Ed Miliband: the comeback kid


by Guest    
12:30 pm - July 10th 2011

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contribution by Jon Stone

Though not quite a return to the pre-Blair Labour manifesto calling for a breakup of newspaper monopolies, Labour’s vote in parliament to delay any takeover of BSkyB is definitely welcome.

it is not something I could imagine the Labour Party of three years ago doing.

For a political machine that still goes out of its way to shape its policies to appease The Sun, doing something that will undeniably piss off the Great Satan himself is babysteps to a more assertive relationship with the right-wing gutter press.

Many have been quick to point out that Ed Miliband has done something of an about-face here in speaking out as he has done.

That much is obvious: there is no doubt that Labour have clearly been in bed with NewsCorp for the last couple of decades. Pre-crisis Miliband seemed to make no effort to break with tradition, and as recently as last month was hobnobbing at parties with Rupert Murdoch. Earlier in the year he wrote a leader for The Sun.

Because it is so obviously a U-turn, it would have been convenient for Labour to play along with the Tories and pretend that this was not a crisis. Not an interview has gone by with a Labour figure during this crisis without them being told that surely they are implicated as much as the Tories are because of their closeness to NewsCorp.

This could have easily just been about the News of the World, rather than the whole organisation. The parties could have had a very cosy, mutually beneficial consensus between them – they’ve done it before and they’ll probably do it again.

But last week the pressure that has been put on Ed Miliband since he became leader reached a crisis point. His bungled response to the June 30th strikes lost him a lot of support with the last people who would probably stand up for him.

Against a background of the constant negative coverage, not least from the Murdoch Press (“Red Ed”) and their Blairite allies within the party, the consensus a week ago was that Miliband was basically finished if he didn’t pull something out of the hat.

He was desperate, saw the opportunity, and he took it. It seems to have paid some cautious dividends.

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Reader comments


well we will see if suspect in the coming months when the News of the world is over you will see Miliband the Cameron’s and the rest backing right off.

In the end after listening to Miliband to day on TV seems we are still in the grip of the supposed death of new labour asked if you were to the left he repeated we are in the middle, we are center, we are in fact New labour.

@Robert, I watched Miliband on Andrew Marr’s show this morning, and I thought it was interesting when he was challenged about the attacks from Blair and Mandelson (the other Stooge was probably busy phoning Murdoch). Miliband talked (however vaguely) of a ‘new centre ground’ – in other words, the model that Blair, Mandelson, et al. keep referring to no longer applies (and hasn’t, I’d suggest, since 2008). Besides, if Murdoch’s Orcs go after Miliband, who’s going to replace him? His brother (whom EdM beat)? Yvette Cooper, assuming she’s going to kowtow to Murdoch after all the scandal? Maybe Brooks is grooming the Murdochian Candidate deep in the bowels of the Wapping fortress as we speak.

3. blackwillow1

Red Ed is a name that cannot be applied to Ed Miliband, the campaign against the Murdoch monopoly, welcome as it is, in no way cancels out the disappointment for which he is currently paying the price. While I, and no doubt many more, will throw our support fully behind Ed and Labour in their efforts to loosen the Murdoch grip on the national media, we still have numerous issues with him that need to be dealt with.
1> Lack of support for the strikes.
2> The obsession with the ‘squeezed middle’ and their opinions.
3> Sitting on the fence. A little more directness required.
4> Points 1-3 are symptomatic of this, being out of touch with everyday life.

So ‘the comeback kid’ is doing well on this particular issue, however, there remains much room for improvement. Let’s hope that this is the beginning of Ed M finding a hint of red in his bones, and much less of that new-blue labour shade he’s been showing of late.

@3

I actually think that Ed M’s heart is in broadly the right place, I don’t believe from what I’ve seen that he is another New Labour clone like his big brother would have been. At least he is taking babysteps in roughly the right direction, It’s probably no surprise that he’s being cautious. He seems to have discovered some guts on this issue, let’s hope it will embolden him to discover some guts to move the party towards the genuine centre left and away from the worst excesses of the New Labour years. If so he might not turn out to be to bad a leader.

He definately needs to face down the traitorous remnants of the blairites who seem to delight in attempting to publically undermine him.

