The rats have come out of the woodwork again

The Blairites never wanted Ed Miliband to win the leadership and when he unexpectedly did, they have never missed an opportunity to gossip against him from the sidelines.   Some like Dan Hodges (son of Glenda Jackson) regularly spit out their vitriol and bile against Ed in the in the Tory press,  others more insidiously give unattributed briefings to the media which Blairite journalists, like Nicholas Watt in the Guardian today, shamefully repeat without naming the source.   The bitter irony in all this is that Ed has bent over backwards to placate Progress (the Blairite Tendency) in order to maintain party unity.   They gladly swallow all the concessions he makes to them, but that never earns their loyalty- they always return to bait him at the next available opportunity. But what is particularly contemptible about this latest bad-mouthing of the Leader is that they are indulging their prejudices at the expense of seriously damaging the party’s prospects with the general election only 10 months away.

What is so galling about this latest febrile outbreak is that it is based on such trivia and wholly ignores the real underlying stature of Ed Miliband who is by any standards one of the most under-rated Leaders in modern times.   He rightly took on Murdoch over his attempted takeover of BSkyB, which was a high-risk call, and triumphed.   Cameron on the other hand was so much in hock to Murdoch that he did all he could to wave the deal through, and Blair (and let’s be honest, David Miliband) would certainly have done the same.   Miliband deserves enormous credit for the courage he displayed then since a Murdock takeover would have delivered Britain to the kind of Berlusconi-style monopolisation of the media which no democracy should ever contemplate. Miliband also had the guts to take on the Tory tabloids in support of Leveson’s demand for an honest and accountable press, which Blair and DM would certainly not have done.   And let’s not forget this, Ed actually stopped a Western missile strike against Syria, with all the murderous destruction and carnage that yet another US-UK Middle Eastern war would have entailed.   Ed has never been given the enormous credit we owe him for that act of defining personal courage, when Blair of course would have been gung-ho for another war and perhaps DM pulled along in the slipstream.   Blair achieved nothing when in Opposition before 1997 and,for that matter nor did Thatcher before 1979.   For a Leader to achieve so much without executive authority in Opposition, no Leader in modern times can stand beside Ed Miliband.

4 thoughts on “The rats have come out of the woodwork again

  1. I’m a bit confused.
    In your article immediately prior to this, you were berating the Labour leadership for pushing watered-down Tory policies, but now you’re defending the very leader who supports those policies.
    Are you saying he only did it to placate this Blairite/Progress axis? Is the IPPR part of that?
    If so, then I can only reiterate my own view, that the right-wing rubbish needs to be swept out.
    Most of all, I think we need clarity.

  2. No it’s the blame game, (already,) and it’ finally dawning on Labour that electing an obscure and talentless, (well certainly lazy, apparently he did the minimum work he could get away with, to pass even the far from rigorous PPE degree and seems to conducting his leadership of the Labour party in much the same, “relaxed,” frame of mind,) young man, who grew up in the US watching Dallas, (and like most Americas without ever realizing it was supposed to be comedy.)

    As for his brave and principled stand against the Murdoch empire?

    His opposition to Cameron’s demented intended attack on Syria whilst valid and welcome, as far it goes was not the shape of things to come; and one swallow does not a summer make, as they say?

    He couldn’t be bothered to seriously contest the Newark by-election.

    Wasn’t that Milliband I saw wretchedly waving a copy of the SUN at people last week?

    That horrible business with bacon sandwich was simply grotesque and unnecessary, (although again there is a certain kind of baggage that is unhelpful, that comes from him being Jewish regardless of his personal beliefs deportment?)

    The obvious question must be though, who would replace him?

    All the other candidates are either Blair placemen and women and tainted by their involvement in the various Blair abuses,non of whom I’d want as PM, (from the commercial privatization program for the NHS and the civil service, the PFI deals or the massively illegal invasion of Iraq and so on,to the many corrupt and abusive practices apparently being conducted by the charitable sector and so on,)

    If any of them, (Balls god forbid, Harman, Burnham up to his neck in NHS privatization and Mid Staff deaths,Chuka Umunna yet another one far too frequently accused of far too much personal and financial impropriety)manages to elbow their way to the front of queue then we may as well vote Tory.

