A Href Buy Cytotec Canadian Pharmacy Boniva Cefadroxilo Capsules 500mg Buy Naltrexone In South Africa Tizanidine Zanaflex 4mg

Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift-boating Ed?


9:10 am - September 7th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

After a long string of ‘Ed Miliband is just going for the core vote’ whisperings against him, the big hitters came out. There was Alan Johnson, there was Jack Straw, Peter Mandelson and then Tony Blair.

And now it’s David Blunkett’s turn today:

In an interview with the Guardian Blunkett also criticised the 2010 Labour election manifesto for which Miliband junior had responsibility, saying it looked as if it had been written on Sunday morning and was “deeply uninspiring … it is a bit rich for those that were in what they amusingly call the Brown bunker to claim it was nothing to do with them, and it would be nice if we suddenly became radicals”.


He then goes on to say that disillusionment with Labour in the last election had little to do with Iraq, civil liberties or graduate fees. I’m sure that will come as a surprise to all those new Labour members who hoped the party would finally put its authoritarianism and stupid foreign adventures past them.

I know hardly anyone takes David Blunkett seriously any more, but take his central contention that the last election manifesto was “deeply uninspiring”.

First, why he didn’t say it then? It’s very convenient now isn’t it?

Secondly, let me quote you David Miliband himself:

I’m campaigning on the manifesto that we actually stood on. And the manifesto that we stood on said that we had a defense review in 2006… [interrupted by audience].

I’m sorry but I’m not the kind of person who is going to stand on the manifesto in May and in June tell you I want to tippex out bits of it. I think that’s very important.

Yes – the same manifesto that Blunkett is now trying to trash Ed Miliband over.

Thirdly, this is political suicide. Blunkett’s view that Labour did nothing wrong over civil liberties was recently echoed by Alan Johnson when he was trashing Ed. Do these people not realise Labour can’t win power without either attracting Libdems into a coalition or winning over significant numbers of Libdem voters?

And lastly – how does a scorched-earth campaign against a leading candidate going to help bring Labour unity after a leader is elected? Not a single high-profile Ed Miliband supporter has attacked David like this.

This swift-boating of Ed Miliband has to stop; it’s getting pretty disgusting.

PS – Yes, I know he’s voting for Andy Burnham as #1 but that’s become irrelevant. He wants ppl to vote for DM as #2 and wants to stop Ed.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Labour party ,Westminster

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


I’m a supporter of Ed Miliband, too, but “swift boating” is way too strong as a description for Blunkett’s remarks, as quoted here. The attack on John Kerry was something else altogether.

2. Missing The Point

“Swiftboating is American political jargon that is used as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair or untrue—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign.”

Since when did American political jargon belong in British politics?

3. Missing The Point

‘Since when did American political jargon belong in British politics?’

Since snidely linking someone to George W Bush became the attack of choice amongst people with a beam in their eye.

5. Copeland Rocks

I think the problem many Labour activists have is that we just didn’t hear civil liberties – or even Iraq – coming up on the doorstep.

In Copeland, for example, which was supposedly a “key seat” which Labour held by 3,833, the only occasion I heard civil liberties mentioned was when one lady complained there weren’t enough CCTV cameras.

Therefore, quite a lot of us remain unconvinced that these are the issues that lost us this years election..

6. Sunder Katwala

Personally I think “swift boating” is just silly. As a new party member, you are being pretty robust in your criticisms of David Miliband and his supporters, because you want Ed Miliband to win.

Are you part of a swift-boating operation? No, you are just having a political argument about the leadership and direction of the party. Some of David Miliband’s supporters are arguing that EM is less electable, taking a different view.

These are legitimate debates, though many in the party hope they can be based around the substance of the arguments, not the personal motivations, still less caricatures of these (eg that David M is a right-wing politician; that Ed M would prefer Labour didn’t get elected)

There are some differences of policy (small), of political strategy and instinct, of personal style, etc – these are important issues in the leadership election, though the differences are often narrower than some on both sides (and particularly eg media supporters) suggest.

And I think the election has not been excessively personalised. All five candidates have tried to avoid that, while making their own arguments, including Diane Abbott, though she is perhaps likely as the outsider candidate who wasn’t in government to have most opportunity to draw a sharper distinction in terms of biography, etc.

So the party seems well placed to unite under the new leader, when no doubt some of these broader politcal and policy debates will (and should) continue. Which is because nobody is being swift-boated.

7. Missing The Point
8. David Boothroyd

The suggestion that David Blunkett is a mere marionette under the absolute direction of David Miliband demeans both and has no basis in fact. David Blunkett is saying what he believes; what David Miliband wants him to say is neither here nor there.

(PS if you want to get on in politics, get called David)

“I think the problem many Labour activists have is that we just didn’t hear civil liberties – or even Iraq – coming up on the doorstep. ”

Because in the election overall very few doors were knocked.

