Tag Archives: david miliband

David Miliband backs referendum on the deal and argues for social and political benefits of EU – how we can build on the growing anti Brexit consensus

It’s one of the great what -ifs of our time. Would we still be in the same mess if David Miliband had won the Labour leadership in 2010? We’ll never know and there are arguments on both sides. His Blairist approach might have propelled a bigger drift of Labour supporters to populist UKIP but he might also have had a big enough impact on the arguments to shift us away from Brexit or even having a referendum on the EU in the first place. Of course, his leadership might well have stopped Cameron from getting a majority at all in 2015 and we would certainly not have been in this mess.

Today, Miliband makes a new intervention in the Brexit debate with an article in the Observer in which he becomes the latest big name to back calls for a referendum on the deal.

The case against the EU depends on avoiding a discussion of the alternative. It is the equivalent of voting to repeal Obamacare without knowing the replacement. It is a stitch-up. That is one reason it is essential that parliament or the public are given the chance to have a straight vote between EU membership and the negotiated alternative. That is a democratic demand, not just a prudent one.

People say we must respect the referendum. We should. But democracy did not end on 23 June 2016. The referendum will be no excuse if the country is driven off a cliff. MPs are there to exercise judgment. Delegating to Theresa May and David Davis, never mind Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, the settlement of a workable alternative to EU membership is a delusion, not just an abdication.

Brexit is an unparalleled act of economic self-harm. But it was a big mistake to reduce the referendum to this question. The EU represents a vision of society and politics, not just economics. We need to fight on this ground too.

The Europe of Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel stands for pluralism, minority rights, the rule of law, international co-operation – and not just a single market. In fact, the real truth about the single market has been lost in translation.

He goes on to make the very valid point that the EU’s institutions protect our rights as individuals and as workers against exploitation from large commercial organisations and governments. As he puts it, the EU has actually done more to shield us from the effects of globalisation than to harm us:

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Brexit as political arson by David Miliband

It isn’t the done thing here to link to opinion pieces in the newspapers by Labour politicians. So much that I’m not even sure what category to use. We have LibLink for links to articles by Liberal Democrats, and we have the slightly oddly named “Independent View” for articles by non-members.

But sometimes, hang the taxonomy, this is important enough to link to anyway.

David Miliband steps away from arguments over the costs of membership and Brexit, of whether we could get back the agreements on trade, policing, etc, that Brexit would tear up, the implications, if any, on immigration. Instead he looks at the bigger picture.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

So. Farewell then, David Miliband

So.david miliband
Farewell then
David Miliband.

You did not
Win the
Labour leadership.

Though you got more votes
Than Brother Ed

The trade unions
Did not
like you.

They liked
him instead.

That was
your tragedy.
And it will be
His.

EJ Thribb

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Lord Tyler writes: Don’t listen to the doomsayers

Since the publication of the Government’s White Paper and Draft Bill on House of Lords reform, the old guard have lined up to cavil about its detail, to deride its democratic principles and to defend – in the last ditch – the status quo.

This has augmented the popular media’s predisposition towards arch cynicism and trenchant pessimism. Yet there is firm evidence to contradict their lazy assumptions. Just because Labour engaged in over a decade of dither and delay does not mean that a determined government, with the resolve of the House of Commons behind it, cannot succeed.

The …

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Opinion: Why Labour members should defect to the Liberal Democrats

If you’re Labour, and want to be an MP in a safe seat, switching to the Lib Dems would be a bad move. Perhaps you like authoritarian policies on law and order, and prefer to avoid difficult decisions on the deficit. If so, the Lib Dems isn’t the party for you.

But maybe you think politics isn’t black and white, that there is good and bad in all the parties, and so working together is a good thing. Perhaps you think that the government should do what will work on law and order, rather than pander to the tabloid press, and …

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Opinion: return to your trattoria and prepare for tagliatelle

Well, it’s been quite a week. We know Clegg called Ed Miliband to congratulate him on his victory at the weekend. Quite right too. Ed then strolled around telling everyone how he and David Miliband were, to quote Mark Knopfler, “Brothers in arms”.

Ed then unveiled his road to Damascus moment – on civil liberties, Iraq, banks, AV and justice reform. Spot on, Ed. His keynote speech said cuts were bad in general, but some were needed. But not which ones.

Or when. He implied he now thought the Lib Dems not quite as bad as when he campaigned for …

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What would you do if you were David Miliband?

Let’s leave to one side, at least for the purposes of this post, David Miliband’s record as foreign secretary in the last Labour government. It would take a heart of stone not to feel sympathy for him over the events of the last week.

