Is what Benedict Brogan says about the resignation of Alan Johnson from the Labour front bench. I think this is a fair thing to say. No matter what skills Ed Balls may have, it can’t be helpful to Ed Miliband to lose his favoured Shadow Chancellor after just months.
There’s an interesting scene in the (excellent) new film ‘The King’s Speech’, where Colin Firth’s character laments the popularity of the previous King, his brother. I find there are parallels in the situation with the Miliband brothers, and not just because both George VI and Ed Miliband sound odd when they speak. Ed Miliband, like George VI, has taken a position from his older, more charismatic brother. In the film, King George notes that most people become King when the previous Monarch is dead (or just about), but in his case the previous King is very much alive and looms over his leadership. Similarly, every setback and mistake that Ed Miliband makes will be analysed against David Miliband and how he may have dealt with the Labour leadership, especially while he is still alive in the political sense. With the downfall of Alan Johnson, I am sure the Labour faithful will be wondering whether they indeed chose the right brother.
Posted in Law and Government
Tagged alan johnson, benedict brogan, colin firth, david miliband, ed balls, ed miliband, king george VI, labour party, shadow chancellor, the king's speech, the telegraph, uk politics
Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat Minister, has been stripped of his responsibilities after declaring ‘war’ on Rupert Murdoch. The comments were made by Cable to two Telegraph journalists posing as Liberal Democrat supporters.
In a statement, a Downing Street spokesman said: “Following comments made by Vince Cable to The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister has decided that he will play no further part in the decision over News Corporation’s proposed takeover of BSkyB.
I have to confess that I am slightly disappointed in The Telegraph here, using a News Of The World style sting to get these revelations.
Cable also made the comment that he could ‘bring down the Government’, at a time when cracks are starting to show in the Coalition. As they celebrate their first Christmas in power, one has to wonder whether they will see another one.
Although he probably expressed it the wrong way.
“We’re going to have a system where the middle classes are discouraged from breeding because it’s jolly expensive, but for those on benefit there is every incentive,” said Howard Flight.
Using the word ‘breed’ when talking about the lower classes can only come with negative connotations, especially when it has come from a millionaire peer. But, in essentials, Flight is correct. There are incentives for those on benefits to carry on unsustainably, while the middle gets squeezed and squeezed, as Ed West notes in The Telegraph:
It is not eugenics – a movement that was, incidentally, dominated far more by socialists than by conservatives – to lament that the nation’s middle-class are being squeezed out of existence. It’s a fact, and a sad one because many loving, intelligent people are put off from becoming parents and bringing more loving, intelligent people into the world. If the tables were turned I’m sure it would even be called “social cleansing”.
David Cameron has moved to stop the controversy over this by asking people just not to talk about it, presumably because it does not fit in with the new image of the Tories he has tried to create. Indeed, the idea is not new to the Conservative Party, as noted in The Independent. I think Winston Churchill puts it best:
“I am convinced that the multiplication of the feeble-minded… is a terrible danger to the race.”
Despite Cameron’s wishes, it does not appear to be an issue that will be going away any time soon.