Don’t blame it on the bacon

May 26, 2014 2:30 pm

If no-one else is prepared to say what we are apparently all thinking then I will: we need a public inquiry into bacon buttie-gate.

We need to know whether Ed’s chewing style had been signed off by the campaign chiefs and why key members of the shadow cabinet were excluded from his choice of snack.

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And while we are at it, let’s have a truth and reconciliation committee established over the peas-in-a-pod poster. That way the guilty men can confess their sins and be publicly forgiven by those whose hands are clean.

Not only will these public rituals explain the dip in our poll ratings, it will give us a clear road map for victory in 2015. And most of all it will generally make us all feel a lot better about ourselves.

Or alternatively we could stop this madness and get a grip.

I mean, come on. You do not need to be enthused by every part of the campaign to realise it is pretty unwise to take to the airwaves to tear strips off it before the votes have even been counted (and certainly while activists were still pounding the streets to win people over before polling day).

We all know we have to raise our game after this. And we should debate how.

But the fire we have trained on ourselves over the past couple of weeks can hardly be described as constructive. It certainly hasn’t been friendly.

Firstly, excessive focus on the nuts and bolts of the local election campaign will crowd out consideration of the deeper factors that have pushed many into the arms of a party who would decimate their lives if they ever got chance to govern. A sharp operation to expose Ukip must be part of our future campaigning, but we really are doomed to fail if we think that is the magic bullet.

Secondly, every moment we spend publicly flogging our own lets the Tories off the hook at a time when they are in huge trouble. This is a governing party whose senior MPs are publicly pleading for an electoral pact with a party that has no MPs at all, and being humiliatingly rebuffed. We should be mercilessly exposing this farce instead of assembling the traditional circular firing squad.

But most of all, concluding that these results stem from a poster, an election broadcast and a badly eaten bacon sandwich risks insulting voters in a way they will not forget. This is a dangerous moment for politics in Britain; it is not the moment to ignore or belittle the angry cry from voters telling us they are deeply sick of politics as usual. People want to be convinced that the mainstream parties can offer genuine hope for a better future; we gravely over-estimate the power of our election tools in the short campaign if we think they are responsible for failing to win them over.

The great reason for optimism is that Labour is the only party seriously engaged in working out answers to the big long term issues the country faces.

There is so much more to do, but we can win back trust and win the general election. We face a bad government that has let down those who voted for it and does not deserve a second term.

So let’s make sure we spend every moment thinking about how we realise that opportunity to win rather than using pork products to settle internal scores.

John Woodcock is the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness

  • http://www.wesstreeting.org Wes Streeting

    Spot on, John!

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  • Rex Hale

    Who is seriously blaming our poor results on the pr screw ups last week? Nobody. It’s an absurd proposition. Do you think labour supporters are idiots?

    • Major Plonquer

      Yes, Labour supporters are idiots. Ipso facto, they must be. They’ll vote again for the very same party that bareface lied to us about Iraq, sold our gold at the bottom of the market and thoroughly trashed the economy. Let’s give them another go to “abolish boom and bust”? Must be idiots.

  • http://theknifeandme.wordpress.com/ The Knife

    “The great reason for optimism is that Labour is the only party seriously
    engaged in working out answers to the big long term issues the country
    faces.”

    You can’t really mean that. It’s pointless hubristic nonsense. Compare a self-obsessed twerp like Chuka with IDS, or even Farage, and you instantly see why it’s both false AND a cul de sac electorally. Hubris tends to be followed by nemesis.

    The errors in identifying Labour’s failure to which you refer in your article are just compounded by making a crass claim like this. Your opponents are just as ‘seriously engaged’, even if you don’t agree with their policies.

    • David Lewis

      Yes I rather agree with this. It is voter perception that counts rather than policies necessarily. The voters see the same faces on the opposition benches and remember the past and associate it with them..

      They look at Ed Miiband and Ed Balls, remember and and take a view.

      This is why I think the Tories for whom I did not vote will get a clear majority

      • David Lewis

        In addition, they hear Miliband expounding the same embarrassing childish slogans over and over again and wonder perhaps whether he is talking to them and if so, perhaps getting a little cross with him.

