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The Blairite rats are out of the woodwork again

Banksy toxic ratThe Blairites never wanted Ed Miliband to win the leadership and when he unexpectedly did, they have never missed an opportunity to gossip against him from the sidelines. Some like Dan Hodges (son of Glenda Jackson) regularly spit out their vitriol and bile against Ed in the in the Tory press, others more insidiously give unattributed briefings to the media which Blairite journalists, like Nicholas Watt in the Guardian, shamefully repeat without naming the source.

The bitter irony in all this is that Ed has bent over backwards to placate Progress (the Blairite Tendency) in order to maintain party unity. They gladly swallow all the concessions he makes to them, but that never earns their loyalty – they always return to bait him at the next available opportunity. But what is particularly contemptible about this latest bad-mouthing of the Leader is that they are indulging their prejudices at the expense of seriously damaging the party’s prospects with the general election only 10 months away.

What is so galling about this latest febrile outbreak is that it is based on such trivia and wholly ignores the real underlying stature of Ed Miliband who is by any standards one of the most under-rated Leaders in modern times.

He rightly took on Murdoch over his attempted takeover of BSkyB, which was a high-risk call, and triumphed. Cameron on the other hand was so much in hock to Murdoch that he did all he could to wave the deal through, and Blair (and let’s be honest, David Miliband) would certainly have done the same. Miliband deserves enormous credit for the courage he displayed then since a Murdoch takeover would have delivered Britain to the kind of Berlusconi-style monopolisation of the media which no democracy should ever contemplate.

Miliband also had the guts to take on the Tory tabloids in support of Leveson’s demand for an honest and accountable press, which Blair and David Miliband would certainly not have done.

And let’s not forget this, Ed actually stopped a Western missile strike against Syria, with all the murderous destruction and carnage that yet another US-UK Middle Eastern war would have entailed. Ed has never been given the enormous credit we owe him for that act of defining personal courage, when Blair of course would have been gung-ho for another war and perhaps with David Miliband pulled along in the slipstream.

Blair achieved nothing when in Opposition before 1997 and for that matter nor did Thatcher before 1979. For a Leader to achieve so much without executive authority in Opposition, no Leader in modern times can stand beside Ed Miliband.

Image credit: Banksy toxic rat, photo by Tim Fuller CC BY 2.0


  1. swatantra says:

    I’ve learnt something new today that Dan Hodges is Son of Glenda; I always thought it was Son of Margaret.
    As for Ed, everyone was as surprised no more than EdM himself when he got the job. Because he never expected it. Its not Progress that has undermined the Party but the Left with their constant whinging and failure to facing up to the fact that the World no mlonger owes Britain a living, and we have to earn our place in the global economy; and that means changing our attitude to busines and entrepreneurship, and other things as well.

    1. Ric Euteneuer says:

      It wasn’t the left briefing the Conservative press about Ed’s perceived shortcomings. It wasn’t the left constantly criticising his policy choices – anything but. To blame the left for Ed’s problems reeks of desperation. No-one outside the Daily Mail think the world owes the UK a living, and I seriously wonder whether you’re in the right party if you honestly think that the Labour Party acts against business and entrepreneurship

  2. Rod says:

    “Ed has bent over backwards to placate Progress”

    That’s all he’s done.

    Backed disastrous military intervention in Libya.

    Backs the undemocratic EU.

    Backs austerity.

    Dumped the unions.

    It’s time to dump Ed.

  3. David Melvin says:

    Ed Miliband’s three main supporters are Progress favourites: Reeves, Umunna and Hunt. There is no evidence that he is not a willing front man for the Progress faction; if not he is certainly their prisoner.

  4. Ann says:

    Dan Hodges isn’t in the Labour Party.

  5. Peter Rowlands says:

    Well said, Michael, and it is important that Ed’s achievements during his leadership are pointed out. However, rather than use the term ‘rats’ which enables our opponents to dismiss what we are saying as gutter level insult (and animal lovers to protest that it is unfair to rats!) is it not better to use an objective term, e.g. treachery, to describe their actions, which it can only be assumed are intended to damage Labour’s electoral prospects. It is I think necessary for the NEC to consider disciplinary action on this issue,and I shall be moving a motion accordingly at my next branch meeting and would urge other members to do the same.

    1. David Pavett says:

      I agree. The undermining of Ed Miliband has reached the point of treachery.

      I agree too about the language and imagery of rats. Given the history of such political iconography I found this in extremely poor taste. I wrote to Left Futures asking for the heading the picture to be changed. I regret that this was not done. I sincerely hope that this offensive and low-level rhetoric will be avoided in future.

  6. David Melvin says:

    OK, but Progress, who Michael describes as the “Blairite tendency”, dominate the Shadow Cabinet. They are Ed Miliband’s biggest supporters.

    1. Rod says:

      Well said. Many on Labour’s Left imagine Miliband is somehow being held in an arm-lock by Progress fanatics.

      But Miliband who appears to be their ring-leader.

      No-one made Miliband lead a campaign to discredit trade unions over events at Falkirk. No-one made him promote the Sun newspaper. No-one made him support military intervention in Libya. No-one made him declare a person he met on the doorstep fit for work and thus prepare the ground for a Daily Mail-pleasing attack on those who are compelled to rely on benefits.

      He did it all on his own.

      Miliband as a PM? What a dismal prospect.

      An alternative to Tory policies would be far better.

  7. Ann says:

    The Irony of the usual suspects trying to oust Blair for years isn’t list in me, Livingstone has never shown loyalty, backing the a greens for the assembly in 2000′ not backing Labour at the election 2001′ twice backing independent Lufthur Rahman, and the hard left ousted the SDP in the early 80’s, where was the calls to have these people ousted when They were ousting the right of the party,

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