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28 responses to “Ed Miliband Labour’s new Leader”

  1. David Irving (no relation)

    It looks like UK Labour will manage to ditch their neo-Thatcherite agenda in plenty of time to win the next election.

  2. Ginja

    Great news!

    Ed is the least “Blairite” or “New Labour” of the candidates. I understand he’s also spoken out about the folly of the Iraq war.

    UK Labour gets itself back onto a even keel.

    There’s a lot of talk about how social democracy is at a low ebb at the moment. True, but this replicates what happened during the big-D. The Depression did – overwhelmingly – benefit the Right, initially at least. But in the post-war environment social democrats came back strongly – to the point where their opponents could only win office by adopting many of their policies (Australia was no exception to this). There’s a delayed response to these things.

    If Thatcher and the recession of the early ’90s created a whole generation of left-leaning voters just watch out when the generation that came of age during the Great Recession start to vote.

  3. Fran Barlow

    And the good thing about that is that whether Labour wins or not, at least those who don’t like the Thatcher-NuLabour policy get to vote for something else.

  4. Ginja

    We agree on something, Fran!

    I’d really encourage people to take a look at some clips on You Tube by a Labour left-wing MP called Jon Cruddas. The UK seems to excel at having intellectuals in politics but Cruddas has been very good at diagnosing New Labour’s problems (he also seems to have a lot of respect across the the party).

    His “Compass” talk is very good.

  5. Ken Lovell

    The process is a refreshing contrast to the “Hey Labor MPs can change the leader any time they like and it’s none of your damn business” mentality that we saw here in June.

  6. Fine

    The “emissary from the Planet Fuck”. That’s one cool nickname.

    And of course Ken you’d remember well that when Rudd became leader in 2006, there was months of debate, discussions etc. It was a wonderful, democratic, open process in which the membership of Labor was completely involved. Oh wait!…

  7. Ken Lovell

    Fine your sarcasm would make more sense if it had a point. My comment was a general proposition that neither endorsed nor defended the process by which Rudd replaced Beazley. Only someone with a very tiresome axe to grind could possibly think that it was even remotely relevant.

  8. Kim

    Update: This is interesting – Ed Miliband on getting out of the “New Labour comfort zone”.

  9. eastenders

    The UK badly needs someone with stature and experience to steer it into a bright future, Millband has neither. Going towards the left is not going to keep the people who make the country’s wealth happy. Anyone with good business sense will move away to other places and with taxes depleted where are the benefits.
    The UK is in a big hole made by the yanks greed and Blair’s blindness to be Bush’s lapdog. I am afraid the future for the UK is not bright and nobody seems to care.

  10. Fine

    Ken, point is that Labor behaved in June 2007 in the way it always has, in terms of changing leaders. If you won’t to make a general point, then do so, instead of continuing with the specific (and oh, so tiresome ) point that Gillard rolled Rudd and that’s a bad, bad thing.

  11. bmitw

    I can’t see how leaving a party under the Westminster parliamentary system rudderless for months whilst everyone faffs around choosing a new leader is a good idea.

    Undoubtedly democratic, but is it efficient or effective?

  12. Ken Lovell

    Give it a rest Fine. My comment was not ‘continuing with the specific (and oh, so tiresome ) point that Gillard rolled Rudd and that’s a bad, bad thing’ except apparently in the rather obsessive preconceptions of your mind.

    Bmitw @ 10 you need to develop your argument I suggest, as well as justifying your implicit values. Efficiency and effectiveness aren’t the first two principles that spring to my mind when I think of political leadership. One could argue that the leadership shambles in the Liberals following Costello’s puerile behaviour in 2007 was caused as much as anything by the perceived need to act efficiently and effectively. A period of reflection and discussion, during which aspiring leaders facilitated open consideration of what the party stood for, would arguably have been a better option in the long run. Many Liberal supporters must still be scratching their heads wondering how TF they ended up with Abbott as leader, but the relentless unfolding of events means it will be very hard to replace him for at least a year.

  13. Nickws

    Some persepective. What we have here is the Brown version of New Labour winning over the Blairite version in a real nailbiter. And the older Miliband probably could have been this winning candidate in a landslide if he’d just publicly broken with his ex-boss (Blair) while he was still foreign secretary. (And I think David would have beaten Ed if he’d been forced to mobilise union voters—as it was union members affiliated with UK Labour had their vote watered down to the point where it was considerably less than that of constituency party members. A level playing field would have meant D.Miliband couldn’t have campaigned as the MPs and subbranches favourite, he would have needed to seek greater union support, as Ed quite successfully did.)

    This result is okay in my book, though I have to hope that UK Leftwingers aren’t as mindlessly triumphalist as some (okay, almost all) people on this thread are. Modern western progressivism that is about as magnanimous as the American PUMAs are when it comes to fighting interparty battles? Do not want. That be faceless men behaviour in the context of Australian politics.

    Wishful ideological victory isn’t the important thing here, reinventing an otherwise moribund movement through new ways of engaging grassroots participation is.

  14. bmitw

    I don’t understand how it is beneficial for a party to take months to choose a leader when it is the parliamentarians who have to work with said leader and who would presumably have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

    After all the wider Australian public was still enamoured of Kevin Rudd at a time when he was alienating colleagues and balance of power Senators thereby contributing to his policy failures.

