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May 24, 2010

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Kay Tie

"Labour were 23% ahead in the polls when John Smith died, after he'd been leader for only two years."

And here was me thinking that John Smith's tax and spend plans had something to do with a hugely unpopular Tory Party winning in 1992. Well, John Smith is a common name. It must have been a totally different John Smith.

DG

Alistair Campbell... all I can say (on a public forum) about him is this: if he wants to debate with ministers, let him stand for election and do it in Parliament like everybody else.

Law.P. Pill

Mandelson,Whelan,Blair,Campbell need I say more? Paul Flynn is my MP and is the only reason I continue to vote Labour.

DG

Labour were 23% ahead in the polls when John Smith died, after he'd been leader for only two years.

Don't mistake wit for wisdom.

Kay Tie

Your party was killed by John Smith.

Law.P. Pill

Kay Tie, my party died with John Smith. I was hoping for a Lazarus moment but it looks more like the rise of the replicants.

DG

And that's just what his friends say about him.

Tom

Intelligence, flexibility and guile. So that is what goes to making a politician an ideal leader of the Labour Party?

Kay Tie

"Us reds are still out here but the party is drifting away from me with every utterance from these identikit careerists."

Fight for the party you love! Marxism is more relevant today than ever before.

Kay Tie

"Susan, I am a Labour party member and like John and have worked with him in the past. However, Kate Hoey is an appalling individual "

Oh it's so nice to hear the Labour Party unity of old. Only the other day, that old relic the Socialist Workers were in the news for invading ACAS. Ah, the glory days of donkey jackets and electoral oblivion beckon.

Keep up the good work!

Kay Tie

"You may infuriate, by getting things back to front, upside down and inside out but you believe in yourself and that is surely worth something."

You must be approaching your second childhood, because that sounded like the playground blather of a six year old.

Chris

Susan, I am a Labour party member and like John and have worked with him in the past. However, Kate Hoey is an appalling individual who chairs the Countryside Alliance killing for fun organisation and who after the election gloated in the bloodsports press about how many Labour MPs had been removed from their seats (including many on the left) by her pals in the bloodsports fraternity who had been busy pouring in support for the Tories in the marginal seats. I would not want to be in the same space as that awful MP so I cannot endorse JM.I would not cheer her for one second,she is vile.

susan press

How disappointing. But I am glad the momentum for a more measured approach is gathering ground.
I find it surprising you do not see that for thousands of Labour Party members hoping for a new start a frsnkly almost indistinguishable contest with two Milibands - one a direct heir to Blair - is simply not what the Party needs if it is to re-connect and inspire people.
And David Miliband does not need nominations from the left. He's already on the ballot.
We need a broad contest and debate - not another wretched shoo-in. Tnank goodness Dai Havard, Kate Hoey, and Frank Field have set the ball rolling for John McDonnell. John may not ( just like Balls, Abbott and Burnham) have a chance of winning but his voice , like those of all the other six, surely deserves to be heard in the hustings. Hustings which could seriously engage so many disillusioned members and bring people back to the Party. The prospect of a brotherly debate for three months makes many of us shudder.
Is the political world at Westminster solely the preserve of fortyomething middle-class white males ? It would seem some would prefer that to be the case. Labour Party members who loyally pay their subs and work at election time do not deserve to be vetoed in this way. Hopefully we won't be if other MPs have the sense to listen

Law.P.Pill

Paul, your support of either of the Millibands disappoints me. The Guardian recently informed me that their parents were Marxists/socialists but they don't seem to have paid attention to them. Us reds are still out here but the party is drifting away from me with every utterance from these identikit careerists.

HuwOS

That's right KayTie, it's the civil service who make policy and the politicians who implement it.

The accuracy and depth of your understanding on this is every bit equal to your understanding of every other issue.

You may infuriate, by getting things back to front, upside down and inside out but you believe in yourself and that is surely worth something.

Kay Tie

"Hardly classic Labour, it was a Thatcherite wet dream"

It certainly wasn't a Thatcherite dream: the civil service wanted fees and loans, and it was Major's government that was bounced into it, to be expanded by the cuddly New Labour crowd.

HuwOS

It was one of the good ideas of recent years. It encouraged and rewarded thrift. Many grandparents found that topping up the fund was a better choice that adding to the mountain of trash toys that are dumped on over-indulged grandchildren." - Paul

"It was a rubbish idea, and best gone." K

True, it seemed to be there primarily for the benefit of the financial companies rather than the relatives or the children themselves.


