Posts Tagged ‘Miliband’

Friday News Review

27/08/2010, 07:54:34 AM

Ed confirms family rift

“In the battle between the two Miliband brothers for the Labour leadership crown, things are getting a little bit tense. Ed admitted to the Daily Mirror that hadn’t spoken to David in two weeks – but he insisted the contest would not damage their relationship.

He accepted there was an “honest disagreement” between them about the direction of the Labour Party. Ed launched into his strongest attack so far on his brother’s tactics and his closeness to Mr Blair’s New Labour project. Banging the desk, he all but accused David of being trapped by the right-wing press into thinking only a move to the right would see Labour back in power.” – The Mirror

Other candidates round on Milibands

“From candidates who said they wanted to move beyond the new Labour / old Labour debates of the past, there is a danger of walking into caricatures. What we actually need to do here is put together a programme that is credible on the economy and on interest rates but at the same time will deliver the decent public services and the fairness that the majority of lower and middle income families want. The idea that we should either only focus on unskilled working people on the one hand or only focus on middle England on the other, I think both those things are pretty out of date. I worry that they’re rerunning the debates of the past.” – Ed Balls, Left Foot Forward


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Thursday News Review

26/08/2010, 08:24:39 AM

Feuding brothers

“It was always an ambitious hope. Two loving brothers would maintain warm relations even as they both challenged for one of the greatest prizes in British politics. But the seemingly friendly contest between the two Milibands for the Labour leadership has come to an abrupt halt as the sons of one of Britain’s greatest Marxist thinkers turned their fire on each other.” – The Guardian

“The mother of Labour leadership contenders David and Ed Miliband is ‘upset’ that their relationship has been damaged as the feud between the brothers erupted into open warfare yesterday. A Labour activist who knows the family said: ‘Marion is finding it all very difficult. They have been a close family for years and now she is concerned that their relationship will never be the same again.” – The Daily Mail

Clegg forced onto the defensive

The hard-hitting conclusion from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) did not take into account moves to get people off benefits and into work, the Deputy Prime Minister said.  IFS, Britain’s leading economic think-tank, calculates that the poor will be disproportionately hit by the measures, which include tax rises and benefits cuts. Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers have claimed that other changes, including an upcoming £1000 rise on the point at which income tax is paid, will protect the poorest in society.  But this was clearly undermined by the IFS analysis, which suggested that the most disadvantaged would still be worst off, bearing more of the brunt of the cuts than the wealthy. Yesterday the Liberal Democrat leader attacked the figures as partial.” – The Herald Scotland

Cruddas backs Miliband Senior

“Our party has such talent and energy. We can no longer be divided against ourselves. Together, we can kick the coalition out of office and develop a new agenda, with proposals for a living wage, union representatives on company boards, new social housing and investment in green jobs. This is why I’m supporting David Miliband’s campaign. He has the patience, the strength and the convictions to get the public listening to us. He can lead a credible opposition and build a party that is united for the first time in a decade.” – Jon Cruddas, The Mirror

Scargill gets the boot

“Former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill has been told he is being expelled from the National Union of Mineworkers. Mr Scargill, who led the union through a bitter, year-long strike over pit closures in the 1980s, is among a number of people who have received letters saying they no longer qualify for membership. Mr Scargill, the union’s former president, has told friends he intends to fight the move. He retained an honorary position within the NUM after standing down as a full-time official and has been engaged in work for the union.” – The Press Association

Cameron reveals name

“David Cameron’s new-born daughter is to be named Florence Rose Endellion, Downing Street has revealed. The baby was born by caesarean section, weighing 6lb 1oz, on Tuesday while the prime minister and wife Samantha were on holiday in Cornwall. St Endellion is a village in the north of the county.” –

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Wednesday News Review

25/08/2010, 07:10:28 AM

The Milibands get personal

“David Miliband will today make his strongest criticism of his younger brother Ed with the Labour leadership contest getting personal as it reaches a critical stage. The former foreign secretary will suggest his brother is pandering to Labour’s core vote rather than reaching out to the middle classes and that his strategy will keep the party in opposition rather than return it to power. David Miliband will set out clear dividing lines between him and his brother, seen as the two front-runners in the race to succeed Gordon Brown. Ballot papers will be sent out next week and the result announced on 25 September.” – The Independent

“We must look forward for new ideas and outward for a new coalition of voters. There is no future for Labour in the comfortable but deadening policies of the past. And there is no future in a politics based on a tactical, patchwork approach to building electoral support.” His speech at the King Solomon academy in north London comes as the Labour leadership contest appears to have narrowed to a straight fight between the Miliband brothers, whose strong relationship has become strained over the summer.” – The Guardian

