Tag Archives: Miliband

Miliband masters Johnson in clash over Bill to break international law

Speech-less: faced with a barrage of factual accuracy from Ed Miliband, Boris Johnson sat, head bowed, with nothing to say.

Given that Boris Johnson had threatened to withdraw the whip from Tory MPs voting against his Internal Market Bill, one would have expected him to launch a spirited defence of it during the debate.

That expectation may be doubled in the knowledge that he was facing not Keir Starmer, who had run away to self-isolate after one of the children he sent to our “perfectly safe” schools exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, nor Angela Rayner, but Ed Miliband.

Certain commentators were betting on a knockout win for Johnson, against a man who famously botched eating a bacon sandwich.

They were completely wrong. Miliband metaphorically mashed Johnson’s derriere like burger meat and then fed it back to him.

The speech was probably the most golden moment of the political year.

“I have been part of many issues of contention across the Dispatch Box, but I never thought that respecting international law would be a matter of disagreement in my lifetime,” he said.

“As Leader of the Opposition, I stood opposite the Prime Minister’s predecessor David Cameron for five years. I do not know why the Prime Minister is rolling his eyes. I disagreed with David Cameron profoundly on many issues, but I could never have imagined him coming along and saying, “We are going to legislate to break international law” on an agreement that we had signed as a country less than a year earlier. Yet that is what the Bill does, in the Government’s own words.

“Is it right to threaten to break the law in the way the Government propose? Is it necessary to do so? Will it help our country? The answer to each question is no. Let us remember the context and the principle. If there is one thing that we are known for around the world, it is the rule of law.

“This is the country of Magna Carta; the country that is known for being the mother of all Parliaments; and the country that, out of the darkness of the second world war, helped found the United Nations. Our global reputation for rule making, not rule breaking, is one of the reasons that we are so respected around the world. When people think of Britain, they think of the rule of law.”

He continued as follows:

Mr Miliband said: “We respect the fact that the Conservative party, under this Prime Minister, won the election. He got his mandate to deliver his Brexit deal: the thing that he said was—I am sure she recalls this because it was probably on her leaflets—“oven ready”. It is not me who is coming along and saying it is half-baked; it is him. He is saying, “The deal that I signed and agreed is actually—what’s the word? Ambiguous. Problematic.” I will get to this later in my speech, but I wonder whether he actually read the deal in the first place.”

We found out the answer to that, didn’t we?

Here it is:

Boris Johnson has not even read his own Internal Market Bill.

Mr Miliband continued:

He wasn’t even halfway through his speech, and Miliband had destroyed Boris Johnson.

Remember at the top of this article I said Johnson could have been expected to deliver a spirited defence of this Bill?

He didn’t.

He just sat there and took it, shaking his head as though in disbelief.

And by the end, he looked older than his dad.

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David Miliband’s intervention over #LabourLeaks has only shown up his faction’s hypocrisy

Hypocrite: David Miliband.

I bet you find this tweet as amusing as I did:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1292805261237911553

It is ironic, isn’t it? David Miliband, the darling of the Labour Right, regularly threatened to return to frontline politics and challenge Jeremy Corbyn during the latter’s leadership of the party.

Right-wingers in the party made successive attempts to wreck the Corbyn project through all five years of his leadership. I’ve managed to dig out a report of Mr Miliband making one such attack, from February 2017, months before Corbyn nearly won the 2017 general election (and we’ve all seen the evidence that it was sabotaged by Labour right-wingers by now). Consider:

Labour loses an extremely marginal seat and the right-whingers pull out David Miliband to criticise the leadership. It’s all so predictable.

… As was his message: A lie, based on apparent facts.

So he reckons Labour is further from power than at any time in the last 50 years. This may be accurate.

He reckons Labour’s situation isn’t a repeat of the 1980s. This may also be accurate.

But his conclusion – that Labour needs to become a right-wing party again, because he thinks socialism won’t address the problems the UK faces or get Labour elected, because he thinks watered-down Tory policies are what the public wants – is completely whacko-jacko.

