About that Miliband wreath…

4th August, 2014 1:40 pm

Earlier this afternoon, Channel 4’s Ciaran Jenkins tweeted this photo:

Ed Miliband First World War Centenary wreath

Obviously that looks dreadful. I received texts and tweets aplenty attacking Miliband and his team. One simply said “amateur hour”.

But although this is silly season, I thought it was worth digging into this story to see if it was as bad as it looks. Fortunately, it seems it isn’t.

A Labour source tells me that Miliband was handed it by the organisers seconds before he had to lay it. The message was already written by the organisers, and as Miliband had to place it immediately, there was no opportunity to change it. That’s different to what happens at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday, where all of the leaders are given time in advance to write their own messages. It’s not clear why/how Cameron was able to write a message, or why Miliband’s was handed to him at the last minute, but that’s the explanation from Labour HQ.

It still looks bad, and I fully expect the predictable social media outrage about this – but it seems that on this occasion, that would be more than a little unfair, as the message wasn’t written by either Miliband or his staff.

(If you want to read what Miliband actually said in advance of the ceremony, you can see that here.)

Update: And this appears to be an image of Nick Clegg’s message, written in the same handwriting. It says “From the Deputy Prime Minister”:

From the Deputy Prime Minister

Can we put this story to bed now please?

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  • Allan D.

    Didn’t his staff ask to look at the wreath before it was handed to him?

    • John Ruddy

      Why would they? Unless they suspected a stitch-up. And why should they?

      • Allan D.

        Attention to detail. Someone may have forgotten to fill it in or the script looked untidy (it certainly looks childish). Curious it never seemed to occur to them that zoom lenses might focus on the message.

        • Louise Mensch

          or, you know, that bothering to write a tribute is the most basic symbol of your respect whether it is photographed or not.

          • trotters1957

            What respect have you shown to your constituents?

          • Dave Postles

            It’s all gone quiet on the western front – Remarque-able

          • gunnerbear

            That’s very good.

        • Derek Robinson

          Oh, I’m sure it occurred to those doing the organising.

      • Louise Mensch

        Because, as a former Tory MP, you are supposed to be arsed to ASK for the wreath in advance to write your message. You are supposed to care. This blog proves neither Mili nor his staff, nor Clegg nor his staff, did that.

        The ‘explanation’ just digs him deeper. Cam asked to see the wreath and he wrote on it.

        Pathetic that the others did not.

        • kb32904

          What, even the whole ‘People of Scotland’ were supposed to sign that wreath too ?

          Fed up trolling twitter you thought you’d give this place a go did you Louise ? What a sad moronic life you must lead.

          • Louise Mensch

            whoever laid that wreath was supposed to ask for it first and write a message. Yes. was supposed to be bothered. Yes.

            Amazing that you think this step is somehow an extraordinary effort. It is bog-standard.

          • kb32904

            Then how do you explain this lot also not leaving personal messages ?

            https://twitter.com/matthewchampion/status/496295822666264576

          • gunnerbear

            The First Minister of Wales – what a joke of a title – should be ashamed. All the Chief Welsh Benefit Junkie had to do was get their arse out of bed, get a grip and sign it properly. Is it really too much to ask when the PM (Chief Spanner) himself took time to write out a quick note.

          • LondonStatto

            Just because other people didn’t get organised, does that let EdM off the hook>

          • Derek Robinson

            Pathetic

          • Danny

            Oh dear oh dear. The Tories are getting really desperate.

            Not only are they trying to use war memorials to beat the head of the opposition (stay classy!), a former MP who failed to fulfill her commitment to her constituents is coming on LabourList to try and stoke the fire.

            Stick around Menschy, that Muslim Sunny Hundal will be contributing an article soon!

          • ColinAdkins

            Sorry I didn’t know there was a protocol for such things. Maybe if he went to the right school he would realise this is what he was meant to do. I would have turned up with one in my hand but maybe that is wrong as well.

          • gunnerbear

            Actually, I’d have thought Ed M and his Chief Bag Carrier would have made totally sure that the wreath was correct and all set up. I’ve seen senior officers in HM Forces make sure personally that the wreath and message is correct – surely it wasn’t too much to expect the Leader of HMLO to get it right as well.

          • Dave Postles

            In case you missed it:

            From The Independent:

            ‘As many users on social media leapt on the opportunity to criticise the
            Labour leader for another PR gaffe, it later emerged that Mr Cameron had
            been the only senior guest allowed to write his own message, leading
            some to question why the Prime Minister alone was given this opportunity
            at the event organised by the Department for Culture,’

            Apparently Charles Windsor was allowed to do so too.

          • Derek Robinson

            Department for Culture … headed by another peice of filth

          • Alexsandr

            ‘allowed’ Milliband is the leader of the opposition. He is supposed to make stuff happen, not be ‘allowed’ to do stuff’

          • gunnerbear

            LM, for what must be the first time ever, I’m actually in total agreement with one of your pronouncements.

          • Dave Postles

            Wrong, according to The Indie online.

          • paul oxley

            Surely scum like Mensch should not be
            allowed to even comment on a Labour site? Her lack of respect for the fallen of
            a hundred years ago shames even somebody as low in the humanity stakes
            as her!

        • JoeDM

          Yep. Spot on with that comment. It shows lack of attention to detail and preparation.

          This just seems as if no one in Milibean’s office could be arsed to do it.