    Personally I care far less about Murdoch, (who still seems to setting our country’s political agenda,) than about firm, planned and realistic commitment to reverse to abolition of the NHS, stop the criminalization and exploitation of the disabled and the unemployed, the amount of money being squandered on foreign aid and Whitehall white elephants such as HS2, (when we need power stations not windmills.)

    It isn’t the fault of press or even of the sordid, self serving and seedy, “friends of Tony,” who profited so conspicuously from his infamous largess.

    The responsibility for Milliband’s personal and political failure lies entirely with his party, (what on earth were they thinking off,)and perhaps a mistaken belief that labor might somehow still command the mindless working class block vote of former times, (now long gone,) and that they don’t need to win the argument or the campaign, (the same mistake that Cameron made although even he realized he had to lie about his intentions towards the NHS etc.)

    Above all Milliband is symptomatic of just how completely out of touch with and completely divorced from, (and probably indifferent to,) the interests, prejudices and instincts of the, “ordinary,” the Labour party, (but not just the Labour party,) have become.

    So what do I want or expect from a leader of Labour part?

    Pretty much the same things that I expect from a policeman, certainly not a living saint, (we had one of those and it hasn’t ended well for anyone,)but a real human being, reasonably honest, truthful and accountable with limited, or better yet with no, outside financial interests and a broader experience of real life, including a normal education and use of the NHS, preferably even a period during which they would have been unemployed and dependent on benefits (and no opt out,)

    Milliband is a busted flush, but the thought of who or what might replace is is even more frightening. This country is at crossroads and we nee someone with integrity and credibility, a sense of mission, of purpose and above all direction and a socialist.

    Not someone who blandly describes them self as, “A new type of Labour politician,(if only,) looking to move beyond the divisiveness of Blairism and Brownism, (whatever that even means,)and calling for an end to the “factionalism and psychodramas” and who practically eulogized the late Margret Thatcher.

    I’d have much preferred something more along the lines of, “I come not praise Thatcher but to bury her?”

  3. Echoing Mike Sivier, I think we all need some clarity from Ed himself. I get the impression that he has too many advisors pulling in different directions and that he simply needs to assert himself more.

    More importantly I think we all need to accept that there are always going to be policies we like and those we don’t. Ed Miliband has more than enough to contend with from a horribly biased press who are nothing more than government lick-spittles, to also have to deal with dissent from within.

    More than ever we need unity.

  4. What Ed Miliband is not achieving is giving confidence to those who want to vote Labour – want an opposition party that appears actually to oppose the government – to be an alternative political party – anything even vaguely along those lines; and for that Labour Party not to appear as tory-lite, with just more of the same, with a few minor variations.

    Allowing that it may not be wise to give the Tories too much ammunition about policies, an opposition leader (and cabinet) could now still challenge evey lie with calm facts and numbers – there is after all now no lack of such opportunities; along with a firm commmitment to economic growth instead of a continual damaging contraction.

    The attack on the welfare state is now costing far more than any maybe savings, with estimates of those costs continuing to esculate. And for what? In economic terms, a further ongoing shrinking of the economy, and in human costs effects that are so much worse.

    After four years of Tory rule, when they accuse Labour of throwing money at things, an effective opposition should be able to return such suggestions with scorn, as there is now much evidence available of just how much they’ve been throwing money at this issue, and that to no avail.

    Housing benefits claims are greater than ever, due to low wages and insufficient hours for those who are in work. Poverty is being increased and not decreased by people being in work – with benefits claims continuing to rise, even in spite of much persecution, because of even more desperation.

    An opposition leader should be saying – economic growth first – not punishment of those caught up in a major recession. Austerity isn’t working (and never has), and illustrate how it has been common for this country to function all right with a large deficit.

    A deficit more likely to be successfully reduced if there are more people able to pay more tax and less needing to claim benefits – not achieved by bullying with sanctions, but only with there being real properly paid jobs available.

    However that isn’t what Big Business want, which is a cowered and desperate work force, willing to take any wage, or even none, rather than an enforced destitution.

    While it may be good to halt involvement in another war zone, there’s also a war going on in this country – one of those with power and wealth against everyone else, and it is literally killing people.

    We need an opposition leader who will encourage all of those at the receiving end of the attack to believe that there is a party who actually gives a damn.

    That is not achieved by the main declared policy (apparently not at all courageously taking on Murdoch and the right-wing press) being the promise of even more of the same.

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