The Miliband Psychodrama is over

March 26, 2013 11:57 pm

David Miliband will confirm later today that he’s stepping down as an MP, and therefore from British politics for good.

Less than three years ago he was denied the Labour Leadership by just a handful of MPs votes. In 2009 he was the presumptive candidate to replace Gordon Brown in a series of coups that either never were or never worked. So he now joins Michael Portillo in the pantheon of historical hypothetical PMs.

It must have been a difficult couple of years for him.

Just before the leadership election came to a close, I had a drink with someone working on a leadership campaign team. “You have no idea how tough it is”, they told me, “they’re not just fighting for the leadership, they’re fighting for their surname.”

I was a bit baffled by this at the time, but sure enough, as weeks became months, Miliband came to mean Ed, not David, as the elder Miliband faded from view. He was still there in the background in the early bumpy months of 2011, but as Ed’s ceased to be a serious concern in the party at large, he cast an increasingly peripheral figure. Now that Ed is certain to lead Labour into 2015 as leader – and has a fighting chance of winning – David has decided that it’s time to leave. There’s never a good time to quit as an MP, but at least going before 2015 ensures that his leaving the Commons won’t become a General Election issue.

How will historians remember David Miliband? Was he unlucky? Perhaps. Did he have flaws that got between him and becoming leader? Don’t most politicians? He leaves behind a legacy of both policy and organisational change in the party, through the Climate Change Bill, and Movement for Change. Both will have an impact on our country and our party that will far outlast the person who put them in place. Not many people can say that.

What we can now be sure of is that the “psychodrama” of the Miliband’s is now over. Only one of these two brothers will ever be Labour leader. Only one has a chance of becoming Prime Minister. It’s a disappointment that David Miliband won’t be returning to Labour’s top table – as many (myself included) have called for on numerous occasions. The Hilary Clinton path was not for him. But if he can’t bring himself to do that – and who could blame him – then moving on is the right decision, not just for David and his family, but for Ed and the Labour Party too.

United, the Miliband’s could have been a powerful electoral force. But now we know, Ed will have to go it alone. How the story of the Milibands is told by future generations will be defined by how the younger Miliband fares in the years to come. David, meanwhile, begins to write a different chapter to his life – a different story even.

Good luck to him.

  • Daniel Speight

    Bye-bye David. So long, it’s been good to know yah. Or possibly not. In fact definitely not.

    As the anointed one by Blair it’s quite possible we are seeing the beginning of the end of all that was bad in the creation of New Labour. So maybe I should be saying never darken our door again.

    Of course if I were David and I decided to flee the possibility of big problems over decisions I had made on rendition and US torture, I too would probably head to New York or Washington to save my sorry backside. That’s not to say that David Miliband’s flight is the equivalent of Ernest Marples heading to Monaco to avoid being jailed in Britain. No, no I wouldn’t say that at all. Maybe I will just leave it as bye-bye David, although if you had a spot for Liam Bryne over there it would be appreciated.

    • AlanGiles

      A nation mourns. Well, Lord Sainsbury anyway.

      • John Reid

        That’s Lord Sainsbury who funds Progress, that’s the Progress magazine who’s 3 journalists, Luke Akehurst, Ellie Reeves and Peter wheeler, who didn’t back David for the Leadership. For the record David didn’t actually get blairs endorsement,

        • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

          No he did. David Miliband was backed by Tony Blair, but Ed Miliband was backed by Cherie Blair.

    • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

      “the possibility of big problems over decisions I had made on rendition and US torture”

      He’s getting his community service in early: “But m’Lord, in mitigation please consider my humanitarian work for IRC.”

  • Dave Postles

    May we have Bernie Sanders in exchange?

  • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

    The Labour Party is a lot weaker without David Miliband. The IRC’s gain is Labour’s loss. Hopefully, Peter Mandelson is right and we will see David Miliband back in politics in a few years or so. British Ambassador to the US or even UN Secretary General – who knows?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    This was both inevitable and something I had predicted long ago. It wasn’t just .DM but his followers who just couldn’t bear the fact he had lost and they will now have to accept reality

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      Just as you can’t bear the fact that Ed Miliband does not share your politics but is in fact on the same page politically as his brother.

  • JoeDM

    He will be a huge loss to the Labour Party. During his time as a Minister he displayed leadership and organising skills way beyond his brother.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

      There’s the rub. He wasn’t a good Minister, and tended to operate in an imperious way which ultimately lost him the leadership as well,
      Personally, I think Alpha male types are responsible for many of the problems in the world, and he is a good example

      • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

        Utter nonsense. David Miliband was a brilliant Minister, hugely popular in Government – the man behind the Building Schools for the Future, devolved further powers to local government, introduced the Climate Change Act, was a great Foreign Secretary even Hillary Clinton fell in love with him. As for the leadership, he did get the most first-preference votes especially from Labour members so he could not have so unpopular.