          • trotters1957

            “Milibean”, how hilarious. Did you think of that yourself?

          • Dave Postles

            If the online newspapers are to be believed, then the charge against you is presumption – but I’m not making it yet, as I will wait for further elucidation.

          • Derek Robinson

            Seems…. well, I suppose it might to a the gullible.

        • Gary P

          I actually agree Lousie it does show that Mili and staff did not care to put a message next to the wreath but as a former MP, can you not see how politicians have hijacked the remembrance of war for their own vain gain?

          How did David Cameron’s Message honour those that died? What lessons have any of the political leaders taken from the our failures in preventing World War 1.

          I will honour the dead in my own private way. I will remember also how people in the position you once held were complicit in sending people in my position to die.

          Did they die for my freedom I wonder or where there lives wasted on the fields of battle.

          Well the sorrow the suffering the glory the pain
          The killing the dying was all done in vain
          For young Willy Mc Bride it all happened again
          And again,and again,and again,and again

          • Derek Robinson

            The whole event was a media circus for Cameron. Another smokescreen to take attention away from him and his calamatous ship of fools who are smashing everything good.
            We remember the awfulness of the War every Armistice day. A day chosen as to not be celebration of war, but to be about our gratitude of it’s ending, a commeration of it’s fallen and our sorrow of the futilty of war.
            The whole event is what is wrong and crass…. and that is what is at fault.It’s not surprising of course, the Tories love the thought of war, it’s such a money spinner after all.

        • ColinAdkins

          How do you know ‘Cam’ (oh you are on close terms) asked to see the wreath? What proof this isn’t an establishment set up?

        • Monkey_Bach

          Louise. Be a mensch and tell your hubby that Metallica were [email protected] at Glastonbury and weren’t worth the price of admission. Thank you in advance. Eeek.

        • Dave Postles

          From The Independent:

          ‘As many users on social media leapt on the opportunity to criticise the
          Labour leader for another PR gaffe, it later emerged that Mr Cameron had
          been the only senior guest allowed to write his own message, leading
          some to question why the Prime Minister alone was given this opportunity
          at the event organised by the Department for Culture,’

          Apparently Charles Windsor was allowed to do so too.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            I can’t imagine why the PM was the only senior leader allowed to write a message on his wreath. Any suggestion that this is a Tory Party dirty tricks stitch up is, and must remain, pure speculation.
            It is worth bearing in mind that this is only the beginning. Having well and truly screwed the vast majority of the British people over the last four and a half years the Tory Party are planning 9 more months of this kind of garbage.

          • Dave Postles

            Stop the war on the living (let me pre-empt the comment that this is disrespect for the dead: there are ex-service people now in this predicament because of this government):

            sign 17 petitions

          • Derek Robinson

            You can’t imagine why? I can.
            The attacks on Milliband by the press so far, show the desperation of the Tories and thier media running dogs.
            Personal attacks will take the place of policy as they are falling to peices by the day.
            You don’t hire Lynton Crosby for any other reason than his record. Lies, smear and half truths are is speciality.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Yeah. Sorry Derek I was being ironic.

          • Alexsandr

            well the attacks on labout have been very mild compared to the westminster bubble attacking UKIP. But they are fair game aren’t they?

          • gunnerbear

            Planning? I think you attach to much credibility to the ability of HMG.

          • gunnerbear

            Shouldn’t that be Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha?

          • Dave Postles

            Whatever … just another scrounger.

        • Derek Robinson

          Utter crap. You go to an event like this and you go with the flow and don’t create hassle for those that have worked hard organising it. That’s why all the other condolances are of the same format.
          Except of course if you are a pushy Tory idiot who is only interested in his image ( let’s face it, it’s all Cameron has), or driven by Crosby who is less than pond scum.

  • treborc1

    You can say what you like Miliband is controlled even to writing notes.

    Ed Miliband leader of the opposition party.

    They shall never be forgotten.

    Not hard and even if some person had already decided what Miliband should write, he should be able top see that one for god sake.

    I bet somebody in labour decided what ropes to pull from the time he gets up to the time they switch him off.

    If you handed him something and said sorry this is it, he has to have a pen on him to alter it or adjust it surely.

    • gunnerbear

      Hellfire, Ed Miliband – the man is walking, talking f**kwit of the highest order if he didn’t grasp just how important the wreath laying is. Is there nothing this man can do properly?

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        Two f**kwits in two comments. What eloquence! You been reading Keats again?

        • gunnerbear

          Hi ya BFOC, may I start and say surely the plural of f**kwit is f**kwitz – no ‘s’- and it’s quicker to write than ‘utter, spam headed, chuzzlewit’. The whole thing has shown up Ed M and Nick C – they must have know about the wreaths and they should damn well have made sure that their staffs were on the ball. Is it really to hard for each of the their Chiefs-of-Staff to make sure that the message was nailed down. For something as sensitive as this, you’d have thought the COS’s of each of them, would have demanded that their bosses get to pen a message (if only on the base calculation that they might make Ol’ Cast Iron look a fool).

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            I’ve seen more literate things than you at the bottom of ponds.

      • trotters1957

        How old are you? Go back to your Xbox

        • gunnerbear

          The eyes of the worlds press were going to be on them. Surely the Leader of HMLO and DPM must have thought that through. On such a major occasion it is the b*****ks that are dropped that tend to get remembered and that tends to stick around – like the bacon sandwich moment.

