Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will the Last Blairite to Leave Switch Out the Light?

red-light-milibandThis morning Nick Robinson observed on the Today programme of David Miliband “He was not just the other brother, he was the New Labour brother.” Robinson also reported that one senior figure on the left of the Labour Party told him late last night: “It’s important for the left to avoid triumphalism but it obviously marks the date when New Labour finally accepted that the crisis requires us to turn the page… Now there can be no excuse for timidity [from Ed Miliband] because the Blairites are decisively weakened.”

Milburn, Reid, Purnell and now David Miliband are all gone as they see the writing on the wall, a frontbench packed with more supporters of Ed Balls than David Miliband despite him having won far more support from the parliamentary Labour Party. Dan Hodges identified it yesterday before the news from David Miliband – his brother Ed is a hostage to the left of his party together with the unions who put him in place and hold the purse strings. He can’t move towards the voters on policy without undermining himself and party unity. The Owen Jones digital Bennites are in the ascendant supported by the siren calls of Polly Toynbee, fronting the drive among activists for more left-wing policies – the inherent problem for a party with socialist activists far to the left of the electorate on, for example, welfare reform. As they rise in the polls and scent power the left becomes more furious in its policy demands…

byrneEd’s current poll lead means the left-wing of his party is in no mood for compromising with the electorate. The remaining Blairites like Liam Byrne are on the receiving end of vitriol last seen when Derek Hatton was in his prime. The unions are in no mood for moderation, Len McCluskey last week wrote to congratulate  the 44 MPs who defied a three-line party whip to vote against Liam Byrne’s official line on welfare reform.   They enjoy principled opposition, the Blairite accommodation with reality was an aberration, it matters not a jot to much of the rank and file that it was the most successful period in history for the Labour Party. The capacity of the Labour Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is legendary – a left-wing Labour Party will not form a coalition government in 2015…

Above was how Owen Jones greeted the news of David Miliband’s exit from British politics. Tony Blair hints in his more generous statement of his fears “He is obviously a massive loss to UK politics… I hope and believe this is time out not time over.” It is over, all that remains for Labour moderates is for the last of them to switch off the light…

Monday, December 17, 2012

David Miliband and the Ugandan Tax Row

milibandDavid Miliband’s links to a controversial oil company that makes its billions in Uganda are back in the news today. The £500,000-a-year globe-trotter has faced scrutiny for his role in securing sponsorship for Sunderland FC from Tullow Oil, an oil giant that has in the past been accused of driving villagers from their homes and bribing officials. Today the Ugandan government is alleging that they have taken huge sums of money out of the poverty-stricken country by allegedly not paying an 18% tax imposed on its mining machinery. Tullow is requesting that the dispute be referred for arbitration.

Maybe a certain former Foreign Secretary can use his diplomacy expertise to help them reach a resolution…

Friday, August 24, 2012

David Miliband Earns £116 a Minute

At the end of July Guido revealed how David Miliband had made the most of being pipped to the Labour leadership by joining the 1%. The banana-brandishing former Foreign Secretary has raked in half a million quid over the last year, and the lucrative deals are still lining up. Miliband was paid £14,000 for a two hour speech at Claridge’s Hotel in June, meaning he earned a staggering £116.66 per minute. Perhaps it was the best career choice after all…

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

David Earns Half a Mil-iband

Under Ed Miliband’s stewardship Labour have set themselves firmly against excessive pay for the wealthy: “There is a need for responsibility at the top as well as at the bottom. Rewards for failure are bad for society“.

Ed’s brother clearly didn’t get the memo however – defeated leadership candidate David has raked in some £500,000 in the last year thanks to a series of positions he holds in addition to being an MP. According to the Register of Members Interests, David earns over £25,000 per speech and £75,000 a year as a director at Sunderland FC, even pocketing a hundred grand for four days’ work as an advisor to an energy company in California. Welcome to the 1%…

Via William Green.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Coming Soon: An Awkward Miliband Reunion

David Miliband will guest edit next week’s New Statesman as the beleaguered lefty mag desperately attempts to bring about a turnaround to its drastic decline. Not only has the banana-eating former Foreign Secretary enlisted his old friend Tony Blair as a contributor, but the edition will feature an interview with none other than the defeated Labour leadership candidate’s brother, Ed. Awkward…

It isn’t all bad news over at NS towers however, as early projections suggest sales are on the up following Mehdi Hasan’s departure this week. Guido looks forward to watching HuffPo’s traffic plummet in the near future…

Monday, January 2, 2012

Don’t Unseat Ed Miliband Association

Back in the heady days following the election of Ed to the leadership of the Labour Party the conservative journalist Iain Martin warned us all not to underestimate Ed Miliband, he even jocularly formed DUEMA, the “Don’t Underestimate Ed Miliband Association“. On Twitter he would highlight hope for the leadership of Ed Miliband which he warned was much underestimated by among others, David Miliband. As the year wore on the DUEMA membership dwindled and eventually Iain accepted the inevitable following the last PMQs:

Guido is happy to announce that a private sector solution has been found. This blog has bought the association off the bankruptcy trustees and is rebranding it the “Don’t Unseat Ed Miliband Association“. It will remain a not-for-profit, now with an added Big Society social enterprise dimension. This new direction will result in no loss of #hashtags and we have a business plan to see the association run until 2015. In a sign that this is not a hostile takeover the new management is inviting Iain Martin to stay on as Chairman Emeritus.

