Tag Archives: David Miliband

If you haven’t yet voted, please make David Miliband Number One

David Miliband has just sent out this e-mail:

“In the last four months I’ve travelled the length and breadth of this country and listened to thousands of members – and I’ve been inspired by what I’ve seen and heard.

“When this contest began talk was of how the Labour Party would implode, talk only to itself or seek to fight old battles. But instead we’ve moved on from the Blair/Brown era and shown that we are determined to look outwards and to the future.

“We are a Party determined to show that whilst we lost in May, we are not beaten. A Party that knows it can buck the trend, not disappear into the obscurity of opposition for a decade. A Party that will not give up, but will fight to win.

“Now, with voting closing next Wednesday, we’re into the final week. And we have to decide who can win for Britain.

“Every candidate in this contest claims that they are going to win, it’s what you do in campaigns.

“But ask me who I’d most like to beat and there is no contest – it’s David Cameron.

“Poll after poll carried out during this contest has shown that I am the candidate who can beat David Cameron.

“I am ready to stand opposite him at Prime Minister’s Questions and expose the wrongs he’s inflicting on the communities we care about.

“I’m ready to expose a Tory government as ruthless and right wing as any of Thatcher’s and win for the people we came into politics to serve. They need our values, our voice and, most of all, our victory. When we lose, they lose.

“They are the reason why I am fighting for every last vote in this contest. I will take the fight to the heart of the Coalition – and I will not let you down.

“My campaign has reached out across the Party. I’m humbled that my support unites Dennis Skinner, Jon Cruddas and Alistair Darling. And today I’m asking for your support as well. 

“So if you haven’t voted yet in this contest please do so now.

“Please give me your first preference – millions of people are depending on us and the values we hold dear.

“Thank you

“David Miliband”

If you saw David on Question Time last night, I am sure you will agree with me that he is the only one of the five candidates who looks and sounds like a Prime Minister.  Vote David Miliband for a Labour victory.

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Andy Burnham’s Campaign Supremo to vote David Miliband second Preference

You may remember that I blogged on 1 September that one of Ed Ball’s most prominent supporters, Geoffrey Robinson, was giving his second preference vote to David Miliband. 

The London Evening Standard has now reported that Gerry Sutcliffe, Andy Burnham’s campaign supremo is also giving his second preference to David

This has to be good for David Miliband.  He already has more first preferences than any of the other candidates and it now looks as if he will pick up a good number of seconds in the MP/MEP section.  

It’s also good news for the Labour Party.  David Miliband is the only one of the five candidates who is prime ministerial material.  He has a sound electoral platform which will appeal to many outside the Labour Party – the very people we need to vote for us in the next general election.

As a Party activist in the 1980s I know what opposition is like – frustrating and soul-destroying.  Believe me, it would not be good for the Labour Party of the people who vote for us if we remained in oppositon party for any longer than necessary.

David Miliband is a winner.  Vote David for victory.

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David Miliband talks Sense on the Alternative Vote

As you know I am a supporter of changing our outdated first past the post voting system to something more proportional and fairer.  I therefore think it’s a good idea to have a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) system.  I am, however, totally opposed to the Coalition’s proposal to reduce the number of House of Commons seats to 600, which I, along with many others,  view as gerrymandering for the benefit of the Tories.  Putting the AV referendum and reducing the number of seats in one bill is quite shocking, a blatant bribe to get Lib-Dem MPs to vote for the reduction in seats.

Steve Richards excellent interview with David Miliband in the Independent newspaper (the whole piece is worth reading) says it all:

“Labour’s possible next leader has a direct message for Nick Clegg on electoral reform: “I am strongly in favour of the Alternative Vote, but if the Liberal Democrats want AV they are going about it very oddly. Let us be clear. They need Labour to be in favour of it, yet they support a package that includes other constitutional changes being rushed through to help the Conservatives. It’s student politics and not clever politics. If Liberal Democrats want electoral reform they should think very carefully about supporting amendments to the legislation that we are putting forward. Remember we want AV to succeed and there are Tories who oppose electoral reform who are rubbing their hands about the way the Liberal Democrats have gone about this … if we want AV, which I do, we have to find a way around this.”