          • Dave Postles

            From The Guardian – updated news:

            ‘Ed Miliband was criticised on Monday for laying a wreath not signed in
            his own hand at commemorations for the centenary of the first world war –
            before it emerged David Cameron was the only senior guest allowed to
            include a personal message.’

          • gunnerbear

            Allowed? This man is the LoHMLO at a national commemoration. And at that point Ed M. should have said, “F**k that” and made damn sure he got his message on. This is the man who could be PM of GB in about a year…..and if can’t impose his will over this issue…..hellfire… I’ll take the Guardian report at face value.

          • Dave Postles

            You seem to misconstrue the report. The bottom half was its initial comment. Then, as noted at the bottom, the comment was revised to take into account the fact that it was discovered that only Cameron had been given the opportunity – that’s the bit at the top which is inconsistent with the earlier comment.. Perhaps you might wish to re-read the report. The Indie has the same report that only Cameron was given the opportunity to make a personal message – although it seems C. Windsor was too.

          • Derek Robinson

            For misconstrue read ‘lie like a Tory’

    • Derek Robinson

      How is he supposed to amend a Laminated note. Carry around a Chinagraph pencil do you ?

      • treborc1

        Remove it and place your own note on it, for god sake, your have to be on top of these things this is not just a mistake it’s an error the public can see.

        It’s the same mistake as Brown getting the name of a person wrong on a note , it matters if your wanting to be seen as a statesman.

        Little things like this matter and if this note does not suit remove it and put your own note onto it and then sack the idiot who allowed it.

        You have to be on top of this this is a memorial day of our dead so your have to check it double check it, and if an error can be seen then remove it, add a note to it do something something.

        A water proof pen and add just a few words to it sign it Ed Miliband.

        We all know that things like this would be jumped onto by the Tories,and this is another error which simply should not happen Ed has enough people around him to have this found and checked and removed.

        • Derek Robinson

          I certainley agree Labour need to be sharper. The Conservatives have a much more finely honed team of ne’er-do-wells.
          It could be said though that, just like a child a man that means nobody harm would not see the bad in people… You have to have something rotten about you to sink to the sort of thing we have seen lately. If Ed Milliband as much as wipes his eye he would be crying.
          Employing the likes of Lynton Crosby is no recommendation and Chamberpot could well come unstuck over it.

          • gunnerbear

            To borrow from Berti Vogts, at the moment if Ed M. walked across water most people would say he’s only doing that because he can’t swim.

        • gunnerbear

          “It’s the same mistake as Brown getting the name of a person wrong on a note , it matters if your wanting to be seen as a statesman….this is another error which simply should not happen Ed has enough people around him to have this found and checked and removed.” Brilliant – that is exactly the point I was trying to get across.

  • Malkomm

    Even Nick Clegg’s only said ‘from the Deputy Prime Minister’, apparently.

    • kb32904

      Yes as did many others but that won’t stop the trolls & halfwits making hay

      https://twitter.com/matthewchampion/status/496295822666264576

    • gunnerbear

      And Nick the Slick is a f**kwit as well.

    • gunnerbear

      And rumour has it that he needed help writing that.

    • gunnerbear

      And rumour has it that he needed help writing that.

      • mike hamblett

        Please read properly – only Cameron got the chance to write his personal message, the others were written by the organizers.

  • Barry_Edwards

    Did Crosby see the opportunity for a stitch-up?

    • paul oxley

      If Cameron is found to have planned this as a
      PR stunt then he will have to resign

      If he even knew about the plot he should consider his position…At least the fuss has
      achieved the impossible and made Louise
      Mensch and Dan Hodges look even dumber than they did previously

      • JoeDM

        More likely his aids did their job and got hold of the organisers and simply checked that a card would be available for him to write some words on. The others just turned up and got the bog-standard card.

  • Philip Martin

    Doesn’t this say so much more about MSM news values?
    I would imagine that all the party leaders’ wreathes are placed more or less in the same area but the journo looking for a story has to find the visual put-down because it feeds into the MSM consensus opinion that Miliband is another gauche Gordon-Brown figure. If the week’s news had been dominated by a coalition barney then it would have been Cameron and Clegg’s messages juxtaposed but the GE is coming soon and so it’s ‘bacon buttie’ Miliband versus square-jaw Dave.
    Power without responsibility..

    • gunnerbear

      The fact is that compared to the PMs message, it gives the strong impression that Red Ed simply doesn’t give a f**k about doing even the tiniest things well. It’s almost like a calculated insult to the occasion when you compared it to Cast Irons message – and these perceptions matter.

      • trotters1957

        3 year old alert.

        • gunnerbear

          I’m pretty sure Ed M. didn’t mean to even hint that he wanted to insult anyone nor that he didn’t care for a single moment……but it’s the tiny details that matter. Surely if the PM can get it right, you’d have thought that the one who is DPM and the one who is LoHMLO would also have made damn sure and got their messages in place. Being cynical for a moment, I suppose it doesn’t even matter what the DPM or LoHMLO actually think about the wreaths etc. it is what they are perceived as thinking by the voters. Again, to me, it just smacks of carelessness and rank bad manners.

          • Dave Postles

            Both The Indie and The Guardian explain that only Cameron (and apparently C, Windsor) were allowed to make personalized messages.