Liam Young had it right, as This Site reported yesterday: Timidly copying Tory policies – failing to challenge them – is what has caused Labour’s problems. The party should be taking risks, pushing boundaries, and pushing radical ideas.

Labour’s decline in support isn’t because it has rejected right-wing policies; it is because New Labour ignored the working-class voters who have always been the party’s power-base – to such a degree that five million of them turned their backs on the party. Jeremy Corbyn has managed to bring some of them back but that process is being sabotaged by right-wing Labour MPs and commentators like Mr Miliband.

And those right-wingers need to be addressed – quickly. They cannot be allowed to continue backstabbing Mr Corbyn and Labour’s current direction.

It is clear that they want Labour to lose elections – why do you think Tristram Hunt and Jamie Reed resigned? They wanted Corbyn to lose both Copeland and Stoke Central – and are quite happy to allow homicidal Conservative policies to continue.

After all, they aren’t suffering; they’ll get another huge pay rise in April.

And Clive Lewis was right when he said that Labour needs to tackle a lot of vested interests, including those in the media who are desperate to keep Labour out of office…

And people like David Miliband, who say they are Labour but aren’t really Labour at all.

I’m quite proud of that article, looking back. It was prescient, pointing out that the right-wingers wanted Labour to lose elections and needed to be rooted out before they did serious damage to the party’s chance of winning elections.

My words were ignored. Factionalists in the party were accusing me of anti-Semitism at the time (as, indeed, they continue to do).

And now Miliband – hypocrite that he is – is back, accusing Corbyn of exactly the behaviour of which he was guilty back in 2017.

Ironic.

Miliband’s words themselves were, of course, utterly ridiculous. His claims about Labour’s losses in 2017 and 2019 ignore the facts we know – that he and his fellow right-wingers had been working hard to hold Corbyn back in both polls, and deny the claims that are being tested now.

What’s he going to do if those claims are proved true? His faction has never been quick to admit being wrong.

No doubt there are die-hards among the Labour right who are delighted with this intervention.

But the rational opinion is that he has made a fool of himself and everybody in his faction.

And some are not as polite:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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UKIP supporters claim Ed Miliband is Muslim and will introduce sharia law – Pride’s Purge

Just when you thought UKIP had gone quiet for good, here’s Tom Pride:

UKIP supporters – in the comments section of a photograph posted on the Facebook page of UKIP candidate Michael Wrench – are claiming Labour leader Ed Miliband is a Muslim and will introduce sharia law if he becomes PM:

150308ukip-miliband-muslim1

Yes, I know, I thought it was a joke too.

But when challenged and informed by an anti-UKIP poster that Ed Miliband is in fact Jewish – and an atheist – the UKIP supporter decided to expound on his unusual theory:

150308ukip-miliband-muslim2

Just to clarify, as far as I know, Ed Miliband’s wife Justine Thornton isn’t a Muslim either.

Anyway, there are a few other choice comments from other UKIPPERS on the same thread…

… but you’ll have to visit Pride’s Purge to see them.

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Naughty, naughty Daily Mail! Miliband story creates torrent of complaints

Daily Fail Logo

Cast your mind back to October last year and you may remember the big controversy was the way the Daily Mail shot off its (metaphorical) mouth about Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father in spectacular fashion – and spectacularly shot itself in the foot by doing so.

The ill-judged article – it claimed that Mr Miliband (senior), who immigrated here from abroad and loved his adopted nation, was “unpatriotic” – generated a storm of protest on factual grounds and built a groundswell of sympathy for Mr Miliband (junior).

Yesterday, the Press Complaints Commission released its monthly complaint summary for January 2014. The PCC is dominated by Daily Mail personnel – Paul Dacre, the Mail’s editor, sits on the PressBoF committee that dominates the PCC and also chairs the Editors’ Code Committee. Meanwhile, one of the three directors of the company that owns both the PCC and its planned successor, IPSO, is Peter Wright, editor emeritus at the Mail group – so it should be no surprise that the most interesting part of the report was tucked away at the end.

