Rob Brydon was superb on Desert Island Discs this week - very interesting, and funny, in talking about his life and his passions, and he made a good choice of music. A lovely guy.
As the programme said, he's become well known by playing characters who are "without guile or cunning . . . eternal optimists". Uncle Bryn is wonderful.
The candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party, on the other hand, are pure guile and cunning. This week the Milipedes have been joined in the race by Ed Balls and Andy Burnham. And Diane Abbott!
John McDonnell's also there, as a candidate of the left - if he can get enough people to nominate him. But - Diane Abbott!
Ideally both of them will be nominated and both will then proceed to take aim at the prats who were such slavish and faithful servants of New Labour for so many years. The party needs both their voices berating New Labour and all its doings, which have brought the party into such disrepute. The prospect of those Blairites and Brownites dominating the Labour party in the future is utterly sickening. It'll probably happen, but it needn't happen without an almighty fight.
DMiliband tweeted, "More the merrier - welcome to Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham." Bloody two-faced liar.
This is in today's paper:
Ed Miliband: Labour's catastrophic loss of trust over Iraq
Leadership contender says weapons inspectors were not given enough time in 2003 before coalition troops invaded
Labour's divisions over Iraq broke out into the open tonight as Ed Miliband became the first contender for the leadership to make it an issue during the campaign. He said UN weapons inspectors were not given enough time in 2003 before coalition troops invaded, and asserted that the way in which Britain decided to go to war led to "a catastrophic loss of trust in Labour".
Ed Miliband's remarks on Iraq mark him out from his brother, David, and Andy Burnham, both candidates in the leadership contest who voted for the war. Ed Miliband was living in the US and was not yet an MP at the time. "I was pretty clear at the time that I thought there needs to be more due process here," he said.
"As we all know, the basis for going to war was on the basis of Saddam's threat in terms of weapons of mass destruction and therefore that is why I felt the weapons inspectors should have been given more time to find out whether he had those weapons, and Hans Blix – the head of the UN weapons inspectorate – was saying that he wanted to be given more time. The basis for going to war was the threat that he posed.
"The combination of not giving the weapons inspectors more time, and then the weapons not being found, I think for a lot of people it led to a catastrophic loss of trust for us, and we do need to draw a line under it."
There are some excellent comments on CiF:
I disagree vehemently with Milband. We don't 'need to draw a line under it' at all, what we need to do is remain mindful of this country's shameful participation in the outrageous destruction of a sovereign nation's infrastructure, and the murder of a large number of its civilian population, purely to assist US based venture capitalists. I won't vote Labour again, until each and every Labour MP who voted for it has left parliament.
In nuanced evidence, David Miliband told the Chilcot inquiry in March: "I voted for the war because I think that the defiance by Saddam of the UN was itself a danger to international peace and security and the authority of the UN had to be upheld."
Any defiance of the UN was on the part of Britain and the US. Kofi Annan, Secretary General at the time, declared the invasion illegal. But then, what do you expect from the shameless Miliband, more lies, obfuscation and distortion.
I hope I can write this calmly and clearly.
I cannot believe the attempt by Ed Miliband to distance himself from the Iraq war. If you want to con the public, at least have the decency to do it well; this is shameful. To summarize, he is saying that Britain didn't go to war for the wrong reasons and the real problem was that Hans Blix didn't have enough time to determine if Iraq was a threat. What people objected to, apparently was that Hans Blix didn't have enough time. Please Please
Any ordinary citizen with an ounce of intelligence, knew that Iraq wasn't a threat before the whole thing happened. The politicians, who have more info than citizens knew even more clearly that there was no case for war. Many countries with dangerous governments have weapons of mass destruction supplied to them by Britain-so what was this all about.
Hans Blix didn't ask for more time. He stated point blank that Iraq had no weapons. Then Tony Blair, as he didn't like what Blix said invented a story using a students work from the internet to say he had proof that there were weapons even though the expert Hans Blix had said there weren't.
In various previous leaks to newspapers, it is documented that Blair knew there were no weapons. Robin Cook also knew.
Is Ed Miliband so naive that he thinks he can pull this one.
If you want to con the British public Ed, you'll need to do better than this.