      • John Ruddy

        Like many ministers, he had his plus points as well as his bad points. However, as a Minister I think he was effective, especially in terms of Education and Climate Change.
        His work at the foreign office surely marks him ti be a much better Foreign Secretary than Hague ever could be, and perhaps one ofthe better ones under Labour – perhaps only second to Robin Cook.
        I wouldnt be surprised if he was offered the US ambasadorship come a Labour victory, especially, as seems likely, the US President were to be Hilary Clinton, who he had a particularly effective relationship with.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

          I think he was average as Foreign Secretary, but his role in some murky practices has not been clarified

        • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

          I’d like to see him as UN Secretary General as well, or perhaps an EU Commissioner. He has a lot to offer, he is only 47. He could keep going until his 60s and I doubt he’d be running the IRC for that long.

        • leslie48

          A little aside I think Hague is a rare and decent Tory. His current campaign in Africa and his courage on Syria makes him decent. Unlike some others he is not ignoring the Syrian slaughters & horrors & believes we ought as a nation we should act to stop the crimes against humanity which just go and on and which our Labour movement have almost but ignored. Incidentally our Dave interviewed on C4 tonight agreed ignoring Syria and its consequences carries massive risks.

          • rekrab

            Ya reckon, he must the worst foreign secretary since the last one.

            Has he moved on from this?

  • Hamish Dewar

    ” …denied the Labour Leadership by just a handful of MPs votes.”
    So the re-writing of history begins.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Why? That statement is totally factually correct – even if it doesn’t fit the Ed/Labour haters utterly predictable and disingenuous narrative.

  • ColinAdkins

    I think David Miliband is one of the most overrated politicians of the modern era so much so he will go down as Labour’s John Moore (younger readers get the books on the Thatcher government out) rather than Michael Portillo.
    I cannot comment on his back room role but I find it difficult to remember anything significant he has done or said since being a MP so how can he have left a big hole?
    He is part of a nomneklatura, largely Oxbridge educated, who enter politics for self-advance and enrichment (see Purnell, Collins, Allan etc).
    He is a product of the preferment bestowed on Oxbridge graduates by the political system which shows how far Labour has to go to create a system based on genuine meritocracy.
    He is a symptom of the decline of the influence of organised labour on the Party. Instead aspiring leaders are sustained by courtiers (e.g.the Dan Hodges of this world) who tie themselves to the person concerned in order to advance themselves or to in order use the contacts in future roles as influence peddlers (sorry lobbyists) and the such like. These are the real vested interests in the Party.
    This is why the reaction to his defeat in the leadership election was so strong as possiblities were destroyed for a number of careerists or chancers. They sought vengence by thrashing Ed and the Party much in same way as the SDPers did when they lost influence and David Owen realised he was no longer going to be leader. It is though to David M’s credit there is no evidence to suggest he was party to this.
    It is also to his credit that he has timed his resignation so it causes minimal damage and before the election campaign begins in earnest.
    David -thank you, good luck and goodbye. Now lets move on and get rid of this vicious Coalition government.

  • rekrab

    Jeez! get over it, in the end David only helped himself to a very rewarding job.
    Politicians should be remembered by what they do for their people. DM will go down as a selfserver who only helped himself..

    • AlanGiles

      I just heard DM on The World At One: he was trying to come over as a mixture of Joan Of Arc, Sydney Carton and the greatest philanthropist in the world. He emphasised several times that he was leaving “to work for a charity” (though I imagine he will be well rewarded for it), and that he was doing it for Labour and for “Ed”

      He also managed to slip in that hackneyed phrase “make a difference” FOUR times in a three miniute interview (with Nick Robinson)

      • rekrab

        It’s a total farce, I believe he will receive in the region of 1 million$ in pay and a very nice home.Then when he’s found out and had enough he will just pop across the pond and straight back into Westminster.Labour used to be the party where the people picked the MP’s it seems those old dubious servers Blair and Mandelson still pull some strings.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

          His wife is American, and they adopted their children from America, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he did stay there

          • rekrab

            Lets hope so? but lets also remember his wife and children were all those things while he lived and plotted his progress in London.Ed will only get one shot he’s got to get it correct and he’s got to follow through on his “I get it” thoughts, if 2015 doesn’t go his way, then the Blairites will be more prominent.

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            He is still in Britain just working in New York.

        • leslie48

          Utter piffle – there are 1000s of bankers in London on over a £million who will get more next week as tax is reduced ( some of those working for the banks like Lloyds which our taxes bailed out). After 5 years we have not really got on top of these banks excesses and problematic assets which will stop any chance Labour may have of any decent policies after 2015- London is led by a ‘financial elite’ and here on this ‘bitter’ site we have people attacking some of our brightest stars of the Labour movement who put them on TV can combat the articulate London based Tory Plutocracy instead of the many weak, ineffectual, unconvincing, unprepared representatives of our movement which I see on QT often. You want power you need the best; if you want an ex-council semi-schooled estate kid from your local tech then find him and put him in parliament. Do not forget the Millibands were the sons of a Marxist academic who put them into a North London Comprehensive school. They went to Oxford by hard work and merit not birth or vast privilege. No wonder the Murdochs of this world can twist the people around their fingers when you have old Labour bloggers attacking the very people who delivered three election victories!

