Posts Tagged ‘Miliband’
Twitter comments unacceptable
On the one hand Cllr. Potts, the Leader of the Conservative group on South Tyneside Council, announces that he intends to divorce his political opinions from his Twitter account, yet on the other proceeds to launch an intemperate personal attack on David Miliband the South Shields Labour MP. Whilst you will all appreciate my political abhorrence of most things socialist, especially within this little borough where the majority stay at home during local elections, you will find that my opposition is generally penned in acceptable terms that most will understand, and often with a wry streak of humour. I detected a slight taste of mischief making in Andy Hughes report in the Journal, as the former Shields Gazette journalist continues to take a close interest in the online affairs of one or two of the borough’s politicos, however, my own guess is that without Hughes interest this story may well have been buried away within the millions of “tweats” cascading on to the internet every day.
I tend to agree with those contacted by Hughes, Cllr. Potts should withdraw his remark, offer a fulsome apology, not only to Miliband but also to his party colleagues for the embarrassment he has caused them, and to consider more carefully his online remarks in future. He should also get on with creating a new Twitter account, if that was his intention, and try to remember that politics is about the promotion of ideas/ideologies and representing the common interests of his constituents in Cleadon Village and East Boldon. He should endeavour to forget the personalities in South Tyneside (despite some of the savage personal attacks against him recently) and concentrate on presenting an effective case for believing in Conservative principals within South Tyneside. If the Conservative led coalition does eventually manage to get some sort of a grip on the economy with its runaway public spending and ever increasing debts, then they will need people like Cllrs. Potts, Milburn, and Wood to support and defend its actions as when they affect us here.
If I were one of the other two Tory councillors in South Tyneside, I’d be taking some sort of action to persuade David Potts to moderate his language and online behaviour, I’d be rather concerned and anxious about what future comments from my “leader” might lead to. A group need to play as a team, and the team captain is normally the one that provides the inspiration, direction, example, and leadership for the others to follow, but there must be question marks over the direction of Cllr. Potts political thoughts at the moment.
I’m having a bit of fun ribbing David Miliband this week, I don’t know if he can cook or not (or if it is worth £1000 to find out), I’d like people to ask the serious questions about how committed he is to his constituency, but we can do this in a light hearted way, we can disagree without being disagreeable. If Cllr. Potts wishes to join in the fun that’s all well and good, but he must remember that some of the best comedians kept it clean and didn’t need to resort to the “Chubby” Brown material.
EU scheming to introduce direct taxation
It was only a few days ago that I was asking if there was any point in us having a Chancellor if his/her hands are tied by the bureaucrats in Brussels as they make decisions and agree them without discussion, and now I learn that the EU are cooking up a scheme to raise direct taxation which will allow itself to be funded without the interference of the governments of member states, they want to introduce a single flat rate tax on carbon.
Hervé Jouanjean, Director General of the European Commission’s Budget department, recently told a Brussels audience that the EU was “very close to paralysis” because of the reluctance of stretched national treasuries to give it funding.
“We should have a mechanism which would serve to exploit the possibility, in a progressive way, to lead to direct funding of the EU.”
If they are allowed to get away with this under the auspices of their new EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty we may as well give up on the idea of electing our own Parliament, what would be the point of holding elections for a legislature which has it’s tax raising abilities stunted, nullified, or dictated to by some faceless jobsworths in the EU? It is worth noting that although they might wish to directly raise funding via taxation there is no way that EU citizens will be able to directly remove poor performing EU Commissioners directly via the ballot box, oh no sir, the principle of no taxation without representation just doesn’t seem to apply to Brussels.
In a further example of EU madness, Lord Tebbitt the former Conservative Party Chairman asks in his Telegraph blog (gradually becoming a must read)
“When will our political leaders come to the rescue of the British people?”
