Our interview with Ed Miliband: ‘I am the candidate of change’


9:05 am - July 7th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband has called for the government owned bank Northern Rock to be fully mutualised, in a special interview with Liberal Conspiracy. Although the policy was included in the Labour manifesto at the 11th hour, the younger Miliband is the only contender to make it again, prominently.

In fact he goes further and says Labour needs to embrace mutualism more strongly as other countries in mainland Europe have.

The call underlines a shift in focus in his campaign to explain how Labour’s relationship with the public would be different if he were elected leader.

——————
Key points
– Calls for Northern Rock to be mutualised
– Says 50% of his shadow cabinet would be comprised of women.
– “I am the candidate of change”
– Rules out going back to ID cards.
– “I’ve never hesitated in calling myself English”
– Doesn’t rule out a coalition with the Libdems
——————

In a wide-ranging speech last week he said his vision for Britain would differ from the past by re-examining:

(1) Labour’s approach to creating and redistributing wealth;
(2) the limitation of markets and “how we protect what we truly value in life”;
(3) the relationship between the state and the citizen.

He is the ‘change’ candidate and he’s not afraid to say so.

“I think there is a clear test on who will move us on from New Labour,” he says. “I’ve gone further in understanding and talking about where things went wrong… on our approach to markets, wealth re-distribution and on foreign policy.”

That isn’t to say he is not proud of what Labour achieved in government, he adds hurriedly, but: “those parties that don’t acknowledge where things have gone wrong don’t win elections.”

But when I ask him how he would specifically differentiate himself from the other candidates, he pointedly refuses to criticise or even discuss their ideas or policies. “It’s for them to say what their analysis is.”

“We have to be proud of our record, but we must apply our values to a blank sheet of paper,” he adds. It all sounds very vague doesn’t it? So I start by asking a few quick-fire questions.

1. If elected leader, your shadow cabinet would be roughly half female?
“Yes,” he says firmly.

2. Would you allow gays to be legally married, rather than just be registered as a civil partnership?
He hesitates. “I will listen to what people have to say on going further than that if there is a demand. No one has yet put that to me in the leadership election.” He said his feeling was that not enough people were asking for the policy.

3. Do you see yourself as English or British?
Both. “You can have multiple national identities and the idea you have to choose is wrong. We’re stronger when we celebrate multiple identities.”

Have you ever hesitated in calling yourself English? “No.”

4. Would you call yourself a feminist?
“Yes.” He adds quickly: “And you don’t have to be a woman to understand that if our political system does not reflect society then there is a an urgent need for change.”

5. Would you allow Labour party members to vote on what is adopted as policy?
He side-steps the question. “I think you have to find a way to give members more of a voice, but we don’t necessarily want to go back to the way it used to be.”

He does however add that the party needed to “reform” its internal policy process and called for a Labour Party chair. Who would he favour as Chair? He laughs and says that is not for him to decide.

6. If the Labour party had the most numbers of MPs in an election but not a majority, would you rule out a coalition with the Libdems?
“Certainly, I think Libdems have ruled themselves out of being part of the progressive left. But I can’t start speculating about the next election now. I want a majority Labour government and that’s what I’m working for.”

7. When the big march against the Iraq war took place, did you consider joining it?
“I was living in America at the time, but I certainly thought the weapons inspectors should have given more time.”

“I don’t claim moral superiority over taking a different stance over Iraq. People made difficult decisions at the time. But we have to learn the lessons and start from that, not let the discussion be about claiming some sense of being right at the time.”

Attracting Libdem voters
You said recently you wanted Labour to be the home for Libdem voters, I said. What would you offer them?

“As someone who is liberal on social issues and civil liberties, I accept that in government we were too draconian on aspects of our civil liberties. We have to have to be able to say we won’t go back to ID cards. Stop and search went too far.”

“I think I offer Libdem voters a very social democratic approach to the economy: support for the Living Wage, a High Pay commission, looking at flexible working,” he adds.

At his launch event for leadership he also acknowledged that the Libdems were right to focus on reducing taxes for the lowest paid.

Did Labour go too far in attacking so-called ‘benefits cheats’?
“For the most part I don’t think we were too harsh. The more you can have a welfare state that has integrity, that people have faith in, the more you can make the case for a generous welfare state.”
“What we were doing on trying to help people back to work.”

“We need to find a way so the middle classes have more of a stake in the benefits system. I’m quite interested in how you reconstruct the National Insurance principle to make them feel they have a stake, but that is a long term project.”

“You have to got to say you believe in responsibility. You have to preach responsibility for the poor, but, and this is important, you also have to preach responsibility for the rich.”

