Friday, September 10, 2010

Ed Miliband Admits Defeat

In a chat with Mumsnet the Labour leadership contenders were asked which historical figure they would be. Cue standard answers like Nye Bevan (Burnham), Republican president Lincoln (Mili-D) and, er, Elvis (Balls). However most telling was Ed Miliband’s answer – Bobby Kennedy.

So he’s the little brother who never made it to the top. Though the similarities must end there, David Miliband “is no Jack Kennedy” to coin a phrase

Asatoband

Ever wondered how David Miliband miraculously has time to blog while he is out and about sewing up the leadership vote. Well he doesn’t:

A little look at the RSS feed for the blog shows us who the real blogger is…

UPDATE: Jess loyally claims that David writes absolutely everything and it’s just her job to put things up. So what do his speech writers do?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

David Plans Victory Party as Polls Peak

In the closing days punters are shifting decisively towards David Miliband becoming the next leader of the Labour Party and winning all three sections of the vote. The money is on him winning even the trade union block, despite the hundred grand Unite gave his little brother. A poll for the Daily Politics had him ahead amongst local councillors in addition to MPs, MEPs and members. It looks like he’s got it sewn up.

So it is no surprise then that he is already planning his victory party. Free day passes to Labour Conference for David Miliband supporters are being organised by his “Movement for Change” on the condition that they turn up to his rally being held on the 28th, the day after the result of the leadership election is announced. Despite caveating that the rally will go ahead whoever wins, it sounds a lot like a victory party…

Supporters are also invited to the new leader’s first conference speech, all free of charge. This isn’t the first time the front-runner has been quite so brazen. Despite promising a thousand community organisers would be trained by his campaign, he apparently had to flood his eve-of-voting-rally in London with members of left-wing group London Citizens. Guido imagines his opponents might have one or two things to say about potentially bribing supporters with free conference access…

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blair Bashes Balls For Miliband

No surprises that Tony showers praise on his loyal heir David Miliband. A good spot by Andrew Sparrow who notes:

“Blair says that Miliband was “fundamentally uncertain” in 2007 about whether he wanted the top job. But Blair also says: “Two years later he would be a different calibre of politician, with clear leadership qualities.”

Blair says “two years later”. But we’re reading this more than three years later. Is that sloppy editing? Or does it mean that Blair thought Miliband should replace Brown in 2009, before the general election?”

No other leadership candidate gets anywhere near the support. Ed Miliband is merely seen as one of Brown’s “folk”. Pure venom is spat at Ed Balls. Along side talk of him “behaving badly” was this gem:

“He has guts and he can take decisions. But he suffers from the bane of all left-leaning intellectuals. As I have remarked elsewhere, these guys never ‘get’ aspiration”

The other two candidates are barely mentioned in passing. Blair admits he knew Brown would be a disaster and had David preparing for a leadership bid in 2007. Things would have been very different if the prodigy had found the courage…

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The “Special” One

So Labour “oldies”, or election winners as they are also known, are not allowed to comment on the future direction of the party apparently. Unless of course they are Alan Johnson. But was his description of David Miliband as “special” really the best choice of phrase?

Well Guido chuckled anyway…

Labour Lords a’Leaping

As much as the candidates may try to spin it, it is clear the old guard still have the ability to upset the leadership apple-cart. Guido, like most people, wasn’t really paying much attention to the squabbles of the weekend after Mandy dipped an oar in. To summarise, it seems the Dark Lord made a supportive comment about Miliband D, who promptly said “woah there, back off with the endorsements”. Miliband E took offence, and a man who knows all about winning, Lord Kinnock came to his defence. As ever Lord Prescott got angry.

All fascinating stuff that kept the news channels occupied over the long weekend. The Labour Party is really covering itself in glory with this fascinating, in depth, internal discussion about it’s future. News is starting to emerge of Blair’s criticisms of Brown in his book published tomorrow. How convenient for the rest of the country that the Labour Party go into meltdown about the past, the war, the lies and the spin the day the ballot papers go out…

Perfect timing our Tone.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Balls Admits Defeat

So it seems Balls’s campaign to be leader is officially over. Plan B, to get the Shadow Chancellorship, kicked in this morning at Bloomberg. As refreshing as it was to finally hear a leadership candidate talk about the economy, Balls’s pitch for the number two job was way off the mark. With David Miliband hinting that Labour must start to accept some home truths and not fight everything the coalition has done, and the fact that he is sticking to Labour’s “halve the deficit in four years plan” why would he appoint Balls, who is still stuck in denial, as his money man? If he does make the job, his half-baked theories are going to be ripped to shreds in and outside the Party…