This was an acknowledgement that the PCC had received no less than 14 complaints from third parties (people not involved in the story) about the Ralph Miliband article, ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’. In its summary, Inforrm’s Blog stated: “We suspect this was one of the most complained-about stories of the last 12 months or so, but of course that’s not really clear from the PCC data.”

Thanks to the number-crunchers at Inforrm, we can see that the Daily Mail incurred 12 breaches of the Editors’ Code – more than double the five incurred by its nearest rival: The Mail on Sunday.

That’s right. Mail Group newspapers dominate the table with 53.1 per cent of the total number of breaches recorded against national newspapers and large regionals.

But it seems Inforrm is right to say the PCC exists “mainly to protect [its] paymasters from censure, keeping the public at arms length with a cynical strategy of ‘complaint’ fatigue’, that means Code breaches are not properly recorded and adjudications are avoided at all costs”. All the complaints against the Mail were said to have been resolved away with sufficient remedial action.

We learn two things from this:

  • The Press Complaints Commission is worse than useless at policing the UK’s print media.
  • The reading public is nowhere near as stupid as the Mail‘s bosses would like to think. People of all political persuasions genuinely despised the Mail for its treatment of Mr Miliband. Former Conservative cabinet minister John Moore said: “The Daily Mail is telling lies about a good man who I knew. The people of this country are good and decent too. They do not want the Daily Mail attacking the dead relatives of politicians to make political points.”

Will the Mail learn from this huge error?

Don’t count on it.

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Osborne’s cuckooland claims could leave a terrifying legacy

130517workfigures

‘Jeffrey’ Osborne sings for his supper at some CBI dinner.

Try not to choke on your coffee: George Osborne reckons the British economy is “out of intensive care”.

Now, he says, the task is to “secure the recovery”.

He’s starting on Wednesday with cuts totalling £11.5 billion which, once fiscal multipliers are taken into account, means a contraction of around £20 billion in the national economy.

Securing the recovery. Good luck with that, Gideon.

The good news is that he is expected to announce investment in infrastructure projects, including roads, railways, education and science. He has realised – probably too late – that cutting all those infrastructure projects at the start of this Parliament was economic suicide and is trying to do something about it before everyone realises he’s an idiot. He is, of course, much too late for that but the investment – if it goes to well-advised places – might just do some good.

Don’t bank on it, though.

Osborne’s claims about the economy are based on statements that government borrowing has come down and employment is up – but we know that the first isn’t true and the second is not helping. In other words, he’s built his castle in the sand.

Government borrowing rose by £300 million in 2012-13, from £118.5 billion to £118.8 billion, according to the Office for National Statistics. That’s not a huge amount, you may think, but remember this government reckons it has cut borrowing by a third since taking power. That would put borrowing at around £100 billion right now, which is clearly inaccurate.

The debt is now £1.9 trillion, up from 1.1 trillion a year ago – 75.2 per cent of GDP, up from 71.1 per cent.

We all know what the problem is: Austerity – the self-perpetuating (and self-defeating) policy that will eventually bankrupt us all (but not the country. Because we have our own currency, the UK is unlikely ever to go bankrupt. You see, when the Tories told you that, they were lying).

The worst of it is that the other main political parties have signed up to the delusion that all these cuts might actually do some good.

Ed Miliband has ruled out more borrowing. That in itself is not a bad idea. But Ed Balls has admitted that he would follow Tory spending plans, at least for the first year of a Labour government, and there’s a consensus that pensioners will probably be the next defenceless social group to be hit with cuts – this time to benefits such as winter fuel payments.

They are talking among themselves. It seems unlikely that any of them has bothered to look out of the window to find out the real effect of their idiot schemes.

And so the agony continues. Based on an economic fallacy, perpetuated on the masses, while the very rich continue raking it in.

The longer this goes on, the greater the danger to us all.

The Cabinet splits – are we looking at another Torygeddon?

