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…

Red Ed V the IMF

On only his second day as leader Ed Miliband has come up a pretty big obstacle to his message on the economy – the IMF. Red Ed’s job has been made a lot harder by the IMF’s analysis that “the government’s strong and credible multi-year fiscal deficit reduction plan is essential to ensure debt sustainability.” Red Ed believes the Coalition’s plan is ‘economically dangerous’ whereas the IMF says it is ‘essential’.

In his keynote speech to conference tomorrow, the first time most of the voters will really see him, the broadsheet commentariat will be watching to see if he will call for a slower rate of deficit cutting than even Darling wanted before the election. He campaigned, like his rival Ed Balls, as a deficit denier so it remains to be seen if winning the leadership will see him dump his left-wing “Red Ed” campaign rhetoric. The IMF says the government’s plans are ‘appropriately ambitious” and will lead not to a double-dip recession but ‘sustainable recovery’. If this doesn’t trigger a rewrite of his campaign script then Red Ed is even more of a loser than his Blairite critics suggest…

How the Unions Won it for Red Ed

This morning’s papers could not have been comfortable reading for the majority of the Labour Party who did not vote for Ed Miliband. Despite attempts to say “so what” to the fact that Unite and the other unions have the leader of their party by the balls, Red Ed is being defined by his opponents (and supporters) before the voting public have any idea who he really is. Not without good reason, imagine the outcry from Labour if the Tories biggest donor had been given the deciding say in who the party leader is, against the wishes of the membership and MPs. Try as Ed may to claim he is his own man, the results speak for themselves and how they were achieved is very telling.

Not only was there the £135,000 given to Ed’s campaign directly, but money was spent elsewhere pushing his face and name. Take this ballot paper envelope from the GMB for example:

Unite the Union broke not only the spirit but the letter of the leadership election laws by sending a mailshot endorsing Ed when they sent the ballot papers to their 950,000 members.  Unite even set up a website backing Red Ed which linked to the Electoral Reform Society’s online voting page. If David Miliband had a little less dignity he would have pretty solid grounds for an investigation.

The unions gave help-in-kind worth millions. There is no way the unions will not want a return for their investment and in the campaign Ed promised to support strikes and even show his face at the TUC’s coordinated action day. Guido is fairly confident this won’t happen and Ed will have to attempt to distance himself from his puppet-masters. Expect tame words calling for political solutions and the like…

Charlie Whelan Wins by a Whisker

Unite’s massive effort to persuade disinterested union members to vote for Ed Miliband paid off. Ed won 50.65% of the vote. He lost in the MP and membership sections of the electoral college but took so much of the union vote it didn’t matter. The unions bought the election, endorsements and incredibly heavy promotion of their chose candidate paid off. Charlie Whelan and Derek Simpson can justifiably claim it is their victory, they got Red Ed the job…

Time to Cut Carbon Cutting

Until recently Ed Miliband was only really known as the over-enthusiastic Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. One of his first moves was to push through the Climate Change Act, mandating a cut in UK Carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. As MP’s dutifully filed through the ‘aye’ lobby they were lacking one key fact: how much would it all cost? Despite the best efforts of several backbench Tories there is yet to be a definitive answer.

Alex Salmond, spotting a chance to claim a policy as his own, responded by announcing the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. The only difference was a small increase in the intermediate target.

At least the Scots had the decency to, belatedly, estimate the cost of this misguided policy. Their figure? £8billion of central funding over the next ten years – just to cut emissions in the public sector. That’s without considering the economic effect on private businesses struggling to meet unrealistic targets. If that’s the cost to a country of 5 million people, shouldn’t someone point out that UK plc is looking at a bill of almost £100 billion in the next decade…



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Quote of the Day

William Hague on Tony Blair…

“To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.”

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