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Archive for July, 2008

So we all knew Miliband’s article was going to be controversial (to say the least), but come on people! some Labour MPs are throwing stones on their own roof.

Today’s calls by Brown ultra-loyalists for the PM to sack Miliband are completely out of line and a massive political error on their part. Miliband wrote what I thought was a brilliant article (read the post below for a more detailed analysis). He identifies the key flaws in Labour’s current strategy and sketches a way out for the government to regain political momentum. Are we to sack people just for being good at their job now? The Foreign Secretary is one of Labour’s most precious assets at the moment. As I argued yesterday, he has a brilliant political mind that can help the PM in these difficult times.

If Brownites want to sack Miliband for writing better stuff than the PM is at the moment then they are just digging Labour’s (and their own) grave by denying the party much needed clarity of ideas. A political party is a common project, all ideas should be welcomed and debated not just shot down for being so brilliant they threaten the status quo. I really hope these Labour MPs are acting out of their own initiative and not from orders from Brown. The PM should make clear to his supporters and to the party in general that he welcomes Miliband’s article and ideas. That will show he’s not scared and is up to the job and as he promised when he took office a year ago he will form ‘a government of all talents’.

I will seriously reconsider my support for Gordon Brown to remain party leader in the future if he isn’t able to incorporate new ideas and constructive criticism to his political project. As Martin Luther King once said: ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy’‘.

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The MSM is having an early Christmas today. Yesterday’s slow news’ day ended with the announcement in Newsnight of Miliband’s Guardian article today. I bet most MSM pundits woke up early today to have a go at reading the runes behind the Foreign Secretary’s words.

Miliband’s article today could be a good first step for Labour. Let me explain why. The article identifies two important structural flaws in Labour’s current political strategy. Firstly, he talks about updating the party’s message from rescuing dying public services, that’s been accomplished, to greater redistribution and decentralisation. And secondly, he rightly notes that Cameron’s style of leadership is taken straight out of Tony Blair’s New Labour handbook. Cameron’s leadership should be outdated because it was built to fight Blair, the problem for Labour is Brown hasn’t moved on from the politics and message of the Blair years and is losing to a Blairite like Cameron.

So that’s the core of the article, and it’s a brilliant analysis (the guy was Blair’s ultimate policy wonk, he certainly got the brains for it). Labour must move on, saved public services, now let’s get on with redistribution and devolution to consolidate achievements. If Brown does that, he will a) have a mandate of his own, as Blair had it in 97, and b) outpace Cameron on policy and get him out of his comfort zone, the Blairite style of doing politics.

How could all go wrong? If Miliband is seriously thinking about pushing Brown under the train. I’ve argued this many times before, whomever replaces Brown will have a two-year bumpy ride with both the MSM and opposition shouting ‘three leaders, no election’, and probably lose at the end of it.

Instead, Miliband should go see Brown after his holiday and work with him in the new September message. A new vision for Britain after the success of the late 90s and early 2000s. Give it all out for Brown now and be seen by party members as a loyal party activist next time around (and no knife-wielding baggage either). What’s the worst that could happen? If Brown loses he can run in 2010 for the leadership. If Brown wins, and as he’s only serving one term, Miliband would be leader in 2014 at the age of 49. In politics, timing is everything. This is Miliband’s opportunity to become a big player in the party and further strengthen his credential as future party leader.

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Another dissertation-writing break, another blogpost… I’ve been thinking about continuing my ‘all time top five’ series for a while now. So here they go, the next serie is on the funniest political moments of all times. Enjoy!

5- Bush and golf.

4- Clinton and Yeltsin (boy, those were the good old days!)

3- Everyone’s favourite Welsh Minister.

2- Senator Kirk Watson clearly explains why Obama is so great.

1- And the classic of classics, will never get tired of watching this, our very own Deputy PM showing us how to properly launch an electoral manifesto.

Hope you enjoyed it and feel free to share your own top five.

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Slow news day, so I’ve decided to pick a little bit on Guido’s recurrent Brown’s ‘Jonah effect’.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, my favourite American number-crunching site (I reviewed it months ago here), the USA Today/Gallup poll Guido refers to has little credibility. You can read the interesting analysis and subsequent discussion here.

So there you are, daily pointless post out there, can’t justify the weather forecast for the East of England though (now that you mention it, it’s been quite sunny in London lately actually, food for thought).

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Yet again… The Sun

VIA: The Daily (Maybe)

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Quote of the day

‘Panicking Labour MPs should dive in a holiday pool and cool down. Running around like headless chickens, shouting ditch the leader, is summer madness’

Kevin Maguire

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The world’s annual biggest LAN party, Campus Party, is kicking off in Valencia tomorrow. This 12th edition is the biggest yet with more than 8,000 participants.

The Campus Party was created by networked groups of computer science sudents across Spain. You can read the history of the gathering here. A great deal of people that attend are teenagers dying to blow their heads off playing computer games and exchanging movies, music and other stuff (yes, porn is part of that ‘other stuff’). But the real hidden gem is the gathering of the most gifted computer geeks in the country that work together in thousands of open source projects from Linux to Emule.

The Campus Party has become so massive that it has expanded to include gatherings also in Brazil and Colombia. And is always good to see the number of sponsors growing, especially the inclusion of the Spanish Ministry of Industry.

You can follow the Party’s official blog here (I think only in Spanish thoug).

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