“That partly explains why there is a sense of alienation with aspects of the welfare system. People don’t feel that about the NHS or the pensions system because it helps them. I think it was [Richard] titmuss who said: ‘services for the poor are poor services’ – and it’s important to bear that in mind.”

Housing
Why did the Labour government fail to build more social housing, I ask.

“We recognised too late the importance of housing as an issue and we got stuck with a dogma that councils should not be allowed to build houses.”

And what would he do to change that? “We have to give councils the right to build. We should also look at more targets for social housing in property development to make this happen.”

Climate change
Why didn’t the party go far enough in dealing with global warming?

“We recognised too late the centrality of climate change,” he says. “The truth is we didn’t orient the whole of government around the green agenda.”

He says the whole approach of the government needed to change in dealing with the problem.

And what was his big idea on moving towards a greener economy? “The green investment bank,” he says without hesitation, although the idea has now been adopted by the Tories too.

“But it has to be properly capitalised and financed.” The aim would be for the bank to then invest in new, green technology and industry.

———

What would you have wanted to ask Ed? More thoughts on the interview next week.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Labour party ,Our democracy ,Westminster

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Reader comments


“He is the ‘change’ candidate and he’s not afraid to say so.”

Wooo, how brave!

Is anyone not claiming to be in favour of “change”?

Looks like he rules out a coalition with the Lib Dems to me, is there something not transcribed?

Its what’s not there that strikes me. This is a very partial, weaselly set of responses. How is this supposed to revitalise Labour and its supposed constituency against a very broad, organised and cohesive Right?

4. Mike Killingworth

No, Ed, you didn’t get “stuck with a dogma” against building Council houses. It was a deliberate choice by Blair – a dog-whistle to middle England – to demonstrate that Labour had changed, and, if elected, would look after middle England no matter how much it had to dump on its core support to do so.

All in all, the interview demonstrates that Miliband junior is prepared to do the same again. It confirms my view that what is now required is a new Party of the left, contesting only Labour heartland seats, in order to deprive NuLab Generation Two of the possibility of office. After all, even the Tories can only dismantle the 1945 settlement once.

I must have missed the moment that this place became Labour Party Hack Conspiracy.

6. the a&e charge nurse

“What would you have wanted to ask Ed?” – I would the former chairman of the council of economic advisers what he understood by the term integrity?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article484468.ece

@6 – oh, please. Taxes are just for the little people.
Not for the likes of the Milibands…

“Certainly, I think Libdems have ruled themselves out of being part of the progressive left.”

Er, no, Labour did that when they became more draconian than the Tories and will continue to be outside the progressive left until they apologise for the blood of a million Iraqis that stains their collective hands. Nothing that the man has written makes me want to support Labour.

“For the most part I don’t think we weren’t too harsh.”
=
“For the most part, I do think we were too harsh”

Am I missing something, or is there a transcription error?

The title makes me imagine E-Mil doing a Judge Dredd impression: “I am the law!”

The key question is the one about should labour party members have a say? I dont see why the members of the small activist community bother to be in parties where they dont have a say in candidates and policy. I dont know about the situation with the snp and plaid cymru. But in England only the green party exists as a national party that could claim to be democratic. It speaks volumes of our democracy that none of the three largest parties could make this claim and be taken seriously. james?

9 – agreed, that seems horribly worded if the transcription is accurate.

@11

“But in England only the green party exists as a national party that could claim to be democratic”

In the LDs, policies are drawn up by the Federal Exec, which is itself elected by the membership, and then voted on by conference reps, who are elected in their local parties. Any conference rep can also submit motions of their own to conference with the support of nine other reps (there are two or three that I’ve seen floating around for September), or can submit an amendment to an existing motion. Such motions/amendments can and do change the direction of party policy on the front bench, the most recent example being the Digital Economy Bill.

No-one who attended the tax debate of September 2008 could doubt the internal democratic health of the Lib Dems. Why do you think the media has such a fantastic time reporting the “splits” in the party every time we have a conference? The contrast with the Labour and Conservative conferences is mystifying to them.

Sorry, what was the change?

Did he say scrap Trident, the House of Lords and ACPO?

Did he propose a written constitution. a bill of rights and getting us out of Afghanistan?

Presumably Sunny edited those bits out and they’re in the full interview?

I know you’re supporting EM, Sunny, but this is ridiculous.

On Northern Rock, Ed Balls, as the only Labour Co-op MP standing, is clearly signed up to the remutualisation of Northern Rock campaign. So Ed Miliband is jumping on the bandwagon, not first.

