PMQs verdict: There’s no such thing as half a truce, Ed

January 15, 2014 2:19 pm

Sometimes you’ve got to put your hands up and admit you were wrong. Last week I poured a little scorn on the idea that the two party leaders – or Ed Miliband at least – were attempting a sort of PMQs truce. I very much doubted that either of the leaders would see any benefit in such an approach, or that either would try and sustain it for very long. Well I suppose I was half wrong – Ed Miliband turned up at PMQs today and tried to ask questions in a probing but polite fashion. David Cameron meanwhile wanted to crush Ed Miliband and rub his face in the dirt.

I won’t insult your intelligence by pointing out which approach was better suited to the bear pit that is the commons chamber.

So dignified and prim were the Labour benches that Ed Balls remained completely silent throughout. Not so much as a hand gesture. That didn’t stop the PM referencing him – obsessions are hard to let go of – but nor did it mean that there was a question mark over which Ed was the centre of attention this Wednesday lunchtime. That was clear today, it was the one who was losing at PMQs.

PMQsNov23rd

The nadir of the session was when Ed Miliband, stumbling over his words needlessly corrected himself from “quarter of a million” to 250,000 when talking about housebuilding. The caterwauling from the Tory benches was instantaneous and cacophonous. No matter that it was a small error, the kind which in normal life people make all the time, it was seized upon mercilessly by Cameron. The precise words he used escape me, but if I say “maths” “Gordon Brown” “financial crisis” you can probably make up your own. (More merciless still was odious horse-warmer Nadhim Zahawi, who after PMQs suggested that Miliband was experiencing a “nervous breakdown” at PMQs. He wasn’t Nadhim, but you are an terrible worm of a human being if you think that’s an appropriate political attack.).

Of course in depressing Parliamentary fashion, everyone was so focussed on Miliband’s minor linguistic gaffe that they missed Cameron’s palpable falsehood. Cameron claimed that “real wages are rising” – a clear untruth - but no-one picked him up on it. No point of order was called. And the PM was allowed to leave the chamber with the hoots of pleasure from the Tory benches ringing in his ears.

Miliband, meanwhile, was left to leave the chamber wondering whether or not a new, calmer approach to PMQs can be sustained. The answer is a certain no, unless he wants to get used to this losing feeling. A calmer PMQs only works if both sides adopt it. A truce is only a truce if everyone plays ball. You can no more have half a truce that you can be a bit pregnant.

The problem Miliband faces is that he’s not especially good at shouting, yelling and wild gesticulation either. Nearly three and a half years into his time as opposition leader, Miliband still doesn’t seem to have hit upon the right way of performing consistently well – despite some fleeting periods of PMQs-dominance. Regardless of how trivial PMQs has become, that’s still a real concern. And one that needs to be addressed quickly. There are general election debates coming, after all…

  • JoeDM

    Crashed and burned.

    Labour MPs looked glum at the end.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Only 22 guest ‘up’ votes. Have a word Joe.

      PS Only certified trolls get 22 guest ‘up’ votes.

      • Holly

        Maybe Miliband should become a ‘Tory troll’.
        Being ‘himself’ hasn’t done him a lot of good so far.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Meanwhile today’s twice-weekly Populus poll had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9%.

          • Holly

            If Miliband/Labour are so far ahead, at this stage you needn’t worry about folks marking other folks comments up then do you.

            Neither figure is earth-shattering, and IF millions voting suddenly freak out in the polling booth, UKIP might come out with 10%.
            …..It’s a poll.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            In spite of all the garbage you write on here the reality is that, from where we are at the moment, the most likely outcome of the next election is a Labour victory.
            The fact is that Joe now has 57 ‘up’ votes. No other contributor ever comes near getting 57 ‘up’ votes. I’m simply pointing out that it’s a crude and crass put up job by a bunch of trolls

          • Holly

            So you reckon 57 trolls have come onto this site just to mark a comment up?
            Have I marked it up?

            What was that you were saying about garbage?