To lose the Labour leadership for which he fought long and hard is a tough thing. To lose it by a wafer-thin majority having won over, pretty convincingly, majorities of the party’s membership and his parliamentary colleagues is a tough thing. To lose it to his younger brother is a tough thing. To lose it and know …

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First thoughts on Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader

Here are some first thoughts on what Ed Miliband’s wafer-thin election victory in the contest to lead Labour might mean…

1. He’s going to have to work hard to prove he’s his own man. There’s no doubt the right-wing press and the Conservatives will do all they can to show Ed Miliband is little more than a puppet of the unions, given he won Labour’s electoral college thanks to the votes of trade unionists, having lost the vote among party members and MPs/MEPs. The pressure will be on for him to show he can stand up to union power or risk …

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Three key issues facing the new Labour leader, Mr Miliband

In an hour’s time we shall know who is the new leader of the Labour party. Though the bookies now make Ed Miliband favourite, my hunch is that older brother David will get the nod, just. We shall soon see. The best guide I’ve read on what to look out for as the votes are announced is over at Next Left; Adam Boulton’s blog also has a good guide to the nuts and bolts of what happens when.

But whichever of the Milibands wins through, here are three issues they will need urgently to address heading into the party’s …

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LDV survey: Lib Dem members think Mili-D would make best Labour leader (but Balls would be best for us)

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the early race for the party presidency, the London mayoral selection, Trident, and the Labour leadership. Over 400 party members have responded, and we’ve been publishing the full results.

This Saturday we find out who will be the next Labour leader. The assumption is it will be neck-and-neck between the Brothers Miliband, David and Ed. David has been the favourite throughout the summer-long contest, but in the last few weeks theres been a sense that the race has tightened with many folk now tipping …

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Who would get your vote in the Labour leadership contest?

The weekend papers were full of speculation about the Labour leadership contest, which as it draws to a close appears to be a nail-bitingly close finish between the Brothers Miliband.

According to pollster YouGov, Ed Miliband is set to sneak victory by the closest of margins after second preferences are taken into account; though the poll didn’t appear to take into account the votes of MPs and MEPs who control one-third of Labour’s electoral college. This is not, after all, a party which believes all votes should be equal, whether in Parliamentary constituencies or in their own leadership race.

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Dave reckons Mili-D’s the biggest threat: for the record, so do I

David Cameron has ‘let it be known’ (ie, his press team briefed the Guardian) that shadow foreign secretary David Miliband “poses the greatest threat to the Conservative party of all the candidates in the Labour leadership contest”.

How to interpret this? Is Dave’s backing of David a cunning bluff: the Tory leader backing the most New Labour-identified candidate to put Labour members off backing him? Or could it be an even cunninger double bluff: the Tory leader, knowing his endorsement could be read as a bluff, backing the most media-awkward candidate in the hope Labour members will vote for …

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The Miliband campaigning house parties

Over on the Total Politics website they’ve been poking fun at the ‘house party’ instructions issued by the David Miliband campaign. On reading the piece at first I thought it was being a little harsh, because house parties (where you invite electors – Labour members in this case – to a small event to discuss things face-to-face) have a great role in campaigning. And yes, the instructions are a bit detailed at points – but then many people will be hosting this sort of event for the first time ever.

Then, however, I got to this part:

Read your guests a

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David Miliband adopts Lib Dem mansion tax policy

The Guardian reports today:

Owners of homes worth more than £2m should pay an annual “mansion tax” to help the poor, Labour leadership contender David Miliband said today. The shadow foreign secretary said the levy would raise £1.7bn to restore housing benefit for the least well-off.

The proposal – outlined in an interview with the Evening Standard – appears designed to drive a wedge between the coalition partners, as well as appealing to Labour grassroots.

Business secretary, Vince Cable, put the idea in the Liberal Democrat general election manifesto – but it was lost during negotiations with the Tories. Under the plan,

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David Cameron to campaign against Alternative Vote reform

This morning, David Miliband – leading contender for the Labour Leadership – said that he’s in favour of Alternative Vote reform.

Now the BBC reports:

David Cameron will campaign against changing the voting system, his spokesman said, in a referendum expected next May.

His spokesman said the PM would be asked his view and “clearly his view is that he’s not in favour of it”.

There’s been some ambiguity about whether Cameron being against AV constitutes him campaigning against the reform – the Prime Minister’s own spokesman doesn’t yet seem sure:

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David Miliband backs Alternative Vote reform, lays down gauntlet to Cameron

With Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg set to announce 5th May, 2011, as the date of the referendum on electoral reform, David Miliband – currently the leading contender to become the next Labour leader – was this morning asked the direct question whether he would back the move to the Alternative Vote. His answer was unequivocal: yes, and he would be infavour of Labour members campaigning for it during the referendum campaign:

I think that it’s important that we move to a system where every Member of Parliament has at least 50 per cent of the vote of their constituents.”

