New Statesman attack on Miliband 1) “He and Labour seem trapped..”

statesmancover“At present, he and Labour seem trapped. His MPs sense it and the polls reflect it. Ukip is attracting support in the party’s old working-class northern English heartlands and winning converts in key Home Counties swing seats that Labour would once have hoped to win. In Scotland the SNP has become the natural party of government. …Most damaging, I think, is that he seldom seems optimistic about the country he wishes to lead.” – Jason Cowley New Statesman

  • “Ed Miliband is today attacked as an ‘old-style Hampstead socialist’ and a ‘quasi Marxist’ by the house journal of the Left amid evidence that Labour is losing even its ‘core vote’ which backed Gordon Brown in 2010.” – Daily Mail
  • “NO ONE can imagine Ed Miliband as PM. His own party is in despair. Even Labour’s cheerleaders at New Statesman magazine have had enough. He’s an “old-style Hampstead socialist who doesn’t understand Essex Man or Woman,” they moan.” – The Sun Says(£)
  • Labour lead at one – YouGov
  • Most voters expect the Conservatives to beat Labour – The Sun(£)

New Statesman attack on Miliband 2) “The only way is down..”

“Morale has never been lower,” one shadow cabinet minister told me….. No MP I have spoken to has argued that the Labour leader’s parlous ratings aren’t a problem or dismissed them as a “Westminster bubble issue”. “We’re all very, very concerned. The reality is that whilst we don’t have a presidential system, people are thinking increasingly about who they want to be the prime minister,” one shadow minister said.” – George Eaton New Statesman

…while Axelrod is “exasperated” by Miliband…

Miliband coffee“A US consultant hired by Ed Miliband after being credited with getting President Obama re-elected is “exasperated” that he is not having more of an impact, senior Labour figures believe. David Axelrod, who is said to have been hired by Labour for £300,000, was “quite negative” about the party’s plans before its conference in September after trying to persuade Mr Miliband to present a less geeky image. The secrecy around Mr Axelrod’s salary and his lack of clear contribution is causing increasing unhappiness in Labour circles, and the matter was raised on Tuesday by union representatives on the national executive committee, Labour’s ruling body.” – The Times(£)

..will his mini reshuffle help?

“Ed Miliband has carried out a mini-reshuffle of his top team after Jim Murphy quit the shadow cabinet to run to become leader of Scottish Labour. Mr Murphy has been replaced as shadow international development secretary by transport spokeswoman Mary Creagh. Ms Creagh is succeeded by Michael Dugher, a close ally of Mr Miliband’s.” – BBC

  • “In another move designed to shore up his position, Mr Miliband handed the veteran left-winger Jon Trickett a new role as his political adviser. He faces the urgent task of calming fractious Labour MPs.” – The Times(£)

UKIP splitting Tory votes in key marginal reveals Ashcroft poll

ASHCROFT blue shirt“Labour has a narrow lead in a series of marginal seats that could decide the election, a poll has revealed. The research by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative peer, also highlighted that Ukip had made huge inroads, in some constituencies polling ahead of the Tories. Labour led the Conservatives by 36 per cent to 33 per cent in the 12 key seats — a swing of 4.5 per cent since the 2010 election. However, Labour’s lead was very fragile and there was little sign that the party had picked up significant levels of new support.” – The Times(£)

  • “Labour strategists were pointing to polling in the key battleground marginals published on Wednesday by Lord Ashcroft, showing that Conservatives are still unlikely to be the largest party after the general election. But there are signs that the size of the swing to Labour is falling with the election six months away and economic optimism rising.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Labour ahead in more Conservative seats – but not by much

Judges plead for European Arrest Warrant

“Britain will become a “safe haven” for foreign criminals and fugitives if it opts out of the European Arrest Warrant, 40 of Britain’s most senior legal figures will warn. In a letter to The Telegraph, a series of judges and lawyers including a former president of the Supreme Court, warn that “there is no credible alternative” to the arrest warrant. It comes as David Cameron is facing a back-bench rebellion from Tory MPs in a vote on the controversial justice measure, which is expected to be held next week.” – Daily Telegraph

Juncker “not frightened” of Cameron over £1.7bn bill

Juncker“EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has ridiculed David Cameron’s failures in Brussels – and declared he was ‘not frightened’ of facing him down. The Commission president said he was ‘not the type who trembles in front of prime ministers’ and warned Mr Cameron that he had ‘a problem’ with other EU leaders. Mr Juncker’s remarks come as Mr Cameron battles to reduce the £1.7billion surcharge demanded by the EU to cover years of strong economic growth in the UK while Europe struggled.” – Daily Mail

  • Bungling Eurocrats “spending billions for the sake of it” – The Sun(£)

>Today:  ToryDiary: Nine things the British don’t understand about the Germans

Pickles to shame councils over trade union facility time

PICKLES Eric smiling“COUNCILS allowing taxpayer-funded staff to spend hours doubling up as trade union reps will be “shamed” by new laws, Ministers claim. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said new ‘Transparency Code’ would force local authorities for the first time to reveal the extent of the practice. So-called “facility time” – where staff are allowed to work on trade union activity – costs the public sector an estimated £240million a year. The Taxpayers Alliance in September said public bodies had set aside a total of 273,750 sq foot of space – equivalent to the Kremlin – for trade union work by employees.” – The Sun(£)

