Wednesday News Review

The Mirror backs David

It is a difficult decision. David Miliband went into this contest the frontrunner. The big surprise of the race has been his brother Ed who has been at times truly inspirational. Both are passionate in their beliefs and show anger at the wrong-headedness of political foes. Both are rare men who wear their deep-seated principles on their heart. The choice between them is tough and we hope whoever wins finds room in the Cabinet for his brother. But we believe David Miliband ticks more boxes and is without doubt the best candidate to be the next leader of the Labour Party. And, more crucially, the next Prime Minister of our country. – The Mirror

Labour’s big guns last night lined up behind David Miliband to be the new Party leader – calling him the “special one”. The 11 shadow Cabinet heavyweights insisted he was the right man to galvanise members after the election letdown and kick David Cameron out of No10. Their support comes as the Mirror today also backs Mr Miliband, 45, as the best candidate to take Labour forward […]In their letter, the shadow ministers say Mr Miliband is the only person who can succeed Gordon Brown and return Labour to power. It is signed by Bob Ainsworth, Douglas Alexander, Liam Byrne, Ben Bradshaw, Alistair Darling, Tessa Jowell, Pat McFadden, Jim Murphy, Shaun Woodward and Jack Straw. – The Mirror

Ed Ahead?

Ed Miliband has “pulled ahead” in the race to become Labour leader, his camp claims, as voting begins today to choose a successor to Gordon Brown. The Shadow Energy Secretary’s campaign says that, among the 271 MPs and MEPs, he is picking up more second preference votes than his main challenger, his brother David, who is still the bookies’ favourite. Second preferences could be crucial as few expect any one candidate to secure a winning majority on first preferences in an electoral college split into three between MPs/MEPs, party members and members of affiliated bodies like the trade unions. – The Herald


Ex-PM Tony Blair also used the publication of his memoirs to intervene in the election, with what is being seen as an attack on Mr Miliband’s leadership rival and brother Ed, a former lieutenant of ousted premier Gordon Brown. Mr Blair – who has accused Mr Brown of losing the election by abandoning New Labour – warned his party against a shift to the left, telling The Guardian: “If we take this path, the next defeat will be even more stinging.” – The Press Association

The contest

Labour’s leadership contest has taken time to come alive and only does so now as an awkward, closely fought duel between two brothers. Even so, the largely subdued campaign could prove to be an important one. As the main opposition in a hung parliament, Labour still has more to play for than seemed likely in advance of the general election. In theory, at least, their next leader has a better chance of being a Prime Minister than the victors of Conservative leadership contests in 1997 and 2001, when the winners faced landslide governments ruling in a relatively benign economic climate. – The Independent

So far, no single individual has emerged from this leadership contest as the stand-out, no brainer, automatic candidate who the party believes can lead them back to the promised land. Yes, the ultimately successful contender may be a Miliband and they may win by a healthy margin – but they are likely to have to do it by winning other candidates’ second preferences. Tony Blair did not have to do that. – The BBC

Best for business

It remains unlikely that Miliband has the stomach for proper reform of public services – or, for that matter, for any other positive action. He is to the left of Brown’s government, and hugely to the left of Brown’s 1997 incarnation. We gave him ample opportunity during our interview to take positions to the right of the coalition on the 50p income tax rate or on returning capital gains tax to the 18 per cent it was under Labour. He wouldn’t bite. In truth, all of the Labour candidates are flawed. But anybody who cares for the future competitiveness and prosperity of this country should be hoping David Miliband becomes the next Leader of the Opposition. He is the least bad candidate – and that, after all, is better than nothing. – City AM

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One Response to “Wednesday News Review”

  1. Mark Carrigan says:

    “We gave him ample opportunity during our interview to take positions to the right of the coalition on the 50p income tax rate or on returning capital gains tax to the 18 per cent it was under Labour. He wouldn’t bite.”

    I found this telling. Influential right-wing opinion formers (a) expect that a potential leader of a nominally left wing party will take economic positions “to the right” of a right-wing coalition simply because they offer him an opportunity to do so (b) bemoan him for not doing so. This is the sense of political entitlement which triangulation breeds amongst economic elites: an expectation not just that political leaders will perpetually ‘position’ themselves but that they will take the ‘right’ positions. I can’t help but worry that David M will just lead to more of the same guff.

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