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NewGen Labour.

October 2, 2010

I’m not quite sure how a week has passed since my last post, I’ve really not done much. I blame alcohol, lack of sleep and the fact that my lungs are rejecting my body. Lectures finally start on Monday so I will be a little more occupied but as I am very good at avoiding work, blogging will probably become more of a priority. Such are the contradictions of my life.

Anyway, returning to the subject of my last post, ED! Miliband Junior is now the leader of the Labour Party. Notably they are the (new generation) Labour Party, not New Labour. Part of the reason I wanted Ed to win was that David is (was?) too Blairite (the other part of the reason is that Dave looks like he has been moulded from clay). I think New Labour was right for its time but has served its purpose and it is time for something different, even if that something different is a return to the old.

From the Guardian.

The biggest challenge that Ed faces is bringing the public back on side. I think declaring Iraq a mistake goes some way towards this, even if some senior party figures don’t agree with it. Distancing himself from the one of the most memorable decisions of the last government will help convince voters that this isn’t the same Labour Party that have been in power for the last 13 years. Whether this is true or not isn’t the issue here, the aim is to win back voters. I know a good few people who voted Lib Dem and now regret that, Labour need to be a viable alternative again. Voters are fickle and generally not especially well informed so a big gesture like renouncing Iraq is going to get their attention. Ed may be denying that there will be a ‘lurch to the left’ and trying to shun the ‘red ed’ moniker but a slight shift to back to the left may be beneficial in context of providing something different for the public. The centre ground is bloody crowded.

It will be interesting to see how he shapes the shadow cabinet. I wasn’t aware until about an hour ago that Labour elect their shadow cabinets rather than the leader just picking who he likes (love the BBC’s Q&A sections, really informative). It looks like it really will be a NewGen cabinet, with previous long term ministers Alistair Darling, Jack Straw and Bob Ainsworth retiring to the backbenches, along with the obvious David Miliband (more on him in a bit). I can’t remember a time when Jack Straw wasn’t an important cabinet figure, I was six when New labour came to power.   Apparently under new rules the shadow cabinet must contain at least six women in order to reflect the make up of the Parliamentary Labour Party. I can’t decide whether this is good thing or not, I’m not in favour of all women shortlists for MP candidacy, preferring the idea that the best person will get the job regardless of gender. However women are woefully under-represented in the present cabinet and were in the previous one so it could be a good thing.

Of course the other hot topic to come out of the leadership competition and Labour conference is the resignation of David Miliband from frontline politics. I think he was right to do this in the sense that he is probably correct to assume  the supposed rivalry between him and his brother would affect Ed’s creditability as leader, both to the media and within the Party. Ed needs to be seen as ‘the leader of the Labour Party’ not ‘David’s younger brother’. It’s probably also good for David’s pride,  however healthy their relationship is, losing to your younger brother must sting and serving under him, especially with differing values, would be difficult. However, if he had stayed he would have been one of the most experienced figures in the shadow cabinet so it does feel like his resignation is doing the party a disservice. I highly doubt this is the last we see of him though, I imagine he’ll take  a year or so to regroup but he will be back.

Right,  I can now cross blogging off my to-do list for the day in the Moleskine. I made tomato +lentil soup in the middle of writing this which was actually really nice seeing as I hadn’t made soup from scratch before. Watched American Beauty as well which was very good. I quite often find films hard to watch as I tend to let my mind wander but I can see why it’s so  highly regarded. Going to down some more cough mixture and crawl into bed now, my lungs itch.

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