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Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Seamus Macleod
Image © [caption id="attachment_2404" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Miliband Brother"]Miliband Brother[/caption] The Brown-Blair schism in the Labour party was revisited by the Mail last Sunday, this time acted out by their successors, Ed and David Miliband. This serialisation of Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre’s new book comes on the heels of the Ed Balls papers, adding further fuel to a rather tedious fire. Replete with tales of deception, backstabbing, and sparring between respective spouses, these fresh claims of disquiet will likely continue to plague the Labour Party, which has still to successfully establish – especially in the eyes of the media – where it stands under Ed Miliband’s leadership. These rumours of imminent fratricide have been dismissed as “tittle tattle” by Ed Miliband’s spokesman and the David has repeated his support for his brother and once more called for unity within the party. Though the leaking of documents, including a speech intended to be given had David won the Labour leadership contest, has the media in a frenzy, the elder, absent brother has remained silent on issues of policy and direction since removing himself from front-line politics last September. This is a courtesy not offered by former Labour giants such as Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson. Whilst one cannot guess at unknown plots it seems likely that continued speculation regarding the internal politics of the Miliband family is driven by its media mileage than it is by evidence of a coming coup. David Miliband’s eventual return to the front bench is almost certain but a return to a Labour Party, or even government, divided by bitter rivalry is not. Ed Miliband is right to dismiss this media maelstrom as “soap opera.” Unfortunately for Britain’s Left there has been little else to see within Labour since they lost last year’s election. Though declaring New Labour a thing of the past he was also keen to dissuade voters that his Labour would “lurch to the left.” He has succeeded in shedding the title of Red Ed but has yet to replace it with anything vaguely descriptive of his position. It was this deficit of details that he appeared to be addressing today in a speech in London. This oration showed a clear understanding that the centre ground is the good ground in British politics. It attempted to distance Labour from benefit cheats and bankers whilst appealing – just as Tony Blair did in 1997 – to the middle classes of Middle England. The speech targeted the right voters but seemed almost obtusely aimed at the centre ground. Banker and benefit-cheat bashing is hardly the most courageous of political stances but this position could cause Mr. Miliband further difficulties in the coming weeks. In the case of bankers the difficulty comes from Mr. Miliband’s relationship, not with the other Miliband, but with the other Ed. From his time at the treasury under Gordon Brown, Ed Balls has shown remarkable reluctance to overly assault The City. To do so calls into question his own past performance – and that of his mentor, Gordon Brown. More problematic in the short term is Mr. Miliband’s spurning of the undeserving poor who – it would seem – live lives of luxury at the expense of the hard-working majority. Firstly, this problem – if it truly exists outside of a few isolated examples – be portrayed a product of the welfare system presided over by the former government. Secondly, he has placed himself in a position where he will likely have to support the coalition’s plans for welfare reform. A little bipartisanship would be no bad thing, especially on a bill such Ian Duncan Smith’s, but once again the domestic – or at least internal – appears to be making things difficult for Mr. Miliband. Despite this bill aiming to achieve many of the goals set out in Mr. Miliband’s speech, there are rumblings of revolt amongst the Labour Left. Twelve Labour MP’s rebelled in March over changes to housing benefit and disability living allowance and further mutiny could derail Mr. Miliband’s attempts to finally consolidate his position as party leader. On the other hand, keeping his party in line during the coming weeks could be the feat that that finally cements it. You might be interested in reading these articles too:

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Ignore the soap opera; Ed Miliband is ready to get his hands dirty

Miliband Brother

Miliband Brother

The Brown-Blair schism in the Labour party was revisited by the Mail last Sunday, this time acted out by their successors, Ed and David Miliband. This serialisation of Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre’s new book comes on the heels of the Ed Balls papers, adding further fuel to a rather tedious fire. Replete with tales of deception, backstabbing, and sparring between respective spouses, these fresh claims of disquiet will likely continue to plague the Labour Party, which has still to successfully establish – especially in the eyes of the media – where it stands under Ed Miliband’s leadership.

These rumours of imminent fratricide have been dismissed as “tittle tattle” by Ed Miliband’s spokesman and the David has repeated his support for his brother and once more called for unity within the party. Though the leaking of documents, including a speech intended to be given had David won the Labour leadership contest, has the media in a frenzy, the elder, absent brother has remained silent on issues of policy and direction since removing himself from front-line politics last September. This is a courtesy not offered by former Labour giants such as Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson. Whilst one cannot guess at unknown plots it seems likely that continued speculation regarding the internal politics of the Miliband family is driven by its media mileage than it is by evidence of a coming coup. David Miliband’s eventual return to the front bench is almost certain but a return to a Labour Party, or even government, divided by bitter rivalry is not.

Ed Miliband is right to dismiss this media maelstrom as “soap opera.” Unfortunately for Britain’s Left there has been little else to see within Labour since they lost last year’s election. Though declaring New Labour a thing of the past he was also keen to dissuade voters that his Labour would “lurch to the left.” He has succeeded in shedding the title of Red Ed but has yet to replace it with anything vaguely descriptive of his position. It was this deficit of details that he appeared to be addressing today in a speech in London.

This oration showed a clear understanding that the centre ground is the good ground in British politics. It attempted to distance Labour from benefit cheats and bankers whilst appealing – just as Tony Blair did in 1997 – to the middle classes of Middle England.

The speech targeted the right voters but seemed almost obtusely aimed at the centre ground. Banker and benefit-cheat bashing is hardly the most courageous of political stances but this position could cause Mr. Miliband further difficulties in the coming weeks. In the case of bankers the difficulty comes from Mr. Miliband’s relationship, not with the other Miliband, but with the other Ed. From his time at the treasury under Gordon Brown, Ed Balls has shown remarkable reluctance to overly assault The City. To do so calls into question his own past performance – and that of his mentor, Gordon Brown.

More problematic in the short term is Mr. Miliband’s spurning of the undeserving poor who – it would seem – live lives of luxury at the expense of the hard-working majority. Firstly, this problem – if it truly exists outside of a few isolated examples – be portrayed a product of the welfare system presided over by the former government. Secondly, he has placed himself in a position where he will likely have to support the coalition’s plans for welfare reform. A little bipartisanship would be no bad thing, especially on a bill such Ian Duncan Smith’s, but once again the domestic – or at least internal – appears to be making things difficult for Mr. Miliband. Despite this bill aiming to achieve many of the goals set out in Mr. Miliband’s speech, there are rumblings of revolt amongst the Labour Left. Twelve Labour MP’s rebelled in March over changes to housing benefit and disability living allowance and further mutiny could derail Mr. Miliband’s attempts to finally consolidate his position as party leader. On the other hand, keeping his party in line during the coming weeks could be the feat that that finally cements it.

You might be interested in reading these articles too:

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