          • Graemeyh

            I think you need to go to bed and calm down sweetcheeks.

        • Holly

          Where are my other 20 guest ‘up’ votes.

        • Graemeyh

          I think whatever Milliband is, he is a gentlemen. Do you think nasty, personal moments do you or your argument any credit Holly? You may think you are funny but you don’t half come across as unpleasant.

          • Holly

            I do not think I am funny, but Miliband continues to come out with stuff that either, end up being wrong, would be a disaster for investment in this country, or would cost us money we do not have.
            Now I don’t know about you, but I am a bit more ‘picky’ when it comes to who runs the country.
            You, like my other half, think just because I have no trust or faith in Miliband, Balls or Labour, I am automatically going to vote for Cameron…My other half thinks when I slate Cameron for not doing what I expect him to do,(usually over Europe/immigration) I am automatically backing Miliband/Labour.
            BOTH of you are wrong!

            Miliband may indeed be ‘a gentleman’, but that does not give him an automatic right to be Prime Minister when he comes out with costly unworkable policies, that would send the country backwards.
            And posting two consecutive comments, like moaning about pointless ‘up’ votes, stinks of desperation.

        • treborc1

          I do not think Ed is being himself at all, I suspect each time something has been said or he has spoken, I suspect a power group within labour is now in control.

      • Monkey_Bach

        These “votes” you talk about don’t matter and are in a very real sense meaningless. If you log out and clear out your cookies repeatedly you can vote for the same comment over and over, again and again, as a guest. While anonymous guest voting is allowed approval and disapproval registered by “voting” on Labourlist is wholly without worth and I’d forget about it if I were you.

        Eeek.

        (I just quickly hovered my cursor over JoeDM’s votes and, surprise, surprise, every single one of the 66 votes registered at the time of writing these words have been made by guests! So either some cheating is going on or Labourlist has a lot of silent right-wing readers.)

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Whether Ed “wins” or “loses” each week of the PMQs is not really important. My worry is that as with Cameron, he seems incapable of being a great leader of our country at all. This country faces such great challenges that we need a great PM. I do not see such a figure anywhere on the Westminster benches.

      I tried to think of all of the initiatives that Ed has made since has was placed at the head of the Labour Party: predator companies, the mathematically inept myopia over global energy markets, the self-inflicted idiocy of the fight with the union funding and support one year before the general election, the admiration for Hollande weeks before France under socialist policies demonstrably begin to sink another great European nation into further recession. Great events for the media to report, but nothing positive ever comes from them. Now he wants to “woo” the middle class, which is about increasing our spending power by reducing taxes paid and monies spent on benefits. I think the poorest in our society are rather more important than my second holiday.

      He seems to me to be a confused little boy who, when faced with a single binary decision, relentlessly makes the wrong choice. I do not want him to be my Prime Minister, not because he leads the Labour Party, but because I no longer trust his judgement, and do not want him to try his half-thought idiocies on the people of this country.

      I think the same of Cameron.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      36 up votes for a blatant politically biased remark.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      36 up votes for a blatantly politically biased remark?
      You little Tory devils have been busy haven’t you?
      Come on Mark.Do something.

      • Holly

        In the grand scheme of things, it really makes no difference whether the comment was politically biased, or whether you think the mark-up’s are from Tory devils or not.
        The simple truth is, at this point in the election cycle, the comment is about right, at least, a justified verdict on today’s proceedings at PMQ’s. They are also more than likely to be from someone of voting age.

        It is not Mark who has to ‘Do something’, It is Ed Miliband….
        Let’s hope it isn’t something that figures show has started to improve just as Miliband makes a ‘grand speech’ about it, eh.

        • Doug Smith

          Miliband is doing something. The problem is that Cameron is doing almost exactly the same thing so he and Miliband both take the same side of the argument. Their disagreements seem without purchase because they are hardly disagree at all.

          Therefore it all comes down to petty point scoring. The leader who wins isn’t the one with the best argument, the winner is one who delivers the best performance.