          • gunnerbear

            And back to my original point. When the whole ceremony was being planned, practised and all the rest, it is up to the LoHMLO to make sure that he or she gets it right. Do you think for a single minute Tony Blair would have let that go when he was LoHMLO? Not a chance – its just bad planning on Ed M’s part. I don’t actually think that there is a plot to make Ed M look bad, nor do I think for a single second that Ed M. meant anything disrespectful, rather just that Ed M and his COS should have seen this coming and ‘headed it off at the pass’. Again, I stress I don’t think for a single moment that Ed M. is guilty of setting out to insult anyone, but rather, in my honest opinion, he (again) is guilty of rank bad judgement.

          • Dave Postles

            A lot of assumptions there. Who knew that Cameron would be allowed to write his own personal message, but only Cameron? It’s equally probable that everyone else assumed that the cards would all be the same and in the same hand – as they obviously are.

          • gunnerbear

            Again, I’m not sure how it would have been missed in Ed’s office but I’m struggling to believe that TB would have allowed it to happen if had been in the same position as Ed – I can’t imagine someone like Alistair C. would have failed to check precisely what the ‘running order’ was or indeed Maurice Saatchi not doing the same for Mrs T if the circumstances had been similar and she was LoHMLO. These commemorations are pretty much state occasions so I find it very hard to believe that at no stage was anyone in HMLO not aware of the wreath situation but maybe then, in all innocence, they failed to attach any importance to it.

          • Dave Postles

            Oh dear. Everyone else was deluded. It looks increasingly like Cameron pulled a fast one. I really find your explanation hard to believe. Nobody else cared. Even Clegg who is most assiduous about his position.

          • gunnerbear

            Possibly Ol’ Cast Iron was slick and ‘pulled a fast one’ but that doesn’t excuse the LoHMLO for not having their retaliation ready and in place…or even better…they should get their ‘retaliation in first’ as the great Carwyn James once said.

          • Dave Postles

            O.k.

          • Derek Robinson

            Or maybe no one with a shred of decency would use such an occasion to try and score a cheap political point…. So were left with Lynton Crosby.

          • Derek Robinson

            Like anyone would he went along with what was happening… Who would think for a second that anyone would pull a stunt like that at such a sensitive event …. Well I suppose anyone who hires Lynton Crosby will do anything.

          • Derek Robinson

            Funny how the Clegg and others had the same pre-organised message but Dave get’s a personal message. and oh look, there are photographs …
            It’s not a matter of the PM getting it right, It’s a stich up by Lynton Crosby. Can the Tories sink any lower.

          • Alexsandr

            yes. labour screw up and its someone elses fault. Deja vu time.

          • Derek Robinson

            Ah back to the desperate ‘ blame Labour for a World wide recession ‘ ….. How about how we were in growth before 2010 and how the Tories killed it stone dead, causing the slowest recovery for over 300 years.

          • gunnerbear

            How strange, you see it as Tory stitch-up….I see it as Ed (and the Office of the LoHMLO) falling down in making sure that he isn’t disadvantaged in any way. Can you imagine for a second that TB would have let himself be put in that position?

          • Derek Robinson

            I don’t deny Labour could’nt have been sharper but what mindset do you need to have to think you have to watch the Tories for underhand tricks on a national event …. a kind of sick one.

          • gunnerbear

            I don’t even think it was planned to catch out Ed – personally I think you give way too much credit to Cameron’s team as plotters. I just think that Ol’ Cast Iron’s mob checked and rechecked and that Ed M’s team didn’t grasp the significance of the event.

          • Dave Postles

            ‘Can the Tories sink any lower?’
            Only time will tell, but I’m off to the bookies right now …

          • mike hamblett

            Tiny details matter to small minds, maybe…? We could get back to big details like how Osborne and Cameron lie constantly about the rate of recovery, privatising NHS, and that they care about lower classes.

  • Dez

    Yet again Ed just turns up for the photo op.

  • Derek Robinson

    Cameron’s mob politiking here by the looks of it. None so base and vile as Tory.
    I think the world needs to look at the words spoken by the PM and Miliband on Gaza. That shows the measure of the men.

    • gunnerbear

      Don’t you associate me we any colour of mob – Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Yellow or whatever. The fact is that Ed M. dropped a right b****k by not getting the wreath message right.

      • Derek Robinson

        Everyone else had a message printed for them ……. funny Cameron didn’t and it just happened to be photographed, how strange !

        • treborc1

          Not really and these messages of course should have been looked at and checked surely somebody said to Ed best to leave a written message Ed.

          A written message to show that you have the time and the interest to write a message for the millions who died.

          Obviously the Tories had somebody who said to Cameron here write a message, while labour said we will do it our selves.

    • Dez

      I guess any excuse to hide the embarrassment.

      Only two weeks ago Ed chose the photo op and brush off meeting with Obama instead of turning up for the Ukraine debate.

      And Ed pretends not to be a PR driven,at least it’s so transparent that it’s funny..

      • Derek Robinson

        Ed Milliband, the only Politician who has stood up and told Obama and the rest that what is happening in Gazza is a bloody inhumane outrage. Coming from a Jew it speaks volumes.
        As for Ukraine, America needs to keep out of it. It’s their mischeif making that has cuased the problem (as always). If Putin decides he is going to take bake the Ukraine he will, and there is nothing anyone will do to stop him either.

        • Chris in Balham

          Ed’s not Jewish. He’s said in public that he doesn’t believe in god

          • treborc1

            He is Jewish he’s just not a practising Jew..