It seems David Cameron didn’t make such a good job of revitalising Conservatism after all.

Three Cabinet ministers have gone to Tory Blogsite ConservativeHome to vent their frustration at the comedy Prime Minister’s refusal to listen to their concerns about Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill. “One was insistent the Bill must be dropped,” the blog post by Tim Montgomerie states. “Another said Andrew Lansley must be replaced. Another likened the NHS reforms to the poll tax,” which was disastrous for the Tories in 1990.

So you see, they’re all in it together (as the saying goes) when the going is easy, but once the headwinds start coming in, the rifts start to show.

And now we have three Cabinet ministers splitting from their PM and his Health Secretary. Does anybody remember a time in the mid-1990s when John Major had a similar problem with three members of his Cabinet? He said at the time: “You have three… members of the Cabinet who actually resign… I could bring in other people. But where do you think most of this poison is coming from? From the dispossessed and the never-possessed. You can think of ex-ministers who are going around causing all sorts of trouble. We don’t want another three more of the b*st*rds out there.”

That seems to be exactly what Comedy David has to deal with, though: “Three more of the b*st*rds”. From his point of view, at least.

His loyalty to his Health Secretary (and former boss at the Conservative Research Department) might be praiseworthy in another context. Here, it seems likely to split his party – because, when members of the Cabinet start to rebel, the writing’s on the wall.

Look at Major’s premiership. With him, the problem was Europe. Right-wingers in his Cabinet caused disruption that became an ideological rift, at a time when New Labour was on the rise. Ministers were caught having extramarital affairs and accepting cash for questions. His party became associated with greed and arrogance and the public deserted it, leaving it in the backwaters of British politics for more than a decade.

One only has to glance at the ‘Comments’ column of Mr Montgomerie’s blog to see that the rifts are still there; Cameron only ever succeeded in papering over them.

The Health Bill is hugely divisive: “Abandoning the bill is not an option – it’s philosophically right, and killing it would give Miliband a huge boost,” claims one (deluded, in my opinion) correspondent.

But another says: “It has suffered death by a thousand amendments. It has become an incoherent mess.”

Another simply asks: “Is the bill the new longest suicide note in history?”

Many have taken the opportunity to voice their opinions about other issues; once a split has been identified, they’ll pour all their grievances through the gap.

Europe remains a hot topic: “The Conservatives have already lost the next general election because of the EU and the false promise that Cameron made to get votes for his party. It is quite plain now that he did not intend for there to be a referendum on the EU and has reneged on the voters – they won’t vote for him again,” according to one correspondent.

The popularity (or not) of individual members of the government is still creating splits: “The fact that [Oliver] Letwin was so heavily involved does, and has, worried me,” writes another. “The guy is very bright, but not in a way people on the street would appreciate, or like. He was also heavily involved in ‘bomb proofing’ the Poll Tax legislation was he not?”

The crucial problem for the Conservatives now is the harm this has done to their electability – a problem that was due to worsen with the publication of a report by the right-of-centre thinktank Reform, saying the government’s entire ‘reform’ of public services is being undermined by the Department of Health’s management of NHS changes.

According to The Guardian, “The Scorecard report on 10 government departments with responsibility for different areas of public sector reform also singles out the prime minister for criticism for personally intervening with detailed promises on issues such as waiting times and nurses visiting patients’ beds every hour. The criticisms by Reform will be particularly damaging because they accuse the health bill of causing exactly the opposite of what it is intended to achieve – holding back reform of the NHS and damaging services for patients.”

Tories like power, and they’ll turn on anything that might get in the way. “The plan needs to be to win a working majority in 2015, and prevent Prime Minister Miliband,” as yet another ConservativeHome correspondent put it.

But Mr Cameron likes power too – even the semblance of it that he’s got now. So, even if he can’t get his legislation passed with any degree of confidence in it, he’ll cling on to what he’s got for all he’s worth.

I reckon we’re looking at another three years of ‘lame duck’ leadership before the electorate can take him out and (metaphorically) shoot him.

As the saying goes.