Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I hope you will excuse me returning to the same subject today. I promise not to become obsessed with it....

It’s just that I’m not sure why it is that people are so surprised, shocked and hurt for poor wee David Miliband, and why they think that Ed is some sort of evil Enver Hoxha or Kim Jong Il figure waiting to collectivize our farms and have the workers march to victory sweeping the aristocracy away in their efforts to create a Stalinist of Maoist state.

Dealing with David’s hurt feelings is easy. He’s in politics for heaven’s sake. At the age of 29 he was head of the Blair policy unit, and at 41 the youngest Foreign Secretary since David Owen. He didn’t get there by being sensitive. He has some wounded pride. He needs to get over it. He’s got the punching power to end up in charge of something else, somewhere else. Don’t waste your sympathy on him. His type could fall off the top of the Scott Monument and walk away. Clearly his wife wanted it badly enough to cry, but she’ll get over that too. Like I say, he’ll survive.

Of course, in a way I can see why the Conservatives would rather have had David Miliband. There would be no serious opposition to anything they are doing. Miliband wouldn’t much mind how quickly the deficit is paid off; he would side with Cameron on constitutional issues against Clegg. One would wonder if Labour wouldn’t just join the coalition and leave opposition to the Celtic fringe countries.

The Daily Mail (of all papers) summarized Miliband the younger’s speech at the bottom of a particularly vitriolic piece by the chateratti commentator Quentin Letts (see above; click for readable size). What is terribly “Red” about any of this stuff?

* He says that it was wrong to go into Iraq. So did the Tories before the election. They said if they had known all the facts they wouldn’t have agreed to the invasion(!)

* He says he will have no truck with gratuitous striking and tells the unions they should not either. Can’t argue with that.

* He says that it’s wrong that a banker (of the gambling type) can earn more in one day than a care worker does in a year. Well, is it right, remembering that both these sets of people are state employees in many cases?

* He wants to see the banks lending to medium and small businesses. Doesn’t everyone, given that they provide jobs and are, or should be, the life blood of the country?

*He points out that there is no merit in paying off the entire deficit if we do not build a society worth living in. Can’t argue much with that, can you? Getting the economics right is no good if everyone hates living here.

* He agrees that Labour let too many foreigners. Most Tories must be pleased about that, surely? (Even if Vince Cable has pointed out that a sad lack of indigenous skills training over 30 years does mean that we actually do need them, and he is backed in that by the Tories’ friend, big business.)

The rest is navel gazing, but frankly no one would have said anything different. I mean, it isn’t our fault we don’t like Labour. It’s Labour’s fault we don’t like Labour.

Any thoughts?


  1. I have no idea where all the overblown rhetoric comes from especially as his feet are hardly warm in his new shoes. It seems that our oh so impartial press and libertarian blogging colleagues just love to fling dung more than they like to think, be reasonable or even employ a bit of logic. I hardly think he is a Marx or a Lenin, certainly no left wing fire brand or even a creature of the unions so I think the only thing that people on the right have to fear is fear itself. As you say his policies are eminently reasonable as far as I can see. I guess it’s another example of the Tories touching concern for themselves being paramount as always.

  2. Not that Labour are any different of course. Sorry Dean for that unecessary bit of Tory bashing.

  3. Well Munguin, I'm not in the least a fan of Labour. I blame them for the disastrous mess we are in. but I can't for the life of me see what is unreasonable about this man’s stated policies.

    Of course his stated policies at this stage in his career are as likely to be put into practice as the manifestos of the Tories or Liberals are right now.

  4. What is wrong is that anything these people, career politicians, say, is never the truth. Just look at the coalition for starters, versus manifesto speeches and pledges. Sweep them all away and bring in successful volunteers.

  5. If by my life or death I can serve ed milliband he need only ask

  6. Mr Mxyzplk

    Go self pollinate yourself, please.

    A propos the serious stuff MILLIBAND I is a career politician, which in my book says it all.

    To the guillotine with them all!

  7. Ed's just another politician.
    He's trying to talk the Labour party out of NuLabour - seems eminently sensible.
    Alas, talk is cheap in opposition and he is after all just another politician.
    To over-generalise: they all learn their stuff from the same sources, they are all driven to seek power, swing voters will get promises, other voters will get platitudes.

    Off topic -
    what do you think of the V&A designs?

  8. Not a bad idea OR....

    Yes, I know they are all liars, and I agree that we will see very little of what he promises... just like the other side.

    Sigh :)

  9. Ha ha Niko...

    I doubt if he requires you to go that far.... but your loyalty is touching... or touched or something like that...:)

  10. Bugger: They are all career people... sadly, Miliband has done virtually nothing else. They know nothing about real life outside London. They both grew up with politics all around them.