        • Alexsandr

          pity he spouts on Gaza without looking into the history and the true facts but just want a sound bite.

          • Derek Robinson

            I’m sure he knows them very well. The only solid fact is that the UN gave away other peoples lands as if they owned them.
            An interesting proposal is that Israel relocate to the USA. It would fit in easily, they are great friends already, no one would have to waste money on arms ….. everyones a winner.

          • Allan D.

            It may have escaped your attention but there are 6.7m Jews already living in the US. 1.7m more than there are in Israel

          • Derek Robinson

            We all realise that fact. If there were’nt the US wouldn’t have been arming Israel to the teeth.
            As there is such a strong Jewish contingent already, that should make it all the easier…

        • treborc1

          People said the same things over world war one and two a Leader in the UK even went and got a piece of paper saying Germany wanted peace with the UK so long as we said nothing.

          The idea that America and the EU would say and do nothing is a very dangerous game to play.

          They would do something even if it was to freeze Russian assets Russia would then turn off the gas and maybe the Oil and then you have world war three.

          A Dangerous assumption.

          • Derek Robinson

            We had the peice of paper allright and we knew what it meant… we set about arming up, so we certainely didn’t take it on face value. I think people have got (been given) the wrong impression that we beleived a word Hitler uttered.
            Of course Obama can sanction but there is nothing militarily he can do despite having most of the world surrounded by military bases. To be honest, I’m surprised Putin hasn’t turned off the gas already. It’s easy for Obama to shout sanctions but it’s not America that will suffer the brunt of that, it would be Europe.

    • HookesLaw

      None so vile as an ignorant socialist you mean.
      This only comes to lihght because of some twitter post. But you dress it up as a plot.

      • Derek Robinson

        Crosby’s fingerprints are all over it

        • Jonathan Roberts

          ridiculous and paranoid. Your hatred clouds your judgement. It’s fairly easy to guess what happened. When Cameron’s team were arranging his attendance, they will have asked about the card, and said DC would want to write a personal message and then arranged for it to be done in advance. Miliband and Clegg’s teams were so incompetent they didn’t think to do the same so they both got a ‘standard’ card. It was a failure of planning and administration, not some organised plot.

          • treborc1

            It is especially on something like this, for crying out loud a written message by a leader was paramount to showing you at least have some interest.

          • Danny

            Ah yes, which is why the DCMS specifically requested for the cards to be sent to them and not to be sent to Glasgow with the wreaths, as Poppy Scotland intended?

            What do you then suppose happened? The DCMS then contacted every individual and said, “Hey, Ed, Nick, Alex and Dave, we’ve got these cards for you to include with your wreath, want to write a personal note on or shall we just scrawl a standard message and laminate it?”

            It might not have been a pre-planned plot, but the scent of opportunity certainly shot up the noses of at least one person in the Tory Party and bang, all of a sudden a party-neutral occasion of remembrance for the fallen has become a point-scoring activity created by said Tory Party. It’s vile. It’s disgusting. It’s typical of the Tories.

          • gunnerbear

            And if Labour could have got away and ‘stuck one’ on the Blue Mob (as you’re saying the Blues have done to the Reds) they would have done.

          • Derek Robinson

            I don’t think so… any Compos mentis person would know that not only that it would be morally reprehensible but that it is likely to spectacularly backfire, and it could do so in an unpredictablly large way. This has got Lynton Crosb’s fingerprints all over it in my opinion.

          • Derek Robinson

            Well it’s as you say it’s a guess… The providers of flowers and cards for this occasion have suggested the usuall protocol was adjusted and the stuff redirected. Not that I’m suspicious :-/

          • Jonathan Roberts

            Indeed. Yours is a guess too. But you’re deliberately choosing to see malice where there is no evidence for it. I don’t understand the hatred of the left, who will spin absolutely anything into an ‘evil tories’ attack.

          • Derek Robinson

            Well, as it’s the right wing papers who try to make a story out of it I think the malice isn’t generated by me.
            By my observation, the Tories attack on the poor, sick and disabled whilst giving Tax breaks to the Wealthy, sort of puts them in the Evil category.

          • Timmo111

            What category would that put labour in ? After all it was labour that started the attacks on the sick and disabled and this was before the crash and at a time when the wealthy such as the Milibands were paying a lot less tax then they are now.

          • Derek Robinson

            That is a crock of rubbish. There has always been checks and balances on welfare payment and it is incumbent on any government to have these in place (one way or another).
            That is not the same as attacking the sick and disabled, and pretending that we were brought to our knees by wlfare spend. I defy anyone to say Labour would have allowed Atos to do what they have done. Whoever has been selected to perform the task it is the government that set the rules.
            The rich were paying less Tax, after all the economy was in a lot better shape, but still they grasped more and more of everything going whilst the lie of trickle down wealth showed it’s true self.
            The mistakes Labour made were when the tried doing it the Tory way……. never again.
            So continue the media campaigns to blacken Milliband all you like, it’s all the Tories have left.

          • Timmo111

            It was labour that got atos involved in the first place. In the good old days my GP used to assess me, he knew about all the problems that I have due to my disability and he knew that I would be in more pain in the winter time then in the summer. Now for some reason labour chose to get atos to do all the assessments, why do you think they done that ? I beleive they did it so that they could set the criteria and raise the bar so they could get as many people as possible off disability benefits and this was before the crash when the economy was booming so there was plenty of cash about. Also dont forget not that long ago young Edward was telling us about his super powers where he can look at a disabled person and could tell there and then if they could work or not.