5. Paul Newman

The Press is not right wing its just that the successful Papers are . The Mirror is equally looking for punters as is the Guardian its just that less people like them. Freedom is not what the left want it is control. The Guardian is suckled by Public sector job ads for jobs no-one needs and could be found on a cheap web site anyway. It uses this subsidy to compete unfairly offering vastly more than, for example the Telegraph, for the same price. It is quite an achievement that it fails to get anywhere.
The BBC is paid out of taxation, has a virtual monopoly of broadcast media and adopts an editorial line not far from the Guardian. God only knows how the left can complain about a monopoly. Yes please, break it up!
I am pleased that Ed has chosen to declare war on Murdoch and the free Press He has made a huge mistake by listening to the media bubble and ignoring the 7500,000 readers of the News of The World not to say the Sun Readers and everyone else who will reflect and conclude that ugly though it may be they prefer choice and competition to being spoon fed dull reports on the tractor production figures of our day.
Do you really want to go back to Fleet Street and a dead Unionised industry , no 24 hour news , the appalling use the BBC made of its sole rights to top sport ?
Meanwhile Ed`s personal ratings stink and on “The” question,,who do you trust with your money New Labour is totally rejected even now.

Graham @ 4

He definately needs to face down the traitorous remnants of the blairites who seem to delight in attempting to publically undermine him.

The problem being the Blairites are a pretty toxic bunch of bastards. They appear to stop at nothing to undermine him, leaving the way for the Tories to push on with their destructive agenda.

The problem for Labour right now is the fact that it appears to be directionless. Far too many people at the heart of the Labour Party are vapid and deviod of any ideals or any opinion worth knocking onto a door with. ‘Vote for us and we will…’, and thats the problem. What will they do? We all know that things are going wrong in Government and he Country, but you cannot hang your coat on anything Labour will do to change any of that. No one in the Labour rank and file appears to have anything to say worth hearing. If here is someone saying something that I could vote for, why am I not hearing it? Labour did not vote for a bad leader, per se, who could have done a better job? If you have a leadership as empty as Labour have, who can do any better? None of the non token candidates has anything to say that could be called an ‘idea’ far less a ‘policy’. Who has said anything of note regarding the war on the disabled? The begining of the removal of abortion rights for women?

Suffice to say, that the backbiting within the ranks of Labour are gravy to the Tories.

On the Murdoch thing. Too little, too late. Labour cosying up the Sun got it the endorsement they required and for too long after that, they were seen to be Murdoch’s men and women.

A wounded Murdoch is going to be more dangerous and don’t expectt the Left’s press will get any easier anytime soon. There is no point in allowing NI time to lick its wounds, we really need to get to grips with them while the iron is hot. To be honest, Milliband can do nothing unless they get back to pwer and Murdoch knows that. The Tories are not interested in clipping the wings of this beast either.

Of course the attitude is different to that of Blair’s. We’re miles away from an election and Labour are not in power.

@6 Jim

The problem for Labour right now is the fact that it appears to be directionless. Far too many people at the heart of the Labour Party are vapid and deviod of any ideals or any opinion worth knocking onto a door with. ‘Vote for us and we will…’, and thats the problem. What will they do? We all know that things are going wrong in Government and he Country, but you cannot hang your coat on anything Labour will do to change any of that. No one in the Labour rank and file appears to have anything to say worth hearing. If here is someone saying something that I could vote for, why am I not hearing it? Labour did not vote for a bad leader, per se, who could have done a better job? If you have a leadership as empty as Labour have, who can do any better? None of the non token candidates has anything to say that could be called an ‘idea’ far less a ‘policy’. Who has said anything of note regarding the war on the disabled? The begining of the removal of abortion rights for women?

Quite. This is what happens to a political party which decides to sell its soul, like Labour did about 17 years ago. When you no longer have power you are left with nothing but a soulless hollowed out bankrupt shell of a party. Tony Blair and co did a very good job of crushing Labour’s soul, but he did not quite manage to kill it entirely, and there are a few faint glimmers of life. It will however take quite a while to revive it after the beating it took.

It is really the remnants of the blairites and New Labour who are now utterly bankrupt and directionless, and are reduced to paranoid and absurd carping at Ed Milliband. The party was absolutely right to reject them. Although there is not yet any well defined alternative.

The irony is of course. That when in power, the blairites would not tollerate any kind of internal dissent or disloyalty against their great leader. Disloyalty was considered a terrible sin! And now look at them!

9. So Much For Subtlety

Though not quite a return to the pre-Blair Labour manifesto calling for a breakup of newspaper monopolies, Labour’s vote in parliament to delay any takeover of BSkyB is definitely welcome. it is not something I could imagine the Labour Party of three years ago doing.

Ed is the come back kid? This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel guys.

It is a delay. Not a ban. It is simply putting off the day when Labour might have to show it has some balls to another time. When we have all forgotten this issue. If ever there was a time for some leadership and some policy, it is now. Not that I agree with the ban, but this is a unique moment where NI has screwed up massively, the public is on-side and Ed can actually do some leading in a generally leftist direction.

But he hasn’t.