"1. The grandparents had to pay higher taxes to fund it. Classic Labour tactic to taking money from the people and making them beg for it back." - K

Of course, they didn't pay higher taxes because of it, one of KayTie's little pet lunacies at work on that point.

"2. An ISA can be opened for a child saving account."

True

"3. The money will be given to the child at 18 and spent on a ton of rubbish."

Only for those kids from families with money to spare, who admittedly are the ones who would have done best out of this, the kids that is, it was a poor deal for the people providing the money, but then that's how a lot of grubby financial type businesses operates.


"4. At best the CTF could cover only part of the university tuition fees that Labour introduced. Again, the classic Labour scenario of taking and making one beg for some it back."

Partly true, in that it wouldn't cover the costs imposed by the last right wing government, the one that bizarrely used the word Labour in their name, under the pretence of opening up third level education. Hardly classic Labour, it was a Thatcherite wet dream, but for some reason KayTie reckons if a party calls itself Labour and implements a Thatcherite policy it somehow becomes socialist.

"5. The largest gainers were the financial advisers selling expensive fee-laden financial products to poorly-educated people."

So very true, as with all right wing governments, a policy that is announced as being for the benefit of the least well off is in fact one that benefits the financial services industry and the children of the middle classes and KayTie gets to call it classic Labour too.
Those on the right just love having their cake, eating it, regurgitating it and then pointing out how the poor can't be so badly off as they aren't willing to lick it off the floor, quickly and with many expression so of gratitude.


"A stupid wasteful idea rightly abolished."
Too true, businesses, particularly those in the financial industries get more than enough taxpayer support as it is.

DG

"DM is a social democrat in the European sense. Tony Blair is not. Further, in 2008, I can recall a wonderful speech when he admitted the mistakes made in Iraq etc and set out a wonderful vision for our future relationships with international partners."

The differences are an academic classification issue and a "mistakes were made" speech? I take it back, you should have him as your leader. He represents the party perfectly.

"I value political leaders that can command the country's votes."

Yes, that's exactly what I accused you of. I'm astonished that you don't find the notion insulting. Other people tend to look for things like evidence of integrity and a value system that doesn't revolve around "playing the game."

"It is quite wrong in my opinion for people in the party to follow the media in trying to place the current leadership candidates in either camp."

I'm not in your party and I don't give a care about who's in whose "camp" because I'm not 11 years old. Like too much about the last government, the "differences" between Blair and Brown were more to do with style than substance anyway.

Paul - yes, Robin Cook would have been great. Aren't there any more like him out there?

Kay Tie

"It was one of the good ideas of recent years. It encouraged and rewarded thrift. Many grandparents  found that topping up the fund was a better choice that adding to the mountain of trash toys that are dumped on over-indulged grandchildren."

It was a rubbish idea, and best gone.

1. The grandparents had to pay higher taxes to fund it. Classic Labour tactic to taking money from the people and making them beg for it back.

2. An ISA can be opened for a child saving account.

3. The money will be given to the child at 18 and spent on a ton of rubbish.

4. At best the CTF could cover only part of the university tuition fees that Labour introduced. Again, the classic Labour scenario of taking and making one beg for some it back.

5. The largest gainers were the financial advisers selling expensive fee-laden financial products to poorly-educated people.

A stupid wasteful idea rightly abolished.

Paul Flynn

DG, if only Robin Cook had survived, the choice of labour Leader would be simple.

valleylad

Everybody should have been aware the whatever govt was elected cuts and/or tax rises were the order of the day. I'm not overly concerned about the CTF - good idea - but I've done other things for my kids as giving them control at 18 is too young.

Labour need to understand that many of their traditional supporters hate what they've become - it's over 20 years since I quit. I view the previous govt as a pathetic failure. I want a new leader who will make amends for Zanu-labour and promise something better than this coalition is offering. They could start by explaining how they fought hard to prevent ID cards/iraq war/etc. D. Millipide is more of the same - pointless and far right.

Jane

Forgive me DG. I take it as read that in order to implement policies that I feel benefit the country particularly the disadvantaged, then I need a Labour Government. I took it as read that we can all list the many achievements under Tony Blair's premiership. Shall I start with
1. the minimum wage
2. FOI
3. Equal rights for homosexuals
4. Huge investment in public services which were creaking
5. improvements particularly in education with more people going to university
6. Sure start
7. Tax credits.
8. Northern Ireland peacae
9. Free entrances to museums/galleries
10 More hours of childcare

I could go on. Of course there were mistakes but I do feel the gains far outweighed these. I value political leaders that can command the country's votes. To win an election you need to draw votes from other political parties. Tony Blair was able to do this. Gordon Brown could not. In my opinion, David Miliband would appeal in areas of the country were the labour vote was decimated in the last election.