  • Jonathan Roberts

    This is a reasonable explanation so fair enough (albeit let’s not pretend the Labour twitter mob wouldn’t be all over it were the situation reversed).

  • JoeDM

    So no one in Ed’s office asked “Where is the message card for Ed to sign?”

    Another bacon sandwich moment. LOL !!!

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  • Hamish Redux

    So not only was the wreath not “from” Miliband, in the sense that he went and bought it himself, but it was not even from his staff.

    I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that he didn’t attempt to lay a bacon sandwich at the Cenotaph.

    • Derek Robinson

      and you think Camerons was ??
      Gullible fool is the term that springs to mind.

  • Alexsandr

    Dont care what you say, it rank amateurish politics and shows Milliband and his team are unfit for government.
    Its not rocket science is it? or maybe someone didn’t really care and turned up for political effect.

    • Derek Robinson

      Unfit for government 😀 and Cameron is ??

      “Dont care what you say” …. ignore the facts and carry on, brilliant !

      • Alexsandr

        I aint standing up for Cameron either. But in this case his attention to detail was spot on. Eds wasn’t, which is not a good advert for someone seeking high office.

        • gunnerbear

          “But in this case his attention to detail was spot on.” – I doubt it was DC personally but his staff officers made damn sure of it.

        • gunnerbear

          “But in this case his attention to detail was spot on.” – I doubt it was DC personally but his staff officers made damn sure of it.

  • Paul Adams

    Oh God – this silly season is going to be even worse than last years!

  • swatnan

    Honestly, I get the feeling that EdM needs a Minder to keep him a way from these banana skins. Its all about image and presentation, and doing the right thing in the right way, not policies. Public Figures are on a public stage. We should have learnt something from Michael Foots disastrous appearances. Surely there’s somebody in his team that can genuinely forge his signature, so that he doesn have to do it at the last minute.

    • Derek Robinson

      The media blackened foot as they keep trying with Milliband.
      Foots coat was new, expensive and a designer label……. but hey, let’s not cloud the thing with facts !

      • swatnan

        It was still a donkey jacket. I’m sure you can get jewel encrusted designer baseball caps and trainers these days, but they’d still be baseball caps and trainers.

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  • Danny

    Am I the only one who thinks David Cameron’s signature rather aptly looks like David followed by a 4-letter expletive that rhymes with punt?

    • usefullidiots

      Yes – couldn’t resist

    • Gabrielle

      You’re right, it does. It’s almost as if Cameron’s subconscious is trying to tell him something ….

      • gunnerbear

        I don’t think SamCam would even let Ol’ Cast Irons subconscious use naughty words!!

  • “Seconds before”

    How many seconds? Ten? Or 120? Kinda makes a difference.

    • Derek Robinson

      Ever tried writing on a laminated sheet with a fountain pen …. !!

      • Oh my god, so Ed’s excuse becomes he had the wrong kind of pen?

        • Derek Robinson

          I expect he had a hammer and chisel in his left pocket in case it was an inscribed peice of marble and a Dremmel in case he needed to engrave a bit of Glass.

          • gunnerbear

            I wouldn’t expect the LoHMLO to carry those tools personally but I would expect that his staff would.

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  • usefullidiots

    This is the kind of thing that happens when you attempt to occupy the moral high ground and then don’t put a lot of thought into what you do afterwards

  • Doug Smith

    At least Foot could rightly argue he wasn’t actually wearing a donkey jacket.

    Miliband’s disgraceful lack of concern is there in black and white for all to see.

    • paul oxley

      This PR stunt has backfired big time on the
      Tories…Cameron may have to resign..This
      looks very bad for him now

      You are behind the times mate its all gone Pete
      Tong for the disrespectful boys in blue and their Lizard of Oz advisor in the last hour or so
      as the “real story” gradually emerges

  • ColinAdkins

    If he never wrote the message it ain’t from him.

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  • Dan

    Even on the Daily Mail website, the top-rated comments are all saying things like it’s ridiculous to attack Ed over this and that it’s obvious no disrespect was intended — and when DM readers/commenters are taking Labour’s side, you KNOW that it’s public opinion!

    Storm in a teacup cooked up by Tory twitter trolls.

    • Danny

      I don’t think it is a storm in a teacup, I think it’s a massive issue. We have a Tory Party using a memorial to honour our brave young soldiers who lost their lives in service of a disgraceful war to try and gain political advantage over their opponents.

      They are scum. Pure and simple. Complete and utter scum. The truth is now coming out, so don’t expect Mensch to come back, clean the egg off her face and apologise. You need humility, decency and a moral compass for that sort of contrition, and the Tory Party is utterly bereft of any such values. This whole episode is complete proof of that.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        You voting Labour then Danny?

        • Danny

          A lot can change between now and May, but if the election was tomorrow, yes, I would vote Labour. But the way things are with the PLP at the moment, it would be by virtue of selecting the very worst of an abhorrent bunch.

          The analogy I used a few months back was the option of being presented with having to go 12 rounds with Wladimir Klitchsko, Carl Froch or Amir Khan. Either way you’re going to get pounded, you’ve got to pick the one that will hurt the least. The Labour Party are my Amir Khan.