          • rekrab

            Sigh! and what has this so called super brain done then? if he has the ability to sort the banks out why hasn’t he done so? so he took two years to make a decision, that strikes me as rather indecisive.Marxist academic! what’s that got to do with the price of cheese.Look, the kid from the council estate wouldn’t suck up to the likes of Murdoch, while Miliband wouldn’t have missed the chance.So what has 3 terms of a new labour government really delivered? seems they pissed the people of Scotland off so must they no longer vote labour because their parents did, 50 years of labour being the peoples choice ended because the son of a marxist was really just a son of a money grabbing bitch.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            If you really think that New Labour is not what you want, then you have to accept that the sort of Labour that you do want has not been electable since 1974, and you might think on the reasons for that. You may conclude that the 1974 type of Labour will not ever be electable again. I know that is what I believe.

            You have to be realistic.

          • rekrab

            But your sense of realism is taken our nation back to Victorian times, where the undeserving become the paupers on the street.So I guess your time clock is further backwards than the time you attribute to myself.Jaime, I want all people to do well,I’d like all children to reach their potential, I certainly don’t think it’s a waste of time wanting to end poverty and I’ve no quams about ordinary people earning good money.There isn’t some bedded code of intellectual right, it isn’t rocket science to share the proceeds of wealth, it just takes a good-man or good- woman to do the proper thing.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            It was not trying to claim to myself or yourself any sense of realism, but that of the balance of opinion among 45 million voters. I merely meant that.

            We (you and I) have to accept that our society is made up of many more people who are focussed on themselves than the much fewer who are focussed on society. I certainly believe that you and many others on LL are caring and focussed on society, but in a minority among society. That is the conundrum that caused Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to found New Labour as a solution – to mitigate the selfishness endemic in society, because they realised they could never get the votes in any other way, and mitigation is better than powerless opposition.

            Why did New Labour lose in 2010? I suspect it was 3 things: 1. Iraq, for some voters. 2. The economic crash, for many voters. 3. “Time for a change”, for some. Not really because the nation became tories.

            Iraq was a poor choice, attributable solely to Tony Blair. The economic crash was global, but the effects could have been greatly reduced if Gordon Brown had regulated our British banks better in the 11 preceding years. He did not. Reason 3 is perennial, and affects all ruling parties.

            I do not see any fundamental rejection of the New Labour philosophy among the electorate.

          • rekrab

            Therefore the definition of mitigation in this case is, one nation politics which in turn only serves those age old rules of serving the cream to the fat cats.

            What will 2054 be like? I wont see it but I hope my children and grandchildren do and I hope it’s a world that has put to bed the idea of selected wealth.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I expect 2054 will be much as today, but that is my scepticism, and not your view which you are correct to hope for.

            Back to the point of this article, I hope that you will enjoy this if you have not already seen it:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/9957008/David-Miliband-a-colossus-Hes-a-greedy-failure-in-a-cosmic-sulk.html

            (I read both the Telegraph and the Guardian, for a sense of balance. In both cases, there are some very polarised opinions – Peter Oborne, and George Monbiot, for example – and in both cases, some completely mad people commenting on the articles.)

          • rekrab

            Yeah! the reaction from the new labour colleagues does raise more doubts than answers about the know serving leader of labour. Forgive me Jaime but I really do want to get away from the celebrity style political camera snapping nonsense, I couldn’t give a dam if you put the fat controller in front of the dispatch box, as long as he or she was doing the right things for the many.

            I’ve never meet David Miliband, I’ve only witnessed him for afar, I’ve no doubt he’s charm the socks off an Arab however I can say from what I’ve seen, there is vacant gap, almost a split personality who is full of unwonderous fluffy tictac.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            I think a lot of the problem is that New labour was of its time, and we have moved on, but some think it can be recreated. It can’t. I think the huge majority of 97 won’t happen in 2015, and neither do I want it to unless people are genuinely convinced. Actually, I don’t think the electorate would fall for the Blair-type appeal again, there is too much cynicism

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            Nor me, but then I don’t think the electorate necessarily vote on those grounds.
            The fact is that they won’t have New Labour – or Old Labour, for that matter, next time. Those are both of their time.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Mike,

            perhaps the better debate is between “centralism”, and “distinctly left of centralism” (those are my phrases, I do not know if others use those phrases in a different context).

            In 2015, would the mass electorate choose a centralist choice, or a distinctly left of centralist choice? I look at the western world (as reported by our media) and see no mass appetite for a left of centralist choice. Even Francois Hollande in France is now back-tracking from his electoral position of being distinctly left, once the voters realised he won and is in power, and they are angry with his proposals. I do not know French politics, but is seems likely that he was brought into power on a large protest vote, and not a powerful vote in favour of socialism.

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            To be fair, the centre ground in France is a lot more to the left and it was also an anti-incumbency vote. I cannot stand it when academics and political anoraks read into elections from elsewhere in order to try and draw conclusions – it is a load of nonsense. Centralism does not work, especially now we have little money around. We need to have further reform of public services and decentralise power to users, workers and also local government. The co-operative model that is pioneered by Co-operative Councils, supported by Ed Miliband and opposed by Dr Mike Homfray, is a model that a Labour government must use.