Cameron would like to see Asian PM…

“David Cameron last night said he wants to see a ‘Prime Minister with a British Asian name’ in his lifetime. The Prime Minister warned Britain is not achieving its full potential because prejudicial barriers still remain against ethnic minorities.  There was ‘a glaring absence’ of diversity among figures at the top of public life in Britain. Mr Cameron said at the GG2 Leadership Awards sponsored by the Daily Mail: ‘One day I want to hear that title “Prime Minister” followed by a British Asian name.” – Daily Mail

…but Warsi warns Conservatives will lose the Muslim vote

WARSI Sayeeda“Conservative peer Baroness Warsi has said her party has effectively acknowledged it will lose the Muslim vote in next year’s general election. Asked if the Conservatives were “dead in the water” with regard to Muslim voters next May, she told the BBC this was “a pretty fair assessment”. She said “a whole series of decisions”, particularly the UK’s response to this summer’s Gaza crisis, were to blame. Lady Warsi resigned as a Foreign Office minister in August over Gaza.” – BBC

Tory MPs defy whip to refuse to visit Rochester and Strood

“More than 100 Conservative MPs have refused to obey party orders to visit Rochester and Strood before this month’s by-election, prompting a daily “name and shame” email from the whips office. The defiant MPs, who include five ministers, have so far neglected to make any of the three trips demanded of them, with less than a fortnight to go before the November 20 poll. Michael Gove, the chief whip, has been sending a daily round-robin email listing the number of trips made by each Tory MP. The “roll of honour”, which began this Monday has irked many MPs.” – The Times(£)

>Today: Harriet Maltby on Comment: Intolerant, pessimistic, and powerless: UKIP’s Britain, not ours

Fallon says troops will only got to Iraq for training mission

Michael Fallon portrait“Britain’s defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has promised UK troops will be sent to Iraq only as part of a limited training mission, as Amnesty International called for reassurances that British forces will not be complicit in Baghdad-backed “death squads”. Speaking from Iraq, Fallon said a small number of officers would be involved in a strategic and advisory role, such as how to defuse roadside bombs, but would not put a number on how many would be sent.” – The Guardian

Cameron won’t rule out campaigning for UK to leave the EU

“David Cameron was accused of “weasel words” when he refused to say if he would ever campaign for Britain to leave the EU if he was unable to secure his renegotiation objectives with his EU partners ahead of a planned referendum in 2017. Pressed by the opposition Labour leader, Ed Miliband, at prime minister’s questions, Cameron said repeatedly: “I could not be more clear I want Britain to stay in a reformed European Union.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: two jackals fight over the carcass of British politics

Alexander demands companies pass on petrol price cuts

Petrol pump“Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will call on major petrol and diesel distributors to drop their prices further in light of recent declines in the cost of oil. Oil has fallen from about $115 (£72) per barrel in June to about $84 per barrel, a decline of about a quarter. In comparison, petrol prices in the UK have come down from a high of about 131.7 pence per litre in the summer to 124.22 pence” – BBC

Clegg calls for more spending to replace “decrepit” northern trains

“Commuters in the north of England are using “decrepit” trains that would be unacceptable in London, Nick Clegg is to claim as he pushes for more investment in rail and road links. Northern cities still lack some “basic” transport infrastructure, Mr Clegg will tell a conference in Leeds. The deputy prime minister will say he wants funds for immediate improvements in December’s Autumn Statement.” – BBC

Reactions to US mid term elections

  • Republicanlogo.svg“A NEW female US senator who used to castrate pigs has vowed to make Barack Obama squeal after an election drubbing for the President.” – The Sun(£)
  • Obama humbled as US voters rise up against THEIR arrogant elite – Daily Mail
  • The Republicans are remembering how to win – Tim Montgomerie The Times(£)
  • Republican Rout – Leader The Times(£)
  • “Progressive” ballot initiatives provide counter-current to Republican tide – The Guardian

News in brief

  • Scientists discover alternative to antibiotics – The Times(£)
  • Arrests after “Guy Fawkes” protests – BBC
  • Osborne waives VAT on Tower of London poppies – The Sun(£)
  • Labour want quotas for judges – The Guardian
  • Prisons Minister Simon Hughes attacks Government’s Prisons policy – The Independent
  • No transfer of forests to housing groups – BBC
  • Don’t give Holyrod control over all taxes warn businesses – Daily Telegraph
  • NHS red tape increases breast cancer risk – The Sun(£)
  • Complaint about Labour MP Simon Danczuk’s book fee – BBC
  • Lib Dems urged to return to “dog poo local campaigning” – The Guardian
  • MPs attack Work Programme – The Independent
  • Welsh Assembly bans daytime drinking – The Guardian

38 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 6th November 2014

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.