He notes that all three of our major parties in Britain are Europhile whilst he asserts that the public are becoming more Eurosceptic and sets out his reasons why he believes this situation has developed. He makes the point that British security could be threatened by the refusal of the EU to allow our security services to operate a “watch list” on people suspected of terrorist activities, and also points us to another odd decision emanating from Brussels which could cause harm to Britain:
On Wednesday I heard on the BBC (so it must be true) that it looks as though Our Masters will shortly ban the use of pet passports and compulsory inoculation of dogs from the EU. That, according to the doctors and vets, will make it certain that a particularly foul parasite will infect our dogs, foxes and small wild mammals, and then humans with a potentially fatal liver parasite. That apparently is one of the benefits of membership of the EU. The extraordinary common feature of these two outrages is that whilst they will damage us, in these islands, they will bring no worthwhile benefits to other Europeans.
Tebbitt writes in that familiar acerbic style with a smattering of his dry wit, in a blog which is gathering a decent readership, and well worth a visit.
But back to the meat, the Lisbon Treaty was not good for us, we were not given an opportunity to have a referendum or direct vote on it, we were assured by Miliband and Brown that Britain’s interests would be secure and that power would not be leaking from Westminster to Brussels, yet now David Miliband, the South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary sees so much power ebbing away from a job that he mused over, that he is apparently now telling Baroness Ashton how to do the job and retain the power that he wanted in it!
Nick Robinson suggests he was.
Those involved in organising the attempt to unseat the PM believed that up to half a dozen Cabinet ministers would follow their lead.
Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt insist that they had no direct contact with any member of the Cabinet but one rebel who was involved in planning their revolt told me: “We wanted to create a storm. Our purpose was to create the space for the Cabinet to act. They bottled it.”
Sources named the potential Cabinet rebels as Harriet Harman, David Miliband, Bob Ainsworth, Jack Straw, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander. There is no suggestion or evidence that any of those named was involved in planning today’s coup attempt. Indeed they all issued statements criticising it. The rebels believed, however, that each of the six named ministers agreed with their view that a change of party leader was necessary and would act accordingly.
I can only assume that the South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary saw a banana skin lying on the slippery ice of Westminster! Last June it took only half an hour for David Miliband to issue a statement of support for Gordon Brown after the intervention of Lord Mandelson, yesterday it took almost seven hours for him to issue a statement that didn’t even include the Prime Minister’s name, perhaps Miliband and a few others are resigned to a Labour defeat at the next election and see the aftermath as the better time to supplant Brown as leader of the Labour Party in Opposition?
Miliband’s stand smacks of big government.
The involvement of the Foreign Secretary and South Shields MP David Miliband in the ongoing legal wrangles involving Binyam Mohamed and a panel of judges at the High Court is beginning now to look unseemly, and smacks of “big government” determined to have it’s way and protect the public from knowing just how involved Britain is in using medieval torture methods to gain what we think is “intelligence”. The longer he holds out the faster he loses the argument that we are fighting abroad to protect ourselves at home, no person of sanity can possibly accept that torture and abuse of human rights is acceptable in any western liberal democracy or society, and if it is abundantly clear that we condone such methodologies then we ought not to be surprised that we become the legitimate target for retaliation.
The judges revealed that seven paragraphs in a key document Miliband insists must remain secret “relate to admissions of what officials of the US did to BM during his detention in Pakistan”. They repeated their earlier finding that “what is contained in those seven redacted paragraphs gives rise to an arguable case of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.
The court has heard that a British security service officer interrogated Mohamed in Pakistan and officials passed information about him to the CIA. It was clear, the judges said, that the relationship of the UK to the US in connection with Mohamed “was far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing”.
In one stinging passage, the judges said yesterday the foreign secretary “was not prepared either to produce evidence or address argument to us”.
This is not a sustainable position for Miliband or the government to make a stand on and his repeated rebuff to the High Court damages the reputation of Britain and our position in the world as being a place where justice is seen to be fair, one would hope that he might be prepared instead to reject the advice being offered to him by the security services and accede to the requests of the court.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Ed Davey has said of the case:
“The Government’s claim that this evidence would endanger national security looks more flimsy than ever. David Miliband must end this shameful episode now and allow the judges to publish the redacted material from their judgement.
“It is especially galling that the Foreign Office has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in an attempt to cover up the truth.”
On December 10, 1948, The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights set out that all people anywhere in the world are entitled to basic rights: life, liberty and security, religious and political expression, freedom from torture and cruelty. Britain is a signatory to this landmark UN Declaration and Miliband must be reminded of this fact, God forbid that one day soon when Amnesty International gathers together evidence for it’s annual report on nations abusing human rights that the UK will be featuring prominently within it along with the USA.
