28 September 2010

Ed Was Best Of A Bad Bunch, But He Needs To Loosen Up And Stay True To What He Campaigned On

Just watched Ed Miliband's speech. Firstly, relief he has confirmed his support for the Alternative Vote, that to me is very important if we really are going to change politics and remove safe seats that ignore millions of votes and safe politicians who ignore millions of voters.

Ed managed to put down some of the criticism of him from the Tory press, who are still licking their wounds that 'their man David' did not win, but he didn't squash it all.

I would have added the following to Ed's speech:-

"Media Barons regularly tell their readers how to vote, for instance nearly every paper from the Mirror to the Telegraph supported my brother for leader, but to their frustration the people voting this time couldn't be persuaded no matter how much dirt was thrown at me. The hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the Labour party and the hundreds of thousands of ordinary union members who voted in this election wouldn't be Labour party levy payers if they listened to media barons who are afterall overwhelmingly right wing. For media barons to say that unions shouldn't give direction on who to vote for is the ultimate hypocrisy.

And it is absurd to say the union vote swung it for me. I won 20,000 votes more than any other candidate and won a majority of the votes. Only the fact that MP's votes are worth 12,000 times a union member's vote and party member's votes 600 times, made this election 'close'. Under one member, one vote I would have won by a landslide. Even among MPs and party members, a large majority had me as either their first or second preference.

And if David Cameron or anyone else wants to make jokes in the Commons about my legitimacy and support in the parliamentary Labour party or about the Alternative Vote system used to elect me, they should remember that Cameron lost his party leadership election to David Davis among his own MPs if a 'first-past-the-post' system had been used to elect their leader. In fact his own Tory MPs gave him less first preference backing than I achieved from my fellow MPs.

And to those in the press who label me 'Red Ed', I say if it is 'red' to campaign for a living wage, red to tax bankers not cleaners, red to eliminate the deficit by state supported growth and jobs rather than ideological cuts that will take us back to the pre-Keynes, pre-Beveridge 1930s, I say welcome to 'Red Labour' and welcome to a party that fights for a real liberalism that most certainly is left-of-centre and proud of it".

My advice Ed, is to be bold. Don't lose like Gordon did, by dithering and buffeting from one press baron to another and one focus group to another. Oh and do something about your hair.

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