    Champagne "socialists" both of them.

  11. Yes Dundee, that's it, they can promise the moon right now... I think we are more or less all agreed.

    Apropos the R&A: I don't think the designs are appropriate, although I only saw pretty bad and small pics on the front of the tele last night.

    I'm not sure what else is going to be there once the whole area is redeveloped, but these futuristic things look pretty way out for Dundee.

    The trouble with buildings like that is that they may look ok for a while, but they soon look dated and they have a tendency to look pretty tacky pretty quickly.

    What did you thnk of them?

  12. No doubt the BBC's next drama will be the "Rise and Fall of the Millepedes in the 21st century" and we are criminalised if we dont pay there enforced tax. Bring on May so we can ditch these muppets and there charade.

  13. I'm sure the Tories will reduce the TV tax drastically at this time of financial restraint.

    They will insist on the BBC tightening its belt and paying off all these ridiculous fat cats and cheap cheesy “stars”.

    The TV tax will be down to nothing soon. There’s nothing the Tories hate more than bloated bureaucratic organizations which suck the life out of the country with their obnoxious waste of public money... and it doesn’t hurt that the BBC news programmes are the press office of Labour.

  14. This whole thing reminds me of BBC Scotland's response to the election campaigns for Labour Group Leader in Holyrood when W. Alexander and then I. Gray wanted to be top MSP in the Labour party.

    It's wall to wall coverage of an internal party election which produces at the end a leader of the opposition who may or may not make it to the next election as leader. You'd think it was a General Election from the BBC coverage but then as far as the BBC are concerned, it's their new leader too.

    I keep getting the distinct impression that the luvvies in the BBC think Ed cheated because they wanted Dave but Ed won the election under the rules of the game, the same rules Dave Milliband was using in his campaign.

    I can't see what all the fuss is about as both Millibands owe their status to patronage from the two architects of New Labour, Brown an Blair, and both are political wonks. The only thing driving the story is that Ed and Dave are brothers not that their politics or vision for Labour had or have any real differences.

    Ed Milliband is a Brownite. I can remember the guff written about Brown before and when he became Labour leader. How he was going to take Labour back to its roots, how he was rooted in socialism, how he was some great brain, a decisive leader and so on when it was apparent that he was none of the above. It looks like the same journalist are talking about Ed. His first statement as the new left-wing hero was how he was sympathetic to, "Middle Britain", which was a direct appeal to Middle England.

    What Blair and Brown did to labour was to turn it into a left-wing conservative party and then re-label it as, "New Labour". Ed's going to change the label but little else.

  15. He's an athiest the one and only thing I can agree with him.

  16. Thanks Doug. You know a bit more about the background than I do.

    The general theme through all of it is that Ed is about as revolutionary as old Brown was... ie not very.

    The points he made were common sense ones.

    But in teh end they only do what suits them, and all the guff they talk before they get in, even with a huge majority, is just that...guff.

    In the end the electorate decide and there are older and wiser heads that will steer him in the direction of Middle (or rather Southern) England, so that Labour is elected rather than rejected.

    After what is going to happen in the next few years I seriously doubt if the Tories will get back in, and the Liberals....? What Liberals?

    So as long as Labour doesn't stray too far from the centre- centre right, they are a shoo in next time round.

  17. I agreed with most of what he said about...but it's almost impossible to disagree with any of it...

    And religion must be kept out of politics. Religion is something between a man and his god.

    I wonder if he had been born into a Christian household would he have been so ready to announce his lack of belief?

  18. You should check them out at the webiste -
    The pictures in the tele were shockingly bad.
    Better still go down to the exhibition at the Abertay library and take a look (i've not been yet but i will soon).
    There are two that i'd be happy with, one understated (snohetta) and another bolder but still fitting (kengo-kuma) imo. Good for the town simply as architecture if done right, and as a high profile 'musuem'of art and design a very good and appropriate asset for Dundee.

    I'm glad it's still going ahead given the current economic climate.

  19. Thanks for the link Dundee.

    I'll go down sometime tomorrow if I can make it and I'll reserve judgement till then.

    A lot has to do with the rest of the buildings in that area and how it will fit in with them. As the area is going to be completely redeveloped, I gues seeing the exhibition will put it into perspective.

    I'll get back to you with my thoughts. :)

  20. Yes, fitting in with waht's (going to be) there is very important.
    I went to see the exhibition at lunchtime, well worth it.

    Look forward to your thoughts.

  21. I've done a post on it now Dundee..... but I'm glad you persuaged me to go.... :)