We cannot be seen to be totally Janus headed over the issue of human rights and have a Foreign Secretary bemoaning the failures of others if we are just as involved ourselves.
It seems we must endure it
South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband along with Home Secretary Alan Johnson seems unable to guarantee that our security services are not accepting “evidence” from “helpful allies” who are using barbaric torture techniques to extract information. The credibility of information obtained using these methods must always be questioned, hence the call from a committee of MPs and peers for a full independent inquiry.
It seems, for now, that we must all endure the torture that a so called civilised nation is accepting uncivilised methods to build dubious cases against suspects in the TWAT (The War Against Terror).
To show that he is a man of honour and a civil person to boot, Miliband has decided to extend torture to the people of South Shields by inviting and joining the Lord High Almighty Everything Mandelson to give Labour’s annual “lecture to the people” on October 23rd. (probably at South Tyneside College, nope it’s at Harton Technology College). What did we do to deserve that?
To add insult to injury (and torture) David Lindsay tells us that Labour’s local council candidates are chosen not by the Constituency Labour Party, but by a cabal in Miliband’s London office.
This one I doubt – I suspect that Lindsay spilled this information whilst under extreme duress and torture poor lad!
South Shields MP is out of touch with public and party mood
There was speculation last night that David Miliband would resign from the cabinet today but a source close to the Foreign Secretary rejected this and said Miliband did not agree with Purnell’s decision.
We an all see that the game is up, Purnell has openly challenged the hapless Prime Minister and told him bluntly that Labour cannot win the next election under his leadership, four other ministers have resigned this week and we wait to see whose noses will be put out of joint during today’s Cabinet reshuffle, and even this task has become largely self fulfilling with little that Brown can do to influence his own decisions.
On Purnell’s late night resignation Nick Robinson the BBC’s Political Editor nailed it by saying:
There is no code, no nudge or wink but one of the Labour Party’s rising stars is now publicly telling the prime minister that he is the problem, that he will stop the Labour party winning the next election and that he will ensure a Conservative victory. Mr Purnell, a former adviser and a current friend of Tony Blair’s, has acted with the ruthlessness of his mentor.
He is telling the rest of the Labour party that they should now stop their private chats and make their minds up about Gordon Brown’s leadership.
He is another who singled out David Miliband’s apparent lack of courage in backing his friend Purnell, the South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary had a good chance a year ago to challenge Brown over his position but metaphorically wet his pants after the McBride team moved against him. He demonstrates his weaknesses again this week with early nudges and winks that he will stay at the Foreign Office, and intimations that he is in no mood to join the rush to leave Brown behind. He is supine, spineless, and malleable, driven not by what ought to be seen as good for the country or even good for the Labour Party but by what will ultimately be good for David Miliband, and that is the prospect of hanging on to a Cabinet Minister’s salary and grace and favour apartment.
He is no Brute!
Meanwhile, yesterday the country was delivering a verdict of sorts on the government, politics, expenses, and venal politicians, early results suggest a massive swing from Labour to the Conservatives, with the first three councils having declared, Labour has lost 23 seats and the Conservatives have gained 18 of them, it is highly unlikely that Labour will control ANY county councils by the end of today.
The public mood darkens as the Prime Minister obstinately refuses to budge, he plays politics with his remaining friends in Whitehall, Darling’s refusal to move out of the Treasury has Ball’s hands of the levers of inluence, and Johnson’s appointment as Home Secretary may just be a shrewd move to keep him quiet for a little while (although it is understood that a “team” is already working on his behalf behind the scenes), Miliband has missed the boat, if he remains at the Foreign Office he will be tied to and sullied by the reputation of Brown as the ship sinks further below the waves. If he is to grow a spine, it will happen during Labour’s long years in opposition as he struggles to outmanoeuvre Alan Johnson for the vacant party leadership – but somehow I cannot see him even doing that.
One or two other bloggers expressing agreement with my view on David Miliband
Red Box – Dissolutioned Blairites round on Miliband.
David Miliband has never shown any political risk. He’s never attempted to take any risk….