    • Monkey_Bach
      • http://theknifeandme.wordpress.com/ The Knife

        Yup, that IDS. He is sincere and attempting to tackle a fundamental problem. You might disagree with him, but compare that to Chuka, Sadiq etc, all opportunists with few signs of principle. Sorry. If you don’t get this you’ll continue to wallow in solipsistic misery

        • Frankie D.

          “He is sincere and attempting to tackle a fundamental problem.” The problem being that George Smith, (his real name), thinks there are too many poor people alive.

          • Mouch

            Oh please. You really believe he thinks there are too many poor people?

            You don’t have to agree with his policies, but you can see the guy is sincere in reforming benefits for positive reasons. And it wouldn’t need fixing if we hadn’t let it go so out of hand in the first place.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Many people believe that IDS has inadvertently sent many people on sickness benefits to an early grave by cutting their income and because of extreme harassment by Atos and similar which worsens their conditions and prematurely end their lives. At the moment the DWP are refusing to release statistics that will prove/disprove these suspicions and are actively suppressing reports in respect to other programmes, e.g., Universal Credit, despite being ordered to release these reports to the public by the Information Commissioner. Moves are currently under way to force the DWP to make public this information as ordered. Once the information is extant the full extent of the horror will be known.

            If all is well what has the DWP got to hide?

            Eeek.

          • Major Plonquer

            Benefits are not income. They’re transfer payments. Income rewards work and success. Benefits, in many cases, reward sloth and failure.

          • Monkey_Bach

            I kind of think, based on your moniker, that you are a joker. Considering I was writing about sick and disabled people who are UNABLE to work it’s difficult you could be quite so stupid as to write what you did unless you were being satirical.

            Eeek.

          • LeeMatthews

            “Many people believe that IDS has inadvertently sent many people on sickness benefits to an early grave”.
            Does this have medical proof or is it just speculation by people who dissagree?

          • Monkey_Bach

            Evidence most certainly exists but is being deliberately withheld by the DWP, which has fought tooth and nail to keep its skeletons well buried. Once this information has been made public the public will finally be in a position to pass judgement: there are several actions going on in courts and elsewhere seeking to get this information released right now.

            Eeek.

          • Mouch

            I’m sure many people do believe it. And I’m sure that that the tests have been a contributory factor in some people’s distress. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. (I’d like to read about the DWP having refused to release the statistics – the last I heard the Information Commissioner rejected the FOI request as vexatious)

            Notwithstanding, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reduce the number of people on benefits. Clearly the execution of the policy may not be correct sometimes, but to my mind the intent behind the policy is morally sound – for the country financially and for people trapped in a benefits system that sucks the life out of them.

            And the statistics make for interesting reading don’t they – approximately 900,000 chose to come off sickness benefit ahead of the tests! I wonder how many more are on benefits they’re not really entitled to, but try to blag the test?

            So, Monkey my friend, I read a great deal about what you don’t agree with, but not a lot about what you would have done to get the 900k people off those benefits they weren’t entitled to.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Like so many others you seem to have been completely sucked in by Tory secrets and lies. For example the 900,000 people, you mention, who supposedly “came off benefit” before undergoing the bogus Work Capability Assessment never existed outside of a lie promulgated by Grant Shapps!

            (The actual number turned out to be 20,000, a figure forty five times smaller than that quoted.)

            http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/30/grant-shapps-benefit-reform-watchdog-uksa-_n_3357945.html#

            This government lies with every other sentence and you need to be more discriminating.

            An unintelligent delusional liar and charlatan like IDS should not be head of the DWP.

            If you want to find out about the real IDS I would suggest to acquaint yourself with some of the articles on the following site, many of which are written by the man who took the DWP to Tribunal in order to try to force the release of some of the data it has been hiding.

            http://mikesivier.wordpress.com

            Eeek.

          • Monkey_Bach

            Actually 900,000 people didn’t come of benefits ahead of Work Capability Tests 20,000 did. The 900,000 figure was a LIE, i.e., a forty-five fold or 4,500% exaggeration of the true figure, put about by Grant Shapps, who got he had his knuckles rapped later for abusing statistics by the statistics watchdog. I included a link in an earlier moderated post (missing in action) to enable you to corroborate my statement here for yourself.

            This kind of distortion of the facts is par for the course for the coalition.

            The fact a British government persistently lies like this about such important matters is extraordinary.

            If my other posting makes it out of moderation check out the couple of links included.

            Eeek.

          • Frankie D.

