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November 09, 2014



You've omitted to mention the fact that the Blairites never accepted Ed M and have been looking for any excuse to get rid of him ever since.

gastro george

And that nest of Blairites that comprises the political journalists of the Guardian and Observer have never been shy of promoting "Miliband in crisis" stories every day of the week.

What is remarkable is how, despite this continuous political assasination, the polling of Labour and Miliband have largely held up.

You would have thought they'd have made better use of their time this week analysing Osborne's blatant dissembling.


The Blairites never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to do something useful.


Patrick Wintour is a very unsubtle exponent of Blairite dirty tricks. Why does the Guardian employ him? Ditto Martin Kettle.

Dave Timoney

The problem is that the fixed-term parliament has led to an extended phoney war as legislation dries up. The media need something to get their teeth into and many backbenchers are bored.

Manifestos won't be published till early April, after the March budget, so we've got 5 months of nonsense to look forward to. The prominence given to the EU surcharge is also symptomatic: a slight story that would normally only exercise the likes of Daniel Hannan.

The danger is that this febrile atmosphere may give rise to emotivist policy-making, either to grab headlines or to avoid being on the wrong side of them.


Surely the question is, why is the Guardian indulging in such infantile games? At the last election they advised people to vote for the Lib Dems who are now rightly facing oblivion, so you'd think Rusbridger and co might think twice before joining the rest of the right wing press in its petennial, puerile game of get'red' Ed.


The childish desire to have a leader (=Daddy)to be able to solve our problems without us needing to think is being indulged by the media. I can't imagine a way out of this mess without a leader, a grown up to help us grow up. Horrible thought.

gastro george

The irony is that, IIUC, Miliband has tried to create exactly the kind of collegiate leadership that might be required.


It seems to me there’s plenty for constructive political journalism to explore: policy policy and policy, but this is ignored, or said not to exist. Enter stage left: Russell Brand spots a disserted market. There’s a preference for ‘leadership’ comparisons. Perhaps because there’s a glut of stupid politicians, with an eye on their own careers, unable to see an obvious timing error.
Or maybe it’s because what’s written up as “of concern to the public” is largely a manufactured narrative, something that suits the agenda.


Certain Labour mps and members clearly want to stay in opposition as they prefer to carp rather than rule.

Kinnock is right that they are cowardly, as they have no credible alternative and it is too late to ditch the leader anyway. If they had a realistic alternative leader and policies they would have come up with them by now.

I am told there is a divide between the Blarites and "soft left" but I have not noticed much difference. The old divides inside the labour Party are ancient history, they are all responsible for their fate as they abandoned any real policy differences years ago.

It is one thing to split your party over actual disagreements as in the Bevanite period but quite a feat to split over entirely imaginary differences.


Probably Martin Kettle was left alone and unsupervised in Kings' Place on Saturday.

Martin Kettle wrote a very stupid article a few weeks ago, saying that Miliband had been weak and indecisive about the bombing of ISIS. I would have thought that the mergence of ISIS, and the need to contain it, called for a pause for reflection; that, however, was not the way Kettle saw it.


Used to be said that Oppositions did not win elections, instead Incumbents lost them. As it stands there seems little to choose between Labour and Tory and the Tories have not yet demonstrated a sufficient level of corruption and incompetence to lose. The bar is very high and it usually takes them about 15 years to clear it.

IMHO nothing good will happen between 2015 and 2020 and so the next election looks one to lose. Indeed, egged on by Farage the loony wing of the Tories might help them over the losing bar by 2020. So hang on Labour, retrench and get ready for 2020 or 2025. As for the poor voters, happy are those who expect little....

As for choosing a sensible pragmatic and collegiate politician, well we might just be fed-up enough to try it by 2025.

Old Buccaneer

Roger McGough nailed it in his poem (cant recall the title)
I wanna be the leader (repeat 10 times)
I am the leader
OK what shall we do?

@ various earlier commenters: ponder that before (?reflexively) reaching for 'The Big Book of Conspiracy Theories & Splits'


Does social democracy offer the electorate something in a time of austerity and neoliberalism? Look at the rise and rise (post referendum) of the SNP in Scotland (and Greens, SSP and non-aligned left thinking groups like Common Weal). The question is why is this not happening (or not visible?) in England?


What you really somehow need to do is to shed (as a society) blame culture, persuade people that learning from mistakes is good, that thinking and evidence is good, and that having wise rather than charismatic people in charge is good. You need an insanely charismatic and well balanced person (or team) to achieve that, and you need to overcome the ranks of vested interests and power that would be arrayed against you to win over the hearts and minds of the electorate.

Once in power you somehow have to turn economic and political thought to long term rather than short term success, and plan for a successful future.

Achieve all that and we may one day be both successful and become a democracy!

But we'll probably whither and die instead.

gastro george

A new low on the lunchtime news today, as Martha Kearney asks Balls why he didn't tweet his support for Miliband.


Good to see the BBC doing their bit for the further infantilization of the media. Nice to know that my licence fee is being spent on that kind of crap.

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