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July 20, 2008



But if Pipsqueak Milliband funks it, won't everyone mutter "Portillo" and write him off thereafter?


"And Cameron’s popularity with the media won’t fade quickly."

I have never remotely understood how Cameron could be popular outside the Tory faithful. Even before Jeff Randall's wonderful comment that he would not trust Mr Cameron "with my daughter's pocket money", I regarded him as slippery by Tory standards. I will therefore keep my faith in the voting population and trust that they will see through his persona before 2014-15.

I also have a pet theory that High Definition TV broadcasting will have a major impact on public perception of politicians. In HD, I suspect that David Miliband is going to come across as weird, in a John Redwood sort of way.

Bob B

Would anyone this side of sanity want to become Labour Party leader and prime minister before the next general election?

For a start, anyone with the necessary political intelligence would appreciate that even to appear to nurture the slightest personal ambition to become Labour leader would render him(her)self an instant target for trade union lobbying on behalf of the 129 demands for union empowering legislation - or whatever the exact number of union demands is.

The slighest prevarication about backing the cause of secondary picketing would be likely to dash whatever leadership prospects there were. The sensible counsel is to maintain a low profile meanwhile and play dumb whenever the issue of Gordon Brown's succession comes up.

Innocent Abroad

The basic problem for Labour is that it was set up to promote greater equality. From the 1940s to the 1970s social democracy was plausible because technological change meant that a large number of middle class jobs were being created and so equality could be interpeted as "equality of opportunity" - which is fine and dandy when there is plenty of "up" to level people to.

But now there ain't. Middle class jobs are being shed in the way working class ones were a generation ago. Real wages are dropping through the floor thanks to the normalisation of unpaid overtime and the ongoing increases in the cost of food and fuel - which are not one-off "shocks" like the oil hike of 1973.

Comparative advantage says there must be something we can sell to the rest of the world. I've no idea what that something is, but I doubt it can employ anything like the labour supply offering. Half of the City of London will decamp to Edinburgh after Cameron and Salmond negotiate Scottish independence - London will become a few gated luxury communities set in a third world slum. (You left at the right time, Chris.)

Social democracy was enabled by the perceived need to pay back people for their suffering in two world wars (especially because Lloyd George and his succesors failed to do so after the first one). "Left" politics as we have known them were a child of a particular set of circumstances which haven't applied for a long time.

The Labour Party will never recover office. I give it no more than a 50% chance of surviving five years in opposition as a united party.


I've recently considered joining the labour party. Sounds mad, but if I want to influence change, I might stand a better chance doing it inside a party, and letting them benefit from my professional experience for free. And I couldn't join the tories or lib dems. I'd never want to be PM though (that could only happen in a Kurt-Vonnegut-esque way).

The labour party won't die - it will reinvent itself somewhere along the line.

The thing about the Conservatives is that they might have a charming new leader, but underneath that their policy ideas are a bit w*nk. I was looking at the Richards Review of Enterprise the other day and its a load of old b*ll*cks. I could have written it in an afternoon, half p*ssed.

Personally I'd rather deal with the demands of trade unions, than with the demands of the uber rich aristocracy, or peers with directorships in tobacco companies.

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