Ed Miliband says he’s “incredibly angry” that “the Labour party has been besmirched by the behaviour of a few individuals”

4th July, 2013 9:24 pm

Speaking to BBC News this evening, Ed Miliband said he’s angry about the Falkirk selection, and the behaviour of “a few individuals” – but he was particularly pointed in his reference to “the leadership of Unite the union in particular”, saying:

“Let me be clear about this: I am incredibly angry about what’s happened in Falkirk because I feel the good name of Labour party members, of trade union members and the Labour party has been besmirched by the behaviour of a few individuals – that’s why we’ve suspended the local party, that’s why we’ve now suspended two individuals, and that’s why we’re also clear that we’re losing down the scheme that allowed this abuse to happen.

“And I just want to be very clear about this: I’m not going to have abuse of membership procedures and Parliamentary selections in my party, and that is very clear and I want to be clear about that to the leadership of Unite the union in particular.”

Miliband’s comments came after a similarly forthright statement from Len McCluskey of Unite, as rather than today’s events dampening the tensions over Falkirk, the row between Unite and Labour looks set to rumble on.

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  • rekrab

    Who wrote that one Ed? Cameron? Cameron calls and Ed jumps. Truly unbelievable?

    • If Ed crumbles in the face of a little kick-up from Labour’s Right and Cameron’s predictable responses, how’s he going to cope in the run-up to the general election when the media onslaught will be 24/7 and extremely brutal?.

      They’ll have him performing such a merry dance he won’t know whether he’s coming, going, upside down or arse-backwards.

      • rekrab

        And further more Dave, Ed does an about turn on austerity and now support the conservative spending, while million have been waiting for him to get angry over these cuts, so what does Ed do?, he gets angry over an issue raised by Cameron and attacks labour members by suspending them from the democratic process.

        Murphy’s great dodgy plan to take the pain of demise while they use every tool in the box to drive Scotland into the gutter so the new labour project can be reborn out of so called desperation isn’t working.The politics of the gutter has new labour’s blood hands all over it and Murphy’s plans have been well and truly rumbled

        • “Ed does an about turn on austerity”

          That was the final straw for me. Utterly nonsensical. I must admit, I never expected New Labour to emerge from the grave in this way – I thought the two Eds, with their ‘too deep, too soon’ analysis were nailing the coffin lid down well and truly.

          But now we have zombie politics – yesterday’s failed solutions reheated and reanimated by glassy-eyed Blairites who refuse to admit things have moved on.

          Anyone would think it was Hallowe’en!

          • rekrab

            Dave, my best friend passed away a few years back, He was a big strapping lad who left school at 16 and finally got a job in Polkemit colliery, he lost his job in 1984 and his wife and family left him, 2 children, I was best man at his wedding, he couldn’t cope and turned to drink which eventually led to liver collapse and his death, My big mate always sang this song in clubs and pubs, a real gentle giant and when he sang this, it brought a tear to my eye and even Joe’s glass eye.

            Here’s to him and millions like him, I’m ready to go flat out for them.

            In loving memory! the song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkorWr3M5Ms I don’t wont any more sorrow and I wont be cowed into surrendering.

          • Thanks for sharing that. Respect to your best mate. And respect to yourself.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        …”coming, going, upside down or arse-backwards“.

        This is a valid criticism of not just the 2 Eds, but Cameron, the Osborne, Clegg and whoever Clegg’s deputy is (he keeps himself discreet).

        Is it possible that we can have political leaders of the stature of Lloyd George, Attlee, Churchill, Wilson or Thatcher? At least they knew their elbows from their other parts, and knew how to sight their moral compasses, rather than to have to ask a focus group if they had one, and whether south had more votes than north.

        Do you recall that “Spitting Image” sketch, in which Thatcher dines with her Cabinet? The waiter asks her about the meat course, she chooses, and the waiter asks then about “what about the vegetables”. She replies “they will have the same”. We need more politicians of conviction.