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

        Like what? Stop people saying things you don’t like? You’re allowed to visit the Spectator site and post things.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          But the issue is that the bloke has now got 55 ‘up’ votes 47 of these are ‘guest’ votes and some of the other ‘up’ votes are from people who are unknown on Labour List. How many other people on here get 55 ‘up’ votes? Check it out. It’s a set up job.

          • Doug Smith

            If it’s a set up job there’s no need for you to get hot and bothered about it is there?

          • Alexwilliamz

            It’s been tweeted by tory press office, so what do you expect!

          • Graemeyh

            Of course it is Bill. But is how trolls work. JoeDM and some other types post ceaselessly on left wing sites from the Guardian to NS on every subject under the sun – all negative and critical. I think they are trying to create the impression of mass anti Labour sentiment, even on left leaning sites such as this. It seems rather silly and pointless to me, although I have to admit to a spot of “trolling the troll” and commenting on some comments particularly stupid, even by their standards. We should remember the old adage “dont feed the troll”, as I suspect these people, rather get off on controversy. Of course, one day they might grow out of it and get out and do some good in the world – we can always hope. Meanwhile I guess we should feel compassion for them….can’t imagine they are very nice to be around – hence why they spend so much time on here posting, signing in as “guests” (there is a term for that which alludes me) and “upping” themselves and like minded people.

          • JoeDM

            Just spotted this little threadette of posts.

            I simply make observations here and elsewhere.
            Let me make it perfectly clear. I have absolutely no relationship or contact with the Conservative Party and would not want to. But I do have an intense interest in political debate which is why I read and post here.

            Pity about the almost Stalinist ‘if you’re not with us you’re against us’ attitude.

            The idea that non-registered ‘guests’ can vote is rather silly and invites abuse.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Reckon you’ll top 65 ups for this pile of sanctimonious horses**t?

          • Steve Stubbs

            Hear, hear!

          • Monkey_Bach

            Who cares?

            Eeek.

          • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

            Fair point, I thought you were objecting to conservatives visiting and commenting.

        • Graemeyh

          I suppose we could. But why? What’s the point, apart from trying to petty point score and cause discord? Which seems pathetic and ridiculous. Little wonder normal people giving up on politics.

    • Graemeyh

      Well you would say that wouldn’t you? JoeDim can be seen from Gaurdian to Statesman posting day in, day out, trashing Labour and all things left of centre. Must have brought some “friends” with him today!

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        58 friends and counting it seems.

      • Graemeyh

        Oops. Typo…..that should read JoeDm, of course.

  • AB

    I suspect the stumble over quarter of a million/250,000 was because the latter had been deemed by his advisers to sound better in context.

    Perhaps a million houses is hard to visualise so a quarter of a million might sound made up to ordinary people, whereas people can think of a thousand houses and get an intuitive feel for what 250,000 houses would look like.

    It wouldn’t have happened if Miliband had been confident that he had a good clear point to make.Or if he thought his ordinary way of speaking registered with ordinary people.

    • Doug Smith

      But there’s nothing that can be done. New Labour’s control freakery and cultivation of clones has emptied the Labour benches of talent.

      Into the valley of death they must now stumble… and hope for the best.

      • AB

        The worry is that in a year and a half we’ll be being led by these zombie clones.

        • treborc1

          We are being led by them now so would we really know the difference.
          The problem for Miliband he has put himself into this mess by not have set him self real targets.

          Every time the Tories cut something labour says we would do that, or we will go further.

          Welfare a new minister takes over and the first words out of her mouth is Labour will cut further then the Tories, then she has to spend ages telling people well yes but I would also be fair.

          Labour will now carry on with the cuts and the deficit reduction and keep wages down and yet give us all better life.

          It simply does not gel does it

  • kle4

    I suspect the stumble over quarter of a million/250,000 was because the
    latter had been deemed by his advisers to sound better in context.

    That was my thinking too, and as important as minor language changes can be sometimes, it still seems bizarre if they are trying to be that fussy over it. It’s not exactly on the level of ‘Tory-led Coalition’ in terms of effectiveness.