Always amazes me when activists use the “what people said to us on the doorstep” as a guide to how they think they should campaign in future. Its about as scientific as astrology – use public opinion polls instead as a better guide. One reason many may not have mentioned iraq or civil liberties may be because the experience of saying this to remaining labour party members was usually a harry’s place esque avalanche of abuse, or a patronising “the tories did it as well”. Other reasons may be politeness or the fact people may have wanted to get on with their lives rather than talk to party political activists they’ll never see again.

10. margin4error

planeshaft

I knocked on about 2,000 doors in east london. Most of what I heard was about foreigners (which after a quick discussion turned out actually to be an issue with housing, school places, and benefits)

And worryingly in such a working class area as Newham and Tower Hamlets – a sense that no one was doing anything of value for normal working people who get by and don’t earn much.

I’m sure in other parts of the country civil liberties were more of an issue. Though Iraq was mucch bigger in 2005 really. The same part of London back then was a flood of rants about it.

11. margin4error

I didn’t know what Swift-boating was until Missing the Point helped out on #2 and #3

That said, while reading the article I did assume it must be awful because Liberal Conspiracy was implicating David Miliband in it.

Turns out it is what Liberal Conspiracy does day in day out about David Miliband.

Now I don’t support David Miliband, but I have elsewhere expressed by depression at the now constant onslaught against him as it really is divisive at a time when the left needs to remember we are all on the same side. (And by “we” I mean the left well beyond just the labour party)

So for clarification – is attacking some one by saying they pander to the daily mail, labelling them right wing, and accusing them of propogating charachterisations of other people’s campaigns “swiftboarting”?

Also – is my post this swiftboating Liberal Conspiracy?

This swift-boating of Ed Miliband has to stop

The point of swift-boating is that the central tenor of the attack has to be factually untrue. Blunkett’s attack is that Ed Miliband wrote the manifesto, it was uninspiring, and that he is now attacking it as insufficiently radical. Which bit of that is untrue?

13. Missing The Point

@11 unfortunately Sunny has gambled another big chunk of his remaining political credibility backing Ed Miliband, who now looks to be the wrong horse.

He has a big incentive to leverage this blog against David Miliband, because for Ed to lose puts another big question mark over his political acumen.

14. Mike Killingworth

Who is in the Labour Party these days? The left-wingers have almost all departed (or been kicked out) over the last twenty years, so that somewhere between a sixth and a quarter of the total electorate is now effectively disenfranchised and alienated from the political system (except in those few places where the Greens have a significant presence on the ground).

I have to admit that I have never understood the politics of those who are on the right of the Labour Party, a term which, when I use it, includes everyone who served in Cabinet from 1997 to 2010 (with the arguable exception of Mo Mowlem). I don’t see the point of a visceral hatred of Tories – such as John Prescott would claim to have – if there isn’t a single Tory policy that, in the name of triangulation and sucking up to “middle England”, you wouldn’t consider implementing yourself in the right circumstances. If they really can’t bring themselves to join the Tories, what’s the matter with the Liberal Democrat Party? Hopefully when the co-alition falls apart, before or after the next election, that is where they will clear off to.

15. margin4error

@13

This blog isn’t really about acumen and credibility though is it? – It’s abut left-wing opinion (however centrist or radical) influencing political debate.

So Sunny has nothing to worry about on that front. Wanting Ed to win doesn’t make him bad at picking winners any more than me voting labour or green means I actually think they will win every election. (I expected defeat in 2010, and was suprised at how close it was and at the happy suprise of electing a green mp for the first time.

16. Chaise Guevara

“unfortunately Sunny has gambled another big chunk of his remaining political credibility backing Ed Miliband, who now looks to be the wrong horse.

He has a big incentive to leverage this blog against David Miliband, because for Ed to lose puts another big question mark over his political acumen.”

You seem to confuse the Labour leadership contest with the Grand National.

17. Missing The Point

@16 “You seem to confuse the Labour leadership contest with the Grand National.”

If only the public gave as much of a toss about the leadership contest!

“Do these people not realise Labour can’t win power without either attracting Libdems into a coalition or winning over significant numbers of Libdem voters?”

However YouGov polling shows that even Lib Dem voters rank softness on immigration as one of Tony Blair’s key failings, and more regard him as having failed to be tough on crime than give him the credit for crime having fallen.

I appreciate Labour lost a fair chunk of civil liberties issue voters to the Lib Dems. Nonetheless to assume (perhaps partly because those voters are the most likely to be vocal and online) that this is the only reason people moved away from Labour, or that a softer line on civil liberties issues is the key to winning over all Lib Dems, doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

Sunder @ 6

Shorter version 1. : Sunny is too sectarian for Labour Party politics.

Shorter version 2.: Sunny is rhetorically intemperate.

Is it 1. , 2. or both?

20. Chaise Guevara

“I appreciate Labour lost a fair chunk of civil liberties issue voters to the Lib Dems.”

Present!

