Posts Tagged ‘Ed Miliband


Just don’t spill your gin yet…..

I was very kindly asked by Harry to pen a few thoughts on the whole political field we find ourselves in at this moment in time. I was naturally delighted, and have done my best…

So then, the Queen’s Speech was lacklustre in a legislative manner and has been decried from all corners of the political sphere… This is nothing new. Don’t spill your gin just yet!

Despite this Coalition’s first Queen’s Speech just over 2 years ago to the day – having paved the way for the most vicious Thatcherite parliamentary session this country has had to put up for nearly a hundred years: this one was remarkably unambitious, even by their particularly low standards. It is thus no surprise to see that it had been widely panned across the entire media sphere: irrespective of ideology.

Perennial brown-noser Louise Mensch apart, the criticism of it was universal from left to right. The Daily Mail screamed in anger as to the missing plan for jobs and growth: ‘the I’ were rather polite in noting how it was just “lacklustre”, but its fine columnist Steve Richards then lambasted it as a “ragbag worthy of Blair”. Unlike Redblog’s otherwise fine guest poster Alex Hylan’s take on Blair, I am no New Labour apologist. Personally, they owe the nation, and our party, an apology, for by and large wasting 13 years of possibilities on transforming Britain.

Even as an avid republican, you almost felt sorry for ol’ Liz sat there in her big golden chair as she read out this most incredibly vacuous, hollow and pompous plan – as if she was somehow about to take the blame for it.

The critique of the whole sorry farce that I laughed at most came from all places – of the Economist’s front cover, (courtesy of avid Tory, Sunday Politics regular and George Osborne biographer Janan Ganesh). Dave is stood in hunting gear on the left side – blissfully unaware of the fire behind him. It was poetically captioned “Crisis? What crisis!?”  

Do not mistake this Queen’s speech as a veiled intent of moderation from the coalition’s powers that be; we’ve got more chance of finding Lord Lucan on Shergar than this. Frankly, I’d rather have the latter running the country!

With Labour comfortably clear in the polls, Jeremy Hunt’s head being demanded on a plate, the Leveson inquiry in full pelt, double-dip recession returning for the first time since the 1970s, unemployment being abhorrently high – you’d almost think that the Coalition would be desperate to recapture some of the initiative. After all, as incumbents they have the ultimate advantage of the system, and quasi-authority to boot. It’s yours to lose. Indeed, Britain hasn’t removed a first term government since Ted Heath picked a fight with the miners and lost!

Yet – seemingly: Nero & co are rather too comfortable fiddling whilst Rome burns, and no pathetic Kim Jong-il-esque, stunt in an Essex tractor factory will change that.  With Dave’s texts to Rebecca, (lol!), revealing that he’d long since recognised that the horse had bolted – you’d think that they would try to usher the wee creature back home. Rather: the door has been slammed shut, so should the horse ever wish to return – it wouldn’t get in!

Sympathisers with this current, intolerable mob may point to such fond, cuddly measures as more flexible post-natal parental leave. Indeed, this is admirable: but on its own – fundamentally spineless and pathetic.

Not only is it increasingly unlikely that either, (let alone both!), will have jobs thanks to austerity and ideological neo-liberal libertarian fantasies, but if this is the best a government can do in a year – then it is not worth the urine I wouldn’t release if they were on fire…

As members of the British public, we all ought to mourn this scandal. For our government are indifferent to our plight, and actively worsen it with outrageous fabricated links to the likes of Greece and Ireland. No wonder a rather large slab of Scotland would like to go its own way. Frankly – with Labour up to 43, (Yes – 43!), points clear of the rest of the rabble in the North: it seems a fair few of us would rather join them!

But if I were a Labour strategist – I’d be quietly smirking to myself. Incompetence always trumps whether or not a government is seen as fair or otherwise: but lazy incompetence – which is increasingly becoming the by-word for this Coalition government. Quite right too. The Tories’s own backbenchers increasingly despair, and the civil war at the 1922 Committee is beyond hilarious. A change of government is easier to sell to the public if they believe that the government have been sat on their hands for a large part of the 5 years.

Also, the less damage there is for any future Labour government to reverse – the better. We will have our hands rather full from removing all profit motives and vested interests from the NHS, and returning our public services to anything like acceptable in a civilised society. A jolly full plate you might say.

This all follows an absolutely excellent night for Labour at the local elections – with comfortably north of 800 council seat gains defying all daft targets and demands set on us by the unsympathetic outsiders in hopes that we would fall at the first hurdle. Quite rightly, when Ed M was busy touring the newly-gained councils of Exeter, Southampton & Harlow et al – he was pleased but not complacent. Need I mention William Hague and his baseball cap?

But there is extremely good reason to be optimistic, and nothing that this current coalition of the damned is set on doing, looks like coming close to reversing that. 2015 is a long way away to say the very least, but all lights in the distance look green.

I hate to mimic Neil Kinnock, but onwards to government comrades… Just make sure you don’t mess it up now Ed.