Coffee House - Why Purnell resigned.
It’s an open secret that Purnell supported David Miliband for the leadership last summer. And, in this context, reports of Miliband’s resignation, expected tomorrow, made sense – it would have been four Cabinet resignations in four days. But Miliband has apparently denied it – to quit now, and choose the wilderness, takes a certain sort of courage. As Miliband showed us last summer, he doesn’t have it.
Nick Robinson – Three extraordinary personal decisions
Three extraordinary personal decisions have shored up Gordon Brown’s position as prime minister.
David Miliband’s call late last night condemning the resignation of his close friend and ally James Purnell and to back the man who he contemplated toppling a year ago.
Many Labour backbenchers who were ready to call for a change of leader will now be asking themselves: “If they’re not willing to act to end this, why should I?”
Quote of the day
In the Guardian
“the Tories want to renegotiate powers away from Brussels – and hold a referendum on any greater role for the EU. This is the real agenda: not just John Major’s beef war, but full-frontal assault on the terms of Britain’s membership.”
South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband has at least got that part of his analysis correct, he even acknowledges that people have a sense of powerlessness in politics (he must have been listening to another David Cameron speech), but he spoils his piece by arguing in favour of the Lisbon Treaty which takes even more power away from the British people and their Parliament. He then has the audacity to complain that the Conservative call for a referendum on the EU Constitution Treaty is nothing more than Europhobia, at least it’s an attempt to give to the people that very dangerous thing that Blair put in Labour’s manifesto, only for Brown to take it away – CHOICE!
For once, I wish this sycophant (who hardly ever votes against the ‘line’) would just acknowledge that Brown and his Labour government reneged on a major promise to the people of Britain, stop running away from the issue David, we were promised a referendum and you all broke that promise.
Does he “get it”?
Ed Miliband, the younger brother of South Shields MP David Miliband, seems to think that altering the format of Prime Minister’s Questions, sitting longer (an extra month for heavens’ sake), getting rid of some Parliamentary terms, getting rid of the traditions and costumes of some House of Commons officials, and devolving more power to local councils are the things that are needed to clean up politics.
Does he get it?
I doubt it.
It’s not the Clerk’s wig, the Speaker’s robes, or Black Rod’s mace that have caused the problems, it’s been the behaviour of “honourable members” who seem to think that an Additional Costs Allowance is an entitlement that was to be routinely taken because the public never get to know about it. That’s the problem Mr. Miliband, and until we have a general election to clean out some of these less than honourable members things will not change massively.
David Cameron is right to re-open the Conservative Party’s candidate list, he knows there are going to be quite a few vacancies caused by the retirement/shaming/sacking of some Tory MPs and he’s looking for squeaky clean people to take their places, Gordon Brown’s Cabinet by contrast still contains people who have profited from “flipping” properties and the non payment of Capital Gains Tax as well as hiring tax consultants to avoid correct the payment of taxes at our expense.
Miliband does not get it.
David Miliband sort of denounces Iraq war
Well it’s all rather a bit late David isn’t it?
This realisation that we have caused unmitigated resentment amongst the Muslim world and ‘aroused a sense of bitterness, distrust’ by cow towing to George Dubya Bush. Yet now you seem to be hanging on to the coat tails of Barak Obama!
And despite your hand wringing now, we can see that you have only ever voted against the government seven times on relatively minor issues, and that on major issues that will undoubtedly stir further resentment amongst British Muslim voters you have voted strongly in favour of the dreaded ID Card scheme, strongly in favour of Labour’s anti-terrorism laws (including 42 day detention without charge), strongly in favour of the Iraq war when in Blair’s cabinet, strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war, and moved heaven and earth to bury information relating to Binyam Mohamed and his detention in Guantanamo!
Pretty record for the South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary, huh?
Just when will some of our politicians realise that they have become the unwitting recruiting sergeants for Al Qaeda?
Miliband to be moved?
LabourLost is speculating that South Shields MP David Miliband will replace “Jackboots” Smith at the Home Office following a report in The Grauniad, and Denverstrope follows an FT report that any move for Miliband (even to the Home Office) would be seen as a demotion.
Of course, all Cabinet moves must be viewed as being only temporary!