“Nonetheless to assume (perhaps partly because those voters are the most likely to be vocal and online) that this is the only reason people moved away from Labour, or that a softer line on civil liberties issues is the key to winning over all Lib Dems, doesn’t stand up to the evidence.”

Not all, maybe, but a lot, and especially those who abandoned Labour in the first place. I voted Lib Dem rather than Labour (in a Lib-Lab contested seat) this year because I felt that Labour had developed an authoritarian streak that was, frankly, evil. However, I’m also now pretty nonplussed about the Lib Dems, for obvious reasons. I think a lot of people who essentially vote anti-Tory, faced with a version of Labour that respects civil liberties, might think along these lines:

1) The Lib Dems got into bed with the Tories, and are therefore not to be trusted.
2) Labour were getting incredibly sketchy on civil liberties, but have since renounced this position. They will also never deal with the Tories.
ERGO: I am voting Labour.

21. margin4error

chaise

there is of course a balance to be struck between “respecting civil liberties” and meeting demands to crack down on crime and tackle terrorism and so on.

Now I tend more towards civil liberties, as it seems do you – but I’m not convinced huge swathes of working class britain feel the same – and so the question becomes one of how many votes would that lose

I find the ‘differences’ between the Mili boys somewhat artificial aimed solely at winning the leadership…nothing else.

Ed feels he has a better chance of winning by appealing to unionists, activists and the die hards.

David has already a strong base and so can appeal to a wider range of views.

Regardless of who wins, you can bet previous espoused positions will quietly fade away as both David and Ed recognise that if they have any hope of winning an election post electoral reform, they need to regain the centre ground.In other words, I don’t think you will be able to put cigarette paper between them in terms of their positioning the party going forward as leader.

And as for the aforesaid unionists,activists, socialists and radicals.They will be quietly put back in their box and ignored.

New Labour is dead! Long live New Labour!!

What David Blunkett is doing, though I’m sure he doesn’t intend it, is helping Ed Miliband win.

Just to show how swiftboating should be done, what do people think of Ed Miliband’s plans to give tax breaks to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Barclays Bank and KPMG?

Do his leftie supporters agree with him that big City banks and management consultancy firms who helped cause the economic crisis should be first in line for tax cuts?

(I am a big Ed M fan, but this is a particularly stupid policy which will hopefully bite the dust once he becomes leader).

24. Chaise Guevara

“there is of course a balance to be struck between “respecting civil liberties” and meeting demands to crack down on crime and tackle terrorism and so on. ”

Mmm. We’re already too far over to the “screw human rights” side of the line, and Labour were planning to make it much, much worse. That said, on human rights issues that don’t involve the transfer of power from the government to the people, especially gay rights, they were pretty hot stuff.

“Now I tend more towards civil liberties, as it seems do you – but I’m not convinced huge swathes of working class britain feel the same – and so the question becomes one of how many votes would that lose”

Well, I was principally talking about recovering voters who defected to the Lib Dems last time, and I believe the Lib Dems tend to attract middle-class voters. In terms of recovering voters who stayed at home on election day this year (regardless of class), I don’t imagine this one is a big issue compared to health, education, local services etc. However, Labour has put itself in a position where it can’t mention terrorism without bringing up all sorts of nasty images of itself.

I really feel that, on the liberties vs security issue, most people either don’t give a toss or think that Labour have a poor record.

I’m with post 22 on this one.

Sunny, we’ve had this argument loads of times, but I wish you would allow yourself to concede some negative points about Miliband 2. It’s a dangerous position to be in to defend someone unequivocally, and in the grand scheme of things the difference between the Milibands are barely noticeable.

Ellie Mae

Thanks for sharing my view.

I hope Sunny responds to you

27. Copeland Rocks

“Because in the election overall very few doors were knocked.”

Speak for yourself!!!

I knocked on 1,000’s of doors. Literally.

There is no doubt that people who have a problem with Labour’s civil liberties policies shout a lot louder than those who don’t. It doesn’t necessarily follow that they are more numerous.

This is what Labour needs to be careful of. We can’t allow the blogosphere to set the agenda.

BTW was this
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/01/the-guardian-endorses-the-libdems-and-im-with-them/
a plea for Labour unity at the last election?

No – it was a point that issues like civil liberties lost Labour voters. Your pseudonym is quite apt.

He has a big incentive to leverage this blog against David Miliband, because for Ed to lose puts another big question mark over his political acumen.

Haha! Even if I wasn’t backing Ed I’d be criticising any Labour MP who said that civil liberties or Iraq weren’t important.

Blunkett is part of the reason Labour got a 29% vote share at the election. The myopia of Labour activists who think everything would have been fine if there were only harder on immigration is still there I see. You guys must be aching for a long spell in opposition by deliberately trying to alienate voters.

I’m sure the Labour party attracted a lot of voters over by trying to lock up people for 90 days without charge, or with ID cards, or by having massive demonstrations against them.

