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Miliband:Dangerous Muppet?

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, May 3rd, 2015 - 40 comments
Categories: elections, International, labour, uk politics - Tags: , ,

The UK general election looks slated to deliver a hung parliament. The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have all said they will vote down a Tory Queens Speech. Given the projected numbers, that means that Labour delivers a Queens Speech, gets the support of Plaid Cymru, (~3) the Greens (~1)and the SNP (~40 – 50) and forms the government. Those numbers are a bit rough and ready, but regardless, Labour governs. End of, right?

Forget that Miliband wrote off any coalition with the SNP. That’s neither here nor there. Lack of a confidence and supply arrangement is also neither here nor there. Unlike NZ, the UK now has a Fixed Term Parliaments Act that diminishes any need for such deals and arrangements.

And so we’re still looking at a Labour government that, obviously, enters into discussion with other parliamentary parties on an issue by issue basis. So, for example, they could rely on the Tories and Libdems to push through Trident renewal. The same goes for austerity measures.

Putting aside the spectre of a ‘grand alliance’ and it’s possible repercussions for Labour in the future, Labour easily governs for the fixed five years term of the Act.

But then along comes the Muppet, with others in Labour, hinting they will engineer a second election rather than just get on with the job of governance.  The only way they can do this is to pen an unnecessarily provocative Queens Speech that they know neither the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens could vote for. If they throw in large dollops of austerity and make specific commitments on Trident, then they’ll have accomplished their mission. (I guess the Tories could back them, but yeah…)

So, is Miliband really so fucking stupid as to believe he can strong arm the anti-austerity parties and the SNP in particular, to support a Queens Speech that fundamentality contradicts their core policy stances (anti-austerity and Trident)? And does he further believe that if that doesn’t play out (it won’t) and he then simply refuses to re-write his unacceptable Queens Speech (ie, make it neutral), that he can bring on a second election where Labour will somehow bounce back in Scotland on the basis that an SNP vote will be seen as useless by Scottish voters?

Such hopes would suggest he’s incapable of grasping the simple fact that votes are made by people and are about what people want; that voters are not inanimate little pegs to be hammered into favourable patterns.

I have a sneaking and horrible suspicion this morning (it may pass) that their utter incomprehension of political realities in Scotland, acting out alongside the tutelage of their US based election strategy advisor, has them entertaining such an obviously wrong headed strategy – so fucking potentially disastrous on so many levels –  as something that might actually work.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that common sense prevails. Otherwise, the vicious whirlwind that will be reaped and the possible very real world expressions of it, just doesn’t bear thinking about.

 

40 comments on “Miliband:Dangerous Muppet? ”

  1. just saying 1

    ‘Dangerous Muppet’ is very polite and understated compared to the terms going round my head.

    Bloody depressing.

    • Sable 1.1

      +1

    • Paul 1.2

      The Scots are no longer believe a word the corporate media and the mainstream ( Conservative, Labour, UKIP and Lib Dems( say – as they know they are all singing the same neoliberal lie.

  2. Sable 2

    I listened to the UK leaders debate on Youtube. In my opinion Millibrand is incredibly arrogant. He thumbed his nose at potential alliance partners such as the SNP through a good portion of the debate.

    As I keep on saying, Labour as a party here and, I suspect, even more so in the UK is now a party of the right. Maybe this always happens with well established parties, they become lazy, complacent and self serving. This certainly explains the antagonism both in the UK and here, on the part of Labour, to true left parties such as the Greens.

  3. Reddelusion 3

    “Such hopes would suggest he’s incapable of grasping the simple fact that votes are made by people and are about what people want; that voters are not inanimate little pegs to be hammered into favourable patterns ”

    Something the left struggle here with as well in regard to why people ain’t buying what their selling, hence conspiracy, hate campaigns, hyper ventilating over the smallest issues, and the voters must be stupid,

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It’s not the Left that is having problems with that but the political-right wing.

    • Steve Withers 3.2

      Any voter who votes for policies that see their job security, wages and conditions reduced while OTHERS reap the rewards is….stupid.

      That isn’t a delusion. It’s very obvious. Except to those who do it, of course.