        • Re Plaid Cymru – I’ve been very impressed with
          Leanne Wood, the leader. She’s managing to do what Ed no longer attempts to do: present an alternative to Cameron disaster.

          Re comedy politics. I’ve never watched Spitting Image. I’m more of a Dad’s Army and Steptoe and Son type of person.

          Steptoe and Son (Albert and Harold) used to have some magnificent and very pertinent political ‘set-tos’. But that reflected the the time when it was filmed.

          I suppose the modern equivalent would feature ‘communication consultants’ and their unthinking acolytes sitting in a Westminster office discussing recipes for celeriac purée.

        • Danny

          You do not live in Brighton so do not care at all for the “little shenanigans”.

          What a Tory approach to a situation. There was a time when the main principle of the Labour Party was that collectively we can achieve our honourable aims far more efficiently than working as a party of individuals. Dismissing the genuine concerns of workers in Brighton as “little shenanigans” and not caring because you do not live there flies in the face of everything that attracted me to the Labour Party.

          Has it really changed so much? Has Tony Blair’s work really caused that much lasting damage? I believed so in 2010, then Ed Miliband gave me cause to believe all was not lost. But this past month has destroyed all that hope. The Labour Party is dead. The only similarity that the present day party has with Clement Atlee’s, Ramsay MacDonald’s and Nye Bevan’s is its name. Nothing else.

      • Captin.Chaos

        He needs to sharpen up his act, consensus and intellect is one thing, transferring it into votes is another

        Instead of trying to woo disaffected Tories, he needs to start wooing disaffected Labour voters, Labour are terrified of getting a hostile press, no matter what they do it’s going to happen, the control freakery of the Blair years is all too apparent.

        if an Election were held tomorrow i would not vote. Keeping to Tory spending plans in 97 may have been a vote winner, it won’t be in 2015 Tories will still vote Tory in 2015, even if EM has identical policies. Labour voters won’t vote Tory They like me won’t vote at all

  • Pete

    Whilst what Ed has said is absolutely right and justified, and I’m very glad to see him emphasising that this fiasco is the product of the machinations of an extreme minority who do not represent either the average trade unionist or the average member of the party’s left at all, at a time when our poll lead is beginning to average at half of what it was a few months ago, the way this situation is escalating is getting very worrying. We need to draw a line under Falkirk quickly so we can get on with the real challenge ahead of us: proving to the electorate that we are the only trustworthy, competent and just choice at the polls in 96 weeks time.

  • Ben Cobley

    Miliband’s statement is understandable and I sympathise with him, but those at the top of Labour need to start confronting the fixing culture within the party (across all factions) and act to privilege basic ethical standards in party operations.

    My New Statesman blog article from today: ‘Labour’s culture of fixing goes far beyond the unions’


  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Presumably Ed Miliband has run his eye down the balance sheet, and judged that in the event of the worst outcome – Unite “disaffiliation”, Labour can cope without the money. Who else are Unite going to support? The Greens? RESPECT? The SWP? Arthur Scargill’s little lot? And more importantly, Unite members will still probably feel more Labour than anything else, and so “sod” the McCluskey when they are in the ballot box for their own private votes in the elections between now and 2015. And there will probably be extra votes for Labour from normal people if Ed is seen to slay a dinosaur and appear reasonable at the same time.

    You would hope that Ed has done the “what if” game theory, because what with this statement and McCluskey’s recent threats of legal action, this is not just “rumbling on”, it is heating up.

    • rekrab

      Have you had cloths in your ears when unison and GMB have also warned Ed?

      If you want to support a party that takes it’s orders from the likes of Murdoch and co, then a one nation conservative government is likely to be returned, labour voters will stay at home.

      • Mike Homfray

        For Labour to win majority they need the votes of the Left. I won’t vote Labour if someone like Murphy was the leader nor if they drift back to New Labour nothingness

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          There are about 100,000 votes of the left, as you recognise it. Meanwhile there are about 45 million normal people in the electorate.