Nonetheless to assume (perhaps partly because those voters are the most likely to be vocal and online) that this is the only reason people moved away from Labour, or that a softer line on civil liberties issues is the key to winning over all Lib Dems, doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

Because firstly you’re only comparing that with immigration. I appreciate immigration lost the party some votes – but they had Phil Woolas who sounded pretty much like the BNP on his leaflets and on TV. Instead of trying to tackle the issue in a progressive way – the party eventually tried to outbid the Tories by being rightwing on immigration

And as for the aforesaid unionists,activists, socialists and radicals.They will be quietly put back in their box and ignored.

Depends…. if socialists keep advocating policies that no one is interested in, then they’ll keep losing out.

If, on the other hand, the left of the party becomes organised, more cohesive, more willing to work together and compromise, and start doing some organising on the ground – they can more convincingly make the case they their views are popular and win the arguments within the party.

If the left keeps walking around with ‘a pox on all your houses’ attitude then I’m afraid they won’t be taken seriously within the party.

30. margin4error

Well said Copleland

It is easy to overlook that many traditional activists did actually go out campaigning every day during general elections even when they themselves were dissatisfied with the leadership and the weather.

Not everyone jumped ship for right wing parties claiming a moral superiority over those who had to face the tough battle comes from running a country.

With two left wing parties in the country we’d do well to explore the common ground between the Greens a Labour and build a coalition of the left to overcome the right wing coalition in government.

31. Missing The Point

Sunny:

“it was a point that issues like civil liberties lost Labour voters”

But you also did your bit to lose them votes, by advocating a vote for the Lib Dems.

It’s a bit rich for you to be calling for Labour unity 5 months after you did your bit to screw the Labour party over.

32. margin4error

@31

I fear the bit about party unity may be a result of criticism LibCon has come under for some of the rather sinister language used about non-Ed candidates and particularly David Miliband. This was, perhaps, misunderstood as a claim that such language should be set aside for the sake of party unity – when it fact it was being highlghted as a cause for concern at the left’s willingness to hate others within the left.

But that followed on from other threads so wasn’t apparent here.

33. margin4error

BTW

on second reading of the article – I’ve just noticed something horrendous.

“Do these people not realise Labour can’t win power without either attracting Libdems into a coalition or winning over significant numbers of Libdem voters?”

erm – can I suggest that the ambition of the left, and the Labour Party in particular, should be to aim a damn sight higher than scraping into a coalition with a right wing party.

If the left can only get into power by doing a deal with the right then we might as well all just go home anyway. Fortunately a collapse in Lib Dem support as their vote either votes left for real or admits to being right and thus vote tory – should negate such a need anyway.

34. Chaise Guevara

“erm – can I suggest that the ambition of the left, and the Labour Party in particular, should be to aim a damn sight higher than scraping into a coalition with a right wing party.

If the left can only get into power by doing a deal with the right then we might as well all just go home anyway. Fortunately a collapse in Lib Dem support as their vote either votes left for real or admits to being right and thus vote tory – should negate such a need anyway.”

Agree that Labour shouldn’t assume it needs support from Lib Dems (or former Lib Dems). However – and you’re no doubt expecting this – are you sure the Libs are rightwing? They’re definitely liberal, and their social policies seem to be more in favour of tax ‘n’ spend than the Tories. They’re also the least militaristic of the three main parties.

35. margin4error

Chaise

nothing wrong with former lib dems or indeed tories seeing the light and picking a left wing party. Just something deeply wrong with relying on right wing parties to help Labour to power.

Not sure militaristism is a trait of either left or right either. In the USA it tends to be the right that is quick to arms and the left reluctant. But that’s a recent (Vietnam) related trend – and actually across Europe (Germany for example in recent decades) the Left has been more willing to countenance military adventure. Likewise the strongest opposition to Iraq came from right wingers (Chirac and Putin – though granted Putin they are rather different rightwingers what with one basically being fascist) – Certainly in the UK there is no similar trend (Tory supporters when polled were as anti-iraq war as Labour supporters, and on Afghanistan they came out about even too). – more over – define whose militarism. Defence of violent conflict tends to be quite strong among the left when it is the armed struggle of, for example, palestinians or chechens.

Now in terms of being liberal – don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say as a case against liberal thought, which would be odd for some one who wants legalisation of drugs and prostitution – but it liberalism is not leftwing. It never has been, in England at least.

Smoking ban – Animal rights – Hunting Bill – NHS – state education – employment regulation – financial penalties directed at polluting – redistribution through higher taxation – all of these are illiberal. All are connected to “the left.”

Some on the left see liberty only in terms of drugs and criminal justice – which tends to be of the left – but I might suggest that the only aspect of “liberal” thought that seems to have survived the coalition bargaining process is that of freindly words and striving to roll back the state.

which seems like a right wing party to me.

36. Chris Baldwin

The obsession with “electability” (i.e. Blairism and only Blairism) is intensely destructive to Labour. I think it grows out of the myth that Labour only won in 1997 because of Blair. Of course, Labour would have won in 1997 with pretty much anyone, and we’d probably have achieved far more with someone other than Blair in Number 10.