    Fortunately for him, Ed M can still pretty much limp over the finish line with a majority no matter what he does. Well I still think that anyway.

  • John Devon

    real wages are a lagging indicator and ARE probably now (just) rising again, so it’s not a “palpable falsehood”. We will know for sure in a few months.

    • treborc1

      Tell that to the public sector bet they will disagree.

      • John Devon

        It will be unevenly spread, of course, but increases in tax allowances and the minimum wage are helping those at the bottom, while many of those in public sector admin and management roles will get 1% plus their normal increments, if they are not already at the top of the scale. It will be different for different individuals, but we are talking in the aggregate here.
        As I said, we will not know for sure for some months, but that doesn’t mean it’s a “palpable falsehood” to say that real wages may be rising again.

  • glassfet

    You can tell how well it went for Ed Miliband when this article is being Tweeted by the Tory press office

  • rekrab

    It’s ridiculous that Ed Milliband can’t stand up for his shadow chancellor, the trade unions and millions who rely on him to speak on their behalf.

    • GnosticBrian

      Unite put the wrong Milliband into the leader of the opposition’s office and are fast running out of time to rectify their error.

      • rekrab

        I don’t agree with that.
        Ed Miliband is surrounded by the enemy within, when Ed said “he got it” and new labour failed he should have used the re-founding agenda to get rid, the election is lost to any one party forming a majority government, Osborne’s failed plan A means that 2015 will mirror 2010 in terms of budget balancing, 96Bn add on and deeper cuts to come.

        It doesn’t have to be the end for the labour party, it doesn’t have to be an end to fairness for all citizens.

        No one party can be all things to all peoples. Labour has a slight outside chance to regain the crown of being the peoples party by advocating clear and precise alternatives.

        Ed needs to get tough and come off the fence, draw the line and state this is who we are and this is what we want to do.

        • Holly

          Ed needs to get tough…state who we are and this is what we want to do’…
          I thought he had, and it didn’t work.
          I think he has tried umpteen things in the last year, usually just as figures show an improvement, so they have simply turned out to be wrong, too late, or rubbish.

          Please answer the next question HONESTLY..

          How many times do you think the public will ‘forgive him’ for his mis-calculations/predictions, before they decide he’s simply not up to running the country?

          Tick…tock…tick..by the way.

          • rekrab

            Why do you believe I’d answer anything other than honestly?

            Osborne’s failed growth in the first 3 years, all of his OBR forecast were wrong.How many part time jobs have people had to settle for when they want full time jobs?.How many more zero hours contract jobs have been created? all this talk of recovery yet the stimulus remain at 375Bn inflation rate based on CPI was 2.1% in December yet the consumer wasn’t buying because all main supermarkets have posted down-turns.Osborne has told the EU it must change and endorse Osborne-economics or Britain will leave, all that without a single vote being cast at an in/out referendum.

            The clock on the wall says 7.45pm and I think o’ god is the British public really being so duped by this tory mob? they should have realised by now! that there ain’t a” we’re in it all together” recovery. and that’s the truth Olly!

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Blo*dy hell. Never thought I’d say it. Well said Rekrab. The most sensible thing written tonight.

            At the end of the day all these Nay sayers who infest this site and abuse and insult people are simply serving the interests of those who want to keep the Bedroom Tax, who want to allow energy companies to charge whatever they want, who want the wholesale privatisation of the NHS who want our public services run by the likes of G4S and SERCO and who want investment bankers to earn billions in bonuses while the rest of us struggle to get by. At the end of the day behind all the abuse and all the insults they are nothing more than the errand boys of neoliberalism.

          • Holly

            1. Do you know what a 7.2% drop in GDP does to an economy?

            2. Realistically, how long do you reckon climbing back up should take? And then get growth on top?

            3. Not everyone wants to work full-time, and those that do will have a better chance of doing so following the economical path we are on. Not everyone have had pay rises, but that is because they prefered to keep their job, whether part-time or full-time. Businesses kept people in work, which is far better for everyone than what happened in previous downturns.