I can of course point up the differences between TB and DM. DM is a social democrat in the European sense. Tony Blair is not. Further, in 2008, I can recall a wonderful speech when he admitted the mistakes made in Iraq etc and set out a wonderful vision for our future relationships with international partners. In my opinion people like David and Ed Miliband, James Purnell and Andy Burnham have worked hard to move on from the Brown and Blair years. It is quite wrong in my opinion for people in the party to follow the media in trying to place the current leadership candidates in either camp.

DG

"Just because someone works for someone does not mean they necessarily agree with all their decisions."

His voting record suggests otherwise. Plus he was head of the policy unit.

Also: "Voters will miss Tony Blair":
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6344823.stm

And "Miliband could succeed me as PM":
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/mar/25/uk.labourleadership


If you have evidence of a space where a cigarette paper could be put between the two, I'd be pleased to see it. Not sure I'd describe him as a clone, but protege wouldn't be far off the mark.

It's very telling that you describe Tony Blair as a "great Prime Minister who got us elected three times". Not "a great Prime Minister who did x to help y" or "a great Prime Minister who achieved z". Shows what you value in a leader, I guess.

HuwOS

"David Miliband is to the left of the former PM."
As were all Tory leaders before Thatcher.

Is there a point to a Labour party that is slightly to the left of far right or even one as some people here call for that squarely straddles the centre.
Surely if it is not at least firmly on the left of centre it is a pointless institution, hanging around to give the British public the great mantra of the last 30 years, the appearance of choice.

Jane

I agree with your choice Paul. We need to look to the future which means that we need someone have someone who appeals to the middle ground, who is articulate and who can manage the media. David Miliband has these qualities. Added to this, he is respected and liked throughout Europe and with the US Secretary of State and her department. Neither do I think he has made enemies in the party unlike one other candidate.

You have my utmost respect. You have thought about the interests of the party and the country. I am sure that one of the two candidates on the left would have expected your vote.

To those above who criticise David Miliband. A reminder that Jon Cruddas worked for Tony Blair. Are you suggesting that he too is a clone? Just because someone works for someone does not mean they necessarily agree with all their decisions. David Miliband is not Tony Blair (I liked Tony Blair and thought he was a good PM who got us elected on three occasions. He also held the party together against all the odds given that he was continually up against GB and his cronies). David Miliband is to the left of the former PM. I have also read Robin Cooks' book and he spoke very highly of Tony Blair!!

Thank goodness Mr Wakefield was removed from the register and is now deemed unfit to practice. He was interviewed on C4 news yesterday and I had to press the mute button as despite the evidence against him he remains his arrogant, selfish despicable self. I wonder if he will take the matter to appeal.....

I have not made up my mind on the Trust Fund. Certainly the funds specifically set up for children (I contribute to some) have not performed very well. Can we really afford to keep them going. Are they very costly? Does every parent claim them? You are right though - I now give money to young children (in addition to books) rather than toys. I find it offenssive when I see play rooms filled with expensive toys most of which are never used.

Once again thank you - you have demonstrated that the interests of the party and a future labour government is crucial in supporting DM for leader..

Patrick

"Robin Cook had that same choice and made a better one. You need more like him, not more like Tony Blair."

You are right off course DG.

I'm amazed that our host and contributors on here think David Milliband will be a good choice of new leader.

DM is a great choice if you want another Blairite clone that is intelligent, persuasive,electable ,comes across well on TV ,and good speaker. He's also a good choice to continue the New-Labour nightmare.

As Blair taught us, there is no point in being in power if your policies mirror your rivals.What's the point in having another right-wing leader to give us policies that the Tories would be proud of?

Why doesn't DM go and join the Tories and take 75% of the party with him. At least that would leave room for a new Bevan, Foot, , Benn, Cook ,or Smith.

Yes! It would be unelectable, but at least it would be Labour.

Greg

You may not be overjoyed with the end of the Child Trust Fund Paul, but due to the fact that the last government spent like drunken sailors we currently have a national debt of £900 billion, and an annual budget deficit of £156 billion.

This is the least of it - just wait until the emergency budget!

