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But much of the thrust of Mrs T's governments was to put people in a position where they could say "I can": "I can own my own house"; "I can start up my own business"; "I can keep more of my own money"; "I can get my telephone line installed in 6 days, not 6 months", etc...

Just shows you how Milli relies absolutely on distortion and half-truths in order to put new Labour in a good light.

Perhaps he is trying to be a "thoroughly modern Milli"?

Sounds like a modern version of collectivism, probably a variant of the theories of his Marxist academic father. This could be a bit tricky for Dave to criticise though when his own ideas are so close to those of Miliband.

If he'd been a huge success with his departmental responsibilities we should fear him but he's been pretty anonymous really. Labour are really scratching around for a talented challenger to Brown, I genuinely don't think Milliband is that person.

I don't think any of them Miliband, Brown, Clarke or Milburn are capable of doing a good job as PM and that's a poor reflection of the Labour Party and it's quasi-socialistic ideologies. Most of the public still don't know who Miliband is anyway. A recent opinion poll put Cameron 20 points ahead of a Miliband-led Labour Party. Miliband comes across as too clever by half at times, in fact he tries to be too clever and too 'wordy' at times. He's too much of a 'geek'. Are concepts such as 'citizen journalism' and 'co-operatively managed parks' really going to capture the public imagination and get people out to vote? And I agree with the post about Thatcherism being an 'I can' philosophy not just an 'I want' philosophy.
Remember that Miliband recently proposed putting VAT on air flights and had to be slapped down by Blair and Brown. His views on climate change are crackpot.

Cameron may have his faults but Milliband.....You can imagine him signing death warrants in a Stalinist Purge and he makes Steve Davis look charismatic.

Miliband wont stand against Brown because if he does, he wont win and will find himself struggling to get a high level job. He wouldnt dare stand against Brown. He'd throw away his career.

I suggest we live in an 'I can't' era:

I can't because a huge tranche of my income has been grabbed by Gordon Brown;

I can't because EU-inspired idiocy won't allow me to;

I can't because jobsworth-bureaucrats tell me I mustn't;

I can't because a yobbish underclass makes it unsafe for me to do it.

Anyone who stands against Brown is probably sack-proof for the rest of the parliament: acres of newspaper coverage about their "courage"; acres of newspaper coverage full stop; Brown can't axe them without making himself look a complete s**t; and if it all goes belly-up you've established credentials to take over in Opposition.

In fact, if you were a useless waste of space who, for example, managed to make a complete hash of being Home Secretary and were so bad at it that you were forced out of even this incompetence-tolerant government - then running against Gordon Brown as a "man of courage" in order to "provide a genuine debate" would be acute way of playing yourself back into the Cabinet. Wouldn't it?

In that case William, Patricia Hewitt should stand as 'a woman of courage'.

Isn't it time that Milliband's blog was investigated for the misuse of government officials. It is a paean to his own activities and not really about what goes on at DEFRA, otherwise it would be one long apology for the cock-ups and delays.
After-all haven't MP's voted themselves another ten grand as a blog allowance.

But where is David Miliband's support going to come from amongst the PLP?

Most of the heavyweights have already nailed their colours to the mast, and those colours are Brown with a yellow tinge.

The only current Cabinet members I can think of who would conceivably declare openly for Miliband are John Hutton and Tessa Jowell, as both are likely to be banished as soon as Gordon Brown gets his feet under the table.

The support of Stephen Byers, Charles Clarke, Frank Field and Alan Milburn will not be enough and Miliband will certainly not find much favour amongst the left-leaning backbenches.

The prospects of a genuine contest for the Labour leadership succession disappeared after the political death of David Blunkett and the tragic actual death of Robin Cook.

Milliband is a young guy, his career is only just beginning to blossom does anyone believe he'll throw it all away for a couple of years in the top job? 2 years wouldn't even provide enough material for a decent autobiography!

