Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cameron on Ed Miliband and brotherly love

Ed Miliband roundup - 30 September 2010

Iain Martin: Are you cool enough for Ed's New Generation?
"Square is actually the new cool."
Five questions and answers for prospective members!

Conservative Home's ongoing page of Ed Miliband comment, facts etc
There's a wealth of interesting material over there!

Here's one: Cameron 47%; Miliband 20%
"47% say the Conservative leader would make the best PM. Ed Miliband gets the nod from just 20%"
Not exactly a roaring success by the new Labour leader!

BBC strike next week

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) strike that has been timed to coincide with the BBC coverage of the Conservative party conference next week, including when the Conservative party leader (and our Prime Minister) David Cameron is due to speak, has prompted a multi signature letter from 32 BBC journalists to the NUJ. The signatories include several big names such as Jeremy Paxman, Nick Robinson and Jon Sopel.

They say the intended timing of the strike, which affects only that one party conference and not the others, would be "counter-productive".

What this probably means is that they realise that they will be seen as politically biased (which the BBC obviously is, of course) and that could mean that the BBC's current freedom to act with partiality might end up being curtailed as a result. Although the minister (Jeremy Hunt) seems a bit wishy-washy on dealing with the Beeb, he could be encouraged to harden the government's attitude towards the national broadcaster.

Perhaps those journalists are also aware that they won't be able to put their partial slant of reporting the conference at the time, and other (less partial) channels will provide a more accurate and even-handed standard of coverage than BBC people would like. That would explain the term counter-productive!

The BBC's Director General has since echoed the letter's sentiments.

Update: the strike can now been called off (as at 1 October).

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ed Miliband roundup - 29 September 2010

Laura Kuenssberg (BBC): We certainly haven't heard the last of Mili-D
"But Ed says he has worried about the effect his victory had on his brother."
It now looks almost certain that Miliband the Elder will leave front-line politics.

Also from Laura K: TUC boss unsure what Ed M was talking about
Brendan Barber "not sure what Ed Miliband was talking about when he warned against 'irresponsible strikes'."
This is rather telling, if one thinks about it!

British People's Party: Ed Miliband - the Manchurian Candidate
"David and Ed [Miliband] are equally anti-democratic Marxists"
The Party posting this looks a bit dodgy, but it's hard to quibble with their analysis here.

Nick Brown ousted as Labour's Chief Whip
"Ed Miliband told him he didn't want him to serve".
Rosie Winterton gets the job unopposed.

Miliband D departs

As expected, David Miliband has, this afternoon, declared he is returning to the back benches and will not stand for a position in his brother's shadow cabinet.

Speaking to Sky's Adam Boulton he gave his reasons, in which there was nothing that hadn't already been anticipated and covered in the media.

Specifically, he used the formulaic lines used by outgoing leaders that he wanted to give brother Ed "some space" and will be "a loyal supporter" of Ed's leadership. He also said that he feels he "can best serve the party from the backbenches".

Several commenters in various places have said in recent days that this would be a good thing for the Labour party, others have said it would be bad, each giving what generally seemed to be well thought out reasons for their claim, so it isn't a clear-cut view one way or the other.

The Telegraph's Robert Colville can't think of any achievement by David during all his years in mainstream politics, including his ministerial positions. This suggests that it won't really make any difference!

Time will tell, no doubt.

We've got our party back!

So said a Trade Union delegate at the Labour party conference, speaking to Lord Kinnock after Ed Miliband's speech as the new party leader.

Neil, who was never the brightest of kids on the block, thought this was a shared expression of good news. Of course, most of the rest of us would have realised that this was meant as the Unions getting back their political wing, the Labour party. If one thinks about it, it couldn't really have meant anything else, especially when one remembers that many of the biggest Unions pushed for Ed M to be the new leader.

The Unite union alone sent out over a million leaflets to its members, urging them to vote for Ed M. Okay, so only around a tenth of the recipients actually voted, which probably explains why the final result of the leadership contest was so close. Ed M did win, though, and yesterday he showed that he was still very much of the political left and at heart pro-Union, despite the rhetoric in his speech.

It is good to have been told so soon that the Unions are that certain they have their man in charge of "their" party. Now we know what Labour is going to stand for, and who it actually represents.

So which is the real "nasty party"?

Labour's Hazel Blears, "caught redhead-handed"!

Duffy and Dozy

Gillian Duffy (yes, that one!) speaking to a seemingly inattentive Tony Benn!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ed Miliband roundup - 28 September 2010

David Blackburn, Spectator
"Opportunistic Ed stuttering for an authentic voice"
There is little doubt that Ed M was for years behind a number of policies he has now disowned, including the party manifesto he wrote, but he now has to use this 'clean slate' opportunity to create a new image.

Benedict Brogan, Telegraph
"How Brown is Red Ed?"
The 'buzz' suggests Gordon Brown engineered some of Ed M's support.

Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home
"Only 36% of voters think 'weird' Ed Miliband is up to the job of being PM"
This is according to a Populus poll of over 2,000 people.

Coffee House live blog of Ed Miliband's conference speech
A less partisan appraisal than those attending who were interviewed (see following link).

Media interviews of reactions to Ed Miliband's conference speech
What notable (or should that be "not able"?) Labour figures thought of it.

FT Westminster blog: Angry David Miliband leaves conference
"...when Ed Miliband criticised the Iraq invasion. David, stony-faced, refused to clap"
So much for brotherly love!

Guardian: David Miliband voices displeasure during Labour leader's speech
"David Miliband ....was heard chastising Harriet Harman for clapping when Ed Miliband described the war against Iraq as 'wrong'."
This seems to be the biggest brotherly rift we've yet seen.

ITN: The Miliband speech
They have the Mili-D/Harman bit on video, two minutes in.

Guido Fawkes: The new generation
"[Ed M's] speech was apparently 8,000 words long, took over an hour and the weird staring into the distance blank pause at the beginning was Ed waiting for the Autocue to start."
I had wondered about that last bit!

I am my own man

Ed Miliband is his own man, as he has stated quite strongly in recent days. Why, he doesn't even have anything in common with his brother, as this picture very clearly shows. How? Erm, well, uh, he wears a tie, for a start!

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

The Milibands, with David doing his best to look like Frank Spencer, probably (after losing out to his brother) saying something like, "I've got a bit of a problem!"

This is the original Frank Spencer, in a mirror-image pose.

Here's another Mili-D as Frank Spencer example.

 I do sometimes wonder what their Communist Dad Ralph Miliband would have made of these two, if he were alive to see them today! Their mother is still alive and must find moments like this, the banana incident, and many others I could mention, acutely embarrassing.

Who am I?

I have been occasionally commenting, mainly at Conservative Home, for several months. I am of a politically right-leaning tendency, though I am not a member of any party and probably never will be.

With the election of Ed Miliband as Labour party leader a few days ago, I have been wondering whether to start a kind of "Ed Watch" blog. Others could probably do a better job of that, though, so this will probably at least start off being little more than a series of links to others' articles and blog posts, concentrating on the Ed Miliband leadership as it is being reported.

We shall see how it goes, you and I, and in time this could develop into something greater!