Tag Archives: david miliband

Daily View 2×2: 26 October 2009

2 Big Stories

Miliband backs Blair as EU President

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books – the man who was Tony Blair’s head of policy is now backing his former boss for the new post of President of the European Union. Who’d have thunk it? The BBC reports:

David Miliband has ruled himself out of taking a senior role within the EU, while endorsing Tony Blair for the new post of European president. … it would be “good for Britain and good for Europe” if Mr Blair became the president of the European Council. Although Mr Blair is seen as frontrunner

Posted in Daily View and Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #7: The Megrahi Documents

The Megrahi case has ripped apart the peace of the Scottish Parliamentary recess, with even some former Lib Dem leaders taking a differing view to our leader in Holyrood. Today the UK Government and Scottish Parliament have released papers relating to the discussions that have gone one over the last two years. It ranges from correspondence between Westminster and Holyrood, to memos of meetings with Libyan officials, to the compassionate release request listing medical conditions.

These start chronologically with the first letter from then-Lord Chnacellor Lord (Charles) Falconer to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond outlining the Memorandum of Understanding that Westminster had set up with Libya regarding a number of judicial issues. The Memorandum was drawn up to look at increasing bilateral co-operation covering, amongst other things, commercial and criminal issues. The legal issues were not exclusively about Mr Al Megrahi, but looking at the bigger picture of co-operation between the two nations at large. However, Lord Falconer did say that nothing could be ruled in or out, but that co-operation and consultation between Westminster and Holyrood would be carried forward.

However, it the path of the UK’s justice secretary Jack Straw’s correspondence that sheds a lot of light on the situation, especially considering the Labour response in Holyrood.

Posted in Europe / International, Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 2 September 2009

Well, that’s it. August is over, nights are drawing in, it’s downhill to Christmas, and LDV’s daily 2×2 slot that’s more-or-less been on hold over the summer returns to its more-or-less 8am schedule to bring you two top news stories and two must-read blog posts from the world of Lib Demmery.

With just 120 days till the end of the year, 2nd September is the day the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, the day Thomas Telford died in 1834, and Salma Hayek’s birthday. Happy birthday, Miss Hayek!

Two top stories

PM’s role in release of Megrahi

Gordon Brown

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Daily View 2×2: 9 August 2009

The rest of The Voice’s Daily View team may have decided to have a lie in each morning during August, but we’re made of sterner stuff here on the Sunday slot (for the moment). And as it’s a Sunday, it’s also time for another instalment of singing.

2 Big Stories

UK ‘may have 40-year Afghan role’

So reports the BBC:

The UK’s commitment to Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years, the incoming head of the Army has said.

Gen Sir David Richards, who takes over on 28 August, told the Times that “nation-building” would last decades.

Troops will be required for the medium term only, but the UK will continue to play a role in “development, governance security sector reform,” he said.

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 27 July 2009

2 Big Stories

MPs urge rail franchise reforms
A report by MPs has pronounced the rail franchise system a “muddle” and has called for its reform, including the nationalisation of East Coast trains.
From the BBC:

The Commons transport committee said operators were making profits in good times but forcing the government to step in when revenues fall.

And they charged “unacceptable” fare rises of up to 11% above inflation.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said four-fifths of passengers bought discounted tickets.

The MPs urged the government to run East Coast trains itself.

They said nationalisation could be a way of comparing

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Do you remember how PFI was meant to work?

David Miliband, House of Commons, debate on PFI in the education sector, 2004:

The public-private partnerships enable the public sector to use private sector resources to deliver elements of services that the latter, through its skills and expertise, is best placed to provide through a structure in which the private sector puts its capital at risk so that it is paid only when it delivers.

That’s of course how PFI was always sold to us by Labour (and in its previous forms by the Conservatives before that*). And now that the private sector is struggling to deliver PFI schemes for schools, …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Tell us, dear LDV readers: what gets you up in the mornings?

With apologies to those of you with real jobs that in some way involve, y’know, actual graft – nurses, retailers, premiership footballers – but for many of us with cushy office jobs, this Monday morning marks the return to our desks after over a fortnight’s holiday. And, boy, does it hurt.