    • Sable 3.3

      I’d disagree. Voters are indeed manipulated into being what politicians want. We are clay to be molded by dishonest political marketing and the use of weaponised misinformation by the MSM.

      • Bill 3.3.1

        “I’d disagree. Voters are indeed manipulated..”

        I agree with that, but informed and engaged voters much, much less so, as in…erm, Scotland 😉

        And btw, all major news outlets were antithetical to independence during the referendum. The Glasgow Herald (hardly the largest of circulations) was an exception and it was only post referendum that The National newspaper (avowedly pro-independence) launched

        So you can have all the media you want drip feeding shite 24/7 and still have an informed populace. Worth pondering?

        • Sable 3.3.1.1

          I think Bill you are assuming everyone is as informed as you. I can assure you many many people believe the BS peddled by the MSM.

          • Bill 3.3.1.1.1

            My point is that far fewer people are less informed in Scotland because ‘everyone’ (hmm – not the die hard Protestant Unionists) got politicised during the referendum campaign….the place was, and I understand, still is buzzing.

            • te reo putake 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Buzzing all right, Bill. I was in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth just before the referendum. Everybody I spoke to seemed to realise it wasn’t going to pass, but it was still going to mean a bigger voice for Scotland anyway. That’s clearly happened now. The next step is uniting the other celtic nations to force more meaningful devolution. That doesn’t have to be an anti-English thing, but it does mean the UK is going to be a different country in the future.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The contrast between how Labour plans to not work with the SNP is a stark contrast with how the right works with, say, ACT here or (God forbid) UKIP. Labour ought to be welcoming the SNP, and then using the “well, stability demands the governing dog has to keep the radical tail happy” excuse when the re-nationalise the water companies and the railways.

    Instead, they default to ideological cowardice.

    Incidentially, Kim Hill interviewed a guy called Lance Price on Saturday who had been Alistair Campbell’s deputy and is still a fan of Tony Blair. He self-described himself as a “left of centre”. I am sure Ed Milliband would also self-describe as left wing. A fascinating thing about neo-liberal Blairites (Josie Pagani springs to mind here) is how clearly important it is to them this belief they are left wing. They have impeccable left wing credentials, but their socialism is a complete fantasy – Milliband is an establishment technocrat, Pagani is a neo-liberal apologist.

    I guess it is the cognitive fantasy that allows them to sell out, and keep thinking they are left wingers and socialists?

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      You’re just being old fashioned, Sanctuary. They’re the new left. I think The Who had a song about it:
      Meet the new left
      Same as the old right
      We’ll get fooled again

  5. Wonderpup 5

    I’m personally pleased that the UK is heading towards proportional representation. In the most English of manners of course, arse backwards, blinkered to the rest of the world and screaming.

    • peterlepaysan 5.1

      +10

    • Bill 5.2

      One thing that the UK does have already and that NZ ought to adopt (I’ve been giving this some thought) is the Fixed Term Parliament Act. It would enhance the parliamentary expression of the MMP voting system no end…no more dumb-arse competing for the baubles of office or backroom coalition deals with all the horse trading that goes with it. No need for Confidence and Supply arrangements either.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        Its not an absolute fixed term.

        An early election would still occur if a motion of confidence is lost, which would especially apply after a budget.
        Thus confidence and supply agreements would be necessary. Wikipedia is incorrect in this .

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Who said it was absolute? The fact is it would take 3/4 of all seats to bring on an early election. A budget not being passed simply means the government goes away and comes back with amendments that will get it its 50%+…as happened to the SNP in 2009(?) when they had to go away and make changes to get the Labour Party’s(?) support. It meant the budget was one week late in being delivered. Hardly a crisis.

    • dukeofurl 5.3

      The old left wing of coal mines, steam engines, shipyards is dead or dying

      The new left wing is zero hours. Who was opposed and who is sitting on the fence till it goes away
      The new left wing is free childcare hours

      The new left wing is maternity leave

      The new left wing is kiwisaver

  6. Bill 6

    Un-be-fucking-lievable. I’m….speechless.

    Ed Miliband has commissioned a giant stone inscription bearing Labour’s six election pledges that is set to be installed in the Downing Street Rose Garden if he becomes prime minister.

