Posts Tagged ‘hustings’

Sunday review on Thursday: The not-the-London-Labour-mayor hustings

28/11/2013, 01:14:49 PM

by David Butler

When is a husting not a husting? When it is a Progress Campaign for a Labour Majority event on winning in London. That all the invited panellists, including the curiously absent Sadiq Khan, are considered potential nominees for Mayor of London was just pure coincidence.

The event was less a tale of two Londons (or One London Labour or whatever today’s vogue is) but of two de Blasios. David Lammy and Diane Abbott sought this mantle both through reference to New York’s Mayor-elect and through the language and policies on offer. Lammy provide a toned down version of de Blasio’s message, whilst Abbott raised the rhetorical and policy stakes, offering a clear left-populist platform. This, and her potential support from the remnants of Ken’s old machine, makes her a serious contender within a party and electorate to the left of the national norm. Even Andrew Adonis and Tessa Jowell, neither of whom particularly fit the de Blasio mould, referenced “two cities” and “One London” respectively.

However, in many ways, it felt like a London housing policy seminar that happened to have a different title. Both Abbott and Lammy announced support rent regulation, albeit with Lammy obfuscating by calling for “fair rents”. Lammy subsequently redeemed himself with an eminently sensible proposal to build housing on the Green Belt. Jowell warned about the impact of the mansion tax on “asset rich but cash poor” families, a rather surprising move in the circumstances; worrying about those who do well out Britain’s over-inflated housing market should not be high up her priority list. As expected, Adonis had the more innovative ideas proposing to explore shared equity schemes and a “housing bank” to take a stake in future developments in order to prevent land banking.


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Monday News Review

06/09/2010, 08:29:58 AM

Coulson & Cameron

Senior opposition politicians are calling on the government to respond to renewed accusations that Downing Street’s chief communications officer, Andy Coulson, encouraged reporters to illegally intercept messages from the cellphones of public figures when he was editor of The News of the World. At the same time, a number of people whose phone messages may have been intercepted by The News of the World during Mr. Coulson’s tenure are accusing the Metropolitan Police of failing to fully examine all the evidence in its criminal investigation in 2006 and 2007.- The New York Times

A senior Metropolitan Police officer said the force had asked the New York Times to provide any new material it had relating to the matter, including an interview it published with former reporter Sean Hoare. Mr Hoare has claimed David Cameron’s close aide was well aware News of the World staff were eavesdropping on private messages when he was editor of the paper. All five candidates in the Labour leadership contest also called for a fresh inquiry into unconfirmed claims reporters listened in to the voicemail messages of a long list of prominent figures, including politicians and celebrities. – Sky


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We’re finally starting to see who should lead the Labour Party, observes Dan Hodges

22/07/2010, 02:30:56 PM

The legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi once confided to an assistant that he found analysing match replays more stimulating than sex. “Either you don’t know how to have sex”, the assistant replied,  “or I don’t know how to watch game footage”.  I was reminded of that quote when someone at Saturday’s Labour Friends of Searchlight leadership hustings gushed to me how the leadership election was “energising the movement”. Either I have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be energised, or elements of the movement  have to get out there and get some excitement into their lives.

This leadership election is dire. The candidates are exhausted. The contest is mired in tedium. There  is lots of sound, but precious little fury. We are a beaten party going through the motions, and it shows.

And yet…and yet. Despite the banality, the drudgery, the parsing, the positioning; somewhere through the gloom, the odd chinks of light are starting to seep through. Patterns, barely discernable, are beginning to form. Gradually we are unearthing the first clues  to who could, and should, be the next leader of our Party.


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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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Fabian Hustings: laughometer

15/06/2010, 08:23:14 AM

This is the laughometer from last night’s Fabian society leadership hustings.

Tiny chuckles weren’t recorded.

We maintained our rule that to score you had to get a proper laugh from a significant portion of the room.

David Miliband 5
Ed Miliband 7
Ed Balls 9
Diane Abbott 7
Andy Burnham 6

These numbers are significantly higher across the board than for previous hustings. Last night was a first outing for the Uncut reporter operating the laughometer on this occasion.  We have not yet been able to establish whether the leap in laughs was due to operator error, or to the candidates loosening up and getting funny.

Views from those present at last night’s Fabian as well as more than one other hustings would be welcome.

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New Statesman hustings: laughometer

09/06/2010, 10:12:20 PM

We did a laugh count at tonight’s New Statesman leadership hustings.

Tiny chuckles weren’t recorded.

We maintained our rule that to score you had to get a proper laugh from a significant portion of the room.

David Miliband  1

Ed Miliband  2

Andy Burnham  1

Ed Balls  2

Diane Abbott 5

Make of it what you will.

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