37. Chaise Guevara

“Now in terms of being liberal – don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say as a case against liberal thought, which would be odd for some one who wants legalisation of drugs and prostitution – but it liberalism is not leftwing. It never has been, in England at least.

Smoking ban – Animal rights – Hunting Bill – NHS – state education – employment regulation – financial penalties directed at polluting – redistribution through higher taxation – all of these are illiberal. All are connected to “the left.” ”

I’m talking socially liberal here, not financially liberal. I realise that one of the problems here is that ALL of the terms are ill-defined, but in this country I think it’s fair to say the the left is broadly socially liberal and financially illiberal. So Lib Dem support for the NHS, education and taxation reinforces its leftness. As does its attitude towards employment law (true old-school socialism, that). As for the smoking ban, animal rights and pollution: liberalism only automatically allows you to swing your fist when nobody’s face is in the way. All of the above are leftwing policies.

“Some on the left see liberty only in terms of drugs and criminal justice – which tends to be of the left – but I might suggest that the only aspect of “liberal” thought that seems to have survived the coalition bargaining process is that of freindly words and striving to roll back the state.”

Again, you seem to be thinking of libertarianism here, which is a financially rightwing and socially leftwing position.

38. Chaise Guevara

Shorter version: liberal =/= leftwing

@29

Sunny

Either your arguments are convincing or they are not.All the organising in the world won’t change that.Compromise as you suggest will do that but that means changing policy.

My point – the left of the party are an irrelevance except at party election time when wannabe leaders know they need their support to get elected.Once elected the left can be safely ignored.

The whole point of being leader is to win elections and get power.That means capturing the centre ground inhabited by the great British public who don’t give a toss about left of party issues, socialism (whatever that means?) or all that stuff.

Frankly, they are more interested in seeing which new tart Rooney is screwing than some esoteric debate about right on radical politics.

Which is why they read the NOTW and not the Guardian.

The Mili boys understand that and are shamelessly pulling the wire of the left to get power following which they will ignore them (as previous leaders have done in the past) solely concentrating on trying to wrest the centre ground back from the coalition.

It’s a delusion to imagine the views of the left of the party can ever be appealing to the party as a whole let alone the electorate because it’s seen as the modern day equivalent of wearing sackcloth and ashes i.e. intended only for the devoted, the radical and the ascetic.

40. David Christie

I’ve always respected Blunkett. I think the best point he makes in the article is “But I have to ask the question, what difficult challenge has Ed put to the party, or to the electorate during the last three months, and I cannot think of one.” It’s Ed’s biggest weakness. You don’t need to battle the party but you do need to challenge it and have ideas. I say this as someone who voted for Ed.

Chaise

I guess you may be right and that the Lib Dems are indeed libertarian. (Socially left wing and financially right wing)

Or at least you might be right that they presented themselves as such before the election.

“So Lib Dem support for the NHS, education and taxation reinforces its leftness.” is pretty hard to uphold as an argument given a budget that takes from the poor to give “back” to the wealthy, cuts to the education budget, and reforms to the NHS that seem set to undermine some of its core principle of universality and equality (co-payment and private ownership)

And as it seems they have abandoned the socially left wing bit in the coalition deal I’m not sure there is much case left for arguing that was ever as important to them as the economically liberal aspect.

The left wing libeal schtick was a handy way to mop up young lefties out of uni – but they never really meant it. The likes of Clegg would be tory if they were pro-european anyway.

42. Chaise Guevara

“I guess you may be right and that the Lib Dems are indeed libertarian. (Socially left wing and financially right wing) ”

No, they’d be financially left-wing, which is the same as fiancially illiberal: that is, they are in favour of redistribution.

I think your error here is assuming ‘liberal’ and ‘left-wing’ are the same thing, which they ain’t. Then again, when I say “your error”, I’m appealing to the general political consensus of the West, if there is one. I admit all of these terms are debatable. But I think you’d find it hard to argue that universal healthcare and the welfare state are right-wing ideals, at least from a British POV.

“And as it seems they have abandoned the socially left wing bit in the coalition deal I’m not sure there is much case left for arguing that was ever as important to them as the economically liberal aspect. ”

Have they? One of the surprising things about Cameron’s Tories is that they are pretty socially leftist by Tory standards. If anything, I’d say the Lib Dems had abandoned their financial ideals by allowing Osbourne to get his hands on the budget.

“The left wing libeal schtick was a handy way to mop up young lefties out of uni – but they never really meant it. The likes of Clegg would be tory if they were pro-european anyway.”

Yes, but both the Lib Dems and the Tories (at least the high command) are pro-Europe, as are Labour. Being anti-Europe requires one to be slightly crazy, at least economically speaking. I’m pretty sure that Clegg, like most Lib Dems, is basically a New Labour type but much more anti-authoritarian.

It’s a bit rich for you to be calling for Labour unity 5 months after you did your bit to screw the Labour party over.

