Douglas Alexander says Iraq did more harm than good – Media and blog round up: February 15th 2013

February 15, 2013 10:32 am

Subscribers to our email list have been receiving our new morning daily email for two weeks – including the following Media and blog round up. If you were on our email list you’d have received this an hour ago – you can sign up here.

Douglas Alexander – Iraq did more harm than good

“If you look at the ledger with a 10-year perspective, the negatives outweigh the positives,” he said. Alexander was a junior minister at the time of the Iraq war and in the past he has been less willing to criticise the decision to go to war in 2003 than some of his Labour colleagues. His comment about negatives outweighing positives echoes language used by David Miliband on this subject. – The Guardian

McCluskey hits out at “Blairite Zombies”

“So determined are the Blairite true believers – led by Progress – to stick their head in the sand on this point that they increasingly resemble Bertolt Brecht’s description of the East German government – “the people have lost confidence in the party, therefore we must elect a new people.” The central message, which Ed Miliband is clear about, is that New Labour is over. I should also point out that I have never called for the exclusion of Progress and I am always open to engaging in democratic debate. The root of the problem, I believe, is that Tony Blair and the Blairites never understood collectivism. Theirs was a radical individualism which could not speak to the experiences of millions of people who have always understood that progress is only attainable by working together, by collective self-empowerment, not through the accumulation of extra individual rights. Individual rights, as this coalition is proving, are easily dismantled. A skim of Blair’s memoirs underlines just how distant he always was from an understanding of unions’ culture and purpose – not so much anti-union as simply uncomprehending.” – New Statesman

Other highlights

  • O’Farrell “The only political jokes I know are in the Cabinet” – Mirror
  • Ed Miliband is a man with the makings of a brave and visionary leader – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • John Reid

    Typical nonsense from Mcluskey, Blairites have never had the view that party members who disagreed with then needed to be made quiet so the progress wing could tell the party what to do, but afterv4 election defeats and the left saying we lost as it wasn’t left wing enough , the right of the party just had to keep repeating it’s message that elections are fought on the centre ground,

  • Robbie Scott

    Why go for the low hanging fruit to get cheap applause? If this is his true analysis of the situation why did the party so quickly support the intervention in Libya ?

  • AlanGiles

    ” “the people have lost confidence in the party, therefore we must elect a new people.”
    I wish I had said that!

  • AlanGiles

    “Blairites have never had the view that party members who disagreed with then needed to be made quiet ”

    No?. So that’s not why Mandy briefed against anyone who dare speak against a Blair edict?

Latest

  • News Labour will make the economy work for all working people – not just a few, announces Balls

    Labour will make the economy work for all working people – not just a few, announces Balls

    Tomorrow, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will address the Labour Party Conference to set out how a next Labour Government will deal with the economy. He will stress the Labour leadership’s economic credibility by saying that they will “balance the books”. But, interestingly, he will also go on to make clear that they are aware that “an economic plan must do much more than that.” Hinting at the stark economic imbalance in the UK, Balls will say “We also need to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Englishness, identity and social justice

    Englishness, identity and social justice

    Democracy and social justice are inseparable. Any socialist knows that. It’s why we saw the expansion of the pillars of social justice – free education, health, social security – following the expansion of universal suffrage. It’s why Labour is a Democratic Socialist party. It’s why it needs to be the party of English and British democratic reform. Yet, the impression it has given over the last few days is that democratic change is something to be quarantined, decontaminated and then […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Laying the Foundations for a Labour Century

    Laying the Foundations for a Labour Century

    This post is written by Liz Kendall MP and John Woodcock MP Britain stands at a crossroads. Scotland rejected separation, but the large numbers of traditionally Labour supporters voting Yes has highlighted an undercurrent of deep dissatisfaction that is reflected across the United Kingdom. One future path would see our country seeking to reject and counter the forces of change that are deeply unsettling many communities and threatening our established place in the world. The other would embrace change as […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Call for a People’s Campaign

    Call for a People’s Campaign

    We find ourselves at a crossroads. The path of our country and the character of our democracy will be shaped afresh in the coming months, for good or ill. Up and down the country, people’s energies are rousing — from Glasgow to Clacton, from London streets to Cornish hamlets. Their patience grows ever shorter. Most feel no one is listening to them. No one is talking their language, or offering them much change they can believe in. Is this really […]

    Read more →
  • Comment It’s incontestable – we need change in England

    It’s incontestable – we need change in England

    After a dreadful summer, the Scottish Independence referendum –and the developments that followed it – have again illustrated David Cameron’s inept political judgment. From the single question on the Scottish ballot, to the woefully inadequate Edinburgh agreement, Alex Salmond was lucky to have found a British Prime Minister who, in the words of Peter Oborne, has proven to be so infamously ‘indolent, inattentive…and out of touch.’ Campaigning in the central belt during the final weeks of the referendum campaign the […]

    Read more →