It’s …

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Opinion: Who do we want to win the Labour leadership election?

It’s been interesting to see the final list of nominations for Labour Party leader which, for those that missed it, is:

Diane Abbott
Ed Balls
Andy Burnham
David Miliband
Ed Miliband

The response from all quarters about the list first that its very ‘samey’, with much said about tokenism and the inclusion of Diane Abbott, not because she’s black or a woman but because she represents the old left of the party. That got me to thinking about who would be the best from a Lib Dem point of view.

A Leftie

Dianne Abbott is the only real left leaning candidate. A Labour party under her ministrations would …

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Want to know who the most liberal Labour leadership contender is?

Before the election, Lib Dem Voice launched How Authoritarian is your MP?, a website which ranked how authoritarian – or liberal – were MPs in the 2005-10 parliament based on their voting record on 10 key issues. These ranged from ID cards to detention without trial to freedom of speech.

The five candidates for the Labour leadership are now official – so we can now see how their voting record compares, and name the contender who is, officially, the most liberal potential Labour leader …

(NB: if you click on their name you can see how their voting record stacks up).

1. Diane Abbott.

36% authoritarian, 64% liberal.

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Shouldn’t Labour MPs just nominate the candidate they think is best for the job?

I’ve been intrigued these past couple of days to see the main Labour blogs fall over themselves to argue that the current three front-runners for the Labour leadership – now they have the MP nominations needed to be on the ballot – should urge their parliamentary colleagues to nominate one of the three also-ran contenders to ensure “the widest possible field of candidates in the leadership election”.

I can understand the principle behind the campaign, of course. Frankly, if I were in the shoes of a Labour member (as I was for a number of years), I …

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LDV members’ survey (2): Labour leadership – Ed Miliband wins your vote (but Ed Balls would be best for Lib Dems)

Lib Dem Voice has been conducting a survey this week of party members registered on our members’ forum asking them for their views of the coalition, Labour leadership and the party’s general election result. Over 400 have responded, and here’s part two of what you’ve told us …

LDV asked: Putting aside your Lib Dem allegiance who do you think would make the best Labour leader?

Here’s what you said:

37% – Ed Miliband
25% – Diane Abbott
17% – David Miliband
9% – Andy Burnham
8% – John McDonnell
3% – Ed Balls
(Excluding Don’t know / No opinion =

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , and | 11 Comments

Inquiry into allegations of complicity with torture

British spies accused of secretly colluding with the CIA and foreign governments in a plot that sees people tortured in foreign countries. Not only does it sound like the storyline of many a political thriller, take that story and place it in almost any post-war decade and you’d expect it to be a Conservative government doing the colluding and Labour MPs decrying the international conspiracy, with a campaigning left-wing journalist thrown in for good measure publishing scoops and demanding an independent judicial inquiry.

Except, of course, in the topsy turvey political days that we live it was a Labour government that …

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Labour’s failure – and dilemma – in a sentence

This quote from Jon Cruddas beautifully sums up much of what went wrong with the Labour government – and the dilemma Labour faces working out what to do next:

I’ve known for David Miliband for twenty years, I’ve known Ed Balls for twenty years, but I don’t know what they stand for.

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Fake “Miliband for Leader” website slams Gordon Brown

Last week David Miliband announced his intention to stand for the Labour leadership, and there are already websites promoting and discussing potential contenders.

However, one of them is not what it seems:

David Miliband fake website screenshot

It looks exactly like David Miliband’s personal website, http://www.davidmiliband.info, right down to the photo slideshow, and work has clearly gone into making it come out well in Google search results (known as Search Engine Optimisation).

If you Google “Miliband for Leader” the seventh result on the first page is http://www.milibandforleader.co.uk.

The …

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Daily View 2×2: 18 May 2010

Good morning and welcome to today’s Daily View on International Museum Day.

On this day in 1991, Britain’s first astronaut, 27-year-old Helen Sharman,  blasted into orbit on the Soviet Soyuz TM-12 space capsule. I wonder if I should mention that Ms Sharman is from Sheffield?

Sixty years ago, twelve nations agreed the aims and objectives for the permanent organisation of NATO. The founder members at the launch at Lancaster House in London were: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States.  Later that year, Dwight D Eisenhower was appointed Nato’s first supreme commander.

 

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Daily View 2×2: 14 May 2010. “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Welcome to the Daily View for May 14. Happy 66th birthday to George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars movies.

“Do or Do not. There is no try” video also available on YouTube.

Perhaps Lynne Featherstone had this in mind this morning when she wrote Doing – not saying! Congratulations, Lynne, on your appointment as Under Secretary of State for Equalities.

