It’s been said that New Labour was more of sect than a movement. Now shorn of a leader the moderate faction has no-one else to turn to. David Miliband’s defeat in the 2010 leadership election showed that New Labor could not easily endure beyond Blair.
I'm sure wee Dougie and Murphy will get by, somehow.
And remember - two party's in government arguing amongst themselves is an embarrasing shambles, but a single party doing so is not worthy of comment.
David Miliband a colossus? He’s a greedy failure in a cosmic sulk
The political breed the Labour MP represents has done extraordinary harm to the nation’s governance
They need to start over rather than hankering back to "the old days"
"UKIP's target must be to beat the 27.8% they polled in Eastleigh."
I think Rotherham may be a better template
modified by the momentum since then but how much?
It will be like rats in a sack. I hope they have time to give me a big pay rise before the inevitable collapse.
They won 3 general elections. There isn't a tory in the country that can win one.
Is this the very same Frank Field lauded by Plato and the PB Tories...?
"I realise I'm in a minority of one on here, but it's worth reiterating that - unlike Spain or Ireland - Cyprus's problems really have nothing to do with the Euro."
None of the SPIIGs (PIIGS seems rude to me) or their banks could have got into anywhere near as much trouble if it wasn't assumed they'd be back-stopped by el krauts.
'It will be interesting to see how a Labour govt holds together in a period of austerity. After all, which of the "Tory cuts" will be reversed? What will they cut instead?'
Or just tell us how much tax & national insurance will be increased to pay for benefits being re-instated, which millions of voters are now looking forward to.
He's just feathering his nest, after sucking at the teat of Westminster. Does anyone outside of his coterie believe that he's doing it for altruistic reasons, rather than the huge salary, limo, and glory of a top job in a charity in New York, with all the doors that'll open?
He and his ilk, from all sides of the political spectrum, make me puke. He's no better, or worse than Mensch, and she's pathetic.
I saw on Sky News that the leader of South Shields Labour committee knew nothing about his MP throwing the towel in, until it happened. They are better off without him.
Less than ten years ago they were facing extinction and now they'll have a direct line to PM Ed Miliband (provided that Hugh Grant and co are'nt in the way), influencing policy more than they've been able to for nearly 40 years.
It's scary for Britain, but given Labour's discipline in power and willingness to eschew principles in exchange for power, they'll go along with some sure-fire bonkers policies.
I don't think I'm even being paranoid. McCluskey, Serwotka and others like Crow are probably as left-wing as you can get. God help us.
With the rise of UKIP on the other flank perhaps the seeds are being sown for polarised politics again.
After all, the Blair, Cameron, Miliband career politician types are hardly much for the citizens to get excited about, especially when things out there are going shittily wrong.
'Protests against the plan will be mounted tomorrow in more than 50 towns and cities from Plymouth to Glasgow. Organisers predict at least 13,000 objectors will support the rallies demanding a last-minute rethink by ministers'
That's a massive turnout, 260 people per demo..
Blair's "People's Princess" reaction to Princess Diana's death made him almost royal in the width of the his public appeal. And the 1997-2001 government was a government of economic growth and sound public finances. All the public's fears of union domination, Labour profligacy and Bennite excesses were dissipated in the personal charisma of its new Prime Minister.
Although Blair's popularity waned it was a slow tide. Even the massive failure of the Iraq War could not prevent Labour's re-election in 2005. But, as with Thatcher, it was not the pubic that wielded the knife but his own party: boredom with Blair, frustation with centrism and complacency saw the acendancy of the Brownites and the abandonment of universal appeal and sound economic management.
In the five years before Blair's dethronement, Brown had been pumping up the economy by expanding debt even though the economy was booming. The age of universal benefits and full state dependency was being slowly and furtively ushered in. Slowly and imperceptibly the true "one nation" Blairite government had given way to a resdistributive Brownite faction.
And then the financial crisis of 2007 hit, bringing the biggest bust in history to the PM and Chancellor who had claimed to have abolished the "boom and bust economy". And the UK with its poor regulation of the financial sector and debt primed growth was in the worst position of all major economies to withstand the shock. Debt as a proportion of GDP had grown by over 500% in the last two terms of Labour.
And what was worse for Labour is that Brown was the absolute opposite of Blair in terms of public appeal. Whatever trust Blair had built with the public in three won elections disappeared in a mere two and half years.