He is not the Come Back Kid. He is a spineless wonder.

10. Arthur Seaton

“Not that I agree with the ban”

Of course you don’t SMFS. When you’re not singing the praises of Botha’s South Africa, you’re a Murdoch licking buffoon. I would have thought at a time like this when your team is taking a kicking you could come up with something better than that. Over-optimistic of me.

11. So Much For Subtlety

Good one Arthur. Really contributing to the debate.

The fact is the Left is at a nadir. The idea that Ed putting off making a decision could be seen as some Great Act of Leftist Statesmanship merely proves it.

It is embarrassing.

Well – SMFS is right, isn’t he. I’ve been reading school reports of late and this puts me in mind of one that criticises english, maths and science skills, berates behaviour, lashes out at lateness but then notes that little Jim has done a “good” piece of DT work and is thus showing promise.

@12

True (sighs).

We have been hearing about Blair contacting Miliband to shut up Tom Watson, I have no doubt Blair is protecting his contact base , in case it affects his bank balance.

The problem is for Newer labour is simple Miliband is not good enough, to many mistakes to many errors to many blunders, he’s not perhaps experienced enough, to young to what ever.

Not much good making come backs all the time if the next day you open your mouth and carry on proving your not a Blair, sadly thats what it’s all about now. Once Thatcher stepped down everyone who then became leader proved without doubt they were not Thatcher.

Robert @ 14

The problem is for Newer labour is simple Miliband is not good enough, to many mistakes to many errors to many blunders, he’s not perhaps experienced enough, to young to what ever.

The problem for Labour is there is simply no-one else there to replace him. Everyone with any leadership aspirations is exactly the same as Milliband. The Labour Party seem intent on filling its positions with empty opinionless suits, that do ‘not scare the horses’ and say nothing that might be considered ‘contentious’.

Situation Vacant: A person with no opinion on anything whatsoever and completely without direction, but with a canny ability to connect with voters, required to replace the current holder of the position who has the exact same qualities, but little National support.

If there had been someone capable of mounting a worthwhile campaign on a given cause, Christ, they would have stood out like a sore thumb, paint bright red with a ten-foot arrow pointing at it. I will say this, bet few people out there, outside of the political anoraks, could three Labour frontbenchers.

Yesterday we saw an abortion rights campaign, something that we won (nod to the Liberals, BTW) over forty years ago, being slowly eroded. Diane Aboot was there, but looking around, where is the rest of the Labour Party? The Tories are blatantly replacing solid, professional groups with their political allies and placemen and Labour are no-where. We will see demos from the disabled and the Labour Party are conspicuous by their absence. The public sector was hung out to dry as well.

Milliband’s failure is that of the Labour Party, unable to say or do anything lest some opinion poll marks him down a percentage point. Don’t blame him for the failure of Labour to capture the imagination of the voting public; blame a political Party who seem obsessed with internal debates and preaching to the choir.

Last month LibCon reposted a blogg from a Labour councillor who outlined her priorities to get the Party on track. Number one ‘priority’? More diversity! Yep, not the disabled, not the workers, unemployment, low pay or the public sector or anything else the Tories have been happily kicking the guts out of. Nope, so esoteric as defending the NHS, but how ‘different’ we all look.

If the Labour Party want to replace Milliband, fair enough, but instead of having focus groups choose the hairstyle of the next leader, why not:

1) Find a set of values.
2) Find someone who is passionate about those values.
3) Elect them?

@15 They did

1) To do what it takes to get on in politics.
2) That would be the Shadow Cabinet.
3) Neatly fixed by the NEC, placemen parachuted into safe seats, Bob’s yer uncle!

What is really needed is people with some depth, Healey’s hinterland. People like his generation who had, for example, seen active service during WW2 had things much more in perspective.

The distortion in our politics must be in large proportion due to the disgusting press we have. What sensible person would want to be subject to the kind of scrutiny people and their families suffer if they seek public position?

The future of the “comeback kid” will be determined in very large measure by his choice of shadow cabinet members (once that comes about) and by the tone & direction of his leader’s speech at Labour Conference. Ed M has those two chances to stake out who & what he is and where he wants to go.
Until then, we can’t know for sure ( and I personally wonder at times what the f*** he’s up to).

Ed Miliband “The Comeback Kid”? Surely that’s a joke, isn’t it?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Ed Miliband: the comeback kid http://bit.ly/oQMUCS

  2. Deokhee

    I do agree. @libcon Ed Miliband: the comeback kid http://t.co/q812fXF

  3. Phil Dickens

    Then there's this pile of tripe: http://bit.ly/pOY9C8 Labour said something about Murdoch! Let's rebuild our illusions in them!





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