    The 8ft 6in-high limestone structure is intended to underline his commitment to keep his promises by having them literally “carved in stone” and visible from the offices inside No 10.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/03/ed-miliband-sets-promises-in-stone

    edited to add a few snippets from the article’s comments section

    ‘Who is advising this guy? And why are they not in a padded cell??’

    ‘I am Miliband. King of Kings. Look upon my works ye mighty and despair.’

    ‘Has Ed gone quite mad? I am having doubts about the conventional archeological explanations for Stonehenge now.’

    ‘Would need Great Wall of China after SNP amendments.’

    ‘Might become a Mil-stone?’

    ‘2010 space odyssey haha’

    ‘2015–A spaced-out Oddity’.

    And so on…

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Why do you care at all. Does this stop Scottish independence for ever.

      All these national leaders have an ego and or an entourage of synchophants.

      A pledge statue ? It seems like a photo app with a cardboard backed printout

      I see it just another election stunt/photo-op.

  7. RedBaronCV 7

    I find it weird too. From the debates it seems that a reasonable part of the english electorate would like to vote for at least some of the ideas that the SNP promotes. On the figures it’s hard to see the conservatives having the votes to pass anything much at all even it the Lib Dems come to heel ( and why would they do so again?) so the SNP looks like it holds the balance of power. The elephant in the room.
    Why alienate them and even a bunch of english who like the ideas?

    The way it’s going it looks like it’s going to be an issue by issue minority government -prob Labour – because they would on the face of it get more legislation through. but what if the conservatives voted for some of the harsher Labour measures.?
    Can’t see that doing labour any good. And if there is another election? Don’t forget that SNP can stand candidiates in non scottish electorates ( although I’m picking that they would call them something like “devo Party candidates” ). After the scottish independence vote there were regional groups in the UK who wanted more power and less “London”

    • Bill 7.1

      Been trying to find a reason for Miliband’s/Labour’s stance and came across ‘The Bain Principle’ so named after William Bain (Labour mp) who tweeted, in response to a question on whether then Scottish Labour Party leader Lamont had directed him to any particular lobby over the abolition of the 50p tax rate.

      “There is a long standing PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party?) convention that we do not support SNP motions…”

      Then I found this fuller explanation on Wings Over Scotland from 2012

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-bain-principle/

      and then this article with a series of examples, compiled at the end of January of the Bain Principle on show

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/hubris-and-nemesis/#more-66198

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Happens everywhere:

        Its called dont give a sucker an even break. The reality is most SNP votes come from labour, why give your voters more reasons to change sides.

        The other reason in the ‘big picture’ as far as UK goes, SNP is a party under 5% of total vote. About the same as greens.
        Due to FPP and being concentrated Scotland SNP has the chance for much more seats than Greens.

        Labour doesnt gain anything by rushing to embrace SNP, in Scotland or in Westminister.

        Over time that might change and it could be like the CDU in Germany and its cousin CSU in Barvaria. But who knows.

        Much more likely that SNP will split into mainstream and a more socialist wings. The independence keeps them together for now. But having a separate groups of MPs in Holyrood and Westminister can help, one with power the other powerless ( take it or leave it)

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          No. It doesn’t happen everywhere. You’re talking of party members putting themselves and their party before other parties and their members. If you’d been paying attention, you’d have understood that the so-called ‘Bain Principle’ (that pre-dates the referendum or the SNP surge) is about putting your party before everything…including your own supporters and best interests of your electorate.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Watching British Labour and it’s attitude to SNP is like watching a re-run of NZ Labour and it’s attitude to Mana and The IP. They’re both absolutely terrified that they’ll have to change the present system and so make it so that they’re unelectable and thus handing the controls over to the conservatives by default.

    One wonders why they’re doing this.

    • lprent 8.1

      Oh bullshit. Labour members and strategists didn’t give a damn about either mana or the IP over the last few years. It was quite apparent that they weren’t building any significant support amongst voters – whose opinions are the only ones that count.

      Instead we had a relatively few people talking up large and attacking anyone who said that they were complete political fantasists in the same manner as the occupy movement.

