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The spotlight shifts to Labour

1 August 2013

5:11 PM

1 August 2013

5:11 PM

Politics abhors a news vacuum. So with the government on holiday, attention shifts to the opposition. This is why oppositions normally have a whole series of summer stories ready to fill this vacuum. But, oddly, we have heard little from the Labour front bench in the last ten days or so. One consequence of this is that criticisms of Ed Miliband’s leadership by the Labour backbencher George Mudie are going to get more play than they normally would in tomorrow’s papers.

There’ve been none of the attacks on a government that you would expect from the opposition in the penultimate summer before a general election. It is hard not to feel that Ed Miliband is being let down by a shadow Cabinet that isn’t being as energetic as it should be.


Meanwhile, on the Tory side, there’s rising optimism about the result of the next election. One of the reasons that Boris Johnson is currently not planning to stand, as The Spectator revealed yesterday, is that he thinks David Cameron is more likely than not still to be Prime Minister after the 2015 vote.

This mood of Tory optimism could well be shattered by some unforeseen event. But for the moment, it is holding and growing. Tory discipline improves, and so the spotlight moves onto Labour and its discontents.

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Show comments
  • Holly

    Millionaires donate to a political party.
    Unions donate to political individuals.

    Those who can not see the difference or understand the placement of union preferred candidates will electing people to govern who have no interest in the future of you, your children or grand children.

    Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Those who would take a hammer, and use it to ‘reshape society’ how they think fit, are being unchallenged, they will exploit the way some will vote Labour no matter what.
    Blair did a cracking job. Like a stick of rock he has ‘FABIANS’ written through him.

    They get stinking rich off the backs of other peoples misery.

    Millionaire donors create employment in this country.
    Union donors create filthy rich Blair’s.

  • McRobbie

    The lack of opposition stories obviously doesn’t include those the opposition don’t want the voting public to hear about..particularly about the increasing influence of red eyed trade union take over of labour MP’s and MEP’s. I dread the influence of red len and the crowman on the future of our country..and sadly that is what labour have become…a puppet party for mad luddites. Yet harman proudly states that the labour party is refecting the real hard working british public! I don’t see the trade unions being reflective of the hard working british public as they only reflect the interest of the public sector…themselves in effect. We all see for ourselves and know the public sector workers are not the most hard working people around, with salaries and conditions and pensions to die for that the real hard working public have to pay for…but don’t start me on about private pensions and the brown / balls scam.

  • David B

    Milliband, Balls, Et al are all tainted by their part in the Brown government and it’s failures on welfare, banking, economy, etc.

    Instead of moving on from these policies Balls and Unite want a lot more of the same.

    This whole generation of Labour may be unelectable if they cannot move forward

  • Span Ows

    spotlight or Eye of Sauron?

  • Daniel Maris

    Miliband just seems curiously ineffective and inactive.

    What’s his problem?

    He needs a make-over…I’ve said before those dark suits do nothing to give him an approachable image. Labour’s design gurus seem to be stuck in the 90s.

    Labour should be way ahead at this point.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Should be if they are going to win.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yes, they emphasise his Jerry Lewis ‘The Jerk’ similarity. Maybe he should try a white suit, or perhaps a donkey jacket and overalls – or the robes of an African president. That’s it – a makeover, a “game changer”, so that Labour is – er – “New”…

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      His problem is that he has nothing approaching a credible policy on the economy/structural deficit reduction, Europe, welfare, immigration etc and sat next to him is a toxic tub of lard called Ed Balls. The miracle is that his poll ratings are as high as they are and reflect badly on the intelligence of prospective British voters.

  • Magnolia

    Dave will win big and I said it first.
    He might be yesterday’s man to me but he’s finally getting the BBC on his side and appears almost stylish in his holiday pics.
    The Labour leader looks like a duck dying in a thunderstorm.
    I don’t believe it’s possible for us to have Prime Minister Mr Miliband.
    Try saying it quickly.
    Dave will go down as one of our great Prime Ministers because of the likes of Mr Gove and IDS, but I will always hate him (yes) for being the modernising offspring who slaughtered his political forefathers and better knowing elders.

    • George_Arseborne

      Hahahahaha. You make me choke.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Oh I do hope so.

    • Wessex Man

      Have you indulged in a little too much Friday night Sherry dear?

  • wycombewanderer

    I’m not a Physicist but is it possible to shine a spotlight on to a vacuum?

    • Colonel.Mustard

      From my limited physics training I can confidently report that that is just what George Mudie was doing (see previous thread).

  • Smithersjones2013

    One of the reasons that Boris Johnson is currently not planning to stand, as The Spectator revealed yesterday, is that he thinks David Cameron is more likely than not still to be Prime Minister after the 2015 vote

    Did anyone seriously expect Boris to turn around and say. “Well actually I think Cameron and the party will lose so I’m putting my personal agenda ahead of trying to help us avert defeat.”

    Thats hardly the best way to prove one’s leadership credentials. Johnson was never going to act in a way that would undermine his party (just imagine how a febrile hysterical media would have responded) so this is nothing but predictable and tells us nothing of his real intentions.

    Johnson will only announce his intentions when Cameron has either been ousted (unlikely) or resigned at earliest after defeat in 2015. Still it seems to be de rigeur for Tories to delude themselves (they are still behind in the polls and further behind when the electoral imbalance is considered). Perhaps they’ve been reading too many Libdem ‘Winning Here’ pamphlets

    • fantasy_island

      Your final sentence, misspelt whining.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    No matter that the Speccie lickspittle continues to carry water for the Cameroons, it doesn’t really change matters much. The Millipedes will continue to stand aside and let the Cameroons implode. That’s their best strategy, and they appear to be cleaving it. If you check the numbers, it’s working for them.

    Quite cynical of the Millipedes, perhaps, but the Cameroons have left themselves open to this strategy. If you’re governing as socialist muppets, why should the other socialist muppets bother contesting you for the socialist muppet vote? They won’t, and shouldn’t. The socialist muppet vote will surely come home on election day, and the Millipedes are just waiting around for that day. Again, check the numbers. The strategy is working to perfection.

    • Wessex Man

      ah but you are forgetting the Clegg-overans, all those seats up for someone else!

  • Alexsandr

    mebbe labour have shut up on purpose. Cos if they put their heads above the parapet people will say ‘look, they are the muppets who got us into this mess’. And they would be right

  • Noa

    “Tory discipline improves..”
    As you say James, the government and its whips are on holiday…and there’s time for a different sort of whip to come into play…

  • Lady Magdalene

    The mood of Tory optimism won’t be shattered by an unforeseen event.
    It’s going to be shattered by the influx of tens of thousands of Romanians, Bulgarians and Moldovans-by-the-back door after January, closely followed by the EU Parliament and County Council Elections.

    • Emulous

      The time is right to consider civil disobedience.
      At present we are supine and this must change.

      • Noa

        As usual, it all depends on the weather.

        • Emulous

          The storm clouds gather.

          • Noa

            Perhaps so, outside the PC Worlds in Poplar, Pentonville and Peckham.
            Not yet though, in Pinner, Parsons Green or Petersham.

            • Julian_F

              Alluring alliteration.

      • Trofim

        Why don’t we stop being supine and change next Wednesday, say around 11 am? I’ll put the word out.

  • London Calling

    Whilst the Cats away….the mice will play…:O