Our first goal is to shore up support  for Ed Miliband from the left of the Labour Party. So we recommend that he promises to go into the next general election opposing the government’s proposed £500-a-week cap on housing benefit. Luxury flats are a human right!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

After PMQs Labour Insiders Doubt Ed Miliband Will Last Out 2012

Peter Hain is considered by Ed Miliband’s people to be something of an elder statesman, he was an early backer of Ed for leader and has reaped the benefit of that since. After what was a mauling at PMQs, judged one of Ed’s worst outings by many, Hain’s judgement was up there with the legendary Comical Ali. He reached for that old standby, blaming the Tory press…

Unfortunately in reality even the friendly left-wing press were underwhelmed. The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt, the Indy’s John Rentoul, Newsnight’s comrade Paul Mason, ubiquitous leftie Owen Jones and LabourList’s Mark Ferguson were all shaking their heads wistfully.

The more neutral observers such as the BBC’s Nick Robinson said that Miliband had “taken a pasting”, Total Politics described it as excruciating to watch. It was especially excruciating for Labour’s backbenchers and frontbenchers alike who go home for Christmas behind in the polls and on the wrong side of the public on Europe and the economy. Some are even talking of a Yvette Cooper / David Miliband dream ticket next year. That is how desperate they are getting…

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On the Farm: David Miliband & Alistair Darling

We learn from Alistair Darling’s memoirs that immediately after James Purnell resigned Gordon Brown reluctantly gave up on replacing him with Ed Balls. The course of history would have been very different if the kamikaze economic duo had got total control of the economy in 2009. The Prime Mentalist and Banzaii Balls would have pushed us into Greek territory…

The other counter-factual piece of history concerns the subsequent secret meeting on the farm between David Miliband and Alistair Darling. If David Miliband had the courage to tell Darling that they should oust Brown, history might be very different. They could have forced Brown out, changed economic course and lured the LibDems into a post-election coalition. The Rose Garden could have been the scene of a Miliband-Clegg romance. Miliband lacked the cojones to take the gamble, unlike his younger brother.

One question remains for Guido. Who owned the Essex farm that was the scene of their meeting? Who did they both trust enough not to reveal their dangerous liason? Essex farms don’t come cheap…

UPDATE: Guido’s Essex boy reckons that the “friend’s farm” at which Darling met Miliband probably belonged to Catherine MacLeod, his spin-mistress.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quote of the Day

David Miliband would have said if he had won…

“The deficit. And there is a deficit. A serious one. Which needs to be reduced… This is the biggest argument in politics, and the biggest danger for us. George Osborne says we are in denial about the deficit. Because he wants us to be. So let’s not be. It is a test… Step one is to recognise what is obvious: that we did not abolish the business cycle. We should never have claimed it. You can’t in a market economy. And public spending plans cannot depend on it. Nor can you write your own fiscal rules and then be the judge and jury for how they are calculated and when they are met.

We should have been proposing the creation of an Office of Budgetary Responsibility and we should be campaigning today for its accountability to Parliament to be strengthened. There is no point in denying those things; they are true.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

+ + + David Miliband Statement + + +
Fears Perpetual Distraction and Destruction

You read it here first:

“The party needs a fresh start from its new leader, and I think that is more likely to be achieved if I make a fresh start…  having thought it through, and discussed it with family and friends I am absolutely confident it is the right decision for Ed, for the party, and for me and my family. This is now Ed’s party to lead and he must be able to do so as free as possible from distraction…. This is because of the simple fact that Ed is my brother, who has just defeated me for the party leadership. I genuinely fear perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where none exists, and splits where they don’t exist, all to the detriment of the party.”

So all that stuff during the election campaign about him being “happy to serve” in Ed’s cabinet was a load of bananas…

UPDATE : The text is taken from a letter sent to his constituency chair. Guido was not subject to an embargo because he wasn’t officially given the text.


Seen Elsewhere

Does Europe Really Want Britain to Quit? | Nick Wood
Immigration Nation | Hopi Sen
Tories Choose Anti-Israel Candidate in Rochester | JC
Osborne’s Daycare Obsession is a Time Bomb | Kathy Gyngell
BBC Marr Pinko Trying to Ban the Queen | Speccie
Eric Hobsbawm: Companion of Dishonour | Standpoint
Guido Party Gossip | Iain Dale
Russell Brand Comes Out as 9/11 Truther | Guardian
Health Revolution is Underway | Fraser Nelson
UKIP Gets Professional | Red Box
Kelly Tolhurst Wins Rochester Open Primary | BBC


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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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