            If he was sincere, he’d listen to people who actually knew something about anything, rather than pulling ideas out of his arse and thinking his “beliefs” trump anything.

          • Mouch

            People like you Frankie? Please tell us something about anything. You could start with what you would do to reduce the benefits bill that Labour allowed to get out of control.

        • Monkey_Bach

          If I need open heart surgery I would expect a properly qualified, highly skilled and extremely intelligent cardiac surgeon to carry out the procedure aided by a team of similarly gifted and experienced medical professionals. I would not want to be operated on by an unqualified idiot with no knowledge in respect to what he was doing. If I wanted the welfare state reformed I would look to somebody with a proven breadth of intellect, some modern equivalent of William Beveridge, a great scholar who was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied Mathematics and Classics, obtaining a First in both, before going on to study Law. Iain Duncan Smith, on the other hand, is by any definition an undistinguished failure in every regard, a man rejected as Conservative Party leader by his own Conservative MPs, who couldn’t even complete one single undergraduate degree at a recognised university, and who later was inspired to lie about and disguise the paucity of his academic achievements, presumably because he harboured feelings of profound inadequacy and deepest inferiority.

          IDS has been exposed umpteen time as a profoundly stupid liar.

          And as far as IDS and principles go, well, don’t make me laugh.

          Putting such a dishonest idiot in charge of any programme of welfare reform (rather than a latter day Beveridge) leads me to conclude that David Cameron and many other members of the current cabinet must be a birds of a feather with Iain Duncan Smith.

          Eeek.

          • Mouch

            Jeez Monkey, I really hope it is ‘enough said’.

            Please pause for breath – you really do ramble on.

          • Monkey_Bach

            You have a point. But one of the main reasons I will be voting Labour in 2015 is in hopes of ending Iain Duncan Smith’s political career before he can do even more harm. And I sincerely hope that next time his twitching corpse will stay dead and never again rise from the grave.

            Eeek.

          • Mouch

            If its not IDS, then it will only be picked up by a Labour person. You may not like the policy, but the problem still has to be addressed. Would you feel strongly if it has Andy Burnham trying to bring down the benefits bill?

      • GnosticBrian

        How high does IDS’s embellishment of his academic “achievements” rate on your scale of lies? And how high does the Labour Government’s pack of lies that took us into an illegal war of aggression rank; the Labour party’s lie that it would not introduce tuition fees; the Lib Dems’ lie that they would not increase tuition fees; the Tories’ broken cast iron referendum pledge? I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Little wonder that so many people cannot stand politicians from ANY of the mainstream parties! [And I very much doubt that UKIP will prove to be any better in the long run]

        • Monkey_Bach

          There are indeed few honest politicians but when a politician is singled out and selected to hold up as a gold standard he/she ought to be an accomplished, or at least a principled, or at the very least an honest individual, none of which is true as far as Iain Duncan Smith is concerned.

          Which is my point.

          Eeek.

          • GnosticBrian

            Pyrite – fool’s gold!

          • Monkey_Bach

            Iain Duncan Pyrites. Fair dos. Eeek.

    • John Smith

      The lack of policy is a hinderance

  • SonofBoudica

    It’s kind of ironic. He said (in Israel) that he wants to be Britain’s ‘first Jewish Prime Minister’. Then he is undone by trying and failing to eat a bacon sandwich. You couldn’t make this up.

    • reformist lickspittle

      Can’t you take your predictable and worthless trolling elsewhere?

      • Generian

        The truth is Trolling? Strange alternative universe you inhabit.

        • reformist lickspittle

          26 “guest votes”, I see.

          Absolutely nothing suspect about that, no sirree ;)

      • SonofBoudica

        So you think it is not true?

    • Gabrielle

      Miliband’s heritage is Jewish, but he was brought up with no religion – therefore it’s never been an issue for him if he eats pork or other non-kosher food.

      His mother was brought up as a Catholic (she was rescued by Christians, that’s how she survived the Holocaust), hence the reason she’s called Marion (a Christian name).

    • Monkey_Bach

      I thought Miliband was an atheist and would be disappointed if he turned out to be religious.

      Eeek.

      • Chas999

        Miliband is an atheist and Disraeli was a was an Anglican. But they are both Jewish.