The Miliband election following Labour's 2010 defeat brought forward rather than closed the Blairite vs Brownite division in the party. In some ways though it disguised the differences. Labour had a choice between two brothers, one elder, one younger. And so the focus was on sibling rivalry, the rights of the first born and fratricide. The policy divisions were obscured. Few focussed on the choice between union hegemony and party independence; between fiscal continence and stimulant dependency; between social reengineering and inclusive appeal; between Labour as a divisive party of the left and a unifying party of the centre.
And yet against expectations, MP preference and detached judgement, Ed the Younger triumphed over Dave the elder. Blairism died under the same knife that killed David. Labour turned left and returned to the comfort of its old labour roots. Once again the party made itself unelectable.
The return to the true one nation centrism of Blair will come again. But it will be too late for David Miliband. His time has passed. It is time for him to earn the Blairite shilling on the international stage.
At least David won't be out of a job in 2015.
I almost want a Labour majority just to witness the stark disappointment. Hollande relived!
'You realise benefit spending is up'
Labour's benefit spending will make it look like petty cash.
I want to put that in context. If, in a normal economy, bank lending grows at the same rate as nominal GDP it would increase, say, 25% in three years. Yet Cyprus managed to see lending treble in three years. According to the World Bank (see links on the previous thread), even before Cyprus joined the Euro, it has the second highest level of private indebtedness in the world (relative to GDP) after Iceland.
So, I don't think it's fair to say that the Cyprus banks got into the position they did solely as a result of the Euro. Cyprus was Iceland on the Med.
Now, as I'm rather bored of being classified as a Euro-fanatic by SeanT - on the basis that I don't think all problems within 3,000km of Primrose Hill are the result of the EU and the Euro - I will happily agree that:
* Low interest rates (suitable for Germany) led to credit bubbles and speculative property investment in Spain and Ireland, which were responsible for a large chunk of the economic pain those countries are feeling now
* The existence of the Euro caused excessive wage convergence between Greece and the rest of the Eurozone, which have led to many of the problems there. (Although I think you also need to recognise that when a country is hiring Goldman Sachs to try and hide its debt levels, and you allow a rampant culture of tax evasion to flourish, then you cannot simply point and say 'it's all their fault, not mine.'
Yeah, but Twistedfirestopper and I have dibs on massive pay rises first. Its what we pay our union subs for. I suggest a windfall tax on Merseyside off licenses to pay for it.
The fact that you have now rejected both offers does not suggest to me that I am the one being "deliberately difficult".
LD Con Lab UKIP BNP
4.3 6.0 53.2 26.5 2.9
Using 65% Middlebrough 35% Rotherham data, giving UKIP 70% of 2010 BNP votes 19% of 2010 Con votes 8% of 2010 LD vote s& 7% of 2010 Lab votes
Assuming an turnout of 35%
19% LD2010 voting LD , 8% UKIP 73% not voting
17% Con2010 voting Con, 19% UKIP, 64% not voting
63% Lab2010 voting Lab 7% UKIP 30% not voting
27% BNP2010 voting BNP 70% UKIP
It doesnt account for people who didnt vote in 2010
I am not sure that turnout is high enough
I have over estimated the likely hood of 2010 BNP voters voting, although that may be taken care of by an over estimation of "others" at 7.1%
Any more f ups obvious?
The government may have been increasingly demonstrated its lack of competence as time goes by, with some staggering ineptitude, but I don't think it's been quite bad enough or will be quite bad enough to merit what could be its end as among the most unpopular government ever in this country, hated from within and without in different measures.
Honestly, Cromwell had an easier time trying to get a grip on the competing civilian and military interests, presbyterians and crypto-royalists than this government has had to handle.
'I almost want a Labour majority just to witness the stark disappointment. Hollande relived!'
Not only millions of voters are now looking forward to having their benefits restored and enhanced,students are looking forward to having their Uni fees cut to £6,000 and public sector workers to significant pay increases.That's before you get to the NHS & education.
"giving UKIP 70% of 2010 BNP votes"
I think that's probably an over-estimate. I'd have said max 50%.
Oh, the irony.
Apart from loons like the Blairite cuckoo Hodges and the more eccentric tories it's pretty obvious little Ed has appeased the Biarites more than enough to ensure a fairly trouble free time from now on. Anyone who thinks little Ed is red in tooth and claw clearly hasn't been paying attention to all the 'one nation' posturing and triangulation as well as his very amusing attempts to compare himself to Thatcher.