My thoughts exactly and demonstrates why David Miliband is the best candidate to lead the Labour Party.

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Ed Balls for Shadow Chancellor

Good to see that Geoffrey Robinson, one of Ed Balls most prominent supporters, has endorsed David Miliband as second choice in the Labour Leadership election in this article in the Independent today.

Since we are reliably informed that Ed Balls knew Geoffrey Robinson was going to go public with this endorsement, I think it’s reasonable to assume that Ed (Balls) agrees with Geoffrey.  In other words, supporters of Ed Balls should put David Miliband as their second choice.   

As ballot papers go out to Labour Party members today, it’s becoming ever clearer that second preferences will count.  So, if you are one of those who absolutely must vote for Balls as number one, please do follow his wishes and put David Miliband as two.

Geoffrey Robinson also makes a strong pitch for Ed Balls to be Shadow Chancellor.

There is no doubt that Ed Balls is head and shoulders above any other possibility for this key role, so important in shaping future Labour policy and leading us to general election victory.  It was, after all, Ed Balls who devised the five tests for joining the Euro, for which he must be given credit, even though I personally was disappointed that the five tests kept Britain out of the Euro in the early years of Tony Blair’s government.

I met all the Leadership candidates on separate occasions when they came to talk to the EPLP during what has proved to be a very lengthy campaign .  Ed Balls demonstrated a strong intelligence and unrivalled grasp of economics, pointing to the obvious conclusion that he is the ideal person to be Shadow Chancellor.  Even his legendary toughness would, I believe, be an asset in the job.

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Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

The weekend papers were dominated with op-ed pieces about the labour leadership election. The gloves are off and the papers are focussing on the Miliband brothers: “David hoped Ed wouldn’t stand. Instead he became his greatest rival”, was the Guardian’s headline yesterday. The other candidates have been all but forgotten as the same article’s stand first read: “Battle of the Milibands’ approaches its finale. But who will win?” 

Similarly today’s Sunday Mirror has an interview with both candidates. The quick fired questions put to them by the papers political editor, Vincent Moss provide great insight into where each brother is coming from.

His interview is the most revealing yet. It moves away from a simple comparison of the policies each are so passionate talking about and which you can read all about in the Guardian. Moss’ interviews however, delve much deeper into the brothers’ personalities – he asks each brother what they think of the other and if it’s true they haven’t spoken for some weeks. It’s the most revealing interview I’ve read throughout the entire campaign. You can read it here.

In other news, a reduction in the nation’s tax burden has been ruled out by the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, who revealed the news in his first national paper interview.

They will stay at this level for quite sometime he says, but as we already know the emergency tax budget in June hit the poorest worst. The country’s leading tax experts branded the budget in June as “clearly regressive.”

Another ‘charge’ of unfairness will hit the coalition government tomorrow when the centre for economics and business research report reveals that there will be an “agonising transition” for the north of England economy which estimates that one in 10 people will be unemployed in the north of England between 2010 and 2015. This compares with just 7% in the south-east and 8% in the south-west.

You can read Danny Alexander’s interview in today’s Observer here.

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Congratulations to Jon Cruddas for supporting David Miliband

The decision of Jon Cruddas to support David Miliband for the leadership of the Labour Party is extraordinarily significant.

As well as being renowned for his idealism and identified with the left of the Party, Jon is one of our foremost thinkers.  I was very impressed when he addressed Labour MEPs during his bid for the Deputy Leadership.  Jon will be an asset for David as a policy adviser as well as strategist.