Milliband will run for the Labour leadership, but after the next general election after Brown's resignation, when Labour are settling down on the other side of the chamber.

Brown having been annointed is as far as NuLab want to go. Why set up a new system to have it ruined by the need to adopt Democratic process.
No one will stand against Gordo, anyone credible that is, a host of failed lefties who can't cut the cake yes, but credible, no. They are all tooooo concerned with their careers and the money tree to go against the Gordo and the system.

Another thought is that Miliband would be the Blair legacy personified. If he became Labour leader now, this would add considerable force to an election strategy on our past based upon the principle of disclaiming the legacy.

What a dilemma, though - does he take the step that his Dear Leader desires so much and risk destroying his own career either as successor or losing candidate, or does he sit tight and wait for Brown's defeat?

sjm 10.36, you've missed the point. When Milipede says "I can" it means that "he can", not that "we can".

And speaking of the Labour succession, may I take this opportunity to link to one of my favourite ConservativeHome discussions?

Lots of useful tips on credible potential challengers to Gordon Brown...

I think you had best advise them to drop into "Curly's Corner Shop, the blog!", the only right of centre blog in South Shields with more than two years' coverage of the town's MP.

Personally, I wish he does become Prime Minister instead of Brown, I think Cameron would outshine him any day of the week.

(Sadly, the borough's only Labour blogger dropped out of the game this week and pulled his blog down, I am devastated.)

Excellent post by Arthurian Legend.

Daniel, you’re right, that was a wonderful thread. Reading it made me quite nostalgic.

The anyone but Brown campaign still searching for a candidate getting pretty desperate isn't it.

I don't expect Milliband to run, he'll just sit back and wait for Gordon Brown to mess up before billing himself as the labour party's saviour.

I find it hard to believe their is much appetite in the PLP to replace Blair with an arch blairite.

I have harboured an intense dislike for David Miliband ever since I watched him on Newsnight debating climate change with Nigel Lawson just before Christmas.

Instead of debating the facts in a civilised way he resorted to throwing cheap insults at Lord Lawson about his resignation as Chancellor. He looked like a jumped-up, badly behaved schoolboy, berating a polite and decent old man who achieved a great deal for this country in his day and who deserves to be listened to with great respect.

Quote Miliband: "It is, in other words, one of the founding ideas of left-of-centre politics: to put power in the hands of the people."

I swear that was our idea.

The prospects of a genuine contest for the Labour leadership succession disappeared after the political death of David Blunkett and the tragic actual death of Robin Cook.
Robin Cook was never going to become Labour leader, most Labour members and MP's and voters under the Union section knew that because of his manner of talking and appearance that he was far more the butt of jokes even than Neil Kinnock was and that would sway them. As for David Blunkett, being blind did cause severe problems for him because everything had to be read out to him pretty much - apparently he doesn't read brail well, but as PM that would be an even more severe handicap.

"Robin Cook was never going to become Labour leader, most Labour members and MP's and voters under the Union section knew that because of his manner of talking and appearance that he was far more the butt of jokes even than Neil Kinnock was and that would sway them."

Before his statesmanlike principled resignation over Iraq (unlike the recent cynical opportunism by wannabe leadership challenger Michael Meacher and putative deputy Labour leader Peter Hain), I would have agreed with you about Robin Cook's image ruling him out as a serious contender.

I'm not sure he would have been able to beat Gordon Brown, but he would have run him closer than Meacher, John McDonnell or David Miliband/Charles Clarke/Alan Milburn will (barring a surprise development within the next few weeks)...

PS Let's not forget that 'Greenfingers' Gordon has image problems of his own that expose him to ridicule too.

imitation is certainly the sincerest form of flattery

Yes, I am sure Blair and Miliband are flattered.

Hang on - we think Miliband is stealing ideas from us??!

We don't have any!

Absolutely right, Milton. Far better that effort should go into developing policy than preparing for the possible arrival of the dreadful apparatchik Milliband.


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