Little Ed became the stop David candidate for the leadership which is what confused so many to then think there was ever that much difference in policy between David and little Ed. There never was, but so infuriated were the Blairites with little Ed for daring to stand against David (and then win) that any minute policy difference was then blown up into some proxy battle between the Blairites and the so called 'left' in labour.
Balls isn't going to reverse the cuts and the union backers little Ed cunningly got on board (just by dint of not being an uber-Blairite standard bearer like David) are now very far from happy with little Ed.
If there had been a huge policy gulf then when the Blairite whispers against little Ed were doing the rounds they might have been far more successful. Instead labour MPs could see that the Blairite Brownite wars had degenerated to the point where the only thing the Blairites were really railing against was the fact that their man hadn't won.
The Blair Brown infighting was always primarily about power and not policy. Who was in power and who was not. That's why it was so toxic. There was no one overwhelming issue and policy that either faction could then fight it out on for supremacy. (Like Europe is for disgruntled tories) So in the absence of one clear policy to settle, every policy then became a proxy for infighting. Even when the differences were largely cosmetic.
All political parties believe that the country will be left in a better position than they found it, once their policies are implemented, and so the longer they are in power the better it will be for everyone. The longer they are in government, the more the are willing to justify to themselves not doing so in certain areas as the price for general improvement in others, as they cannot admit the other lot may have done better (or they'd quit their current party, a rare occurence).
It's just one of the many political, not partisan, behaviours I like to bang on about. If a party canvasser tried to tell me their side was morally better, or the other side only cared about winning and not governing well, as their side does, I'd be tempted to laugh in their face at the scale of the party blinkers they have attached.
The justifications for why party x is always better, even when they appear to have messed up, can get very amusing though. I enjoyed Gordon Brown's lot stating that because the country was in trouble it was no time for amateurs, so best stick with him, as it essentially argued for never changing government at all - don't change at a time of negative uncertainty, and no need to change when things going well - and I imagine Cameron will try a similar move in 2015.
"Look, I know I said we'd eliminate the deficit and have growth at X by now, but the fact that we've not managed either is proof that you shouldn't vote us out now, or all our progress will be undone!"
That is a very good summary of things.
For instance, it makes the point that girls have been outperforming boys for more than 20 years, which if we accept there is no average intelligence difference between boys and girls, would surely suggest the current system is biased against boys wouldn't it?
If boys and girls really do perform so significantly differently between coursework and exams, I'm not really certain how we arrive at a system which is still challenging for both without overly focusing on testing models which benefit one over the other.
But as Britain's second last Blairite, your view would be of interest.
Are Blairites Leaderless ? Are you gutted ? Or do you disagree with Henry ?
On bet (a), I have offered "further tax raising power" as what will be transferred.
Bet (b) I'm happy to have as long as we use a proper list of terms to cover what could be said to cover such a message. You have simply ignored that request.
He has Euros in his pocket but if he tries to go through customs they'll take most of them off him.
Maybe I'm seeing things but the blond guy on the left-hand side of the screen looks a lot like a young version of Andrew Lansley...
Can we rule out Harriet staying as Deputy Leader for Life?
Out of the 4 mentioned, Murphy is the one currently with more chances to win a Deputy contest IMO. If he works out that there're second preferences. Byrne is the least likely. I can picture him neck and neck with the Diane Abbott for last place.
On this basis, you'd expect girls to outperform at GCSE, be on level-pegging at A-Levels, and then fall further behind at degree level and beyond.
However, I'd note that Larry Summers lost his job for espousing such views. So don't take this as gospel.
David Miliband, Frank Field, Kelvin Mackenzie.
It is making me all nostalgic, tim.
He tweeted he's uninterested.
Of course the problem isn't now. Ed M is secure, and has been since he became leader, early wobbles notwithstanding. He's not great as a leader, but neither is he so poor that he can seriously be challenged. Both points were obvious from the start, even if many Labour supporters - including IIRC Henry - thought Ed M wouldn't last long.
But the problem still remains: what if Labour win the next election, which seems at the very least a strong possibility?
Ed Miliband may be good enough to scrape home in conditions supremely favourable for the opposition. And then...? Those conditions supremely favourable for the opposition will suddenly become excruciatingly difficult for PM Miliband, made much worse by the fact that he has done absolutely nothing whatsoever to prepare the ground - quite the opposite, in fact.
David Miliband, for all his faults, did at least seem to understand the challenges and compromises of government. His younger brother shows no signs of doing so,
Because you're trying to get into a "Bingo!" bet. I made abundantly clear earlier that your suggestion of a bet based on your own vague conception of what constitutes "substantial" powers or what constitutes "SNP approval" was beyond ludicrous, because it was non-falsifiable. Nevertheless, I called your bluff when you specified that the SNP would call such powers a "big deal", and yes, unsurprisingly it turns out you were bluffing.