Diane Abbott: The myth of the forgotten middle class

“There was a ubiquitous television advert for sweets in the 1980s where the catch line featured an endearing moppet saying “Don’t forget the fruit gums mum!” You no longer see this ad. But the right of the Labour Party has it’s own ubiquitous recurring theme where someone pops up and says “Don’t forget the middle classes!” The latest tribune of the right to utter this sentiment is my leadership rival David Miliband. We do not have to choose between appealing to middle-class and working-class voters. It is bogus to pretend that anybody is suggesting this. But only when we leave the “New Labour” era behind will voters of all classes be willing to trust us again.” – Diane Abbott, The Independent

The first of many?

“A Liberal Democrat councillor in Liverpool has defected to Labour because of his opposition to the coalition government’s latest cuts. Ian Jobling is believed to be one of the first councillors in the country to switch sides since the May elections. Mr Jobling, who was first elected in 2003 and is a member of Merseyside Police Authority, said the proposed cuts to the police force had really bothered him. He told the BBC: “On 28 May, when the coalition was only two weeks old, communication came through that we would have to have a £4m budget cut to policing.” –

Changing of the guard in Wales

“The Welsh Labour Party’s general secretary is to quit, he has announced. Chris Roberts, 52, said he intended to step down from the top job after five years in the post, saying five years was “about right” for the job and he was leaving in order to pursue new challenges.” – Wales Online

6 lbs 1 oz

“There were cross-party messages of support for the couple on Twitter, with Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls writing: “Wonderful news about the Cameron’s new baby – she will share a birthday with our 9 year old son – just finishing birthday cake.” – Ed Balls,

“Shadow foreign secretary and Labour leadership favourite David Miliband said: “I’d like to offer many congratulations to Samantha and David Cameron on the birth of their baby girl.” – David Miliband, Daily Telegraph

Paternity leave, but when?

“Despite presumably being the last thing on Mr Cameron’s mind, the early birth has several political implications.  The prime minister used the scheduled paternity leave as a decent reason to excuse himself from the invitation to speak at the TUC annual conference, where he was likely to receive an angry reception from delegates.  The birth raises the possibility of him attending the conference.” –

Another Tory non-dom?

“The controversial hedge fund manager who gave £500,000 to the Tories faced questions about his tax status last night after official records suggested that he is resident in Switzerland.  Millionaire Jon Wood did not pay tax in the UK until 18 months ago and his business moved from the tax haven of Monaco to Britain only earlier this year. Yet he became the Tories’ largest donor in the run-up to the General Election when he handed over the cheque two days before polling day.” – Daily Mail

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Labour leadership top trumps

24/08/2010, 01:04:40 PM

Uncut has commissioned Dave Howells to produce that crucial leadership contest accessory: the top trumps.

Like real top trumps, it won’t keep you amused for very long unless you are a small child. But with the Milibands’ respective movements for changes each trundling on and Andy Burnham’s new 9,000 word manifesto o’ t’North just out, we’re confident that there’s a market for minor distraction.

Readers who feel that any scores have been misassessed, or that new special powers should be added, are encouraged to record them below. (The graphic may take a while to load on slower connections).

You can follow Dave Howells on Twitter.

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Saturday News Review

14/08/2010, 09:01:47 AM

Whelan v. Mandelson


In his first major newspaper interview since new Labour came to power in 1997, Whelan gives an explosive insider’s account of the civil war that helped destroy the Labour government. In a blistering attack on Mandelson, he says the man who Brown had controversially recalled to the Cabinet after the disgrace of being twice sacked by Blair, actually lost the Labour Party votes because of his betrayal of the PM, and was responsible for a culture of defeatism that blighted Labour’s campaign. – The Mail.

Williams at 80

Shirley Williams has just turned 80. Yes, there was a little birthday party, and lunch with her daughter, but nothing more. “That’s enough to be going on with, thank you,” she says. There’s no time to waste for Baroness Williams of Crosby, now that her party’s finally got a share of government. – The Guardian.

Ed: likes seaside

Mili-by the seaside

Ed Miliband is speaking to me from the last days of his holiday in Cornwall, writes Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Like so many politicians in the new age of austerity he has found the English seaside rather delightful. He is a convert, he says, to British holidays. – Channel 4.

