As Polls Plummet New Labour Control Freakery Returning

Michael Dugher was until recently Ed Miliband’s PPS, he wants to beEd’s Mandelson and is clearly keen on enforcing “the line”. However implausible it may be.

Yesterday’s Post-PMQs collective head-in-hands moment by the left-wing commentariat really has upset the dwindling Miliband true-believers. LabourList editor Mark Ferguson, who yesterday implicitly called for Ayesha Hazariki to be sacked (PMQs Verdict: Cut the Gags, Ed), is only reflecting what the Labour grassroots are saying in private. According to YouGov only 8% of Labour voters think Ed Miliband is a natural leader. Enforcing New Labour style discipline on propaganda isn’t going to change that fact.

Dolly and Mandy Reunited

Mandelson told a Progress faction seminar at Portcullis House last night some home truths. “People will not support further tax and spend unless they can see clear value for money. Further enlarging public sector employment is not an option in the coming decade and we need to look to the real economy, to the private business sector, to deliver sufficient numbers of decently paid skilled jobs.”*

Among the Blairite acolytes (Rentoul was in the chair) was Guido’s old friend Dolly Draper. Westminster is seeing too much of Dolly. Mandelson told the Progress crowd “If I talk about the past it is to learn from it, not to go back to it.”

We can but hope…

*A co-conspirator points out that in an oddly Orwellian piece of censorship this “money quote” is missing from the official report on the Progress website.

How Liam Byrne Could Help the “Squeezed Middle”

Liam Byrne says that the “squeezed middle” are those on between £16,000 to £50,000 and Labour’s task in reviewing policy is to help them. Guido is glad to hear it. Presumably he would therefore support those struggling on middle incomes being taken out of the higher-rate tax bracket, which kicks in at a ridiculously low £37,401? That is smack bang in the middle of the range he defines, surely it should kick in at £50,001, above the income levels of those hard squeezed middle classes. C’mon Liam, review that policy…

Red Ed The Taste of a New Generation

Red Ed’s speech is going to be, in the words of one who had seen a draft of it yesterday, “vacuous” and full of talk of a “new generation”. It will be a saccharine speech sharing not just a slogan with Pepsi, its content will also be sugary and vague, without New Labour’s ideologically bitter edge. Red Ed is the synthetic taste of New New Labour…

Miliband Disses Brown Again

David Miliband is being less and less coded in his criticism of Brown, by New Labour’s standards of neo-Leninist loyalty these muted criticisms of the past are pretty strong. Following on from his Keir Hardie speech it looks increasingly like he and Mandelson intend to bury Brown and his allies with the historical truth.

UPDATE : The Blairite plot thickens, Tony himself is letting it be known that contrary to reports, “I specifically have said to all who have asked that I’m NOT angry!” that Mandy’s book is out. Let the bloodletting begin…

Is this Labour’s Khrushchev Moment of Truth?

When Rawnsley’s The End of the Party book came out in January on the heels of Peter Watt’s Inside Out and the allegations of Prime Mentalism committed by Gordon Brown were again denied, Guido predicted that Labour Will Have a Khrushchev Moment of Truth in the End:

When Brown has gone after the election it seems inevitable that we will eventually have a Khrushchev moment, where a senior Labour figure articulates what everyone knows.  It will be devastating.  Gordon Brown is a malevolent, deeply damaged and unpleasant human being.  He is at the centre of a culture of political bullying that has been unhealthy for the Labour Party and the government.  The loyalist cabal around him are unpleasant people who have no place in a healthy political culture, they are as secretive and malicious as they are vindictive and vicious.

Gordon Brown was often compared to Stalin, but who will be Labour’s senior Krushchev figure who condemns the previous regime? Mandelson has laid to rest any continuing pretence (if there was any) about the TeeBeeGeeBees, the vicious infighting that paralysed Whitehall for a decade, yet was denied on camera in barefaced lying by Labour politician after Labour politician, including Mandelson. Mandelson is getting all the coverage for his book The Third Man highlighting the failings of Gordon Brown. Less focus is on David Miliband, Mandelson’s new protege gave a speech yesterday that comes near to that Krushchev moment

I agreed completely with Gordon Brown, when he became Prime Minister in 2007, that we needed renewal.  I supported and voted for him.  I agreed that we needed greater moral seriousness and less indifference to the excesses of a celebrity drenched culture.  I agreed with him when he said that we needed greater coherence as a government, particularly in relation to child poverty and equality.  I agreed with him on the importance of party reform and a meaningful internationalism that would be part of a unified government strategy.  I agreed that we needed a civic morality to champion civility when confronting a widespread indifference to others. But, it didn’t happen. It was not just more of the same.  Far from correcting them failings – tactics, spin, high-handedness – intensified; and we lost many of our strengths – optimism born of clear strategy, bold plans for change and reform, a compelling articulation of aspiration and hope.  We did not succeed in renewing ourselves in office; and the roots of that failure were deep not recent, about procedure and openness, or lack of it, as much as policy.  That is a political fact and now words are cheap but the stakes are high.

It was a backhanded condemnation of Brown’s failure. If David Miliband wants Labour to move on, a frank, uncoded, reflection on the period of Labour brutalism is required. Brown was a disaster for the Labour Party and the country, if Miliband wants a reborn Labour Party he first has to bury Brown in the truth.

UPDATE : Punters give David Miliband a 63% chance of being the next Labour leader.

+ + + Sky: Purnell Standing Down at GE + + +

Update 10.47:  Seems this was shock even to his own constituency office: “trying to find out what going on! i was with him last night, he was talking about the rest of campaign.. odd

+++ Source : Purnell Organising Drinks Party Monday Night +++

Target GordonIn the circumstances it will be viewed with suspicion by Brown central that he is organising a drinks party at Manchester town hall to coincide with the meeting of the PLP on Monday night. Is Purnell  expecting to have something to celebrate?

Post-Election On-Message “Lines to Take” from Labour HQ

If you have ever wondered how it is that all the broadcasters always seem to end up with on-message Labour talking-heads spouting exactly the same drivel after an election, here is why – Labour HQ emails everyone a briefing on […]

+ READ MORE +

Is Labour Sincerely Sorry?Labour Fakes ‘Personal’ Letters of Apology

The SNP have got hold of the formulaic HQ-drafted fake apologies being sent out by Labour’s MPs, MEPs and local councillors.

The suggested letter to be sent by MPs (see full letter here) begins

Dear [Insert Name]

I thought

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sickened Alice Mahon Quits Labour

Alice MahonAlice Mahon, a Halifax MP for 18 years and a left-wing Labour Party member for more than half-a-century, has resigned her membership of the party saying she can no longer stomach how it operates.

In her letter to the Halifax […]

+ READ MORE +

Union Boss has Bling Lifestyle

Grandad Fawkes was a Fabian in his youth (we are all allowed a few follies), he once recounted to a young Guido the day he lost his faith in the Labour Party. He was in his mid-twenties, on the lowest

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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