Sunday, 26 September 2010


Winner Ed Milband..... and, pictured below, the other contenders

So it’s Ed.

If I’m honest, I don’t really care much for him, but he was the best of a mediocre bunch.

Diane Abbot and Andy Burnham were frankly ridiculous outsiders. The more Abbot said the more I realized why she was and always had been a back bench MP. And the more that Burnham said the more I was glad that his Cabinet remit was England only. (Compare him with Nicola Sturgeon and rejoice that you are Scottish, regardless of politics.)

Ed Balls was, if you strip away some of the probably undeserved reputation (and the daft wife), a man with some decent and sensible policies.

But of course, from the beginning, as Tony Benn had predicted many years ago, it was clear that it would be a Miliband who led the party once the Blair/Brown ‘partnership’ was truly over.

So, as they were all applauding and cheering the man who lost them the election yesterday we all wondered which one it would be. Should we be glad that the choice was Milly junior, rather than Milly senior?

I think so. David is Blair’s creature. Blair and Mandelson! The south-east of England is all that matters, the north has nowhere else to go, and half the country lives in the prosperous belt around London. I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t have been able to get a cigarette paper between the policies of Miliband Snr. and Camerclegg.

Does that mean that Ed is left wing? Well, not by historic standards, no. He’s not a Tony Benn or a Michael Foot. He’s not even a Denis Healy. He may be to the left of his brother and Tony Blair; he was against the Iraq war and for the 50p tax band, but so was most of the country. He’s no firebrand.

Is he a creature of the unions? To an extent, yes, but it has to be remembered that despite the fact that it was union members’ votes that swung it, gone are the days of the block vote. Individual members sent in individual votes. And union members are no longer the wild radicals that struck because they had carbolic soap and hard toilet paper; whist the management had Lux and soft tissue.

So will he be a slave of the unions who put him where he is? No, I don’t think so, mainly for the already stated reason that the block vote is history. It wasn’t the unions who put him there, it was the union members. Smart Tories are avoiding the union argument, as it can be so easily blown apart the first time that he condemns unnecessary strike action.

When the cuts come, and the unions take action (as they undoubtedly will), of course there will be times when Labour will support them; there will be times when we all support them, I suspect. But the new leader has been swift to point out that he will support reasonable cuts, and the government will have his backing where it is in the interests of the country.

In the days, weeks and months to come of hardships like people of my age, indeed people under 70, have never endured, it will be necessary for the country to have an opposition which is ideologically capable of opposing where it is appropriate. The alternative would be unthinkable. The Liberals have been lost (at least for the present) to the opposition and the nationalist parties in Westminster are too small to have any major impact.

Camerclegg unopposed would be frighteningly dangerous.

So I wish Ed Miliband success in the difficult task ahead of him.


  1. Tris.

    Ed Milly would had been my first choice if I were a Labour supporter and I think the traditional Labour voters will warm to him but as many a past Labour leader has found out, traditional Labour voters aren't enough to win elections.

    Step in David Milly. David like Blair could had offered something to traditional Labour voters and the middle England voters, just as Blair did. I think by electing Ed Labour have handed the next general election to the Tories on a plate.

    I agree we need an effective opposition to hold Cameron and his better looking half to account but nothing was more undemocratic than the huge majority Blair won which eventually lead us into an illegal war.

    I'm not sure how the Ed factor will play out in Scotland but there will be some very disappointed ex cabinet ministers. Doug Alexander said David will win and was the right man. Well I sense the knives are being sharpened as we speak.
    Good day for the Tories, bad for a Labour party which wants back into power.

  2. God talk about long drawn out. I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t tuned in to the Oscars they amount of gush and self congratulation that was going on, totally sickening! Gordon Brown was the worst of course, as usual, he really is without doubt the worst of everything, certainly the worst PM in my lifetime. I suspect that if that proverbial cabbage with a red rosette had been leading the party in May rather than Gordon they would have won. Just look how well a leaderless Labour party have been doing in the polls and in the various by-elections around the place.

  3. And that woman that was chair of the NEC where did they get her? If that is the quality of women that Harriet Harman thinks should be up there one on one with the men then God help us all. Crap doesn't come near describing her!

  4. Afternoon Allan:

    I think that probably you are right that he is the wrong man for the Labour Party. Apart from in sparsely populated Scotland, Wales and the relatively sparsely populated North of England, labour, as a centre left party, is dead in the water.

    Ed is less likely to get them votes than Davie.