        • Monkey_Bach

          What a relief. I couldn’t care less what Miliband’s ancestry is ethnoreligiously only that he bases his politics on humanist principles and doesn’t “do God”.

          Eeek.

      • roger

        Didn’t you see the photo of him and Netanyahu ?, he lost my vote immediately.

        • Monkey_Bach

          I have to admit that I didn’t. Was bloodthirsty Netanyahu also photographed gorging himself on something not kosher?

          Eeek.

    • paulthorgan

      “He said (in Israel) that he wants to be Britain’s ‘first Jewish Prime Minister’.

      He can’t be. That was Benjamin Disraeli. A Tory, by the way.

      • reformist lickspittle

        Who converted to Christianity as a boy.

        As he never made the slightest secret about.

        • paulthorgan

          True but irrelevant.

      • SonofBoudica

        Yes, his knowledge of history is dodgy but it shows that although he claims to be atheist he feels Jewish.

  • Jeff Evans

    Shouldn’t that be a judge-led inquiry?

  • Doug Smith

    “we can win back trust”

    Somehow I don’t think the electorate is going to forget Labour’s disastrous wars and the financial crisis in a hurry.

    But perhaps you’re intending to administer a compulsory dose of nepenthe to the electorate?

    • Gabrielle

      Blair asked parliament’s assent to invade Iraq, and a very large number of Labour MPs voted against it. Blair had to rely on Tory MPs to get the vote through.

      The financial crisis was a global one that started with the coke-fuelled boys on Wall Street. And incidentally, before the crisis, Cameron and Osborne wanted the banks to be further deregulated.

      History will show that Darling and Brown actually prevented things being much worse – we were facing a situation where people would have lost their savings and the ATMs would have stopped working.

      But carry on believing the Tory lies if it makes you feel better.

      • Doug Smith

        It is not enough for a number of MPs to vote against Blair’s betrayal of UK armed forces and then carry on as usual. They should have resigned their seats and forced by-elections, standing again as anti-war Labour candidates.

        There’s an interesting video on youtube by Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize winning economist. His argument is very compelling. It’s titled: “Joseph Stiglitz: Iraq War Caused the Great Recession”. Perhaps you should watch it.

      • Major Plonquer

        Greetings from a reader in China. I’m neither Labour nor Tory. But what I can say is that you’re barking mad, matey, if you believe even half of what you’ve written. We had exactly the same global crisis here in China. So did Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and many other countries. But we all weathered the storm because our governments behaved like adults. Brown was a clown. Period. He and your party didn’t understand even simple macroeconomics and it sure sound like you still haven’t learned.

  • reformist lickspittle

    This reads like an attempt to save the job of a certain person.

    No, not Ed (who is still safe as houses, especially now the media have moved onto Clegg – who really DID have a disaster on Thursday) but our supposed campaign supremo, Douglas “Dougal” Alexander.

    His record is one of failure after failure after failure after failure.

    He has to go – now.

    • Doug Smith

      Quite correct. The Butty Stunt should be a sackable offence.

      • Gabrielle

        The disastrous Butty Stunt should be a sackable offence.

        Was it a stunt, though? I know Miliband was at the flower market to talk about making loans to small businesses easier, but I don’t think he expected his eating a sandwich was going to be the centrepiece.

        • LeeMatthews

          Maybe not a stunt, but would he normally stop for a sandwich in the middle of a walkabout, or did someone suggest that it would be good to see Ed eating a “bacon sarnie” at a market. If that had worked the next photo would have been of him behind a stall shouting “get yer flowers eer, pand ah bunch”

    • Gabrielle

      I quite like ‘Wee Dougie’, although have to admit he’s not been very impressive.

      I wonder if his rise through the ranks was because Brown saw him as a sort of mini-me, not least because both their fathers were clergymen. I wonder if he’s still close to Brown, on the quiet.

      • Major Plonquer

        His performance is so crap he should change his name from “Wee Dougie” to “Poop Dougie”.