            4. Zero hours contracts are nothing new, and BOTH left and right use this kind of contract. I do not know how many more of these contracts there are, but if the left do not like or agree with them, then maybe they should stop using them.

            5.Don’t know about stimulus, but inflation is down. People are looking a bit further ahead, still buying stuff, only not as much or cheaper options. They are shopping more wisely. Aldi,Lidl, Sainsbury’s all did well.

            6. Osborne is stating what everyone with half a brain knows is right. Parts of Europe are basket cases, and the more they spend on social stuff, and increase taxes to fund it, the worse things will get. How many European members of the public agree with the set up as it is?

            And when I get that ballot paper in my hand I will be voting OUT. Re-negotiation or not, because being a fully paid up member country, we will slowly but surely, in about twenty years time, we will be back to where we are today. Slowly getting sucked back in. And we will not be able to do anything about it if we vote to stay in.

            7. No one has said the recovery is complete, and with the prospect of wage rises, Personal Allowances going up to £10k in April, the prospect of thousands of new jobs in the private sector, investments from global companies, trainees finishing their training, things are going in the right direction.

            Getting back to levels before the crash, via the private sector is a much better way than via the state sector and all the added costs to the taxpayer that entails in future years.

            We will ALWAYS have a public sector, and it will ALWAYS be funded by the private sector. You can not have a public sector without a private sector to fund it, and it makes perfect sense that the sector that generates the wealth(private) should ALWAYS be bigger than the sector(public) that it funds.

            Who am I going to vote for…
            As it stands today…NONE OF THE ABOVE.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Oh yeah that’s right, everything is great. The government is doing a wonderful job, Cameron is lovely and Osborne is fantastic- what a pile of cr*p!

          • Holly

            I did not say everything is great, or that the government is doing a great job, I simply stated facts, that things are going in the right direction.
            I must admit I am a fan of Osborne, his facial expressions are brilliant. Especially when directed at Balls, during his reply to the Autumn Statement…That’s politics for you.
            Can’t remember a word that was said by either bod, but their faces said it all…One laughing the other beetroot.

            Now please go and have a cup of tea.
            When you have to start using *’s, it is time for a break.

            See you tomorrow.

          • rekrab

            When the tory government of 1979 to 1997 left office it had a borrowing rate of 47% against GDP, In 2008 and the world wide banking crash instigated by Lehman Brother and Northern rock borrowing against GDP for the Uk was 43%, 4% less than the last tory government, which gave some important mitigation against the worse effects.

            Your simply asking the accumulated ladder climbers on one ladder to take a step down, with those who can least afford it at the bottom end of the ladder to take a step deeper into the rising water. remember your cutting away services that wont see the light of day again and your trying to justify it by saying that the lack of a safety net for those that will step below the waterline doesn’t matter? well Holly, creating a massive private sector will burst just like the housing one that caused all this mess in the first place, it wasn’t the poor, nor the jobless that started this world wide recession.

            But over one million and half want to work full time but have been forced to take part time and pay cuts.

            But those zero hours contract are growing, when people need 5 day a week jobs to keep the wolf from the door.

            If you freeze wages for six years and you ask people to pay a bedroom tax even if their on benefits then the consumer spends less, so the price of goods rise because the demand is shortened.Basic economic sense tells us that.

            Osborne, thinks he’s a one man island, by heck I wish we could cast him off to some desert island, in all seriousness, Europe is the only game in town which can keep a sense of prospective in terms of growth and standards of living, if we want to trade with Asia alone then low paid, poor economics is where we will be in the future, we’re already heading down the low wage economy route.

            You’ll have the right to vote which ever way you chose? but will there ever be such a referendum? Cameron has history on dropping his promises, especially on Europe.