The problem was not just the Iraq war but the fact that New Labour were far too subservient to anyone with money power or glamour. They did whatever the US told them to even at the cost of British lives. They bent over backwards to ensure that bankers, foreign oligarchs, media-owning US-Australian-whatever- passport- is- needed- to- get- round- regulations- tomorrow press barons and Daily Mail bigots got their way far too often.
Every time New labour said they took the difficult decisions that needed to be taken you knew that they had taken the decisions that would ensure their glamorous multi millionaire life styles were sustained irrespective of the national interest.
The Labour Party was elected amid hope and expectation in 1997 to change things and they morphed into New Labour and the only thing that changed was not the behaviour but the names of those in charge.
The greatest legacy of New Labour is they made a party that has George fucking Osborne as chancellor electable, and it doesn't come much worse than that.
What is needed at the next election is a party that will offer a REAL alternative because it doesn't matter whether we have AV, STV, AMS or e=mc2 if all our potential representatives are identical white largely male public school and/or Oxbridge clones who don't know what it is like for the millions suffering long-term unemployment or the ignominy of life on the minimum wage. A life where your children are in poverty and you are blamed for not moving to another area to look for work even though there are few jobs elsewhere and you have no money for a deposit on a rental should you decide to move. A world where the dream of owning your own house is almost as remote as living on the moon. Where you know you are doing something wrong because the Daily Mail tells everyone that you are scum spending all your benefits on drugs, 42" TV's, foreign holidays whilst you make a fortune on the side and LABOUR DOES NOTHING TO FIGHT THIS MESSAGE BUT INDEED REINFORCES IT with draconian legislation that de facto criminalises the unemployed, commit a crime and you get community service, lose your job and get workfare.
The New Labour world where there are tens of thousands of internet linnks to inform on 'benefit cheats' whilst we have just paid out hundreds of billions in benefits to ensure that the richest in the country continue to get their multi million pound bonuses. New Labour 'extremely relaxed' about the wealthy whilst presiding over the highest child poverty levels in Europe, the greatest inequality in Europe, and the highest levels of icarceration in Europe.
What we need is a Labour leader who will actually return Labour to its core values of actually representing the least powerful not the most powerful unfortunately I don't hold out much hope that Millibands, Balls and Burnhams of this world are that interested in those who have the most need.
I think ArseneKnows should be leader of the Labour Party a more eloquent appraisal of the current situation I have not seen.
Ed Miliband was living in the US and not yet an MP at the time.
OMG - the guy was only elected in 2005 appointed to the Cabinet in 2007 - is that all it takes these days? Parachuted into a safe seat and magically rising through the ranks. Sounds like James Purnell - so New Labour.
As a student at Ruskin College in the 1970s - present at the famous Callaghan education speech - I should have been a natural Labour supporter; for as he said in his speech, eleven Labour MP's in that parliament had been students at Ruskin. It was a Labour movement college.
I look at people like the Millibands, Ed Balls, the unspeakable Mandelson and the unprintable Campbell; and I just wonder how a once noble movement could be reduced to this. William Morris, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Clem Attlee, and Nye Bevan... No, I don't even want to think about it any more. It simply doesn't work.
These disgraceful technocrats with their blatant disregard for the people of this country, their illegal wars and their Thatcherite economics, have driven the once great Labour Party vehicle off the road into a ditch. I could not vote for anyone else, but I will not vote Labour again. Given a choice of Millibands, I would ask what these pygmies would do: appeal to the authority of the 'giants' they follow? Blair? Brown?
Enough. Goodnight and enjoy the wilderness years.
A prominent Labour MP states the bleeding obvious and it's treated as a major event. That says a lot about Labour and politics in general.
It has taken Miliband 7 years to say this and he has only done so as part of an election campaign. Do I smell cynical vote-gathering in the air? In any case it wasn't just Iraq that led to a loss of trust in Labour. It was almost everything that Mandelson, Brown, Campbell, Prescott, Blair, Straw et al have been up to in the last 10 years or so.