On Iraq, “I was in America at the time” doesn’t cut it. America went to war in Iraq too, you know. Clearly Diane Abbott is the only candidate with a credible record on Iraq, but I prefer the “I was in favour of it but I was wrong and we need to apologise” line to this “I was against the war but didn’t say anything because I wanted to get selected as a Labour MP” one.

On being a social liberal, he can’t claim he is this great social liberal one minute then not come out in favour of gay marriage the next.

On welfare reform he is woolly and has learned no lessons at all.

He has said nothing he hasn’t said lots of times before, and although I wasn’t going to give him my first preference anyway, he certainly wasn’t going to be my last preference. Disappointed with this.

Umm, mutualisation. Yes, lovely.

So, the general taxpayer (who has, after all, stumped up quite a lot of money for the privilege of owning Northern Rock) doesn’t get to get that money back. No, instead, the economic value is given to whoever happens to have a deposit account with Northern Rock.

Yes, I can see that as being a fair and wonderful thing to do.

BTW, please note, I’ve no problem at all with mutuals: lovely things, all in favour of them. Just entirely unconvinced that there should be a gift of some £billions (whatever the “good part” of Wreck is worth) to a specific group, rather than a repayment to the Treasury.

If they’re going to sell it rather than give then of course just absolutely fine.

17. Luis Enrique

nobody is contemplating mutualisation in the form of just giving Northern Rock to its customers are they?

All in all, the interview demonstrates that Miliband junior is prepared to do the same again.

He’s explicitly said he won’t. So what’s your beef Mike?

9 – that was my error, have changed it now.

tim f: ut I prefer the “I was in favour of it but I was wrong and we need to apologise” line

He’s already said earlier we should apologise and learn from the mistakes in the past.

pagar, I could only ask a limited number of questions… but
Sorry, what was the change?

Did he say scrap Trident, the House of Lords and ACPO?

He is for scrapping Trident and I believe for having an elected House of Lords. I didn’t ask about ACPO.

“nobody is contemplating mutualisation in the form of just giving Northern Rock to its customers are they?”

I can’t see any other way of doing it. They could sell it to another mutual, sure, but that’s not quite the same as mutualising it.

I suppose they could try the reverse of demutualisation: everyone with a deposit account must cough up £300 to buy it back say. But a better way of causing a run on a bank I’m not sure of.

Any other ideas? It’s mutualised and then the bank itself pays off the value of the equity over 20 years? From profits? That’s hardly going to encourage the good deals that the absence of shareholders is supposed to generate.

20. Mike Killingworth

[18] And you believe him? The truth is that anyone who believes that an agenda can be constructed which will appeal both to Labour’s inner city heartland and to the swing voters of middle England isn’t living in the real world. We know what happens to people who make the kind of claims Miliband minor is making to you.

They behave as Labour behaved in office from 1997 onwards. And Miliband minor has expressed not one iota of contrition, much as you would expect from an Englishman who thought that he had the right to manipulate a Scottish Assembly election from behind the scenes. He’ll screw over Labour’s bedrock all over again, just as soon as he gets the chance.

And you believe him? The truth is that anyone who believes that an agenda can be constructed which will appeal both to Labour’s inner city heartland and to the swing voters of middle England isn’t living in the real world

Well if you’re going to accuse him of lying, then that’s a separate issue. It just says you’re not going to take anything at face value. I do believe the Labour hierarchy has belated woken up to the impact lack of housing has had.

#21

Yes, there’s no doubt it took forever longer than it should’ve done, but the commitments to housebuilding targets in the last manifesto, allowing councils to build council housing again and the planned abolition of the Housing Revenue Account in favour of councils being able to keep revenues from council housing & sales & use to build more houses all suggests that as you say, the Labour hierarchy was finally waking up to that issue. Unfortunately the 1st and 3rd of those measures look like being reversed (maybe the second too, but don’t know anything about that).

cjcjc still lying about being tory scum.

24. Alisdair Cameron

The candidate of small change,surely. I’d thought he was the best of a dreadful bunch, but the evasiveness, woolliness and plain timidity of those responses, and his inability to openly admit New Labour’s glaring errors and wrong-turns is depressing. There’s an insufficient acknowledgement of just how dysfunctional the New Labour project became, and the consequent fall-out, and nothing solid offered by way of remedy or atonement.He can’t even commit to small things like gay marriage, allowing party members a direct say in policy. More about loose targets for others, and “we’ll look at that”, nothing about what a party led by him would do. Where’s the substance?

25. the a&e charge nurse

So, Ed would not be drawn on gay marriages, eh?