Do or do not? – 2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that caught my eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • We have to make this work
  • From Cllr Steve Guy’s blog, “The Sandals are Off”:

    To be a Lib Dem who doesn’t agree with the new politics is to fundamentally have misunderstood what being a Lib Dem means. Central to our manifesto in every year of our existence has been our commitment for fair votes (proportional representation). If you believe in PR, then by definition, you believe that the old two party seesaw was bad.

  • Why I am leaving the Liberal Democrats…
  • by Jane Watkinson:

    I do leave the Liberal Democrats still fully supporting what they stand for. Unfortunately, I think we have compromised too many of our central beliefs in a bid for power. I know many of you agree with the coalition, and it has become apparent that it is best I leave instead of trying to argue my case within.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

Doing and trying – 2 Big Stories

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“Labour is shunning gay Iraqis, asylum seekers”

That’s the headline on a comment piece run by Pink News:

As he launched Labour’s international LGBT manifesto last Wednesday, foreign secretary David Miliband made one howler, echoed by another in the manifesto’s text.

He said: “Under Labour the UK will continue to be a beacon of hope for LGBT people.”

This delusion sounded a lot like Home Office minister Phil Woolas’ article last year, when he wrote that he was proud of the attendees of the London Pride march who’d found sanctuary in the UK – never mind that his office would have refused them and fought tooth-and-nail to remove them.

The pair

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Purnell to quit as MP – what does he mean by that?

Well, there’s a turn-up: James Purnell – former secretary of state for work and pensions, the man who almost brought down Gordon Brown, and seemingly a strong contender for the Labour leadership after the next election – has announced he will be quitting Parliament at the general election. Here’s how The Times reports it:

Labour insiders said that he was telling his Stalybridge and Hyde local party that with regret he was standing down to seek new challenges. …

After his resignation Mr Purnell returned to the back benches and has played a big part in running the Demos centre-left

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What the papers say…

Tories claim Labour is using taxpayers’ money to fund election advertising campaign – Telegraph, 15.1.10

“The Conservatives accused Labour of “raiding” taxpayers’ money to fund their election campaign. New figures uncovered by the Conservatives show that spending on advertising has increased to £232 million, which is a 39 per cent increase on the previous year.”

A tenth of schools fail to meet GCSE targets – The Guardian, 14.1.10

“One in 10 secondary schools in England failed to meet basic targets for GCSEs last summer and academies were disproportionately represented among the failing institutions, government statistics published today reveal.

“David Laws, the Liberal Democrats’ education …

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What David Miliband could have learned from Chris Huhne

David Miliband’s reputation has taken a bit of a knock over the past week. Today Labour MP Geraldine Smith went on the record to give her withering assessment, as noted by The Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow:

David Miliband needs to display a more mature attitude, really. … I think he’s yet to prove himself in any capacity. … I think David Miliband is probably finished as a potential leadership candidate. … he hasn’t covered himself in a glory. I think he’s behaved in quite an immature way. Labour party members are very angry about what’s gone on in the last few days.

Strong stuff, even in a backbiting party hellbent on imploding this side of the general election. But I don’t feel much sympathy for Mr Miliband, who has brought his woes on himself.

The big decisions in life are nearly always binary: you either choose to do something, or you choose not to do it.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

John Hutton was right: Gordon has been ‘a fucking disaster’. But who else was there?

At long last, what was widely known in Westminster Village circles has rippled out beyond: John Hutton was the cabinet minister who told the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson in 2006 that Gordon Brown would be ‘a fucking disaster’ in the role of prime minister. Well done to BBC Radio 4’s Eddie Mair for wringing the admission from a reluctant Mr Hutton.

But it prompts two questions.

First, if this was Mr Hutton’s view – albeit one from which he has subsequently resiled, in public at any rate – why did he choose to become one of the 308 Labour …

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    Devolution, at its worst, is simply handing out the responsibility but with the power. It's happening in Wales now. There will be no point complaining...
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    One of the problems we have with regard to university education is that academic intelligence is the only intelligence that is valued with the result...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 16th Dec - 1:19pm
    A Federal solution is a possible answer. Not ‘balkanisation’ as (far from) ‘Innocent Bystander’ envisages. It could go something like this: A Federal Parliament in...
  • User AvatarFiona 16th Dec - 1:10pm
    I had meant to include in my comment something about further devolution including an adapted Barnet type formula. There already exists fiscal transfer across the...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 16th Dec - 12:33pm
    More English devolution nonsense. Firstly the English will never accept the Balkanisation and destruction of England and secondly the author never mentions the key word...
  • User Avatarexpats 16th Dec - 11:43am
    iona 15th Dec '18 - 4:34pm.............75% going to university is neither realistic, nor desirable IMO. Switch ‘going to university.......... Most of the young population going...