          • John Reid

            I missed the bit when homelessness happened under Blairs time, infect when there was the homeless during Thatchers time, Tony Benn was living in his mansion,

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            Well, we don’t have new Labour, because that was a specific project for the time when it existed, and those times have passed.
            But so have the 1970′s.
            In any case, since when was the 1974 Labour particularly left-wing?

          • John Reid

            Apart from unilateralism, there wasn’t much difference between 1974 and 83′ a referendum on leaving the EU ,rather than just doing it, the stopping of selling council homes, flying pickets the closed shop, renationalisetion, a bid to scrap riot police and the NEC voting in74 to nationalise the 25 biggest industries, that Wilson ignored , same as the 83 manifesto, that caused the formation of the CLPD

          • leslie48

            The Gordon Brown government did save three UK banks, reduced interest rates, reduced VAT, etc., and led the world ( with Obama) in avoiding a more serious depression avoiding millions on the dole.

            Scotland was the only region in the UK where there was a swing to Labour in 2010. My other point stands the Millibands went to a local London Comp. Its only by having the bright and the best that appeal across the electorate that we win elections. The old Left of the 1980s drove the people’s party into the wilderness

          • rekrab

            I’ll have no association with the 1980′s thank you, they sat on their hands while our people did suffer. Get a whiteheat perspective, that’ll ignite those grey cells? Look, Scotland voted to keep the tories out and that’s as plain as it gets, we’ve more panda’s than tory MP’s.

            Leslie, you want some entertainment, go feed feed some ducks in a park and wish you were far away, that’s entertainment!

            No point in tying up all things in nice bright ribbons while a few minutes walk away leads to those dark satanic ghettoes? walk with Leslie and leave a foot-print for all our people!!!!!!!!! By the way…….Miliband wasn’t chancellor? but hey ho such is rendition.

          • leslie48

            We share the same purpose – the election of a Labour government but to achieve power we appreciate politics is the art of the possible. No party is ever elected in the UK (sorry should say England) on being seen as very Left.

          • rekrab

            Leslie, Jaime makes the same point further up? the third way didn’t work, the public hated PFI, Foundation Hospitals, New Academies and welfare reforms.

            It really was cringe worthy to listen and watch the tories accuse new labour of being to right of them before the 2010 G.E.

            If you follow the path of power for power sake, then the public wont have a cause to vote differently, In short, you’ll only ever return a tory government.

          • rekrab

            Leslie, Jaime makes the same point further up? the third way didn’t work, the public hated PFI, Foundation Hospitals, New Academies and welfare reforms.

            It really was cringe worthy to listen and watch the tories accuse new labour of being to right of them before the 2010 G.E.

            If you follow the path of power for power sake, then the public wont have a cause to vote differently, In short, you’ll only ever return a tory government.

          • leslie48

            We share the same purpose – the election of a Labour government but to achieve power we appreciate politics is the art of the possible. No party is ever elected in the UK (sorry should say England) on being seen as very Left.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            But you don’t need those votes for a majority, and they won them by watering down Labour’s stances to an unacceptable level. Also, they only won those votes because the Tories were unelectable – and they won them once only, in 97. In 01, the Tory voters just stayed at home, in 05 the bulk of those sort of seats were lost

          • leslie48

            I think you will find we do need these areas close to the M1 and round the M25 they are definitely not rich like Surrey or Bucks- Under Blair we won Hendon, Finchley, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Hadfield -Welwyn and at its height the wealthy commuter town of St. Albans. Now we have *none* of these seats. The nearest seats are probably down town Luton; I am not even sure of Stevenage and Harlow (I ‘ve checked both fell to the Tories) . So sorry to win government, Labour must carry places like this – or some of them or else welcome back the Rt Hon Cameron, Mr Osborne and Mr Gove. The rich Tory boys will be back if you cannot win seats like Essex new town working class Harlow!

          • leslie48

            I think you will find we do need these areas close to the M1 and round the M25 they are definitely not rich like Surrey or Bucks- Under Blair we won Hendon, Finchley, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Hadfield -Welwyn and at its height the wealthy commuter town of St. Albans. Now we have *none* of these seats. The nearest seats are probably down town Luton; I am not even sure of Stevenage and Harlow (I ‘ve checked both fell to the Tories) . So sorry to win government, Labour must carry places like this – or some of them or else welcome back the Rt Hon Cameron, Mr Osborne and Mr Gove. The rich Tory boys will be back if you cannot win seats like Essex new town working class Harlow!

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            Hear, hear!

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            The day we trust you with election strategy is the day when the Labour Party is genuinely screwed.

          • AlanGiles

            I could take you to areas of Havering where the opulence would gladden your heart. I could take you to areas of Havering that are quite poverty stricken, but nothing in comparison that you would find in Waltham Forest, Newham or Tower Hamlets, or even the next door borough Barking & Dagenham.

