The fight is on!

The big society versus the big bust up, what to do?

Fighting to get rid of poverty and all sorts of things!Fighting to get rid of poverty and all sorts of things!
Just a few days ago you might have thought that Labour was willing and able to leave its past behind. The drubbing at the general election hurt them but, looking on the bright side, it got rid of Gordon Brown. Labour's recent past is riddled with problems stemming from the Blair/Brown feud. The wishful thinkers in Labour's membership would have hoped that the new leader could have shut the door on this period and the party move on but as we have said before Labour loves a fight, any fight. So it was foolish to imagine this could happen and not to see the trouble brewing during the leadership contest. While Brown appears to have no shame, subtlety or remorse about him after his and the party's defeat, he did at least show he can pick a winner, he anointed Ed - more on this below. Blair went all lofty as usual and spoke, publicly, only about Blairism, no doubt aiming to keep his 'legacy' pure; while Alan Johnson and Peter Mandelson, like other 'heavyweights', publicly supported David Miliband. But as Ed Miliband won it has shut the door on them instead!

But the infighting just below the surface of the Miliband family fight has risen up to show that the party is up to its old tricks again. At Ed Miliband's first major speech as the new leader and at the closing of the conference his brother David couldn't be bothered to hide his contempt. The new leader's speech was either awful or brilliant; there appears to be little analysis in between. So that's just like the old days of Blair and Brown too. The ITV clip, HERE is polite and balanced with both support and criticism. The main point is that D. Miliband should have known the cameras would be looking at his every move and if he did not then he's stupid, Labour is better off without him. Thus we may conclude he acted deliberately; the fight is on!

As we see in the clip David is peeved that the audience applauds his brother's comment about Iraq. At his side is Harriet Harman who, like him, voted for the war. However, David has a point. It's true his brother Ed was not in parliament when the decisions on Iraq were made. So, unlike David, he is one step removed, but that's all and that's not really very far. He was happy to join the government that made those decisions. That's not much of a moral platform upon which he can build and his brother will keep reminding us of that. We see David and Harman exchange comments -

David - "Why are you clapping? You voted for it." And the reply from Harman - "I'm clapping because he's leader and I'm supporting him."

A moment's thought here and you might award points to David. But in reality his is a cheap shot driven more by peevish anger and jealousy than anything else. But it's Harman who scores the political points; it's a low game remember, as political operators go she has the duplicity to succeed! She is second here to Ed with David a distant third. So perhaps Labour got the 'right' leader? Well not according to what we read in the Guardian -

As David Miliband contemplates his future, he will rue private Tory polling which suggested 53% felt he was fit for the role of Labour leader, compared to a clear majority of people (64%) who said that his younger brother was not up to the job.

And back to the Brown intervention, the Guardian tells us -

That consideration was given to Tony Blair and Prescott putting out a joint statement in support of David Miliband. The plan was dropped after David Miliband's camp feared that an endorsement from the man that won Labour three elections would damage his chances of being elected due to his unpopularity with some constituency members.

Say what you like about David he got that right. The popularity, or not, of Tony Blair and his gang in the wider world has never been fully understood by the party or the MSM. So we might say that in dumping Labour's past Ed got that right, but then in the word form once popular in Labour, "it's too early to say".