next opposition leader. Labour has a plausible argument that the coalition’s assault on the deficit is over-zealous and jeopardises economic growth by sapping cash and confidence. But that macroeconomic hypothesis is being overtaken by political reality. By the time a new leader is installed, he (or she, probably he) could be boxed into a position defending handouts for layabouts or explaining what should be cut instead. – The Observer

Its leadership hustings have become so sterile and stupefyingly boring that they are spared mass media coverage as an act of mercy. The concept of being in opposition seems to be interpreted in its most literal sense – you simply oppose any and every proposal that the government makes, without any attempt to present a coherent, viable alternative programme. And the tragedy is that this is all quite needless. There are things to be said, arguments to be made, and righteous causes to be defended, which are the legitimate provinces of the parliamentary Left, and which could be adding a substantial moral dimension to our political discourse. The witless, relentless negativism of the Labour leadership is leaving a vacuum on one side of a hugely important debate about the future of the country and its politics. – The Telegraph

A little help

Carragher rarely struggles to articulate a thought so surprise that he is developing an interest in politics and the Labour leadership race. He recently made a £10,000 donation to Andy Burnham, who was born in Aintree and is MP for nearby Leigh. ‘Obviously, I know him because he’s local,’ said Carragher. ‘He’s an Everton fan, that’s the only problem! I got to know him through my charity, where he’s been a big help. I found out he was going for the leadership and he asked for a bit of help, we gave him that bit of help, and hopefully he’ll do well and take the fight to David Cameron. I voted Labour at the last election but, to be honest, I want local people to do well and it would be great if the leader of the Labour Party was from round here.’ – The Sunday Mail

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2 Responses to “Sunday News Review”

  1. HarpyMarx says:

    Well, it seems to be the natural progression (coulda predicted it!) for “greed is good” former warmongering Blairite ministers to sell out and become class traitors….

    The big question is what will the LP do about it? Will the Labour NEC discuss the matter of whether this is a disciplinary issue (which surely it is)? Are Milburn and Hutton still members of the LP? Blunkett and Field are still MPs so what about their constituents? Who precisely are they serving, Con/Dems or Labour?

    Surely, methinks, they have entered expulsion territory?

  2. paul barker says:

    Expulsion ? Their politics havent changed, they are saying all the same things they said when they were ministers, why expel them now ? After all Brown & Blair did similar things with the “GOATS”.

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