Perhaps he has a view on Britain’s lengthy adoption procedures – for example, does he advocate more couples going to places like the USA to;
[a] increase the chance of adopting a new born, and,
[b] speeding up the process (which may take as long as a year in the UK).
[c] provide payment to a mother in order to improve the chance of finding a baby?

I am certain that this is a topic that must be close to his heart after his brother’s recent experiences?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-491440/Billion-dollar-baby-trade-The-darker-adoption.html

As we found with Diane Abbot, another candidate with her eyes on the prize, it seems that there are one set of rules for the plebs, and another for the political class?

Why on earth should we give any credence to the words spouted by these hypocrites?

26. Mike Killingworth

[21][22] Let’s get this clear. The coalition is going to “empower” Councils to stop allocating social housing on the basis of need (as a preliminary to abolishing it altogether in its next term). Councils will be able to sell voids and use the proceeds to minimise cuts in other services. When the next Labour leader has carried out his polls & focus groups and discovered that people who don’t live in (or want to live in) Council housing think this is a great idea don’t you think he’s going to go “Me too! Me too! I agree with Nick’n’Dave.”

Let’s try living in the real world, shall we?

[24] I thank you, sir. You put my view more clearly than I can myself.

27. Watchman

Although I never agreed with what he was doing, when at Copenhagen Ed Milliband managed to impress me with his openness and general clear responses to journalists, and as such I had generally thought him likely to be a good Labour party leader. However, the impression I got from this interview confirms his recent demeanour – he is more concerned with alienating people than with setting out a clear message. This sounds worryingly like Gordon Brown as Labour leader to me, and Labour (now the only major opposition) could do with offering an alternative way forward, not just an attempt to criticise the government without offending anyone, for the sake of democracy if not for the party’s own future.

That said, not sure any of the other candidates are avoiding the same error.

Where does Ed stand on the changing of the voting system: PR, AV or something in between (or stick to FPTP)?! How is the new Labour leadership going to be voted in? I smell (more) hypocrisy!

It beggars belief that the Labour leadership nominees were all rather quiet in the 13 years that New Labour were in power, during the Iraq & Afghan wars, the complete caning of our civil liberties, the widening of the gap between rich & poor, etc etc.

Let’s try living in the real world, shall we?

Mike – I’m not clear what you’re saying here. You acknowledge there are clear political difficulties in advocating that position. And yet you’re criticising him for not going far enough on it?

Alisdair: The candidate of small change,surely.

What sort of change are you looking for?

#26

I don’t understand your point. Do you deny that Labour did improve towards the end of their time in government on the issue of social housing? What evidence do you have that Labour will immediately jettison that & fail to oppose Tory housing policy?

31. Mike Killingworth

[29] The Labour Party has a clear choice. It can seek to be true to its roots, beliefs and values (basically the Diane Abbott position) and accept that it will not be in a position to form a government – although it may well influence the measures taken by the parties that do, from time to time. Or it can seek to become a party of government. If it chooses that route, it becomes the third (or maybe fourth in Scotland) party seeking to occupy the centre-right ground that appeals to the average apolitical suburbanite.

Two difficulties arise: why does the country need a third centre-right Party, and why is it a good idea for Labour to abandon its bedrock to apathy and communal politicians?

How does he know his shadow cabinet will be 50% women? Did they get round to changing the rules for shadow cabinet elections as Harriet Harman suggested in June? Or is Ed going to do away with elections?

It beggars belief that the Labour leadership nominees were all rather quiet in the 13 years that New Labour were in power, during the Iraq & Afghan wars, the complete caning of our civil liberties, the widening of the gap between rich & poor, etc etc.

That is a nail/head statement/question. There is still, and will be for some time, a seething ire at those who are running for the leadership. I think, and I am serious here, I just don’t think they understand how much New Labour is (for want of a less strong word) hated. I think they, being part of the political class, just look at it as politics and that people should forgive them because they simply got a few things wrong in a debating chamber. I don’t think they take being representatives of the people at all seriously.

Whomever is elected leader will not, in my eyes, ever be PM – they are too weak. There is no substance as noted above. To be a leaders is to stand out from the crowd and lead – what we have with all this lot is a quiet bunch who are being led by others who are not in the open.

Did Labour go too far in attacking so-called ‘benefits cheats’?
“For the most part I don’t think we were too harsh. The more you can have a welfare state that has integrity, that people have faith in, the more you can make the case for a generous welfare state.”

[b]“What we were doing on trying to help people back to work.”[/b]

“We need to find a way [b]so the middle classes have more of a stake in the benefits system. I’m quite interested in how you reconstruct the National Insurance principle to make them feel they have a stake[/b], but that is a long term project.”