It’s a bit rich of people to accuse me of screwing the party over after Labour ministers did their best to alienate people like me at the last election.

This might be hard for you to swallow – but lefties aren’t a vote bank who can be demanded to vote for Labour regardless of whatever right-wing tripe ministers put out.

If you’re not going to address the reasons why I didn’t vote Labour then, don’t bother.

David Christie
” It’s Ed’s biggest weakness. You don’t need to battle the party but you do need to challenge it and have ideas.

Actually, I’ve dealt with this already.

The biggest hurdle for the party now is to ask itself why 5m voters deserted since 1997. Have you seen any analysis of that from New Labour stalwarts? Any thoughts? Any ideas?

You might say that immigration lost Labour the election – which is basically as far as the analysis goes.

I’m voting for Ed because he’s the only one asking why so many people deserted the party. What we have on David’s side is the mantra that the party must stay resolutely centrist so that the Coalition can be attacked from the right, and wavering voters won back.

That isn’t any different to what Labour has been doing (and failing) for the past 5 years. And you call that “asking hard questions”?

Gimme a break please.

can I suggest that the ambition of the left, and the Labour Party in particular, should be to aim a damn sight higher than scraping into a coalition with a right wing party.

This is quite naive on several reasons. Most Libdems certainly don’t see themselves as right-wing and are holding their nose, for now, because they are getting some of their policies through.

Margin4error / David Christie etc:

You guys did look at Labour’s deficit reduction plan before the election didn’t you? Did you? Really?

Did you notice how many cuts they were going to push through in case they won?

It’s quite comfortable of Labourites to say the Libdems are right-wing because they’re agreeing to all these cuts but you might want to look at the plan Alistair Darling put out (and now endorsed by David Miliband) before you start accusing others of right-wing.

Tim Avenell – bizarre that you think you share views with Ellie Mae at #25 and then come out with this rubbish:

It’s a delusion to imagine the views of the left of the party can ever be appealing to the party as a whole let alone the electorate because it’s seen as the modern day equivalent of wearing sackcloth and ashes i.e. intended only for the devoted, the radical and the ascetic.

Are people not concerned with their local libraries and swimming pools being cut?

Do people care about getting freedom passes at 60? Do people care whether their local hospital is open 24hrs or not?

Do people care how much tax they’re paying and do they care about work legislation to protect their rights in case they get abruptly fired?

If you think ordinary people don’t care about these issues and only care about Cheryl Cole – then I’m afraid you’re the one living in lalaland, not me or the Left.

thanks

Sunny – you hard bastard; you!

Now that is the feeling you get when you ponce some of those twats who wouldn’t know left if it hit them in the head with an ice pick.

Well done!

Now, if E’Mil can get the same kind of bollox ….

Chaise

Hang on a second mate, but I’m the one who said “Now in terms of being liberal – don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say as a case against liberal thought, which would be odd for some one who wants legalisation of drugs and prostitution – but it liberalism is not leftwing. It never has been, in England at least.”

I think our only disagreement here comes from when I said financially left wing – when i should have said economicaly right wing. (Their policies in coalition are very much anti-regulation, small state, anti-redistributive, and so on – ie right wing economic policy – or maybe right wing fiscal policy would make more sense? either way I’m sure you get what I mean)

And while I agree the NHS and investing in state education are not liberal things to do (collectivism being the antithestis to liberal) but are left wing things – that is exacly my point. The Liberal Party is doing the right wing thing and liberal thing on both.

As for being anti-authoritarian – aside from things like the smoking ban, which they did support and was authoritarian – their position seems consistent across economic and social policy now. judging by their policies in government they are anti-state. They are against the state taxing people to support the poor. They are against the state involving itself in people’s lives. They are against the state engaging in economic activity. They are against the state regulating markets.

Perfectly liberal of them – just not at all left wing in any meaningful sense.

oh – and yes, the tories are now more left wing on social issues like racial and sexual equality. The left well and truly won that argument and has created a much improved concensus. Labour worked hard for that but it is paying dividends.

But keep in mind, while they talk in terms of being a progressive party – their policies and budget are clearly not – so it is fair to assume they are lying in order to keep the public on side.

Sunny

I said they were a right wing party. I didn’t say some of their voters and supporters were not misguided lefties (like yourself, who mistakenly backed them on libcon) who can be convinced to see the light and back a left wing party next time.

I’m more than happy to win round anyone to voting for the left, be it Labour or Green.

Also – you might want to follow the discussion Chaise and I are having about that, which goes into it a little more interestingly than banal accusations of naivety.

As for the defecit reduction plan – are you saying that there shouldn’t be one? I mean I get why some people don’t want to face that – but it will have to be cut eventually. I think planning to do so largely through spurring growth and spending to support industry is a better option than cutting services. And that was a big part of Alistair Darling’s plan. That was why he was clear it couldn’t start too soon – otherwise growth would falter and wreck efforts at defecit reduction anyway.