      About the only political effect was to annoy Maori activists inside Labour with some damn silly personal attacks on the Labour candidate and organisation in TTT. That gave them the motivation to run a better campaign than previous elections.

      I’d suggest that if Mana wants to get back into parliament where they were useful, then they should work on what they plan to do. Slagging off activists in another parties or who simply don’t support them just makes them look to voters like a party of fuckwit tossers.

      I’d point to the contrast with the Conservatives. As much as I dislike them, they told the voters quite clearly who they were and what they wanted to do. Internet Mana just showed up as the party who are too damn lazy to do the work required to convince voters to want they were about. Instead they just attacked everyone else. Voters mostly want something to vote for as well as something to vote against. It was a damn stuipid campaign.

      No party actively campaigned against Internet Mana. They didn’t need to. The IMP did that quite well themselves with the voters. There were a few people who were active in a smallish way against DotCom, but they were dropping fertilizer on already fertile soil.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        I said attitude and the attitude is almost exactly the same:

        “Look, we don’t hold a candle for Kim Dotcom. Kim Dotcom has been a donor to ACT candidates in the past, he’s not associated with the Labour Party, and I’ve made clear that there won’t be Internet-Mana in a Government that I lead.”

        The slight difference is probably in relation to our MMP system compared to the UK’s FPP.

        No party actively campaigned against Internet Mana.

        Except for NZ1st when Winston told his voters to vote for Davis and, of course, Labour the latter being inevitable when two parties are going for the same seat. I don’t like the coat-tailing rule but Labour should have been using it as well as National were in 2014.

        I’ll agree that there was too many attacks between the parties including Mana attacking the Internet Party causing bad blood.

  9. Ecosse_Maidy 9

    Is Mill-Brand a stupid muppet ?

    Is the Pope a bloke with a pointy hat?

    MilliBrand with or without Axelrods advice, which at last count was £200,000 for part time advice, is between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully when the reality dawns, on the 8th of May, he may have to deal with basic arithmetic.
    Coalition, No deal says MilliDick with SNP.
    Confidence & Supply, No Deal says MilliBland with SNP, all designed to head off Lynton Fecal Crosbys attempt to frame Milli in the pocket of Progressive Politics and bring in The Tories to Power.
    So, the option of writing a Queens Speech he knows, will get voted down by SNP/Plaid/SDLP/Greens on issues such as Trident or Uber Austerity…..is the nuclear self distruct option for many variables.
    That would eventually mean another election, in September/October….All parties broke apart from Tories.
    Hacking off not just people in Scotland yet in the Rump of UK.

    There is no way that Millbland would be able to engender any support from Scotland as it will hopefully be zero. The remaining Labour heartlands in the North of England, South Wales, The Big Cities of The North and London, would be less likely to go again into bat for him, even at current levels of support and there would be a threat to those Vote Hubs, that they may defect, as has occurred in Scotland.
    People in Scotland would never forgive him if he let in the Tories that’s a given now and on wards. Yet another Election may let them in through via crumbling English & Welsh heartlands.

    So MilliVanilli, wont go Nuclear. His best chance of forming any Govt with the arithmatic that stacks the way it does for the 8th plus he will have more potential dancing partners,,,than the right wing Tory Bloc.

    So Muppetr or Not..he knows he will have to Talk to The left Wing Bloc just after the 8th, or its curtains for him and in the longer term terminal curtains for the remainder of Labour. Also he knows he cant afford Axelrod for another Campaign.
    So MilliBland will have to sup with the Left Bloc on the 8th….there is no escaping that fact! He may not be able to face it personally and so resign and hopefully someone like Yvette Cooper or Harriet Harman could do the deal he can’t or wont…

    Simple as.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      They arent going to put Trident in Queens Speech . Full stop. Theres many in labour who wouldnt vote for it.

      He doesnt have to talk. If you mean as Pm, will he discuss with SNP policy details for the Queens Speech.

      I think hes allready said ‘Take it or leave it.’ But much more likely QS will be bland and contentious items will or will not emerge at a later time.