They have a stake in that if they lose their jobs they will get the pittance that everyone else gets! Obviously still taking his advice from the Mail. Kill NI to individuals and add 3% to income tax then they (the so-called middle-class) won’t be able to bitch about the extra tax they have to pay other than the 3% rise. How were New Labour going to help people back to work when there wasn’t any jobs in the deprived areas – take them off any payments and make them move to SE England? I wonder who would do that?

Housing? *Sigh*

New Labour/New Tories – still the same thing, Sunny, still the same thing.

I seriously do not see why so many lefties now regard Ed Miliband as their great hope. He is pretty craven, with an aversion to specifics. How he can claim to be the candidate to move beyond New Labour whilst averting his eyes to their war on benefit claimants is beyond me. And he is, no matter what his supporters say, not a good communicator. The meme that he speaks human could have been started by someone from Alpha Centauri.

Meanwhile, my take on the gay marriage question, for what it’s worth:

http://www.sohopolitico.com/2010/07/why-not-gay-marriage-ed.html

36. Chaise Guevara

Generally ok. Shame about the gay marriage bit, and I’m not in favour of the 50% split by gender. However:

“He is the ‘change’ candidate and he’s not afraid to say so. ”

ROFL

“I’m the pro-good-things candidate… and I’m not afraid to say so!”

37. Chaise Guevara

“Meanwhile, my take on the gay marriage question, for what it’s worth”

Hear hear. Also, from the comments on your article, I agree with the statement that marriages and civil partnerships that are equal in all but name remain unequal. It’s an instutionalised insult to gay people.

Given that civil partnerships and marriages are equal in all but name and who can apply for which, I’d much rather go in the secular direction – dropping marriages in law and allowing heterosexuals to take out a civil partnership – than dropping civil partnerships and allowing homosexuals to take out marriages.

Disestablish the CofE so it has to go through the same hoops as any other organisation to make the proceedings legal, and let them be called marriages everywhere but the official document, and the job’s a good’un. Everyone gets exactly the same thing, but the contract is recognised for what it is – a civil agreement – rather than pretending it’s some kind of magic bonding agent bestowed from On High.

Mind you, I’m just bitter, and have no expectation that anyone would ever seriously consider doing that 😉

It can seek to be true to its roots, beliefs and values (basically the Diane Abbott position)

Not everyone in the Labour party is a socialist. And I don’t think Diane Abbott can win, neither do I think she is the best candidate.

Will: New Labour/New Tories – still the same thing, Sunny, still the same thing.

Really? With the recent budget you still believe that? I think that’s highly naive.

40. Alisdair Cameron

@ Sunny

Alisdair: The candidate of small change,surely.

What sort of change are you looking for?

Well, there’s nothing about raising tax on the rich, nothing about abandoning PFI, a disgraceful evasion of the welfare reform question, and I suspect he still backs the scandalous system of Purnell/ATOS which the Tories are finessing. Little to nothing on questioning marketisation or economic neo-liberalism. Nothing on the database state (ID cards are but an optional front-end for the surveillance systems behind). Instaed he goes on about the gender make-up of a shadow cabinet, when a good number of those places shouldn’t be in the gift of the leader but of the grass-roots members.. Nothing on foreign relations.Christ, have you got all day…
As I say, he’s the best of a bad lot, but those answers are deeply unconvincing, with lots of kicks into the long grass (“look into the issue”, have a commission etc): as a supposed leader he should be setting out his stall, and expressing firm positions, not umming and aahing, and ducking out of stating his opinion and preferences.

Also, this:

I seriously do not see why so many lefties now regard Ed Miliband as their great hope. He is pretty craven, with an aversion to specifics.

I find this quite bizarre. He’s not laying out a manifesto – but signalling the direction he would take under Labour leader.

If you think there is no specifics, then read the frikking speech I’ve linked:
http://www.labourlist.org/the-next-stage-of-this-leadership-campaign—full-speech

there is a lot of good meat there to chew over.

I take the point about gay marriage – and I’m disappointed by his unwillingness to go further. But frankly it just looks silly when people complain that there is no difference between someone like Ed Miliband and someone like George Osborne.

#38

I totally agree, but not supporting gay marriage in the meantime seems like cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

#41 Well of course, but there is a world of difference between any of the candidates and George Osborne. Diane Abbott and David Miliband are closer to each other’s politics than David Miliband and George Osborne are. (Assuming here DM is the most right-wing leadership candidate, although AB gives him a run for his money.)

Alisdair,

where do I start with you?

. Little to nothing on questioning marketisation or economic neo-liberalism.

I see you didn’t bother reading the speech I linked to.

Nothing on the database state (ID cards are but an optional front-end for the surveillance systems behind).