Let's get serious. You think that in the event of a No vote, Scotland will receive substantial new powers. Tell me what you think those specific powers will be, and let's have a bet on it.
EDIT : This was a response to a comment by Socrates, of which an 'edit' appears to have removed each and every word.
Did you actually read the comment you've just quoted? I answered precisely that question there. Hint: It was in the very first sentence.
With respect, Socrates, that is bollocks. Do you seriously expect me to let you have ten words, that can be said by anyone in the SNP at any time, in any context, and have you as the sole arbiter of whether they were said "in reference to the new powers"?
Get real. Two choices - a) specify what powers you think will be transferred and let's bet on that (my strong preference because it's a non-stupid bet), or b) choose ONE phrase to be used by the First Minister only.
That's not leadership, that's positioning.
To be a leader you still have to have the 'killer instinct' that gets you the job in the first place. Little Ed comes up just as short as David when it comes to the 'big picture' or standing for anything meaningful, but little Ed still won the leadership (to the Blairites fury) and David will always be the 'nearly man' left holding a banana and just not having what it takes to finish off either Brown or little Ed.
Blair never stood for anything, never had a purpose outside winning and retaining power yet they still want to emulate him (Cameroons and Cleggites too) because the surface gloss beguiled and fooled them. As did Blair's easy wins against a hopeless opposition.
"Now, it is obviously a great shame that so many Tory voters have had to die before the party was prepared to look reality in the face, but..."
Intelligence is a bit overrated anyway. If you ask the average person whether they'd like to be more intelligent, more charismatic or better looking, you'd probably find the latter two choices more popular. If you asked employers if they wished their staff more intelligent, more diligent or harder working, I suspect it would be the same story.
Academics get hung up about intelligence but theirs is a small niche.
The key to success in life is to be slightly better than average at two different things, and find a job that combines them.
That is indeed a stark portrayal of the post-Blairite age within the Labour party, to have Murphy only placed 16th in that LabourList Shadow Cabinet rankings is just incredible and sums up just what is wrong within the Labour party right now. And its that kind of inward looking and misguided view that should give Labour's opponents comfort despite the current polling.
Murphy was the politician who got the EU Constitution through Parliament without the promised referendum while holding the Europe brief. He then became an extremely effective Scottish Secretary who took on Alex Salmond in his own back yard and beat him hands down. I did warn that Murphy was one of the most astute and impressive Labour politicians around at the time on PB to much derision from our SNP supporters. He over saw an amazing result for Labour in Scotland at the last GE, and I rate him as the most impressive Shadow Cabinet Minister, who was handed just about the toughest brief of any Labour Shadow Minister in the form of Defence.
While others on here talked of Balls and Cooper etc. Its actually been Murphy up against the equally impressive Hammond who has quietly shone in an area that should have been totally toxic for Labour in Opposition, and yet again with little recognition of this fact. Take the former rising star of Cooper, she has totally paled into insignificance as a Labour robotic sound bite up against Theresa May. May of course is the much talked up Conservative Leadership contender by some Labour posters on this site, an irony that most of them have missed it has to be said.
Both Murphy and Alexander remain two of the best media performers for their party, yet Ed Miliband and Ed Balls chose to leave them out of the picture and failed to utilise them in the run up to the Holyrood Elections. And looking at the result, it speaks volumes of their poor strategy in this area. They took the Scottish Labour vote for granted, and it cost the party dear. If Ed Miliband is happy to wave goodbye to any talent that might be stained with the Blairite success while embracing and promoting Brownite failure, the next GE result is not nailed on for him or his party by a long shot.
with apologies, gets coat etc
2009 European election result under Jim Murphy :
Of course in a Euro election Jackanory Jim couldn't claim that a vote for the SNP or Lib Dems "would let the Tories in", which was quite literally the only argument he had going for him in 2010.
I'm sorry, but with my money at stake I'm not prepared to have you do that in a way that isn't clearly falsifiable.
"It's like trying to make a bet on David Cameron announcing an in-out referendum with someone insisting on getting the precise sentence right"
It isn't even remotely like that, An in-out referendum is an in-out referendum regardless of what words he uses. If you want there to be that kind of equivalence, you have to spell out what these "substantial" new powers that you claim to anticipate will actually look like.