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Hey Ed, beware false friends offering advice!

Just what does young Ed Miliband think he is doing? It was always going to be a tough fight, but his reaction – and the reaction of his close advisers to his fairly dismal poll ratings has been to whip the white flag further up the pole.

A fortnight ago, Ed though he might court some popularity – and earn some brownie points from the Blairites who surround him by revealing that he is taking “advice from Tony Blair”. His reward? A meandering stream of gibberish from Blair in a fawning interview in Progress magazine. To the seasoned observer this was no more than yet more self justification from a former Labour leader who no one takes seriously anymore apart from the increasingly irrelevant English commentariat – and apparently, young Ed. But it was also a warning to Ed not to deviate from the path that delivered Labour one of its worst ever election result’s last year.

Presumably Tony advised Ed to “take on the party”, as part of some ritualistic breast beating that apparently confers both popularity and masculinity on aspiring Prime Ministers. This took the form of Ed saying that he wished to abolish elections to the Shadow Cabinet – and for good measure snub all of those – including many of Ed’s supporters – who have campaigned for an elected Chair of the Labour Party. These elections are apparently now seen as “diversionary”, a view echoed by tame Guardian hacks who somehow saw Ed’s move as a clever plan to allow his brother back into the Shadow Cabinet. Really? Given the Blairite grip on the PLP, couldn’t brother David just think of standing for election? The volte face over plans for an elected Chair show just how scared Ed and his allies are of a popular, elected new power base.

So the next few months are to be wasted on yet more internal soul searching and party bashing. Having set up the confrontation, clearly Ed can’t now afford to lose. And to cap it all, we now hear that Ed has pulled out of speaking at the Durham Miners Gala. Apparently Ed was scared of being seem to share a platform with Bob Crow of the RMT. No doubt he was advised to do so, because of fears that the Daily Mail might have printed a picture – but Ed’s decision will be seen as a calculated insult to one of the biggest and most loyalist Labour crowds that will gather this year. Even brother David has been spotted in the past standing next to the Chopwell Lodge banner, which features Marx, Lenin and Keir Hardie. What would the Daily Mail have to say about that?

Hey, and get this Ed, Fred still has a copy of the photograph of Arthur Scargill in full flight, with a grinning, happy clappy chappie, sitting next to him on the platform. And guess who that was? Why your new adviser – Tony Blair! That was when Tony said that Arthur was the “greatest living trade unionist”. Once a fraud, always a fraud.

Fortunately Ed did the right think by backing Ed Balls over his VAT announcement, and still, despite all of the provocations, he sticks to the Labour line over the top rate of tax.

But get this Ed; the World is a fast changing place – and New Labour is about as relevant to politics now as the Austin Allegro is to modern motoring. Your advisers – including Tony Blair – are feeding you pap. Get real, and get out there with your sleeves rolled up! Be decisive, and stand up for what you know to be right. You don’t have a great deal of time left to prove yourself.

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