Politicians, though, are a different breed it seems. Labour politicians especially appear hyperactive in their frantic eagerness to interfere in everyone’s lives I mean, save the world erm, sorry, help us ungrateful citizens. Far from dreading the alarm clock’s fascist sirens, they’re up with the larks, with a spring in …

Posted in News | 23 Comments

Israel’s air raids on Gaza: Ed Davey speaks out

Via the main Liberal Democrat website comes Ed Davey’s views:

David Miliband may not be prepared to say it, but the Israeli reaction is utterly disproportionate.

From the standpoint of ordinary people in Gaza this is a full-scale attack, which is leaving women and children dead and thousands of innocent people suffering.

The rocket attacks by Hamas are totally unacceptable, but Israel ought to have learnt from its attack on Lebanon which only served to strengthen the cause of extremism.

If David Miliband does not realise this action is disproportionate then he must be the last person in Britain who thinks so.

With this

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments

Davey: Iraq war inquiry needed now

Lib Dem shadow foreign secretary Ed Davey has renewed the party’s call for an immediate public inquiry into British involvement in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the role played by UK troops in Iraq since 2003. Ed put the question direct to Foreign Secretary David Miliband in the Commons yesterday, following strong hints from the Ministry of Defence that it expected the 4,100 British troops left in Basra to be withdrawn from Basra during the course of 2009.

Mr. Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD): Given that both the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister have said that there will

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Attorney General to investigate CIA and MI5

Via The Guardian:

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has asked the attorney general to investigate possible “criminal wrongdoing” by the MI5 and the CIA over its treatment of a British resident held in Guantánamo Bay, it was revealed tonight.

The dramatic development over allegations of collusion in torture and inhuman treatment follows a high court judgment which found that an MI5 officer participated in the unlawful interrogation of Binyam Mohamed. The MI5 officer interrogated Mohamed while he was being held in Pakistan in 2002.

It emerged tonight that lawyers acting for Smith have sent the attorney general, Baroness Scotland, evidence about MI5

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LDV readers say: Miliband would be most effective Labour leader

A fortnight is a long time in politics, y’know. With the Tories’ huge poll lead slipping back to being simply large, the economy facing a serious recession, and Gordon Brown’s conference speech judged relatively successful, the likelihood of the Prime Minister being forced from office has – at least for the moment – receded. But before all that happened, Lib Dem Voice asked our readers to say who you thought would be the most effective next Labour leader (from the Labour party’s point of view).

Here’s what you told us:

David Miliband – 19% (67)
Alan Johnson – 17% (61)

Posted in Voice polls | Also tagged | 1 Comment

How Rochdale Labour Party have dumped Gordon Brown

A rather illuminating decision by Rochdale District Labour Party: on their website, they have a sizeable photograph in the middle of their front page.

Is it their leading local member? No.

Is it the Prime Minister? No.

It’s David Miliband, MP for nowhere near Rochdale:

Rochdale District Labour Party website

Is Gordon Brown mentioned anywhere on the site? No.

A clue as to who Labour members think is and isn’t popular perhaps?

Posted in Online politics | 5 Comments

NEW POLL: who do you think would be the most effective next leader of the Labour party?

It seems inevitable the Labour leadership will continue to dominate the week’s headlines, regardless of the show of unity that is mounted for the cameras in Manchester over the next few days. The question of ‘Will Gordon survive?’ seems increasingly redundant: quite simply, Labour cannot continue like this, and even Mr Brown’s biggest fans seem unable to imagine the circumstances which will allow him to recover the popularity he lost a year ago. Events have developed a momentum of their own, and it’s a question of when, not if, he will be toppled as Labour leader.

Which begs the question: who …

Posted in Voice polls | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Opinion: If I were in the Labour party’s shoes…

Peace at the top of the Labour party lasted a month. Indeed, it had almost begun to seem as if Labour’s leadership crisis in July – the disastrous Glasgow East by-election defeat, David Miliband’s manoeuvrings – had been a figment of the mass imagination of the political commentariat.

But first Alastair Darling went blisteringly off-message, declaring the UK was facing the worst economic crisis in 60 years. And now Charles Clarke has encored his over-familiar bull-in-a-china-shop routine with an acerbic (and rather peculiar) paean to ‘Blairism’ in the New Statesman which concludes with a less-than-veiled threat:

This past week, Alistair

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

The question isn’t: ‘Should Labour replace Gordon Brown?’ It’s ‘Why would anyone want to succeed him?’