Sorry what “systems” are we talking about? If you’re on about CCTV – then no they’re not going away and for good reason.

Well, there’s nothing about raising tax on the rich

Go and read the speech.

Nothing on foreign relations

I didn’t ask anything on foreign policy but once again READ THE FUCKING SPEECH.

I didn’t ask every single question under the sun I could have thought of, primarily because a lot of this stuff has been discussed ad nauseum at the hustings, in their speeches and other debates.

I didn’t ask about PFI – wasn’t high up on my list.

45. Chaise Guevara

@38

No, that’s completely reasonable, and would give full rights to gays while placating those people (note how I diplomatically avoided using the word ‘pricks’?) who think they own the word ‘marriage’ and all that goes with it. It would be perfect, in fact, were it not for the inevitable headlines: “NOW YOU CAN’T GET MARRIED – IN CASE IT OFFENDS GAYS!!!”

“Meanwhile, my take on the gay marriage question, for what it’s worth:

http://www.sohopolitico.com/2010/07/why-not-gay-marriage-ed.html

I fully agree! I definitely cannot see a reason why we all should not have equal rights, whether gay, straight, trans or whatever one is or wants to be (willing only). I can’t stand hypocritical & patronising politicians who think that people should be satisfied that those that aren’t in straight relationships (gay, lesbian, etc) at least have civil unions… It makes me sick!!

People are people, regardless of their sexual preference… it’s simple!

Will: New Labour/New Tories – still the same thing, Sunny, still the same thing.

Really? With the recent budget you still believe that? I think that’s highly naive.

As naive as you think I am, Sunny – where is the New Labour budget published, what they were going to do? New Labour were ‘pulled/pushed’ rightward, so far in fact people have said, including you I believe, they tried to out-Tory the Tories. Do you honestly think that the New Labour budget would have been much better?

If you wish to stand up and speak about how nice New Labour were/are then that is up to you. I think, without the sarcasm or insult, I think it is your good self who are naive when it comes to what New Labour stood for. They didn’t stand for the left, that is for sure.

? New Labour were ‘pulled/pushed’ rightward, so far in fact people have said, including you I believe, they tried to out-Tory the Tories.

On social issues, not on the economy. I don’t think it’s that difficult to be nuanced. Which part of their economic policies did you think they were right-wing on?

In the budget, they had a different approach to the Tories – on when they could reduce spending, and by how much, and the proportion of how much of that would be raised by taxation. If of course you’re so far left that you think those positions are still the same – fine. It’s a position that I don’t come from and therefore don’t share.

On social issues, not on the economy.

Really? I will take your word for it, but even E’Mil said in the speech you linked to that New Labour went too far in the deregulation situation. That is, still, a part of the economic policy isn’t it? Thankfully he has gone one step closer to apologising for it.

I am certainly more left than you are, though I am willing to compromise because I do understand that a high number of my fellow Britons do not agree with me. I will live in a world that is left-wing, even if it means that it is to the right of me. As long as social democratic responsibility comes to the fore where we care for all our fellow citizens.I still don’t trust E’Mil, when he uses Mandleson in such a good light, there is little to trust – that means to me that he is still New Labour – an addiction I would have though he would have learnt to rehabilitate himself from.

We (the left) are an open church, so I believe we can have a debate based on our respective stances. Falling into simply using insults doesn’t do either side justice, agree?

50. Richard P

Sunny, you say, “He is for scrapping Trident and I believe for having an elected House of Lords. I didn’t ask about ACPO.”

I heard the candidates at the Oxford hustings and my memory was that Abbott was the only one who would scrap Trident. On reflection, though, you may be right – I think Ed said something vague about possibly considering replacing it with a cheaper system of nukes. To me, the principle should be anti-nuke, not just anti-Trident, and I’m not sure if he’s given a firm commitment even on the latter. All four establishment hustings say they want disarmament, but multilateral. Andy Burnham was the most hilarious: he said we should keep nukes because we lived in a dangerous and unpredictable world. On that basis you’d be encouraging nuclear proliferation, because why should other countries have to feel less “safe” (or more reliant on the Americans, not that we’d ever or could ever use ours without their blessing) than us?

51. Alisdair Cameron

Nah, Sunny, you’re reading way too much into the speech, which I did read. No substance in there about reining in the marketisation and McKinsey-fication of public services,indeed pushing for more of it (that’s what the whole personalisation agenda is about:let’s not be naive. There are many models by which services can be personalised but only the happy little shopper consumerist one was pursued)
And I’m not talking CCTV: when I speak of civ libs and the database state, the clue’s staring at you as to what I mean: it’s the national databases,and their integration from DNA to DVLA to health to ISA (which some New Labbers are still fighting for). The safeguards and boundaries aren’t there.
More pointedly, he singularly fails to address a very strong point upthread:any mistakes, rightward moves are pictured as almost accidental,a slip, instead of the deliberate policy decisions that they were.