This is also good news for the Labour Party as a whole.  We are woefully short of MPs and others in senior positions who have any kind of intellectual credibility.  I would go as far as to say that one of Labour’s real problems is its lack of brainpower, its inability to truly understand and analyse world events is any kind of rounded way. Jon Cruddas is one of the very few who has the intellectual weight to fill some of this vacuum. David Miliband is, of course, another.

I am supporting David mainly because I believe he is the only one of the Leadership candidates who looks like a Prime Minister.  Prime Ministerial capability will, I am certain, be the key test in a general election, and I want Labour to win.

I also agree with David’s platform for the Leadership.

The following extract from David’s speech yesterday at the King Solomon Academy sets it out in detail:     

“The decision of the Lib Dems to join a Conservative Government creates a big opportunity for the Labour Party to realign the centre left of British politics. But for me, that’s not enough. I see the primary task for Labour as shifting the centre ground of British politics.

“That means more than an agenda for changing Labour.  It demands an agenda for changing Britain.

“And that agenda  – of Change for Britain – requires that we recognise that the greatest threat to the good society we seek is and will remain a Conservative Party determined to rule for a generation.

“To win again we need working class voters, middle class voters, Conservative voters, Lib Dem and non voters as we drive the Tories out of power.

“Labour helped shape [the] post war period of security and opportunity.  And a strong, renewed, reorganised Labour Party is vital to the future of our country today.

“Three times in 80 years, in 1931, 1951 and 1979, an exhausted Labour opposition allowed either blinkered or complacent Tory governments to make the wrong choices and misjudge the key issues of the day – about Depression and the need to fight fascism in the 1930s, about democratising the country and rebuilding Europe in the 1950s, about social division in the 1980s.

“We cannot allow that to happen again.  And that is why I am standing for the leadership.

 “I am asking you to help make this time different from the rest.

“Let’s write a new chapter that shows we are a party that doesn’t give in, doesn’t look inwards, doesn’t give up, doesn’t look backwards.

“Change our party with our eyes firmly fixed on change for our country.  Change to put power, wealth and opportunity into the hands of the many not the few.

“That is the change Britain needs.  That is the Britain we have to build.  And that is the Britain we must build together.”

This is not about retreating into a “New Labour Comfort Zone”. It’s about putting Labour values into practice – improving our schools so all children have an equal chance in life, ensuring the very best health care free at the point of use and implementing policies so that everyone has a job.

This is why I will vote for David Miliband when the ballot papers are sent out next week.

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Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

 

Today’s Observer has an extended feature in today’s main section by Anushka Asthana and Rafael Behr examining the first three months of the coalition government which if you haven’t read it yet you can do so  here.

The piece acknowledges the mistakes and setbacks but argues that legislation it has already passed will significantly change our lives. In the Labour Party I feel the last three months has been a quiet period of reflection. And now we are ready to fight once again. Once our new leader is in place the party will undoubtedly have a new, positive and clear direction.

The big news this week has been the decision by the Culture Secretary to close the UK Film Council. This is one of the country’s strongest growth industries, and for every £1 it spends it sees a return of £5 at the box office, this alone indicates that it’s not a charity or an organisation which just drains the economy of money. In fact it’s quite the reverse and there is a real return on investment.

I hope that we can put enough pressure on the government to re consider its decision and those involved directly or indirectly in the industry can save this organisation in some form. If you missed the story here is a piece from the ITN website which shows the feeling of Liam Neeson who is as outraged as many of the rest of us are.

David Cameron has acted naively and caused a full-scale diplomatic row after comments he made about Pakistan’s alleged links with terrorism earlier this week, upset the country.

A planned counter terrorism summit was cancelled after Pakistan’s intelligence officials said they would boycott the summit.

Today, David Miliband wrote a comment piece in the Independent and made a crucial point which was that Cameron would have been far better to discuss the ways in which we can support Pakistan. Miliband said: ‘Like a cuttlefish squirting out ink, his words were copious and created a mess.’ I couldn’t have put it better myself. You can read his article in full here.

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