Prime Minister’s Questions…

Above is a video of yesterday’s PMQs…

We think that this was a success for Ed Miliband and this is why…

Ed’s questions resonated with ordinary people

We had questions on train fares, after peoples’ frustration was clear with the most recent rise. This prompted a long disagreement regarding who did what with Cameron half admitting Miliband was correct by the end. (We particularly liked the way Miliband pronounces “wrongue”)…The More Ed frustrated Cameron, the more ‘Flashman’ (the part of the PM we see when he turns bright red and his neck expands to fill the commons chamber) came out. Ed also mentioned the clear fact that the money was going to increase profits for companies rather than increased rail investments.

We also saw angry Ed yesterday; with Miliband showing how his irritation mirrors that of people up and down the UK.

Luciana Berger showed her fight as well yesterday asking about the adoption on Labour’s ‘cheapest energy tariff for the old’ policy. Cameron’s avoidance of the question again showing his weakness and anger.

It wasn’t just punch and judy though. Ed’s Second set of question showed his support for the union of the UK. On a side note, does anyone else HATE when Cameron uses the word “separatists’? It sounds like something from star wars.

It was clear to see that whilst Cameron was using slogans and words like “neverendums”, Miliband was a lot more statesmanlike, showing calmly setting out the case for the union.

On the whole, from yesterday’s PMQs it is clear to see that Ed is getting better at this and Cameron is getting, well, angrier…



A Pleasant Surprise- Alan Johnson

I can't believe the Daily Mail had the best image I could find.

It feels appropriate writing my first post for what will surely become the most unconventional left wing blog of all time, on such an anomalous and remarkable happening.

Of all Ed’s options for Shadow Chancellor, Mr Johnson seemed the least likely candidate. Clearly the tories thought the same way, with the Transport Minister Phil Hammond describing the man as more or less an enigma- an ‘unknown quantity’ in economic terms. Which, most probably, is why ‘Steady Eddie’ gave him the job- as the recently coined nickname* would indicate, the new headman is in danger of becoming too predictable; doubters claim his tenure as leader will certainly be defined by adhering excessively to trade union wishes, and not adequately transforming the party into a new electable force. As we see here though, our man is already disproving the claims of the skeptics, and shaking up the spectrum, much to the chagrin of the government.

While we know about as much as Hammond regarding Alan’s fiscal ideology (aside from the fact he originally considered himself aligned with The Communist Party of Great Britain when he first joined Labour in 1971, of course), there’s a myriad of reasons that support Ed Miliband’s decision. Primarily, there is the personal element; whichever way you look at it, Johnson is a likeable chap. The amiable fellow has strong morals concerning the NHS and teacher’s pay, in addition to an obvious sense of humour. This forms a huge contrast to his opposite number- George Osborne, who was already the Conservative’s nasty man before he became the current administration’s axeman. As Osborne evolves into a figure even more despised by the general public as the unduly rapid cuts bite, the smiling, wise face of the welfare-minded Alan Johnson, untainted as he is by lack of alignment to either of the two camps that ravaged the party before, will grow all the more appealing.

There’s more to the character-side of the appointment than the mere ‘nice guy’ factor. AJ’s life story is representative of the very essence and spirit of the Labour Party- leaving school at 15, he went on to rise to the top tier of the party hierarchy from being a postman at the age of 18. Johnson is a senior and experienced activist, but is definitely not a ‘career politician’- real life experience is an increasingly rare trait in leading politicians valued and respected by working people, possibly above all others. Let us not forget that Johnson was also favoured for party leadership by many MPs and party members who were feeling disillusioned, as well as unenthusiastic with the final candidate list, so increased party unity is sure to be a benefit of this appointment.

Naturally there are negative aspects to the nomination. With absolutely no disrespect intended, Alan Johnson is an older politician- and while experience comes with age, it adds another layer of mystery regarding what exactly Mr Miliband meant by a ‘new generation’ of a labour administration. Combine this with the fact that Johnson was of course a prominent member of the previous government, and Ed’s message becomes more unclear. The new Shadow Chancellor will find it difficult to escape the negative connotations that surround Brown’s premiership in the eyes of the electorate; unpopular ideas that he advocated during his time in office, such as ID cards (albeit taking a more relaxed stance towards them) and increased student fees may come back to haunt him.

Nevertheless, Johnson does contribute to the concept of a ‘new face’ for Labour. That he is a supporter of some level of electoral reform, together with the unprecedented nature of his selection and distance from the generally favoured TU candidate for the job (Ed Balls) goes some way towards weakening the detrimental notion of a ‘Labour aristocracy’, that is closed minded and predictable.

This is the first step towards making the Labour Party unique and distinct again, and it was desperately needed- with ICM research today showing 53% in favour and 37% in opposition to the Coalition’s current policy direction, it has become evident that there is no Miliband ‘honeymoon period’ occurring. Standout decisions that contrast from the old are a necessity to bring the party back to the fore.

As an aside, surely it’s plain to all that the fact no one saw this coming supports comrade Ed’s statement that he is being his ‘own man’? Anyways, keep plogging on.


*It was The Telegraph’s idea. I used it to advance a point, in no way do I endorse use of it. It does sound somewhat more elegant than ‘Red Ed’ though.

Follow us on twitter