52. Chaise Guevara

I don’t know, Alisdair.

“As someone who is liberal on social issues and civil liberties, I accept that in government we were too draconian on aspects of our civil liberties. We have to have to be able to say we won’t go back to ID cards. Stop and search went too far.”

I think that sounds like a confession of error rather than an ‘accident’. He’s not saying anything that implies a lack of responsibility.

Nice little situation we find ourselves in, though, isn’t it? We can choose between the Tories, the Tories’ mates, or the party in favour of logging everything anyone does online (a move than finally and belatedly makes all the old comparisons to 1984 start to sound slightly justified). Roll on AV, says I.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  2. John West

    RT @libcon: Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  3. Jonathan Davies

    RT @libcon Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://bit.ly/d5jMig #Labour

  4. Ian Gibson

    Interview with @Ed_Miliband : ‘I am the candidate of change’ http://j.mp/9bSfZ5 via @libcon > I think Ed might be the man for the job.

  5. sunny hundal

    My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  6. Malcolm Evison

    Ed Miliband has called for the government owned bank Northern Rock to be fully mutualised | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/doIZBN

  7. Nadia

    Only interesting thing about NI IMHO RT @sunny_hundal: My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig <not enough change here

  8. Tom

    “@sunny_hundal: My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig” > anything like 2 Churchill nodding dogs in a room? "Ooh Yes!

  9. Jae Kay

    “I’ve never hesitated in calling myself English" That's Ed Miliband off my Christmas list. http://bit.ly/9PLX6K

  10. ramnaslady

    A good interview, with truth.
    RT: @sunny_hundal My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  11. barb milne

    RT @ramnaslady: A good interview, with truth.
    RT: @sunny_hundal My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  12. Lisa Mitchell

    Good interview from Ed here http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/07/07/our-interview-with-ed-miliband-i-am-the-candidate-of-change/

  13. Ed M Volunteers

    RT @fifeman58 Interview with @Ed_Miliband : ‘I am the candidate of change’ http://j.mp/9bSfZ5 I think Ed might be the man for the job.

  14. Ed Miliband Team

    Read Ed's new interview with @LibCon RT @libcon Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://j.mp/9bSfZ5

  15. Ed Miliband Team

    Read Ed's new interview with @LibCon RT @libcon Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://j.mp/9bSfZ5

  16. Matthew Rhodes

    RT @EdMTeam Read Ed's nw interview with @LibCon RT @libcon Our interview with Ed Miliband: 'I am the candidate of change' http://j.mp/9bSfZ5

  17. Ed Miliband bridging the divide? « Chrisjw133's Blog

    […] light of this I found this comment on Liberal Conspiracy Interesting; Ed Miliband doesn’t rule out a coalition with the Lib […]

  18. Soho Politico

    Via @libcon, Ed Miliband: ‘I am the candidate of platitudes’ http://bit.ly/cF7aYQ

  19. GuyAitchison

    Interesting interview with Ed Miliband up @libcon http://bit.ly/9t47Ni not much new from the "change" candidate…

  20. sunny hundal

    From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  21. Jay Baker

    RT @sunny_hundal: From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  22. ADwyer

    RT @sunny_hundal: From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  23. amol rajan

    wish he'd said so earlier RT @sunny_hundal From the Ed Miliband interview: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  24. habiba hamid

    RT @sunny_hundal: From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  25. Toby Green

    RT @amolrajan: wish he'd said so earlier RT @sunny_hundal From the Ed Miliband interview: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  26. PhotoNoTerrorist

    'New Labour were too draconian on aspects of civil liberties. Stop&search went too far' @Ed_Miliband on Civil Liberties http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  27. Sarah Duff

    RT @sunny_hundal: From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  28. Julie Edwards

    'New Labour were too draconian on aspects of civil liberties. Stop&search went too far' @Ed_Miliband on Civil Liberties http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  29. Stefan Paetow MCIJ

    RT @phnat: 'New Labour were too draconian on aspects of civil liberties. Stop&search went too far' @Ed_Miliband on Civil Liberties http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  30. Dave Graceson

    RT @phnat: 'New Labour were too draconian on aspects of civil liberties. Stop&search went too far' @Ed_Miliband on Civil Liberties http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  31. Charles Christian