            Cameron and Osborne have said that they’ve created more than 1 million new jobs but what type of new jobs are they? Osborne is bragging that inflation is at 2% but people don’t seem to be spending any more? The 10k allowance is off set by a reduction in tax credit some people will be £3,000 GBP worse off.

            It’s about doing the correct things for all of our society, not about a single ideology about private is best? that’s just childish.

            Well, what’s left? the NHS which is being privatised by the day? the wealth of a nation is created by all it’s people for we are all consumers and spenders.

            Such political views but no commitment to vote? sounds a bit odd.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Hopefully the same as they might do for dc and his side quick laughing george. That should lead to a massive labour majority.

          • Holly

            ???

        • GnosticBrian

          Whistling in the dark may soothe your nerves, but it will not change anything.

      • treborc1

        I’m already confused now with Blue labour, Purple labour , bring back David and you will have to keep telling me which one is Tory, which is Tory lite and who the feck Clegg is.

    • John Smith

      #SaveEdBalls

      • rekrab

        Without the hash-tag!

        If we are a nation that endorses democracy and our nation seems split some 50/50 on Europe, then a referendum on continuation seems the proper democratic line to take.

  • swatnan

    Ed can be a right plonker at times. Play it dead boring Ed, and get PMQs over in double quick time. Let our MPs do the incisive pentrating and Dave bashing questions. PMQs have to be a Labour Team effort. Dave is always going to have the last word, and you’re never going to come out on top. And that bit about being like the French??? Don’t you know that Hollande is a loser and adulteror? Ally yourself to the winning ways of Angela Merkel. Or be more like Estelle Morris and admit you’re not up to it.

    • treborc1

      But of course the French have never minded a bit of love on the side, the issue for the French leader is he now following the Tories not the socialist, with massive cuts to the bottom to benefit the top.

  • John Smith

    This is why the two Ed’s must stay in position until June 2015

  • Bill Quango MP

    He needs to get back to his central economic platform.
    He should go back to pointing out that some things cost more then other things and some peole have more of the things that cost more than other things than other people do,.

  • Graemeyh

    One would hope for better in a democracy but frankly Ed Milliband needs to take gloves off and go straight for Cameron, week after week.

  • Holly

    Chuckled at that.

    • reformist lickspittle

      You are very easily amused, then. But that does not surprise me.

  • reformist lickspittle

    But who cares?

    Why did such a minor, trivial thing deserve such a hysterical (in every sense) reaction from the thugs on the Tory benches??

    No wonder politics is in such poor repute amongst so many.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Miliband is never going to shine at PMQs which seems anyway to have degenerated into a raucous disorder which reflects badly on all concerned. It was kind of rich for Cameron to pull Miliband up about numeric confusion when you consider that the Prime Minister himself has made more quantitative gaffes in respect to statistics than anyone appointed to that office in history but there you go. We have now reached the stage where opponents always punch below the belt and try to land low blows whenever the opportunity presents itself and the character and quality of Members of Parliament, on both sides of the House, leave much to be desired.

    Modern politicians, in general, today, really are a sorry lot.

    I see not one single, solitary, shining light amongst them.

    Eeek.

    • Doug Smith

      Double ‘eeek’ to that.

  • treborc1

    yep like the poorest are claiming to much benefits the people that matter are not paid enough hence MP’s need a £7500 pay rise, while people working for the public sector need to have a cut as they get to much.

  • poppy2009

    Miliband went down bad, asked two questions then had to sit down and compose
    himself for the next two questions, this time acting more irate. He has shown
    he does not come across as a potential leader fit enough to run a country, plus
    his friend Balls not a word or a hand signal in sight very quiet usually he is full on.
    If this is the new Miliband then we sure are in trouble if elected in by default,
    because of the boundaries which labour fixed and stayed in with the help of the Lib/Dems not surprising when the present situation of the polls shows a Labour
    lead with Nick Clegg warming up to Balls and Labour just so they can still be in
    power.