If Miliband or any other leadership candidate wants to trash not just the Iraq invasion but the rest of the neo-con Labour agenda they have my blessing but they will never have my vote again regardless.
etc etc etc
Don't darken our doors for another 20 years
20 years is nowhere near enough ! The class of '97 had the biggest mandate since 1948 to change the country for the benefit of society - start to rectify the damage of the Thatcher years & prevent the subsequent financial debacle we're now living through - but what happened over the next decade ? In a sentence, the rapid decimation of civil liberties that had taken centuries of struggle to establish. Labour is defunct - it has no raison d'être in any meaningful sense: neither ideological, rational, sociological, nor positivist; only as a vehicle for the professional advantage of the individuals that seek to manipulate and exploit the electorate for their own private gain. It is a dead party.
How very brave of you Ed. Retrospectively opposing an unpopular war. I don't give a shit what you WOULD have done if, should have, would have, could have. Blatant populism. How about you talk about what you plan to do if you win the leadership? You vacuous twat.
sorry Ed ---- if I have learnt anything, is to NEVER forget what you and Lab/Cons did to millions of Iraqis
How can I vote for politicians so sociopathic, so calculating as to invent lies that would lead to a massacre? You really have blood on your hands.
You've made me realise that all those months where you kept your trap shut were the vital days when a great man like yourself was formulating his world-view.
Sorry I didn't give you the time you (in retrospect) obviously needed to know that bad stuff was bad.
Ed Milliband voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. No more to say really.
Sorry Ed but ...
How exactly did you manage like your brother, to ride into office effortlessly almost directly after your tenure in Washington, just like so many of your New Labour ilk?
Who sponsored you and why? Why are these questions never asked of you and your fellow wonks?
What gives you the right to pontificate on things you know nothing about?
I hope Labour die. We need a new party of the left - you have blood on your hands.
Crawl back under your stone and take your useless brother with you.
Hmmm...wouldn't it be helpful if Ed M (whom I think is by far the best of an appalling group of white male candidates) gave us some notion of where and how he ever said anything publicly about his anti-war views at the time? Barack Obama at least spoke out against the "stupidity" of the war. Why should Ed want us to credit him for feelings which he might (or might not) have had, but probably kept quiet about lest they harm his career? Perhaps a fuller apologia, rather than crediting his unspoken judgment, would be in order.
Ed Miliband used to be earnestly and articulately all over the media defending aviation expansion in general, and Heathrow runway 3 in particular, and asserting it was perfectly consistent with the climate change policies and commitments for which he held ministerial responsibility.
Now he says he considered resigning over R3 but decided to toe the line instead. This means he knew he was lying when he was rubbishing the climate change objections (and objectors!) to aviation expansion. It grieves me to say so, but one week into the new Government David Cameron has better credentials on climate change than this. The coalition agreement clearly and unambiguously cancels Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted extra runways.
Ed was given arguably the most crucial portfolio in Government for the future security of humankind. He betrayed it. He is amply intelligent enough to understand the scientific evidence and its implications for policy. There can be no excuse.
Ed Mainlybland, just another apparatchik from New Labour nomenclatura prepared to mouth any platitude, drop any policy, abandon any principle, recant any belief, betray any colleague, ally himself to any passing fancy....just to be leader of the opposition until he loses the next election; which of course he will unless if the UK population decides the second rate is good enough.
See how he focuses on the 'catastrophic' loss of trust in Labour as the WORST part of it.
That government took this country to WAR on TOTAL LIES, yet for so many people here, it's been normalised.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed.
Millions of people's protests were first ignored and then criminalised - yet Blair is still at large, and Campbell is on TV.
Thousands of soldiers gave their lives for lies.
And this no-nothing opportunist just wants to 'draw a line under it'...
The Iraq War will never be in the past because the war is part of our financial problem. The war however is not the only item that has finished off former Labour Party members. Expenses, poverty gap, civil liberties eroded, arrogance of MPs, just about everything. Right wing and looking after yourself and your own; cosying up to big business, Bush, celebrities. You name it and your party did it.
None of you deserve to be in Parliament. As for this election, it is nothing but a farce and it is utterly meaningless now. You all had 13 years to put a great many things right but all you did was look after yourselves and your friends. Now you are paying the price but not as big a price as we are all going to pay!
Well said, everyone. More later, hopefully.