Throughout December Mandelson backed wonk-shop Policy Network launched multiple salvos against the direction that the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. This morning they are back. Writing in the Guardian, Patrick Diamond, Alan Milburn’s former SpAd and the man who along with Ed Miliband wrote the last Labour manifesto, has opened fire against his old colleague’s “vapid form of leftism”, which he says comes from appealing to the core vote:
“…issues of major significance are defined by arguments occurring within the coalition government. Labour may have interesting insights to contribute to each, but very few of us, it appears, are listening.
..this uncertainty translates into an inability to develop clear positions on the big policy questions – and worse still, a tendency to point in different directions simultaneously… Where does Labour stand, and beyond considerations of tactical advantage, why does it take the positions it does?”
The Blairite ultra and former No.10 staffer goes on to slam the toxic “association with fiscal irresponsibility”, resistance to reform and calls for Labour to be “less tribal”. Nowhere is this mess that he alludes to more obvious than with Labour’s position on the Health Bill.
The major problem is that the man who is leading the fight against reform, was singing a very different tune when he was in charge. In May 2007 Andy Burnham told the Commons:
‘Now, the private sector puts its capacity into the NHS for the benefit of NHS patients, which I think most people in this country would celebrate.”
No wonder nobody is listening.
This must be what Mandy meant when he said in November: “I was loyal to Gordon Brown who I didn’t agree with entirely and I will be loyal to Ed Miliband.”