The race

Gazing at what passes for the Opposition, are we supposed to laugh, cry, weep with mirth or smile bravely through the tears? This may be a rhetorical question. With the Labour Party uncertain whether to style itself as tear-jerking soap opera or broad-brush satirical sitcom, it is asking too much of the rest of us to decide for it. – Telegraph.

Hardie remembered

He’s been called Labour’s greatest hero and the party’s most inspirational leader but could Keir Hardie also be in danger of being forgotten?
Some admirers of the founder of the Labour Party believe so and will tomorrow, on the anniversary of his birth, launch a society to promote his life and work across the generations. – The Herald.

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Trots, stitch-ups and door-knocks: the leadership candidates’ parliamentary selections

10/08/2010, 03:41:33 PM

In his wonderful Uncut interview last week, Andy Burnham set great store by the manner of his initial selection as a Parliamentary candidate in 2001.

He adduced it as evidence that he is a man of the people. A proper party person who got selected the proper way, with no help from anyone, no special treatment, no favours. Which is more than can be said, Burnham clearly implies, for the coddled and over-promoted princelings who are his leadership rivals. (more…)

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We must be the party of radical public service reform, says John Woodcock

09/08/2010, 11:26:13 AM

The immediate aftermath of a very bad election result is not the ideal time for Labour to produce radical, worked up plans to transform our public services. So we probably shouldn’t be too surprised that none of our leadership candidates has come up with anything to set the contest alight. One or two decent ideas have been floated. The proposal by my favoured candidate David Miliband to mutualise the BBC is pretty good, but it is not the humdinger to win us back the south of England.


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Saturday News Review

07/08/2010, 08:27:48 AM


Straw to step down

Straw to step down


“I was first appointed to the Labour frontbench in 1980, and then elected to the Shadow Cabinet in 1987,” he told the Press Association. “But now I want the freedom to range more widely over foreign and economic policy.” – Jack Straw, Belfast Teregraph.

The immigration debate

Deborah Mattinson has run focus groups – snapshots of the voting public – for the past 20 years. In that time she has been made plainly aware of the needs, wants and fears of the British people. She claims that the immigration debate – dismissed to quickly by politicians as bigotry – is in fact a clear cry from voters that they are afraid for their families and their communities. – Daily Mail.

Nick Clegg Jnr

Somewhat sooner than any of us could have predicted, the time has come to ask what exactly is the point of Nick Clegg. Just cast your minds back to those heady days of the first-ever British television election debates as the nation enjoyed Mr Clegg’s warm sincerity; those arched hands, those dewy eyes that looked straight into the camera as he promised a ‘new politics’. – Daily Mail.


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Friday News Review

06/08/2010, 07:32:30 AM

Ed: Narnian resident

Co-op support

The Co-operative Party has reported a record increase in new members following Labour’s general election defeat in May. A Party spokesman told the News that almost 500 new members had signed up in the three months since then — mainly online — and that the figure included a substantial number of returning members. – Co-op News.

It’s grim up north London

The workers’ party has its own aristocracy, and it lives in London’s northern hills. Not far from Hugh Gaitskell’s grave in Hampstead, a Narnian village that in every sense looks down on the capital, other Labour leaders have made their homes. Across the Heath—where one of them, Michael Foot, walked his dog—Karl Marx is buried in Highgate cemetery. Bankers and Arsenal footballers may have infiltrated, but this is still a land of liberal writers, celebrities and assorted cognoscenti. During the general election, houses worth millions of pounds had Labour posters in their windows. – The Economist.


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Sunday News Review

01/08/2010, 08:54:20 AM

Manchester #hustings

Mr Burnham, who was Health Secretary, Culture Secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury during his time in government, argues that Labour will only make itself electable again if it ditches the “hollow” elements of the Blair-Brown years. “We need to keep the best of New Labour and ditch some of the hollowness of it, it looked hollow and rootless at times.” Asked what he would do to counter this, he says he would ban the practise of parachuting candidates into safe seats for a start: No more “favourite sons or daughters. No more fixing shortlists at national level. This is where the style of politics really cost us electorally.” – The Telegraph

David Miliband has warned Labour could be out of power for years as he made his bid for the party leadership at the final hustings before September’s vote. The front-runner in the race to replace Gordon Brown went head-to-head with his brother Ed, Andy Burnham, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott in a question-and-answer session for 600 party members in Manchester. The former foreign secretary told the audience that each time Labour had been thrown out of government they had stayed in opposition for between 14 and 18 years. “We could be out of power for a long time; history tells us we will,” he said. “I want to buck that trend.” – The Sunday Herald


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