      Who knows , the SNP could get a few cycle ways and photo ops with a Miliband government

  10. johnm 10

    Muppet Milliband is Tory Lite’

    ” The Longest Till Receipt in History ”

    ” Think of what Labour could do, if it chose, to revitalise public services. A 0.01% financial transaction tax would raise £25 billion a year. Replacing the mossy and regressive council tax with land value taxation would transfer many billions from the rentier class. So would matching the rate of capital gains tax to the top rate of income tax. Yet its manifesto proposes none of this; boasting instead that “Britain will continue to have the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7”. “‘

    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/04/15/the-longest-till-receipt-in-history/

    • Paul 10.1

      The Labour Party in England, Scotland and New Zealand is hostage to its fatal compromise it made in the 1980s with neo-liberalism.
      In Scotland, they have found a real alternative to push through real progressive policies.
      England looks doomed to continue suffering the ravages of Ayn Rand’s experiment.
      New Zealand also appears to be a serf to transnational corporations. The signing of the TPP will set these changes in stone.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.1.1

        LPNZ didn’t compromise with neoliberalism. It embraced it with all its strength and hasn’t really managed to let go since.

      • DS 10.1.2

        Um, UK Labour was not neoliberal in the 1980s. It became neoliberal in the (mid)-1990s.

  11. Ecosse_Maidy 11

    Vote……………………..Mc Adder!!!!

  12. lurgee 12

    But then along comes the Muppet, with others in Labour, hinting they will engineer a second election rather than just get on with the job of governance.

    Oh, come on, Bill. You’re showing a touch of bias there. The article you link does not bear out the idea that Labour will ‘engineer’ a second election. They are simply preparing for the possibility. Don’t lower your self to that sort of guff. It’s what the right are for.

    • Bill 12.1

      Yeah well, c’mon Lugee, you know I have biases. I don’t exactly try to hide them.

      Here’s the point. A second election isn’t a possibility in the same way that it might rain today. The mps in Westminster have all the agency required to either get on with it or cause a second election. For Labour mps to be even thinking of such a possibility and before people have even voted is astonishing.

      The only way that second election happens is if Labour deliberately brings it about. ‘Simply preparing for the possibility’, indeed.

  13. Steve Withers 13

    Never underestimate the ‘clever-clever’ numb-nuttery of a major-party politician who puts his party first and everything else second (ie: party hack).

    What looks mind-numblingly stupid to us can look positively brills to them.

  14. dukeofurl 14

    Trust Bill to hear a bit of title tattle in a Scottish newspaper and go into a swoon like a victorian spinster.

    Scotland on Sunday has learned that party officials are looking at a second vote, which one MP described as a “very likely scenario”

    You know Bill , wake up and smell the roses, just because its in the newspaper doesnt make it ‘true’.

    The 2nd election scenario only plays out if a few complicated things happen, and its a result of bar chatter.
    1) Cameron wins largest number of seats
    2) Camerons government falls after Queens speech ( vote of confidence)
    3)Labour fails to get a majority because nobody loves them
    4) 2nd election

    Some how if they get to 4) , its all Milibands fault.

    The real story behind this story is this; (An actual quote not unnamed sources: (Haigs & Dewars)

    However, he added: “If Cameron loses, even by only one or two seats, then all the momentum and pressure shifts to Ed Miliband to try to form a government – and so will public opinion.” Lord McConnell a former labour First Minister of Scotland)

    The only way for this to occur is labour hang onto more seats in Scotland, ie labour voters swing away from SNP.

    Its a normal pre election call to labour voters to get out and vote and not vote for SNP
    (My personal opinion is that SNP will get around 30 seats not the 50+, based on the wrong result of the polls for referendum)

    As for Labour giving SNP the cold shoulder, thats the way it happens when you steal traditional labour voters and what Clark did to Greens in NZ.

    Overall in the UK , SNP is under 5% and not far away from what the Greens get.

    But in FFP one party is massively rewarded. In policy terms it still means labour can say to SNP – Take it or leave it, if there is a labour government.

    SNP renege of its principles ?, dont make me laugh.

    Salmon used to be the leader of the wing of SNP that was all for a socialist and republican Scotland. A Clydeside Sinn Fein?

    All cast aside of course, as they now want to keep the Queen and the pound ( and the BBC).

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