    • John Smith

      One like’s wee Duggie

  • Gerald Allen

    At last a post that is seeing that all is not lost after the local and Euro elections. No one in their right senses doesn’t realise that there is no room for complacency and that a lot of hard work still has to be done, but those of us that were flogging our guts out the last couple of weeks don’t need MPs from the Progress wreckers running to the yellow press and media to tell them about Ed’s voice and looks .Milliband is my MP so I am not too far away from Rotherham or Bassetlaw and I don’t think I am too far off in thinking that the success of UKIP is down to the aftermath of the grooming scandal that involved members of the Asian community, particularly when the EDF have been campaigning and recruiting in the Rotherham area, and if UKIP was so successful in Rotherham why did their campaign not spill over into neighbouring Sheffield with a far larger Asian/Islamic population, or even Doncaster, which is Millibands constituency area and with a larger Asian/Islamic population and not too far away from John Manns Bassetlaw constituency. Hopefully John Mann will be pouring all his efforts into working for a Labour victory in Newark(his neighbouring constituency and hopefully a 3 way marginal due to UKIP’s success in the polls.
    Is it only me that has noticed that seeing that the economy is booming(not round here though or, as I suspect, in many other parts of the country)how come the Tories are getting such a kicking, particularly in London, Cambridge, Crawley Amber Vale etc? places that swung so heavily to the Tories in 2010..

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  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    He seems as impressive as Francois Hollande.

    Is there enough time left to find someone competent, or is he the best that Labour has?

  • John Smith

    More Labour infighting bring it on. Keep RedEd, he is great
    Also no policies will be a winner

    • reformist lickspittle

      To most people out there, “Beaker” is (LibDem) Danny Alexander.

      You do know this, don’t you??

      • Major Plonquer

        Really? How much did Alexander pay for his nose?

        • reformist lickspittle

          Again, que?

  • paulthorgan

    “The great reason for optimism is that Labour is the only party seriously
    engaged in working out answers to the big long term issues the country
    faces.”

    Labour is sitting around thinking what they would do if they get in power and they think they should get credit for doing that.

    Big. Deal.

    They are currently keeping very secret what that would be, apart fro ordering businesses around, taxing people more than they are at present and doling out gifts paid for by others to their supporters.

    Parties are not elected for being ‘seriously engaged in working things out’. Previous Labour governments have had the luxury of borrowing and taxation to fund their ridiculous policies and electoral bribes. The money has run out this time. Labour has no answers.

    It is simply not credible to keep policies a secret until the last month before an election, the date of which is already known. At present Labour has no credible policies. It is the party of White Dee.

    • Monkey_Bach

      What is White Dee?

      Eeek.

      • gunnerbear

        White Dee is the benefits scrounger on Benefits Street.

        • Monkey_Bach

          White Dee is a person then? A member of the Labour Party (according to paulthorgan above) who appeared in a TV show on commercial television called Benefits Street? I remember the name of the show and that there was a bit of fuss in the papers about it when it was broadcast. No wonder the name didn’t ring a bell. Candidly I’m not much amused by staged and semi-scripted reality TV shows like The Only Way is Essex, Made in Chelsea, The Valleys, Geordie Shore, or Benefits Street and tend to sedulously avoid them.

          Eeek.

  • CountofBritain

    “The great reason for optimism is that Labour is the only party seriously engaged in working out answers to the big long term issues the country faces.”

    With less than a year to the next general election they should have worked out the answers already and be spending the time telling people what a Labour Britain would look like. Instead we keep getting the endless “triangualtions” trying to appeal to every special interest group on the planet and sound like a bunch of policy wonks on an empowerment workshop away-day.

    5 simple things we WILL do:

    1. Scrap HS2 – there’s no money (remember) and what money there is needs spending on small-scale improvements across the whole network to deliver jobs & improvements NOW – not theoretical ones on 20 years time (which would also be over-budget BTW).

    2. Scrap back-door privatisation of the NHS, get rid of commissioning & competition in secondary care, make the local hospital the heart of the local health community and invest in making A&E the one-stop shop. Right now the NHS resembles TESCO building an out-of-town centre which then spends all it’s time trying to make shoppers use the convenience store 5 miles away. If you want “competition & choice” – break the GP monopoly so people can see any GP they like – that will do far more to improve access than spending money we haven’t got.

    3. Cut the overseas Aid Budget by £10 billion a year, only give aid in direct emergencies, stop giving money to countries with nuclear weapons & space programmes.

    4. Scrap Trident and spend the money improving conventional defences, more submarines, ships, aircraft, troops & tanks. Since nuclear weapons cannot be un-invented by all means keep a nuclear development capability – but CASD hasn’t prevented a single attack on this country since the day we got it.