But even the relatively small level of cuts planned is hardly akin to signing up to a 90% by cuts, 10% by tax model that is uses deficit reduction as an excuse to roll back the state – while at the same time as CUTTING tax on business.

It is a sick joke to pretend that’s the same as Labour’s plan.

I mean I assume you read the budgets Darling put out and the Osborne one? I did. I reported on them. That’s my job.

oh – and one final thing – appealing to dissafected Lib Dems sounds great – but there are other questions to be answered. Fore example, while I knocked on thousands of doors in East London at the election a common theme was “they don’t do anything for people like me” came from a lot of people who went to work, earned a relatively low wage, get by and pay their rent but find life a bit of a struggle.

and you know what, I think there might be a case for some one focussing on how we do that. But I’ve raised before that Labour’s focus on “poverty” was misguided as most poor people are not or don’t consider themselves to be in poverty – and so feel ignored.

50. Chaise Guevara

Margin:

OK, we’re sorted on left/right and liberal/illiberal. Applying those to the Lib Dems, though, your whole point about them being right-wing seems to be based on coalition government policies, which are, for the most part (and especially on the economic side), Conservative policies. Not Lib Dem policies.

It sounds a bit too much like the Labour accusations that the Lib Dems aren’t delivering on their campaign pledges. Of course they’re not, they’re the junior partner in a coalition and can’t dictate policy. They got the AV vote and a few economically left-wing ideas into the government’s policy, but calling them left-wing because they couldn’t convince the Tories to give them free rein over the economy is unreasonable.

51. Chaise Guevara

*calling them RIGHT-wing because they couldn’t convince the Tories [above]

52. margin4error

Chaise

It isn’t really about expecting them to have a free hand. It is more than I question why we percieve so much of what the Lib Dems “stand for”as left wing anyway.

for example – why exactly do we consider AV and PR to be at all left wing? Many right wing parties around the world support similar systems. We grew to see it as left wing because we were told the Lib Dems were left wing and so the left as a whole would benefit. That is why the tories opposed it too, we were led to believe.

So that is almost a circular argument in which the lib dems must be left wing because they want electoral reform, and we know electoral reform is left wing because the it benefits the Lib Dems and therefore the left.

On the second point what left-wing economic ideas have gone through? I see a lot of ‘small state=good’ thinking – and I see a lot of cutting benefits to force people into work (doesn’t work, but right wingers tend to think it does).

I’ll grant you I hear lots of talk about supporting the poor and so on – but the Tories are saying that stuff too and doing nothing of the sort too – which doesn’t make them a party of the left either.

And the only policy I see even coming close to qualifying is extending the tax threshold. But since paying for a tax cut that benefits rich and poor workers requires more cutting to services that naturally most benefit the poor, or more cutting of benefits, which naturally most benefit the poor, and of course higher VAT which disproportionately hurts the poor – one can’t help but think that was a policy “victory” for the left that I for one could have well lived without.

If I may interject at this juncture, the reason why electoral reform is seen as an issue of the Left in this country at least is because electoral reform = more democratic and the Right have [historically at least] always been opposed to, say, widening the franchise or increasing democracy (anti-devolution, anti-women’s votes) as indeed they are generally opposed to equality in general (gay rights (marriage, consent), equal pay, anti-discrimination laws). That is just the way things are, but luckily the tide of history is against them (not for nothing are they “Conservatives”), though not without a – to use an unfashionable word – struggle.

Also: anyone baffled by the Lib Dem’s political stance won’t want to look here, for example, where Clegg tells us that his party have replaced Labour as the progressive party in British politics.

“I don’t think the choice is between Conservative and Labour – the choice is now between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.”

“I have always accepted the first part of Roy Jenkins’s analysis which says that historically Labour and Liberal Democrats are two wings of a progressive tradition in British politics.”

“There is a gulf in values between myself and David Cameron,” adding: “They have no progressive reform agenda at all – only an unbearable sense of entitlement that it’s just their time to govern.”

Of course, that was in the ancient history of, erm, April this year.

55. margin4error

Nice intejection Mr S Pill

Agree that traditionally electoral reform is of the left in the UK – but things change. And the conservatives being opposed does not mean the lib dems are more left wing than them for supporting. It just means they disagree.

@margin4error

The Lib Dems certainly used to be Left-ish. After all they took the SDP under their Liberal wing to form the party they are today… and I’d hazard that a lot, if not the majority, of their members and supporters would come down on the traditional “left” side in any argument about the NHS, education etc etc. Saying all that, however, I think Clegg has totally ruined his party (or in less partial language has got rid of the left-ish baggage) by supporting and propping up a Conservative government. I don’t see it splitting but I predict a few floor-crossings to Labour before the end of this parliament.

57. Chaise Guevara

Margin:

“why exactly do we consider AV and PR to be at all left wing? Many right wing parties around the world support similar systems. We grew to see it as left wing because we were told the Lib Dems were left wing and so the left as a whole would benefit. That is why the tories opposed it too, we were led to believe.