          As a binary black / white measure, I’d say the opposite. For Labour to win a majority, they DON’T need or want the votes of the left. In fact far from it. They need the votes of the centrists. And to make sure that they get the votes of the centrists, Labour should be very vocal indeed about saying in public “bugger off the leftists”.

          The leftists can always form their own party, and remain perpetually in doing of nothing.

          Do you not understand Bell curve distribution? As a social “scientist”, you might not beware of it, but there are some mathematical truths. For every point you pick up on the shoulder of such a curve, you lose 10, for the next point you pick up ,you lose 100 (in Base 10, which is not so normal. Base 2 is a better approximation, Base 6(log)2/2(3))) the best so far, from Harvard University). Have you heard of logarithmic decay?

          Basically,you shed votes at an increasing rate the further left you go.

          But good luck Mike. Arthur Scargill might want to call on you to open a new, and equally failing Liverpool branch.

          • rekrab

            Logarithmic decay! is that when interest rates rise and the majority abandon the prop up Q.E. measures and low wage culture for something more left than centre?

            How about familiarising yourself with the word “Bell End”

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Yet again, you resort to the name calling. I am not going to respond in the same way.

            Why not try to educate yourself? Logarithmic decay is quite an easy concept to grasp. Apart from anything else, it will tell you about the universe around you. Have you ever wondered why you can only see the stars at night, and yet if you look into the sun, it burns your retinas? And yet our sun is puny and dim compared to the stars you can see dimly twinkling. Or sound propagation, or air pressure, or the signal strength on your mobile phone.

            The difference in the physical world is distance, and is explicable by the inverse square law, or logarithmic decay in other words. The difference in the political world is distance from the centre of the bell curve. But the mathematics is the same.

          • Captin.Chaos

            People you call the left are fringe party supporters who will never vote Labour.The left to me are Teachers Nurses Cleaners the Unemployed low paid, the Tories don’t represent them and many won’t vote. Milliband needs to come out of his comfort zone, forget consensus where the Tories are concerned, it’s more to do with getting Labour voters to vote Labour, than getting Tory voters to vote Labour I live in a marginal my vote matters, and at present i won’t be voting, it’s Labour or nothing for me, at the moment it’s nothing This internal bulls##t is a distraction, we need some clarity on the Middle East, jobs, nationalisation, not we will stick to tory spending plans. There’s a void to be filled and UKIP are filling it, man up to the right wing comics they treat you with contempt, do the same back

          • Monkey_Bach

            As far as voting intention in the UK is concerned what evidence is there that its distribution is actually Gaussian, at least as far as the British electorate goes? Eeek.

      • Chilbaldi

        Labour voters will stay at home eh? Oh the irony. History always seems to repeat itself.

        • i_bid

          Yep, Labour embracing self-defeating triangulation only to alienate its voters is indeed history repeating itself.

    • “Unite “disaffiliation”, ”

      Bring it on.

      Single issue campaigns related to the Tory austerity/privatisation frenzy have been initiated all over the country and these attract people not usually interested in joining political parties. And they are free of the sort of careerism that blights the LP. So there are plenty of opportunities for the Unions to engage politically without the encumbrance of a befuddled and out of touch Labour Party.

  • Mike Homfray

    Perhaps Ed needs to remember who voted for him. It wasn’t the Blairites. Thinking more and more that current party delineation are not sustainable

  • Alexwilliamz

    From the title i presumed this was going to be attack on the shadow cabinet.

  • Alex Otley

    NEC member Jennie Formby disagrees. Publish the report Ed.

  • Pingback: Labour’s battle with Unite over Falkirk is a sign of weakness AND strength | Liberal Conspiracy()

  • Pingback: Liberal Conspiracy: Labour’s battle with Unite over Falkirk is a sign of weakness AND strength | moonblogsfromsyb()

  • Daniel Speight

    So Ed let’s turn over a new leaf. Let’s make the NEC report on Falkirk public. No mealy mouth excuses now. Let the light shine in.

  • Pingback: Progress have been stoking the flames but it’s time for Ed & Len to turn the heat down | Left Futures()


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