            I don’t believe David Miliband would turn Essex or Dorking Labour – he would probably turn them off; and those people whose lives have been affected most seriously by the tough stance of the last years of Labour and the Coalition years, I think they would see poshboy Miliband as very much part of the problem, not the solution. Caking yourself in make-up like Blair and DM used to do, might make them (in their own eyes) look pretty, but when you examine their quasi-Tory opinions and attitudes, they look far less glamorous

          • leslie48

            Those people Alan would vote Labour – they have no alternatives. Its getting the vote from the upper working class, lower middle class, baby boomer’s now in their 60s, office ladies, self-employed males, university and college students etc who count; they judge people on their ‘merits’ not their origins or brand of socialism/social democracy, its how smart they seem on telly. Let me tell you something – when Kinnock lost in 1992 to John Major , following Labour’s * fourth* consecutive defeat, , Kinnock resigned as the leader. The media attacks led by Murdoch had been awful of course and scared the voters. Many young people, many southerners, many others – could not relate to him. Labour has come a long way since those twenty years but believe me that experience wounds people. It tells you your party has to be electable. David Milliband was appreciated by MPs – they knew he had appeal.

          • AlanGiles

            “David Milliband was appreciated by MPs – they knew he had appeal.”

            Well, so does an orange come to that (a peel). But David Miliband was so arrogantly pompous and self important he probably turned off as many as he turned on. The overdone gravitas became laughable to many people. The personal greed turned the laughs to distaste.

            However,: You say:

            “Those people Alan would vote Labour – they have no alternatives. ”

            But they do. In Havering only last week UKIP won a seat on a quite poor area of the borough. Labour came second – I’ll return this, if I may, in my last paragraph.

            As for

            “Its getting the vote from the upper working class, lower middle class, baby boomer’s now in their 60s, office ladies, self-employed males, university and college students etc who count; they judge people on their ‘merits’ not their origins or brand of socialism/social democracy, its how smart they seem on telly. ”

            If you are saying that in order to get the vote of the upper working class you have to look pretty on TV and sound pseudo-Conservative. That doesn’t work either.

            The current local secretary of my former party comments on LL. Last week he referred to benefit payments as “hand-outs” and last year some time he made a gratutitous comment about “illegal immigrants”, despite the fact that nothing had been said about immigration in the thread in question, legal or otherwise, and that Havering is hardly renown for illegal immigration. Such things are said, no doubt, to try to prove Labour is a bit like the Conservatives. This strategy doesn’t appear to be working. Havering has three Labour councillors.
            You have to have a set of core beliefs and principles and altering the rhetoric to suit the whims of tabloids and their readers is as pointless as it is insincere. I don’t honestly think Havering Conservatives (who are a shambles) have sleepless nights while the Labour secretary tries to ingratiate himself with their rhetoric.

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            “But David Miliband was so arrogantly pompous and self important he probably turned off as many as he turned on.”
            That is almost like Satan telling of Jesus for being too bad.

          • AlanGiles

            “David Milliband was appreciated by MPs – they knew he had appeal.”

            Well, so does an orange come to that (a peel). But David Miliband was so arrogantly pompous and self important he probably turned off as many as he turned on. The overdone gravitas became laughable to many people. The personal greed turned the laughs to distaste.

            However,: You say:

            “Those people Alan would vote Labour – they have no alternatives. ”

            But they do. In Havering only last week UKIP won a seat on a quite poor area of the borough. Labour came second – I’ll return this, if I may, in my last paragraph.

            As for

            “Its getting the vote from the upper working class, lower middle class, baby boomer’s now in their 60s, office ladies, self-employed males, university and college students etc who count; they judge people on their ‘merits’ not their origins or brand of socialism/social democracy, its how smart they seem on telly. ”

            If you are saying that in order to get the vote of the upper working class you have to look pretty on TV and sound pseudo-Conservative. That doesn’t work either.

            The current local secretary of my former party comments on LL. Last week he referred to benefit payments as “hand-outs” and last year some time he made a gratutitous comment about “illegal immigrants”, despite the fact that nothing had been said about immigration in the thread in question, legal or otherwise, and that Havering is hardly renown for illegal immigration. Such things are said, no doubt, to try to prove Labour is a bit like the Conservatives. This strategy doesn’t appear to be working. Havering has three Labour councillors.
            You have to have a set of core beliefs and principles and altering the rhetoric to suit the whims of tabloids and their readers is as pointless as it is insincere. I don’t honestly think Havering Conservatives (who are a shambles) have sleepless nights while the Labour secretary tries to ingratiate himself with their rhetoric.

          • leslie48

            Alan, I do not know how old you were in 1992. Maybe you were not old enough or did not live through *four* Right Wing Conservative governments.

            England is not a perfect social democratic society ( unlike many European / Nordic nations) its dominated by an agenda set by a South East based Plutocracy and a press dominated by the Right wing Tabloids (including Murdoch who is still even now influencing the agenda) which permeates the BBC generally speaking too.

            In Marxist analysis its a geographic, economic, class hegemony which puts any thing Leftist off the agenda or else stigmatises it. New Labour realised that and achieved power. Of course that was then; now we are in a serious economic post crisis but that still does not mean we can look anything like the disaster we looked back in the 1980s. Nor does that we mean we ditch social justice- that’s a straw man you and others here are constructing. Minimum wage, Child tax credits, reduced Vat on fuel, fuel payments, reduced class sizes, SureStart, lowest unemployment in Europe, reduced levels of child poverty, massive numbers in 6th form and universities, spending on hospitals, schools, infrastucture, sorting out working class and Afro-Caribbean kids in poor performing urban schools, large spending in regions like Wales & North East – neither Tony nor Gordon can be criticised on those grounds.