    5. Continue with benefit and wage reform so that those who have paid in and those he need it can get it, but are expected to do voluntary work in the community in return and that those in work get a living wage so they don’t need benefits in the first place. Make all companies pay proper taxes in the UK.

    • keith

      and Immigration ?, Railway nationalisation ? Tax credit reform to make multi-nationals pay a living wage, cutting green subsides so the poor don’t fill the pockets of the energy companies, introduction of a health board made up of health professionals from unions, nurses, consultants and doctors, who receive the health budget and they make the spending decisions take it away from politics, third runway at Heathrow, 50 less MPs in parliament, scrapping the house of lords (please Ed no more appointees unless it 10,000 who will vote its abolition, a British bill of rights and get out of the European one, amalgamation of government departments (sorry less jobs for the boys and girls on the front bench), no more powers to a Scottish parliament unless there is a cut in the Barnet formula (I can here the squeals north of the border now), Get Fracking to secure our energy independence, Tax Multi -Nationals properly, just a few for Mr Cruddas to think about

      • roger

        Sorry, fracking is a subsidy scam that like the ‘carbon trading’ scam does nothing for British energy security.

        • keith

          not one penny of government money is given to fracking companies, but foreign owned energy companies have signed agreements to supply offshore wind at three times the going rate guaranteed for 10 years and onshore wind is twice the going priced guaranteed for 10 years, and when the wind stops blowing, you need gas. governments of both colours have been responsible for the lack of capacity in our energy systems, and our energy storage capacity, we can only store enough gas to keep the country going for six weeks, Germany has 9 months storage, no new gas fired power stations built in the last 10 years and nuclear no one can remember that far back when the last one was built, self reliance will give us the freedom from worrying about foreign supply’s

        • keith

          oh i forgot the carbon trading scam was set up by the paragon of virtue the European commission

    • Jack

      And which of those are Socialist policies!?

  • politicalnewbie

    Hi. As a newcomer to this site who came across it via another site (guardian), it’s worth pointing out the following. Bacon sandwiches don’t matter. John (who I’ve never heard of) is right but he’s not offering a solution. The problem is Labour have not done anywhere near enough to a) voice those not happy with politics as normal; b) spent far too much time electing a leader and letting the Tories get away with setting a narrative that all the economic problems were Labour’s fault; c) offer no serious alternative – looks like a 35% strategy – no vision to engage non party people; d) address the concerns of ordinary people who aren’t happy with the way the world is going and feel no one is listening to them; e) not tackling all the mistakes this government is making head on – just count the number of you turns head on. And if you want trust, don’t stick with Ed Balls – move him somewhere else. Is it really that hard?

    • Guest

      “Bacon sandwiches don’t matter.” Really?

      • reformist lickspittle

        You can get an unflattering pic of anybody if you try hard enough.

        You do know this – don’t you??

        • Doug Smith

          But only an inept Labour Party campaign team invites the media along to ensure unflattering pics receive nationwide attention.

        • Major Plonquer

          Yes, but “anybody” didn’t pay a lot of money for that nose.

          • reformist lickspittle

            What?

  • Chas999

    Perhaps it’s because you don’t have a single credible policy. Fixing the price of rent and electricity will win you about 6 votes and does not add up to a programme of reform. “The great reason for optimism is that Labour is the only party seriously engaged in working out answers to the big long term issues the country faces.” I assume this was said ironically, and it is really quite funny.

  • reformist lickspittle

    And who enabled pictures to be posted in these comments, anyway?

    All it has done is provided (entirely predictable) mischief for tiresome trolls.

  • Ordovici

    You just know that Ed Miliband spent most of his formative years playing Dungeons and Dragons

  • Grouchy Oldgit

    Dumb stunt designed in response to Farage’s beer swilling but painfully obvious this is not his snack of choice. Being a geek is not a major issue – if you get the policies right, but so blatantly pretending to be something you’re not really is coz voters won’t know where the pretence ends. For better or worse Ed will lead Labour in 2015, better to fire the PR gurus and be yourself.