The speech itself was hard-hitting, there is no denying that Balls is the man to lay punches, however inaccurate, on the Coalition. Much hay was made of the fact that he correctly predicted Osborne would raise VAT, a fact he only knew because Labour would have had to do the same had they won. As Pete Hoskin points out blatant lies were also told:

Balls says that “George Osborne … is planning to go £40 billion further and faster this year than even Alistair Darling’s plans,” I’m sure he must mean “over this Parliament,” not “this year”. Because that’s the truth.

One bit of confusion that always tickles Guido is how Balls claims that the last recession was the biggest economic crisis of the last hundred years, yet constantly warns that the Coalition plans will take us back to the 1930s depression. A mere seventy to eighty years ago – which was the worst crisis Ed?

For those wondering, a co-conspirator was able to put a crowd sourced question from readers at last night’s Q&A with Balls. Asking whether his friendship with Damian McBride revealed a lack of judgement that rendered him unsuitable for high office, and when was the last time he had any form of communication with his old pal, Balls dodged the first bit but admitted he still talks on the phone to Damian. He was quick to add in an unofficial capacity and he wasn’t taking advice from him. Probably a wise move…

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Question to Balls

Guido is off to watch the death throes of Ed Balls’s leadership campaign over at Clifford Chance where he is doing a Q&A at 18:30 with Steve Richards. Tomorrow morning he is also giving  a speech at Bloomberg at 08:30. Both will have questions from the floor so you never know Guido, or an audience ally, might just get the chance to make Blinky squirm at one of the events.

What would you ask?

Questions in the comments please…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Davided Endorsements

With the candidates back from holiday, the finishing line is finally in sight for the Labour leadership. The news that the New Statesman has fallen in line with the Labour youth and trade union movement to back Ed Miliband shouldn’t really come as much surprise. What is shocking is how seriously Labour hacktivists seem to be taking the endorsement of a magazine that barely scrapes 15,000 copies a month. To describe it as “big media endorsement” beggars belief. It seems the Staggers knows it’s audience though - all the university library readers were voting Ed anyway.

Word is lefty firebrand Jon Cruddas, whose second preference votes gave Harman the deputy-leadership in 2007, is set to endorse David Miliband imminently - real votes that would blow the New Statesman’s mere words out of the water.

UPDATE : Cruddas has endorsed D-Mili as expected.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Labour’s Happy Left Turn

Peter Mandelson warned recently that the leadership candidates were abandoning the successful tenets of New Labour. He got no thanks for it. Mandy can see that the majority of the Labour Party is in denial – Alastair Campbell actually denies Labour lost the election – and the party is lurching to the left as a consequence.

The leadership election illustrates the point; Diane Abbott is unashamedly of the hard-left, Andy Burnham says he is a socialist, Ed Balls is a deficit denier, Ed Miliband spouts meaningless nonsense “I pledge to ensure that we are a party of women as well as men” and left-wing clap-trap non-stop as he gloats about the burial of New Labour. Even Blairite David Miliband is talking left.

All good news for those of us who want to see the Labour Party become electorally irrelevant. That Labour’s membership numbers are apparently rising as lefties return is great news. They’ll demand that Labour “fights the cuts” when only a few months ago Labour was planning £50 billion of cuts. Blairite realists will be condemned as “collaborators”, they’ll accuse life-long liberals of being reactionary Tories. They will demand Labour Party support for, and solidarity with Unite strikers wrecking people’s summer holidays. Good news for those of us who want Labour to become the irrelevant third party. Guido is certain that many Labour activists will enjoy themselves far more in opposition…


Seen Elsewhere

All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie
Left-Wing Anti-Semitism is Nothing New | Dan Hannan
Coe Pulls Out of BBC Trust Race | Mail
It’s Not How You Look, Ed. It’s How You Think | Hugo Rifkind
Mehdi Hasan’s Israel Spin Debunked | Breitbart
Labour’s Muddled Cam Attacks | Janan Ganesh
Ed’s Policies are a Pile of Fudge | Damian McBride
What Ruffley Standing Down Tells Us About Gove | James Forsyth
Tories Say They Could Sack Ruffley | Buzzfeed


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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