          • AlanGiles

            Well, I was old enough to vote Labour in 1964, . Go figure, as they say. Of course I remember the 1979-1997 Conservative governments. I wasn’t a fan. But I wasn’t a fan of Blair taking Labour further and further to the right. Of his warmongering. Of his faux-naif “my party will be purer than pure” codswallop, when he had things like Mandelson in his cabinet, who was forgiven far too often for too many things, not east his simpering snobbery.

            I also found it distasteful when on the night New Labour were forcing through benefit cuts for single mums, Blair himself was “entertaining” a pop group called Blur at No. 10, and the way Barbara Follett, of all people, was wheeled onto radio and TV to defend the cuts: especially insulting when you remember this woman was the wife of a millionaire author (though that didn’t stop her in later years from fiddling her expenses).

            Despite all this – Iraq, hypocrisy, dissembling, downright dishonesty, I was stupid enough to stay loyal even in 2005.

            For me Purnell, McNulty and Cooper were the final straw. It was obvious the damage that would be done, but Brown, desperate to cling on allowed the disgraceful Freud reforms to be passed – even though by that time political whore Freud had sold himself to the Conservatives.

            I do not agree with “Tony” and “Gordon” that 50% targets for universities was necessarily a good thing. I would have preferred to see more invested in Further Education, rather than higher, and apprenticeships.

            On a personal, local note I am disgusted with the party, and, if you want “Blue Labour” you are welcome to it. But don’t expect me to vote for it.

          • John Reid

            Leslie, Alan’s first comment about DM not appealing to Essex, is right, but region knew it. Some as Ed wouldn’t and region quite rightly couldn’t care less, but I will point out the gooshays by election had 2 things, 1 there was a 22% turnout, 2′ UKIP won by getting a mixture of Tory voters and BNP ones, we’re one of the few places where the BNP vote isn’t ex- labour, labours percentage of the vote was the same as 2010 and the 2008 by election there,

          • AlanGiles

            Well, I was old enough to vote Labour in 1964, . Go figure, as they say. Of course I remember the 1979-1997 Conservative governments. I wasn’t a fan. But I wasn’t a fan of Blair taking Labour further and further to the right. Of his warmongering. Of his faux-naif “my party will be purer than pure” codswallop, when he had things like Mandelson in his cabinet, who was forgiven far too often for too many things, not east his simpering snobbery.

            I also found it distasteful when on the night New Labour were forcing through benefit cuts for single mums, Blair himself was “entertaining” a pop group called Blur at No. 10, and the way Barbara Follett, of all people, was wheeled onto radio and TV to defend the cuts: especially insulting when you remember this woman was the wife of a millionaire author (though that didn’t stop her in later years from fiddling her expenses).

            Despite all this – Iraq, hypocrisy, dissembling, downright dishonesty, I was stupid enough to stay loyal even in 2005.

            For me Purnell, McNulty and Cooper were the final straw. It was obvious the damage that would be done, but Brown, desperate to cling on allowed the disgraceful Freud reforms to be passed – even though by that time political whore Freud had sold himself to the Conservatives.

            I do not agree with “Tony” and “Gordon” that 50% targets for universities was necessarily a good thing. I would have preferred to see more invested in Further Education, rather than higher, and apprenticeships.

            On a personal, local note I am disgusted with the party, and, if you want “Blue Labour” you are welcome to it. But don’t expect me to vote for it.

          • leslie48

            Alan, I do not know how old you were in 1992. Maybe you were not old enough or did not live through *four* Right Wing Conservative governments.

            England is not a perfect social democratic society ( unlike many European / Nordic nations) its dominated by an agenda set by a South East based Plutocracy and a press dominated by the Right wing Tabloids (including Murdoch who is still even now influencing the agenda) which permeates the BBC generally speaking too.

            In Marxist analysis its a geographic, economic, class hegemony which puts any thing Leftist off the agenda or else stigmatises it. New Labour realised that and achieved power. Of course that was then; now we are in a serious economic post crisis but that still does not mean we can look anything like the disaster we looked back in the 1980s. Nor does that we mean we ditch social justice- that’s a straw man you and others here are constructing. Minimum wage, Child tax credits, reduced Vat on fuel, fuel payments, reduced class sizes, SureStart, lowest unemployment in Europe, reduced levels of child poverty, massive numbers in 6th form and universities, spending on hospitals, schools, infrastucture, sorting out working class and Afro-Caribbean kids in poor performing urban schools, large spending in regions like Wales & North East – neither Tony nor Gordon can be criticised on those grounds.

          • leslie48

            Those people Alan would vote Labour – they have no alternatives. Its getting the vote from the upper working class, lower middle class, baby boomer’s now in their 60s, office ladies, self-employed males, university and college students etc who count; they judge people on their ‘merits’ not their origins or brand of socialism/social democracy, its how smart they seem on telly. Let me tell you something – when Kinnock lost in 1992 to John Major , following Labour’s * fourth* consecutive defeat, , Kinnock resigned as the leader. The media attacks led by Murdoch had been awful of course and scared the voters. Many young people, many southerners, many others – could not relate to him. Labour has come a long way since those twenty years but believe me that experience wounds people. It tells you your party has to be electable. David Milliband was appreciated by MPs – they knew he had appeal.

          • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

            A straw man of one.

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      No he will go down as one of the best leaders of political parties that never were such as Michael Heseltine, Michael Portillo, Denis Healey, Roy Jenkins, Keith Joseph and in my view to some extent James Purnell.

  • AlanGiles

    If you say so. Frankly you are honestly not worth arguing with

    • John Reid

      Don’t need to argue Alan, if the facts don’t fit your view ,just ignore them,

  • Richard

    The intellectual got into Oxford with poor grades. The intellectual who is still sulking about losing to his brother 3 years later. The intellectual who isn’t even bilingual.

  • AlanGiles

    On this very sad day (for a couple of LL posters at least, if not everybody else), perhaps it’s time to say so long David, enjoy the nice big charity pay cheque (or check as you’ll have to learn to say Stateside), and – above all – thanks for all the laughs you’ve given us:

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/08/labour-mp-david-miliband-caught-napping-on-tube-with-his-trouser-zip-undone-3398887/

     

    http://enemiesofreason.co.uk/2010/09/29/pictures-of-david-miliband-looking-stupid/

    The gift of a great comedian is that he leaves the audience laughing long after he has left the stage.

  • AlanGiles

    On this very sad day (for a couple of LL posters at least, if not everybody else), perhaps it’s time to say so long David, enjoy the nice big charity pay cheque (or check as you’ll have to learn to say Stateside), and – above all – thanks for all the laughs you’ve given us:

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/08/labour-mp-david-miliband-caught-napping-on-tube-with-his-trouser-zip-undone-3398887/

     

    http://enemiesofreason.co.uk/2010/09/29/pictures-of-david-miliband-looking-stupid/

    The gift of a great comedian is that he leaves the audience laughing long after he has left the stage.

  • David Parker

    David Miliband has made a very dignified departure; but his undoubted ability and eloquence could not obscure the fact that his brother has a better grasp of what is required to overcome the widespread disillusion with politics and to reinvigorate the Labour Party.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    What nonsense. Why do you think Ed stood against David unless he felt he had a definitively different political programme? Why do you think Lord Sainsbury spends money on your beloved Progress entryist group if Ed is ‘on the same page politically’.
    Unlike you I do support Ed Miliband’s leadership – he’s not perfect and doesn’t always get it right, but he is a breath of fresh air

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      Let us look at your argument.
      1) ‘My beloved Progress entryist group’ is the same Progress of which Ed Miliband is a member. He wrote a chapter in The Purple Book, endorsed The Purple Papers and was a former vice chairman of Progress.
      2) Ed stood against David because he believed that he would be a better leader and have more to offer. He won.
      3) Ed has always stood behind the need for Labour to stick to the centre ground. Nothing he has said since contradict that.
      4) They were both inspired by the same Lord Glasman, both were New Labour ministers, both from Progress and there is literally a cigarette paper between them. Name one major difference (apart from the Iraq War which they don’t even really disagree on)?
      5) You on the other hand, are a lefty who wants extremely high tax rates on the rich, nationalisation of utilities, no spending cuts at all..
      6) You claim to support Ed Miliband, but really you don’t otherwise you would not be calling for Progress to be expelled (the organisation he is a part of) and you would not be insulting his policies as Tory-lite.
      7) Again Mike, accept you have little in common with Ed Miliband as he is a lot more in common with his own brother.

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      You don’t support his leadership, you attack his leadership and you called for him to leave the party.

    • John Reid

      A magazine that can’t vote on policies, like the co-op ,unions or the Fabians can, isn’t an entryist group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

    Both Peter Wheeler and Luke Akehurst are associated not so much with Progress, but with Labour First. Still on the right of the party, but strongly in favour of the union link and sceptical about public service reform and localism. They were more likely to support Ed.

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      But you’d kick them out and you have not been dedicated to the party! Most people on the right of the party (including Blair) are supporters of the union link.

  • Dave Postles

    The real work has still to be done – forget him.

    http://www.uniteforoursociety.org/page/speakout/turning-point-

  • Hamish Dewar

    David was ahead on the MPs and members votes. It woz the Unions wot won it for Ed.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Wow, thanks for telling me something I didn’t know ;)

      DM should have won by a landslide – that he didn’t is his own fault. He should have fought a less complacent (and Blairite) campaign.

  • leslie48

    A sad loss – a Labour Party big hitter who can talk and think on his feet. Makes people like Osborne and Boris Johnson look like pygmies. We lack articulate, bright, popular members like him who would appeal to all sections of the electorate. His analysis of situations was always incisive. A great minister and a great contributor to the Labour movement.

  • markfergusonuk

    There is no way a British party political figure is going to be UN Secretary General…

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      There have been major partisan politicians from other countries who have taken on the job. The first Secretary General was a Liberal peer.

  • postageincluded

    You mean a magazine like “Militant”?.