          As a card-carrying member (for now anyway), it saddens me that it has come to this woeful choice.

          • Derek Robinson

            That is always the choice really. The safeguard of democracy.
            I can be mad at Labour and refuse to vote and let the Tories benefit or I can vote for the least worst option…. Your choice.

          • Alexsandr

            if the tories and labour are so bad there is another way. (Clue – not limp dem)

          • Derek Robinson

            My priority is to boot the Tories out … there IS only one way to do that … VOTE Labour.
            No one else can do that…. I have no idea what horror you envisage.

  • NORBET

    From CCHQ *Satire ? barely

    Well hally bally lo to you! Ha ha ha yes its me, the PR man and I run the bally country (smirk) I do.

    Today, is a day that we must never bally forget. Because today is, now what is it again today? (mumbling in the background) Ahh yes, the beginning of the first bally world war!

    What followed were four bally awful years of bombs blasting people to bits and gas attacks and trenches. Of dismembered people and broken lives, and for what? It was also the day that the killservatiive party hold dear.

    Why? because we know that a good bally war is good for bally business and if its good for business its good for stock and share owners and if it’s good for stock and share owners it’s bally good for me!

    Now I placed a wreath today, with heartfelt sentiment written on it. Did any of the others? No they bally didn’t! THAT’S BECAUSE I BALLY STOPPED THEM SO I COULD LOOK GOOD! but that is beside the point.

    Now, I know what you are all thinking, your thinking why do I care about the first world war so much? well, I don’t know, call me a sentimentalist, but I think getting people to pay their way or get bombed in bally trenches is the best sort of economy there is. (cough, pause) this is a personal opinion, so, we can cut that out can’t we in the final edit? good!

    But we must also think long and hard about world war one. I do, after all, my great grandfather caused it. But that aside, we must think about the cost and the suffering, the hardship and the loss so many loved ones, I have to say, when I think about the loss of life, I hold back a tear, and I cry I do, I feel really bally sad, which is why I am leaving the EU and am preparing a war with Russia!

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  • Gabrielle

    Even the Daily Mail is asking whether this was a deliberate stitch up to make Miliband look bad. Judging from the oldest comments it looks as if they started off condemning EM without checking the facts. It comes to something when even the Mail realises that using such an occasion to smear Ed is lower than a snake’s belly.

  • Gabrielle

    Cameron’s signature looks as if he’s written ‘Cant’ (as in ‘canting hypocrite’), which is strangely appropriate. Another word beginning with ‘c’ would be fitting as well.

  • 07052015

    07

  • Dave Postles
    • Derek Robinson

      In the same way the banks will be returned from us bailing them out, the minute they start making money again, and the profit making Royal Mail was given away …… It can only make sense to a Tory.

      • gunnerbear

        “the profit making Royal Mail was given away….” exactly in line with a pervious Labour govts. plans.

        • Derek Robinson

          sold off maybe and I wouldn’t of agreed with it either. But Cable didn’t sell it, he gave it away on the cheap.

          • gunnerbear

            Yep, some favoured and sons and daughters made out of it – look up the Lazard connections – but it would have been the same under the Red Mob.

          • Derek Robinson

            Doesn’t make it right … no more than the leeching of the NHS by all the vested interests….
            Labours mistakes have been whilst playing at being Tories. This will change and is changing. Slower than some of us like, but the right wing of the Labour party is being pushed out.

          • gunnerbear

            I’m not so certain the right wing of the Labour party is being vanquished nor am I certain that DC has got his left or right wingers under control.

  • Grouchy Oldgit

    Blame the organisers for this lack of respect. All participants should have been given the opportunity to leave a personal message.

    • CoolJHS

      Saw this on sky news just now

      “A spokeswoman for Poppy Scotland said: “Our normal procedure is that we would just send the cards directly with the wreaths.

      “We were asked to send [the cards] to the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the wreaths were sent through to Glasgow in advance, but the blank cards to London.” ”

      The plot thickens, looking more and more like a deliberate act by the sleazeball Sajid Javid, this is going to be electric.

  • whistletalker

    Just as well they had the time to fight for the Country isn’t it?

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What a disaster. It is not Ed’s fault, but rather that of his team of advisors, and that is Ed’s fault for trusting them.

    I have a blood relative who died in that awful war, and I have been thinking about how I Mark this awful commemoration for weeks. It is not something that has crept up unnoticed on me. I have had thoughts and words in my head for weeks about this hour.

    It is completely unacceptable to me that a political party did not prepare itself for this event.

    I do not think that the Dave Postles in the comments below is right in believing that this is excused by Ed “not being allowed” to write comments. This man wants to become our Prime Minister. If he is not strong enough to force his writ on some public functionaries who can manage no more than childish script, then he is not the man I want to be our country’s leader.

    • CoolJHS

      What do you say about this then?

      “A spokeswoman for Poppy Scotland said: “Our normal procedure is that we would just send the cards directly with the wreaths.

      “We were asked to send [the cards] to the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the wreaths were sent through to Glasgow in advance, but the blank cards to London.” ”

      What would you have expected them to do when DCMS has so blatantly chose to change the protocol without telling anyone except Cameron?

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        I would say that the Labour Party staff are asleep, and should have been proactive weeks ago. This was a national event, and every forethought should have been given to it.