The current government is going to have to sort out the financial disaster they inherited, or the UK loses a decent credit rating -rather than complaining about the actions they are taking, maybe you could propose some alternatives?

HuwOS

And what Jonny does Paul's MMR report, or his indignation at the end of the child trust fund have to do with his choice of who to support for the next leader of the Labour party.
For that matter what does your comment on comment have to do with it either.
Paul blogs about what he chooses to blog about and that is his business, it does not mean all comments must be linked to simply what he chose to write about one day, or as you would apparently have it, only one of the things he chose to blog about.

Paul has made his choice and I have previously made my comments about his choice.

He is as it happens my MP and I am using his blog to raise my concerns about an issue with him and asking him to see what he can do in relation to those concerns.
Specifically, the criminalisation of children, the abuse of the court system and the nonsense of putting children who are legally determined to be too young to have a full or competent understanding of sex on the sex offenders register, part of the currently popular idea of attributing adult motives to childrens behaviour.


DG

"His choice was to support the Government line or resign."

Robin Cook had that same choice and made a better one. You need more like him, not more like Tony Blair.

Jonny Roberts

Huw, what the hell do your comments have to do with the next leader of the Labour Party? Anyway I think Paul has made a choice from a more educated posistion than I, having worked and debated with both Milibands, on who is the best candidate to lead a new generation of the Labour Party into the next election or two. I look forward to the campaigns.

HuwOS

On this case of 10 year olds being charged, tried, convicted and placed on the sex offenders register for the crime of attempted statutory rape despite the possibility that it is not utterly implausible that it was a case of "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"
Along with the fact that as all participants are of an age where the law acknowledges that none of them can knowingly consent to sexual activity.
Questions should be raised in the house about this case, and about better ways to deal with such incidents in the future.

Especially if this was a case of children playing doctors and nurses, we can expect a heck of a lot more of them to be coming our way. Unless children have changed drastically over the last couple of decades from how they were over the last few millennia or so.

HuwOS

British justice at its... ummm... finest?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/05/did_rape_trial_serve_public_in.html

Paul Flynn

David Milliband voted as a member of the Government and Cabinet. His choice was to support the Government line or resign. If we eliminate from the list of candidates all tose who served in Government, the choice would be very limited.

David Milliband has been responsible for decisoins with which I profoundly disagree. I will continue tomorrow questioning him and all parties on the Afghan disaster. I am nominating as the best potential leader.

DG

I'm struggling to understand why you support David Milliband, Paul. He's not from the left of the party, as you portray yourself to be. He doesn't support your campaigns.

By your own admission, he puts his job above his principals by supporting your arguments against remaining in Afghanistan - "you'd be surprised how many of your arguments I support" - while continuing to keep the troops there.

He's VERY closely association with Tony Blair - who you've always taken great pains to distance yourself from during your election campaigning.

He doesn't strike me as liberally minded, either - from Theyworkforyou.com:

Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Voted strongly for introducing ID cards
Voted strongly for allowing ministers to intervene in inquests.
Voted strongly for a stricter asylum system.
Voted very strongly for the Iraq war
Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.

I hope you're not just supporting him on the basis that he's electable - not only because that's small and immoral, but also because I doubt he's as electable as the media think. Cameron was supposed to be "electable" too, remember - and Gordon Brown was supposed to sink without a trace.

Jonny Roberts

I've voting for Ed but you're totally right to narrow things down to the two brothers. I just think Ed would cut a slightly more humanised figure against the polished Clegg and Cameron where I fear David will just be the third prong of slick politik in the eyes and minds of many voters. Nevertheless; either way i'm sure the 'other brother' will be heavily involved in the framing of the future Labour Party.

rwendland

I have to say that I am shocked that you are supporting the man who wanted a divided Georgia to join NATO so soon after Georgia launched a Multiple Launch Rocket System and artillery barrage upon a town. I regard him as a dangerous man to have as PM.

"NATO [HQ] officers believed that the Georgian attack was a calculated offensive against South Ossetian positions to create the facts on the ground, and they coolly treated the exchanges of fire in the preceding days as minor events. Even more clearly, NATO officials believed, looking back, that by no means could these skirmishes be seen as justification for Georgian war preparations."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,578273-2,00.html

"According to the [OSCE] monitors, however, no shelling of Georgian villages could be heard in the hours before the Georgian bombardment."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/europe/07georgia.html

"Georgia's Nato membership on track, says David Miliband"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/20/georgia.nato

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