  • postageincluded

    You mean a magazine like “Militant”?.

  • postageincluded

    You mean a magazine like “Militant”?.

    • John Reid

      thats the same militant who put up its own delegates against the labour ones, turned up to meetings in block force to use their vote to inpose polcies,like the fabians or the co-op do, so no I don’t mean like militant

  • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

    “the same Progress of which Ed Miliband is a member.”

    But Renie, didn’t Ed refute Progress’s neo-liberal-continuity approach (which is very popular within the PLP) when he signaled the need for a clean break with past:

    “We could just fight on his ground and accept the terms of debate set by him [Cameron]. It would allow Conservative pessimism to shrink our ambition. At the next general election, we must be the optimists, the party with a positive, patriotic mission for our country. When we have won great victories– in 1945, 1964, 1997 – it has been by defining a new national mission. That is what we can, must and will do again.”*

    * http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/20/ed-miliband-hug-hoodie-labour

  • Dave Postles

    ‘nationalisation of utilities’
    Private concerns couldn’t effectively run the utilities in the 19th century and they cannot now. They failed then for lack of investment and they are failing now because of lack of investment. First local government and then central government had to assume the responsibility because of the lack of investment which meant health and safety hazards and discontinuous supply. We had security in the sense of national interest. The private utility companies are no more efficient and extract capital from the concerns. Their record of investment looks pretty poor. Consumers now pay through the nose. It all results from the parsimonious attitude of taxpayers, who prefer to buy a Mercedes, VW, Audi, iPad, iPhone, etc than have the assurance of security of supply through a collective, public service. The tragedy is that it will be nigh on impossible to socialize the utilities again – and for that we can blame the Tories and New Labour.

  • Dave Postles

    ‘nationalisation of utilities’
    Private concerns couldn’t effectively run the utilities in the 19th century and they cannot now. They failed then for lack of investment and they are failing now because of lack of investment. First local government and then central government had to assume the responsibility because of the lack of investment which meant health and safety hazards and discontinuous supply. We had security in the sense of national interest. The private utility companies are no more efficient and extract capital from the concerns. Their record of investment looks pretty poor. Consumers now pay through the nose. It all results from the parsimonious attitude of taxpayers, who prefer to buy a Mercedes, VW, Audi, iPad, iPhone, etc than have the assurance of security of supply through a collective, public service. The tragedy is that it will be nigh on impossible to socialize the utilities again – and for that we can blame the Tories and New Labour.

  • AlanGiles

    You are pretty arrogant and pompous yourself, Renie. A schoolboy telling unions last year how they should behave. Perhaps David Miliband could find you a job – provided there is a room big enough to hold both your egos.

    • http://twitter.com/renieanjeh Renie Anjeh

      Really? In a free society, people have right to freedom of speech and the right to hold an opinion. I am opposed to a General Strike as are many people – nothing union-bashing about that. Perhaps you should get off your high horse and get back to calling James Purnell a ‘pretty boy’.

  • AlanGiles

    Keith Joseph!?. Well of course you were not even born when he was making his judgemental remarks about single mothers, and class, so I suppose you can be forgiven

  • AlanGiles

    It might have something to do also, with Havering having a party secretary with very poor communication skills, and even indulges in calling benefit payments “hand-outs” and indulging in a bit of class warfare in referring in a message in this thread to Tony Benn “living in his mansion”.
    A sort of Alf Garnett for the 21st century.

    • John Reid

      Actually it was Wolfie smith who had the problem with Tony Benn living in his mansion, I cant recall If Alf garnett bought his council home or not, maybe Benn wanted tobuy it back off him for the price he sold it for,

      • AlanGiles

        “Actually it was Wolfie smith who had the problem with Tony Benn living in his mansion”

        No. It was you four days ago on this very thread, you mentioned (apropos of nothing )that “Benn was living in his mansion”.

        It is not surprising that you mention a character from a 1970s
        TV series (Woolfie Smith of “Citizen Smith”, produced between 1977-1980), since, Mr Reid, you seem to on LL going on about the 1974-1983 period. Even 1983 is now THIRTY YEARS AGO.

        • John Reid

          And you brought up alf Barnett who was around 50 yrs ago, also, I didn’t have a problem with tony Benn in his mansion, I had a problem he didn’t practice what he preached, regarding that it was the thatcher yrs that Benn did the damage to the Labour party ,I was refrencing him from then as the one thing we did when we got in ,in 1997 was deal with homelessness, something we couldn’t do when your lot were losing us 4 elections

      • AlanGiles

        “Actually it was Wolfie smith who had the problem with Tony Benn living in his mansion,”
        AND you, apparently:-

        “John Reid posted a comment in The Miliband Psychodrama is over · 4 days agoI missed the bit when homelessness happened under Blairs time, infect when there was the homeless during Thatchers time, Tony Benn was living in his mansion

    • John Reid

      you compare me to Alf garnett, yet you criticise my punctuation A cirticism worthy of those snobs who use to Mock John Prescotts communications, the other reason havering isn’t A laobur area, is it’s A very right wing area,i note you’ve got two similar snobs who don’t like my work locally, I take it they’ve campaigned and done better,

  • AlanGiles

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