So that is almost a circular argument in which the lib dems must be left wing because they want electoral reform, and we know electoral reform is left wing because the it benefits the Lib Dems and therefore the left. ”

I agree – in fact, I didn’t even realise people considered FPTP to be right-wing. I suppose right-wingers are more often conservative and therefore more likely to want to maintain the status quo, but outside of the UK that could mean PR. It’s pretty clear that the Lib Dems are strongly pro-PR because they would probably benefit from it (or, more fairly, that Labour and the Tories oppose it because the present system favours them).

If PR is left-wing, then that’s only in the same way that banning abortion is right-wing: due to the bedfellows you find yourself with if you adopt that position rather than the fundamental character of the position itself.

On the second point what left-wing economic ideas have gone through? I see a lot of ‘small state=good’ thinking – and I see a lot of cutting benefits to force people into work (doesn’t work, but right wingers tend to think it does).

“I’ll grant you I hear lots of talk about supporting the poor and so on – but the Tories are saying that stuff too and doing nothing of the sort too – which doesn’t make them a party of the left either.

And the only policy I see even coming close to qualifying is extending the tax threshold. But since paying for a tax cut that benefits rich and poor workers requires more cutting to services that naturally most benefit the poor, or more cutting of benefits, which naturally most benefit the poor, and of course higher VAT which disproportionately hurts the poor – one can’t help but think that was a policy “victory” for the left that I for one could have well lived without.”

I still imagine it’ll help the poor overall, although I’m no expert. They also stopped Tory plans to cut inheritance tax (which doesn’t hurt the Tories, of course, but it is left-wing).

If I’m honest, the Lib Dems are in this coalition to get AV; that’s how the’ve justified it to themselves and the voters. And, of course, AV is not a left/right issue. But the Lib Dems, for the first time in history, are within snatching distance of creating a voting system that would actually see them get reasonably fair treatment at elections. I can’t blame them for taking the opportunity.

If AV gets in and the Lib Dems survive the process, then go on to back right-wing coalitions in future elections, they will absolutely haemorrage votes.

58. margin4error

Mr S Pill

I’m not so inclined to judge the lib dems by those crossing the floor in the commons – more by those supporters willing to change their vote when the next opportunity arises.

I suspect there will be plenty of them – and that they will make up the rump of what could reasonably have been considered left-ish support for the party. And that will leave the old liberal party – which was far from left wing.

59. margin4error

Chaise

“If PR is left-wing, then that’s only in the same way that banning abortion is right-wing: due to the bedfellows you find yourself with if you adopt that position rather than the fundamental character of the position itself.”

The bedfellow term is a good one. Having the same view as some people of either right or left does not make one either right or left. It can be coincidence and that issue might be an exception to trend or simply exceptional in not being a matter of left and right. (a good example is that pro and anti european views tend to split centre v extreme across europe – rather than left v right)

on the economic side the inheritance tax issue is one I will grant you. But that’s about it, and it is pretty marginal.

and I agree with “If I’m honest, the Lib Dems are in this coalition to get AV; that’s how the’ve justified it to themselves and the voters. And, of course, AV is not a left/right issue. But the Lib Dems, for the first time in history, are within snatching distance of creating a voting system that would actually see them get reasonably fair treatment at elections. I can’t blame them for taking the opportunity.”

Except that I can blame them for thinking that putting the poor through the suffering about to be visited on them is a price worth paying to feather their own political nests.

Granted though, I say that as some one who expects AV to be voted down at referendum.

60. Chaise Guevara

“Except that I can blame them for thinking that putting the poor through the suffering about to be visited on them is a price worth paying to feather their own political nests.

Granted though, I say that as some one who expects AV to be voted down at referendum.”

Fair point. I guess my response would be that if they do get AV, they’ve done something that might open up British politics for centuries to come. Improving the Lib Dem’s political outlook isn’t worth the price of itself, but it may be worth putting the poor through five years of misery to prevent them spending the next 100 being passed between the Tories and Labour like a rugby ball. I say “may be”, I’m not sure myself.

Chaise

I could see that argument having some merit if the public had largely voted for reform and there was a groundswell of opinion in favour and if the reform was PR not AV.

That woud indeed better democratise the UK and see greater choice at the ballot box – and the people would themselves have decided that actually it is worth them suffering a bit to make that happen.

As it is I fear they are being largely overlooked so as to offer a slight “dem” figleaf to the libs – and AV itself will just entrench the three party system rather than open politics up to parties like the Greens and Ukip.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Get Political Fund » Blog Archive » Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift …

    […] Read more from the original source: Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift … […]

  2. Get Political Fund » Blog Archive » Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift …

    […] Read more here: Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift … […]

  3. Jennifer O'Mahony

    LEAVE ED ALONE Is this how D-Miliband supporters will unite Labour: by swift-boating Ed? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1Bpo6nC





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.