    @Mid_WifeCrisis Try this link for the Ed Milliband 'gosh, weren't we rascals but now I have seen the light' interview http://bit.ly/cHQ1Uy

  32. Vegan Panda

    RT @GuyAitchison: Interesting interview with Ed Miliband up @libcon http://bit.ly/9t47Ni not much new from the "change" candidate…

  33. Andrew Barnes

    RT @libcon Our interview with Ed Miliband http://bit.ly/cF7aYQ <- Less than impressed TBH, doesn't offer any strong agenda #labourleadership

  34. David Storey

    RT @phnat: 'New Labour were too draconian on aspects of civil liberties. Stop&search went too far' @Ed_Miliband on Civil Liberties http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  35. J A

    RT @sunny_hundal: My interview with Ed Miliband yesterday: http://bit.ly/d5jMig

  36. Islamic Soc Britain

    RT @sunny_hundal: From the Ed Miliband interview today: "we were too draconian on civil liberties": http://bit.ly/9t47Ni

  37. Jae Kay

    Just properly read Ed Miliband's comments on marriage equality. http://bit.ly/9PLX6K Feel like getting my torch and pitchfork out…

  38. Why not legalise gay marriage, Ed? | Liberal Conspiracy

    […]     July 8, 2010 at 9:20 am At several points in his interview with Sunny, published yesterday, Ed Miliband comes across either as lacking the courage of his leftwing convictions, or as lacking […]

  39. Did Labour convince us to “keep faith in the system”? « The Bleeding Heart Show

    […] in British Politics, New Labour | Leave a Comment Most of you will have now seen Sunny’s interview with Ed Miliband, in which he declared himself ‘the candidate of change’ and then somewhat contentiously […]

  40. But Labour’s attack on “benefits cheats” didn’t save benefits system | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] Neil Robertson     July 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm Most of you will have now seen Sunny’s interview with Ed Miliband, in which he declared himself ‘the candidate of change’ and then somewhat contentiously […]

  41. labour, liberals and leadership « The Answer’s 42

    […] So yeah, I’m kind of liking Ed Miliband’s style compared to the rest. For instance, the stance he’s taken on prisons. While Jack Straw has gone for the authoritarian line, essentially spouting the “prison works” philosophy of Tories less liberal than Ken Clarke, he’s backed it because it does make common sense – why bang people up in prison for every little crime, effectively creating “crime universities”, when you can treat less serious offences with community based punishment? It’s quite an obvious attempt to steal the Lib Dems’ clothes, really – he also mentions that greater localism is necessary to deal with problems faced by the community, and appears to take a dim view of ID cards. He blatantly admits he’s out for Lib Dem votes here, really… […]

  42. Exclusive: Ed Balls first to say he supports gay marriage | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] an interview with LC last week, Ed Miliband said he “would listen to what people had to say” on the […]

  43. Why I won’t vote for Ralph Miliband’s youngest son….(or oldest one either) « Harpymarx

    […] As I have been on holiday, away from the politicking of life I have only just had a good look at the interview with Ed Miliband. Lib Con simplifies Ed’s stances in a very useful bite size way: […]

  44. Confirmed: Andy Burnham also supports gay marriage | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] an interview with LC, Ed Miliband said he would listen to others on the issue but pointedly declined to offer full […]

  45. Ed Miliband unclear on gay marriage equality on the island of love « Earwicga

    […] Would you allow gays to be legally married, rather than just be registered as a civil partnership? […]

  46. sunny hundal

    @andrewlomas He wasn't that comforting in interview with us http://j.mp/9bSfZ5 – besides, Labour's problem isn't centre-flank but left flank

  47. Colin

    Ed Miliband interview from July where he was AGAINST marriage equality and PRO LibLab coalition http://bit.ly/9Fe84c Times change, eh?

  48. Will McCaffrey

    RT @CallingAdam: Ed Miliband interview from July where he was AGAINST marriage equality and PRO LibLab coalition http://bit.ly/9Fe84c Ti …

  49. Jonathan Boniface

    RT @CallingAdam: Ed Miliband interview from July where he was AGAINST marriage equality and PRO LibLab coalition http://bit.ly/9Fe84c Ti …

  50. Andy Levey

    RT @CallingAdam: Ed Miliband interview from July where he was AGAINST marriage equality and PRO LibLab coalition http://bit.ly/9Fe84c Ti …

  51. Chris Ward

    @mikeblakeney Having said that, he can't ever attack anybody for u-turning…. http://bit.ly/9Fe84c 😛

  52. Jake

    RT @CallingAdam: Ed Miliband interview from July where he was AGAINST marriage equality and PRO LibLab coalition http://bit.ly/9Fe84c Ti …





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