    As for my values I am an economic conservative and a social progressive. I loathe John Howard because he was neither, am perfectly satisfied that Julia Gillard is PM and could not care less how she got there.

    As for the Liberal party, they are always a rabble in Opposition, mainly because IMHO they exist primarily to hold power and are directionless without it.

  15. Nickws

    After all the wider Australian public was still enamoured of Kevin Rudd at a time when he was alienating colleagues and balance of power Senators thereby contributing to his policy failures.

    And if the geniuses in the caucas had decided to dump Rudd at the same time as the Libs dumped Turnbull we wouldn’t have come so close to being in the shit.

    I too have nothing against Gillard, but there’s no way her ascension was timed well. So much for our parliamentary betters always being right.

    And damned if I feel threatened by the UK Labour Party refraining from pulling an Arbibly incompetent leadership transition. Good on ’em, I say.

  16. Nickws

    Kim, I wasn’t proposing a hypothetical, and bmitw was mostly just writing an apologia for the ALP factional process that has nowt to do with the processes of the British Labour Party.

    I stand by what I’ve written on other threads—the ALP should adopt some form of one member, one vote. The idea that this is some kind of anarchy that disrespects the hallowed judgment of MPs is nothing but political establishment guff.

    I actually hope Gillard is smart enough to figure out that introducing grassroots leadership elections means blowing up the factional system and reshaping the party for all time, and that in turn contributes to A Major Political Legacy For Julia Gillard Besides Just Being First Female PM. Otherwise she can be the woman PM who doesn’t do anything about AGW before Bill Shorten becomes the PM who does do something about AGW, because he’s allowed to have his ‘Nixon goes to China’ moment by the MSM narrative shapers. Highly likely, that.

  17. Fascinated

    Nickws @ 17

    Re the ALP adopting some form of one member, one vote.

    Ideally democratic organisations adopt ONLY one member, one vote.
    Union voting should be confined to individual unionists who are ALP members who are members of the electorate/sub-branch.
    The primaries recently trialled in Victoria which attracted a notable turnout are really worth considering as a genuine grassroots alternative – again one vote each person.

  18. Kim

    I’m not sure why people are arguing against unionists voting. It enables a social democratic party to extend its reach among working folk. And at the same time cuts union factional powerbrokers out of the equation.

  19. bmitw

    Nickws @ 17.

    Heaven forbid I should support the “faceless men”. I carry no brief for any system, I just wonder at a method that gives so much clear air to David Cameron whilst his opponents take four months to decide who their leader is going to be. If it were to be done here you would need longer terms for a start because our electoral cycle is too short for this as it stands.

  20. Nickws

    Ideally democratic organisations adopt ONLY one member, one vote.
    Union voting should be confined to individual unionists who are ALP members who are members of the electorate/sub-branch.

    Fascinated, (a.) Even though unions made up the lion’s share, the affiliated organisations whose members were entitled to vote also included social/activist groups like the Fabians, Scientists for Labour, etc.

    (b.) The votes of these members were weighted to be less than the votes of constituency party (Labour sub-branch) members. In my post at 13 I wrote that I believe this actaully put David Miliband at a disadvantage, as his strategy therefore focussed on winning the support of MPs and subbranch members. Ed Miliband got over the line by appealing to this category of voters, racking up big margins over David of almost 2 to 1 in major unions.

    (c.) There was no block voting, members of affiliated orgs cast their own ballots for whomever they liked, they didn’t vote collectively.

    And at the same time cuts union factional powerbrokers out of the equation.

    Kim, I’m not convinced this is entirely true.

    Sure, Ed Miliband won the votes of 47,000 Unite members to David Miliband’s 21,000, and that would never have happened if the process was an old fashioned conference system involving block voting (in which case the Unite members’ ‘delegated’ votes would have been delivered 100% to E.Miliband).

    But obviously all candidates had their own organisers within the ranks of the unions, and I surmise these organisers weren’t all political amateurs. Some of them must have been local- and sub-factional players.

    Then there’s the power of endorsements from union secretaries and presidents. Ed cultivated this support, and it paid off bigtime.

  21. Nickws

    I just wonder at a method that gives so much clear air to David Cameron whilst his opponents take four months to decide who their leader is going to be.

    bmitw, even without a permanent leader Labour has been very effective at pushing its own anti-Cameron narrative these last couple of months.

    And Ed Balls has been very good at attacking the Coalition’s budget cuts as part of his very own leadership campaign speecifying, and many believe he’s a shoe-in to get shadow chancellor because of that.

    Winning a democratic grassroots mandate like this is also the perfect way for a leader to establish themselves without having to rely totally on pandering to press gallery judges. That’s a leadership quality that outweighs the simple quantity of having extra days under his/her belt. It worked for David Cameron, after all. He established his claim to be PM with a single leader’s campaign address to Conservative party delegates.

  22. Nickws

    The should kick in at the end of the first sentence, second paragraph.

  23. Fascinated

    Understand the UK arrangements Nickws – and your response was indeed a very good post. There is no doubt Ed has been well served by his message and rapport with the Unions.
    My reflections were only on the possibilities for the Australian scene.

  24. Ron Baker

    “That’s the Way (I Like It)”