Last night’s stunning SNP victory in Glasgow East caps one of the worst six months for the Labour party in at least 25 years. Policy gaffes and u-turns; a deeply unpopular leader; and catastrophic election defeats across the country – it doesn’t get much worse than this.

The time has now passed when the question could genuinely be asked whether it is in Labour’s interest to replace Gordon Brown as leader. The answer is just too obvious: of course they should, and (if it can be achieved in a dignified way) the sooner the better. It isn’t just a matter …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Mugabe stripped of knighthood

It was three weeks ago that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg demanded at Prime Minister’s Questions that the Government strip Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe of his knighthood:

What message does it send that a man who has brought ruin and starvation to his own country continues to be honoured by a knighthood from ours? Will the Prime Minister at least accept that it is difficult to put pressure on other countries to do their bit to bring the Mugabe regime to heel if we do not take this simple, basic step? Will he take immediate action to strip Mugabe of his

Posted in Europe / International and Parliament | Leave a comment

Is James Purnell the man to take on the Tories for Labour?

Today’s ICM poll in The Guardian showing the Tories with a record 20% lead over Labour will increase the pressure on Gordon Brown.

Conventional wisdom – backed up by the results to date of the latest LDV poll – suggest the Prime Minister is safe for the moment. And at least part of the reason for that is the absence of a popular alternative – perhaps David Miliband, Alan Johnson, Harriet Harman or Jacqui Smith might do a better job. But no one in the cabinet has yet demonstrated they have anything like the chutzpah that would be …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

BBC Question Time: open thread

Lib Dem deputy leader, shadow chancellor and all-round party star Vince Cable is one of the panellists on tonight’s Question Time (broadcast on BBC1 and online from 10.35 pm GMT).

In fact, dare I say it, it looks like really quite an interesting programme this week, as – alongside Vince – will be sitting the Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband, former Tory Foreign Secretary Lord Hurd, the director of Liberty (and LDV readers’ Liberal Voice of the Year 2007) Shami Chakrabarti and the right-of-Ghengis-Khan columnist Peter Hitchens.

If you want to sound-off as you watch, please feel free to use the …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 26 Comments

Labour’s leadership problems

Depending on who you believe, either Charles Clarke is trying to get Jon Cruddas to challenge Gordon Brown for Labour’s leadership (Independent), or half the Cabinet have decided that Brown must go and David Miliband is plotting to run for leader (Sunday Times), or Brown is being put under pressure to appoint a Deputy Prime Minister, so that an obvious successor would be in place to take over from him (The Observer), or possibly all three are the case.

But perhaps the starkest sign of Labour’s problems is the paucity of appearances from senior Labour members willing …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

What Would Tony Do?

Can Labour recover from the disasters of May? First, came the local election results, when the party trailed in third place, with 24% of the national vote; then Ken lost to Boris; and now the Crewe and Nantwich by-election has left the party reeling.

Few of us will sympathise with the plight of Gordon Brown: here was a man who, after 13 years of lusting and plotting, finally found himself in the job he had always dreamed of. Like his predecessor, 10 years before, he had a golden opportunity to usher in a period of progressive, radical government. Like his …

Posted in Op-eds | 20 Comments

Paddy Ashdown: A strategy to save Afghanistan

Writing in the FT today, Paddy said:

With fighting in Afghanistan now entering its seventh year, no agreed international strategy, public support on both sides of the Atlantic crumbling, Nato in disarray and widening insecurity in Afghanistan, defeat is now a real possibility. The consequences for both Afghanistan and its allies would be appalling: global terrorism would have won back its old haven and created a new one over the border in a mortally weakened Pakistan; our domestic security threat would be gravely increased and a new instability would be added to the world’s most unstable region.

David Miliband, the British foreign

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Miliband says ‘I can’

While the blogosphere finds itself absorbed in the Fawkes-White grudgematch, I’ve been musing this much-trailed piece by David Miliband in The Telegraph. In it, the Environment Secretary sets out his political philosophy. And what is that philosophy?

He talks about how we’ve moved from ‘I need’ and ‘I want’ phases of British politics to an ‘I can’ generation. The emphasis seems to be on opportunity and the active involvement of British citizens. He talks about successful business giving more responsibility to employees. And most of all he sees a need to devolve power to local communities.

Decentralisation; individual empowerment; opportunity; self-defined …

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