  • Peter Inman

    The Labour party, at present, is failing to identify with it’s traditional voters, and who can blame them for fleeing Labour. Ed talks the talk – his policies make sense in an ideal world based on sensible, left wing ambitions. The problem is, who will walk the walk with him? Labour’s targeted voters are a world away from the metropolitan, sound bitten agenda of the present shadow cabinet. It feels like we are market testing policy to ‘the people’ e.g. – the ill thought out ‘freezing of energy bills’. And now, the ‘real people’ have already voted for ‘the man down the pub’, who is giving them simple answers to complex questions. What we have to get across to the electorate is that we are a modern Britain, facing the enormous challenges of globalisation but in the envious position of having the multicultural make up to succeed in this environment. Britain is great – by default of its diversity. Every country in the world has it’s representatives living on this soil and Labour is the party best placed to lead this country back onto the world’s negotiating table, with Europe, firm in hand.

  • swatnan

    Definitely wasn’t kosher; not the done thing.
    Ed should stick to chicken nuggets, and stop putting people off.

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  • Mouch

    As I have already said Monkey, I can see what you don’t agree with (and I have some sympathy with your views), but I still don’t know what you, Monkey-Bach, would actually do to reduce the number of people on benefits and the associated costs. And please don’t tell me you’d create growth and jobs, because the last Labour administration did that and the numbers on incapacity benefit rose from 1m to 2.8m.

    Part of my problem with some of the postings on this subject and others on LL is that many shout in left wing, self-righteous indignation about how unfair things are and how the Tory (pantomime) villains are wicked and evil, but I don’t hear them say what they would to address the problem – particularly when there isn’t the money anymore to throw at the problem.

    So it will be interesting to see how you and others on LL react to a Labour government (if they win) that has to follow through on these tough love policies because it is clear to many of us that they will have to.

    I have to confess that sometimes I wonder whether some Labour MPs are secretly glad the Tories are doing the dirty work so they don’t have to.

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  • News Maria Eagle and Sadiq Khan slam Tory inaction on air pollution

    Maria Eagle and Sadiq Khan slam Tory inaction on air pollution

    Almost 30,000 people a year die due to poor air quality in our towns and cities, according to Shadow Environment Maria Eagle. Along with Shadow London Minister Sadiq Khan, Eagle today launched a campaign against the Government’s failure to act on the rising levels of air pollution in the UK’s towns and cities. More than 3,000 of those deaths occur in London, with scientists warning that pollution in Britain’s cities is stunting the development of children’s lungs. They announced that […]

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  • Comment Reforming employment tribunals

    Reforming employment tribunals

    Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has created quite a stir in the employment law world by announcing that a Labour Government would “abolish the current system” and “reform the employment tribunals”. Speaking at the Trades Union Congress on 8 September, Mr Umunna said: “The current employment tribunal system is unfair, unsustainable and has resulted in prohibitive costs kicking people out of the justice they are entitled to. Affordability should not be a barrier to workplace justice. But it would be […]

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  • News Scotland Head, heart and soul – read the full text of Ed Miliband’s speech in Cumbernauld

    Head, heart and soul – read the full text of Ed Miliband’s speech in Cumbernauld

    Ed Miliband has just given a speech in Cumbernauld, to tell people in Scotland why they should vote to stay part of the Union in the referendum next week. Here’s the full text: It is great to be here with Gregg McClymont, one of our most talented young MPs, who is doing such a brilliant job. And with our great shadow Secretary State for Scotland, Margaret Curran, and Lawrence Watson, the Scottish Secretary of USDAW, who has done so much […]

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  • Comment We need more BAME Shadow Ministers to propel Ed to Downing Street 

    We need more BAME Shadow Ministers to propel Ed to Downing Street 

    Historically, the fight for racial justice has followed the amazing progress made in the fight for gender equality, particularly in the trade union and Labour movement. Over the last fifteen years and after many years of debate, campaigning and struggle, the treatment and representation of women has made leaps and bounds in the Labour Party. Our Party is unrecognisable from the one in which women were effectively excluded from positions of influence, with the exception of pioneers like Barbara Castle. […]

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  • News Scotland Poll shows Labour on course to win next May – but only with Scottish MPs

    Poll shows Labour on course to win next May – but only with Scottish MPs

    The “poll of polls”, carried out on behalf of The Independent, has suggested that Labour would win next year’s election with a 32 majority. The poll has re-ignited a discussion about what would happen with regards to the general election if the people of Scotland opt for independence next Thursday. The SNP are calling for the election to be postponed so that it wouldn’t get in the way of negotiations leading up to March 2016 – when Scotland would officially become […]

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