  • Pingback: PMQs verdict: There’s no such thing as half a truce, Ed | Investors Europe Interns

  • Nicholas Poulcherios

    Ed. Milband! Now there is a promise and most of you are missing it. I saw a PM in waiting on a mus previous PMQs Give a clue…No! we will not act like this from now on. We will do things differently…………… What was the current PM doing…moving around in hysterical fugue abroed at home like a headless chicken.. The following day the papers mostly owned by a foreigner, literally ate him, for daring to say No! for the tight reasons. We have no foreign policy now or own anything in Britain any mote. Here is a Man, who said the mistakes of the past 3 years ago and turned the page to move on. Get it into your heads we move ON!.The Labour Party does reform and pick up the pieces. The Conservatives have not changed one iota. the took us back to 1938!. Think of the wonderful effect the NHS had on all of us!. Socialism with fairness and justice is the bestway out of the mess Capitalism and greedy banks inflicted on us …and yes and yes! again thank God there was Gordon Brown and the Labour party, to rescue ME and others, and Not a Conservative Party to make us suffer the financial abominations we had suffered inder the late Mrs. Thatcher, who sold most of the Council houses build my Labour to Private Housing Associations.. For the love of ONE NATION! turned the page and look forward. I personally will vote Ed.Miliband, for a Socialist fair and just British ALL-TOGETHERNESS.! We can do it together.! Ta very much!. .

  • Nicholas Poulcherios

    That is all I can do for today . I must get on with my college work. Thank you.

Latest

  • Featured Polling Jowell retakes lead in Labour London Mayor poll – but race is still wide open

    Jowell retakes lead in Labour London Mayor poll – but race is still wide open

    The Evening Standard have released their latest polling in the race for Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Once again, Tessa Jowell maintains her lead amongst all voters, with 12% (up one point since the last poll a month ago) and Diane Abbott remains second with 8%, down one from last month. Doreen Lawrence receives 6%, David Lammy, Sadiq Khan and Andrew Adonis are tied on 4%, while Christian Wolmar, included in the poll for the first time (despite being the only […]

    Read more →
  • News Has anyone seen this missing Tory candidate?

    Has anyone seen this missing Tory candidate?

    Conservatives in Southampton Itchen have hit upon a unique way of publicising their candidate for next year’s election: they’ve started asking if anyone has seen him. Setting up social media accounts titled “Where’s Royston?”, the local party has started dragging around a cardboard cut-out of candidate Royston Smith and asking if anyone has seen him, presumably not realising that this highlights the absence of the actual candidate. Understanding that attempting to run an election campaign with a reluctant candidate might […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Tories attack Miliband because they’ve got no decent policies

    The Tories attack Miliband because they’ve got no decent policies

    As the 2015 general election approaches, it is becoming more obvious by the day what the Tory strategy is: there are no new ideas, policies will continue much as they are now, with the emphasis on denigrating Labour proposals and the Labour leader. If Labour announces details to increase income or corporation tax, Tories are ready to pounce. The Tory propaganda machine has successfully convinced the more gullible that somehow the Labour government’s spending on schools and hospitals caused the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured McBride back to attack a Labour leader? Old habits die hard

    McBride back to attack a Labour leader? Old habits die hard

    Stop the presses: the paperback edition of Damian McBride’s aptly named memoir Power Trip has been published. And if there’s one thing the Labour Party didn’t need nine months before an election, it was more McBride – and the accompanying extensive extract in the Daily Mail. When the book was originally released, it was pushed as McBride trying to atone for his sins, without asking for forgiveness. However, it soon became clear that it was more a “mea culpa, mea culpa, […]

    Read more →
  • News The Choice on the NHS – read the full text of Andy Burnham’s speech

    The Choice on the NHS – read the full text of Andy Burnham’s speech

    When people look back, this could turn out to be no ordinary summer for the NHS. In just over two weeks, a group of mums from Darlington will set out from the North East, retracing the steps of the Jarrow marchers. The People’s March for the NHS aims to raise awareness about, in their words, “the Government’s assault on our most prized possession”. It remains to be seen whether it catches the public mood. But I think it might. There […]

    Read more →