    But from the point of view of the poorer people in society, I think that Ed may be the man...he is certainly likely to be more of a champion of the poor than David who is as right wing as Nick Clegg!

    Frankly I don’t see David being much in the way of opposition to Camerclegg.

  5. Yes Munguin. Just imagine that. They were all cheering Brown on... Brown, the nman that lost them an election.


    And then, if you listened to him you would never have know that this was the man who had got us into the financial mess we are in; this is the man who doubled the income tax on the poorest people; this is the man who expanded the gap between rich and poor in the country; a man who is responsible for the misery that Camerclegg will heap upon us in teh next few years.

    No, au contraire his rousing (huh) speech (huh) was a pile of self congratulatory invention.

    He really sounded as if he had lost the plot completely... then we had Sarah, his hero...


    And yeah, the "chair" as Harry called her was pretty crap... and that was bumming her up...

  6. Red Ed, Convenor of the Labour Party, subsidiary of the TUC Inc

    Bring on the next GE!

  7. Tris.

    That is exactly what I was saying. Ed will appeal to voters in Scotland, Wales and Northern England but will be very unappealing to the south. I can't honestly see him lasting for 5 years, step forward big bro!

  8. Och, blethers Dean :))

    He's about as red as Nick Clegg.

  9. I think that David will be away soon Allan.

    He'll be looking for a job in the UN or the EU, I think. But it's possible Ed won't last, that's certainly true. I think there will be too many divisions in the party.

    To be fair that happened to the Tories last time they lost power and they went through Wee Wullie and then his dad, IDS, and then Uncle Dracula, before they hit on the shiny faced lad from Eton(and had the good fortune to inherit cousin Nick Clegg to join in... and bring his brains!!)

    I noted though, that Ed saad that he cares about "Middle England"...I suppose that means "ordinary people", but it does show his mindset.

  10. Moridura has an interesting video by Terry Christian a lifelong (ex)Labour voter who cant see the difference between all 3 parties. Political students need better lecturers!

  11. Thanks for pointing me in that direction CH.

    I'm putting up the link. It's worth a watch.

    As you would expect of Terry Christian, he pulls no punches.


  13. Bet you Pacific Quay dont use it in there politics shambles.

  14. Tris,

    Like Hesseltine said years back; Labour will be shouting "LEFT, LEFT LEFT!" lolz

    Red Ed has won us the next GE. In the bag, sorted. Its now ours to lose, not Liebore's to win. Red Ed can only win things with anti-democratic TUC support.

  15. I dunno Dean. A lot could happen in 4 1/2 years.

    Times are going to be so hard that nothing anyone under 70 has ever experienced will be able to compare.

    I'd say all bets would be off!

    But yes Mr H would be right (if you take my meaning), but having said that, moving to the left from their current position is hardly a HUGE deal! On some stuff there were right of the Tories!

  16. His big brother was tainted.
    On 2 occassions he was set up to oust Brown. On 2 occassions he bottled it.

    Still Ed didnt get the popular MP vote, or the party vote.
    Railroaded in by the unions instead.

    You are right 5 years tops.

  17. He is a child, and I have difficulty understanding what he is saying. Great start!

  18. TLoTF:

    Yes. If David had got rid of Brown, he might just have been PM now. The Conservatives really didn't have a convincing win, and the Liberals lost seats. It is possible there could have been a Major-type Miliband bounce.

    Probably is bad that he was voted in by the unions, but on the other hand, the unions are not block votes any more. These are ordinary people voting. Why should the MPs (god knows they are useless) and the MEPs (money for old rope) and the MSPs (OMG, is there a brain among them?) have all the say. I don't get to choose my boss!

    But you're right, it is not good. It will taint him and weaken the force of his opposition to the million or two job losses to come in the next few years...

  19. Awww Bless Anon.

    But he's 40. If he makes it he'll be 45 when he's PM, which is about as old as you can hope to be these days for PM. Much older and you couldn't cope with the pace of 18 hour days, 7 days a week with only 2 weeks holiday (although David Cameron is lucky that he doesn't have to work that hard, as he's got Nick.)

    As for his accent... it's educated South London and not everyone can go to Westminster School or Eton to get elocution lessons.

    When he's talking cast your mind back to the glotal stop of Tony Blair when he was trying to appeal to the lower orders.

    Better I think than Brown trying to hide he's Scottish, or Major's estuary English, or Margaret's attempt at being posh, or .....well, really all of them when you think about it.