        • CoolJHS

          You must be having a
          laugh. I guess if one is dealing with a duplicitous individuals like this
          government then I guess you will be right but really how can you second guess
          such a gross act of disrespect to the dead. Anyone with any sense of
          common decency will not expect this from a government I’m sorry but this is
          where you and I are different.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I am sorry, I do not think that the Government’s duplicity (if indeed there was some) should be the fault, although I do understand your point. What I am slowly becoming enraged about is that Labour staff did not positively plan for this event. It is to me extremely important: we commemorate with sorrow the events 100 years ago that completely changed our world, took 17 million lives, ended Empires and utterly changed our politics, in many ways for the worse, in many for the better, and all of those ways in which the newly born Labour Party had a message of hope. It is not too far to state that Labour were as powerful and hopeful as Christianity itself in those years, and I say that as a practicing Christian.

            It is completely shameful that the modern Labour Party seems to have given this as little thought as to not work out what the Leader’s message should be.

          • CoolJHS

            I hear you and there is merit in what you are saying, but my
            understanding is that Ed had his message ready and was expecting to be handed
            the blank card in advance as has been the case in previous commemorations.

            I just don’t know what he or his staff could have done in advance; I mean
            they even wrote big letters on the cards so no one else can write on
            them. This was a deliberate act and is shameful, I don’t think we can
            blame anyone in the Labour Party for this; I really don’t.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Well, I think you to be wrong.

            If Labour cannot position the Ed Miliband to look like a statesman on the anniversary of an event in history that utterly defines the transition from feudalism to democracy, at least on a European scale, then they do not deserve anyone’s vote. It is not a case of being caught out by Tories playing tricks, it is a case of being fundamentally ******* stupid by the hired “help”.

          • paul oxley

            You are no Labour supporter but a total
            fraud and probably a Tory troll…The idea
            that any genuine supporter would swap
            votes and not boot out the party that has
            literally killed people via IDS’ s various policies, kept all workers at below inflation pay levels for 5 years, and wants
            to privatise the NHS and ban public sector strikes because Cameron signed his insincere little card and the others all
            didnt is quite stomach churning

            Go back to Conservative Home and take your fake crocodile tears with you

          • Derek Robinson

            Well said Paul

          • gunnerbear

            “ban public sector strikes…” – Have you got a link for that? All I’ve read is that HMG (and it has been discussed in the past by all colours of Ministers) is should TU voting be reformed. That’s quite some leap from their to banning strikes. The MoL has called for strike action to be stopped on the LU / LT but he isn’t HMG.

          • Derek Robinson

            and then laminated the Card so it can’t be quickly or easily amended.

          • Derek Robinson

            ” It is to me extremely important: we commemorate with sorrow the events 100 years ago that completely changed our world ”
            We do …. every armistice day.
            This is more celebration and it reeks of hipocrisy.

    • Derek Robinson

      ‘ awful commemoration’ …. that’s the only bit you nearly got right.
      We commemorate the ending of the war every year with our own respectful silence and thoughts. A date carefully chosen to be commemorative not celebratory.
      This is a celebration to mark the start of a terrible conflict… An event for Cameron and his ilk. A smokescreen as poisonous as Gas to help hide the awful result of his policies…..
      The man and his party are a disgrace.

  • Daniel Speight

    I guess this is what Cameron meant about “celebrating” WW1.

  • rekrab

    Sorry folks! but it’s a complete red-herring, in the hope it unites a nation (which of course it does) against the forthcoming Independence vote.

  • David Callam

    If I accept your explanation at face value then you’re telling me that Cameron’s team was sharp enough to spot this bear trap and turn it into a PR opportunity, while team Miliband, once again, dropped the Labour leader in it.
    It may be too late to find a new leader before the next General Election but if the Labour Party is serious about taking power next year it needs to change the lazy, sloppy, out of touch PR team

    • CoolJHS

      What are you talking about, Cameron organised the event, so what do you expect. You need to see this for what it is; a disgraceful stunt by Cameron! Trying to blame Ed or his team is just absolute nonsense.

      • David Callam

        More anonymous drivel from another of the paranoid trolls that infect this website.

        • CoolJHS

          Ok, who organised the event? Some aliens from outer space??

          Troll, I hardly ever comment here but when idiots like you posts dross it needs to be challenged I’m afraid.

          • David Callam

            Honestly, you paranoid trolls have barely a grasp of how government works. The event was organised by civil servants who will have contacted the offices of all the VIPs involved.
            Miliband will have had precisely the same opportunity as Cameron to sign his own card, but the Miliband crew couldn’t be arsed. I have no idea who spotted the gaf, but well done them. Team Miliband needs to learn from this and make sure they are collectively sharper in future. They don’t need lots of stupid comments about Cameron inspired plots from idiots like you

          • CoolJHS

            Oh dear, reduced to making things up now are we? lets have the evidence that proves the tosh you have just written given you are an insider as you suggest.

            We are now to believe that Ed and his team were asked to write their own message on the card and they declined to do so; that really makes a lot of sense, I’m astounded by your insights on this.

            By the way, since you have so much inside knowledge of how government works, can you therefore explain why DCMS asks for the blank cards to be sent to them in London rather than what normally happens, which is, they are sent with the wreaths directly to the ceremony location.

    • gunnerbear

      Well put. I don’t think for a second that Ed M. wanted to insult anyone or drop a clanger but if the man can’t even get his staff (or pick the right staff) to make sure everything is ‘spot on’ it doesn’t bode well for how the Great British Public will perceive him.

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