The return of Falkirk – more skulduggery, same victim, same perpetrators

Ed Miliband & Len McCluskeyThe last few days has seen the sorry Falkirk affair return with a vengeance. Readers may remember that there were two people who had been seeking Labour’s parliamentary nomination for Falkirk who were accused of wrong doing in the recruitment of new members to that constituency party. One was left-wing Scottish Unite activist, Karie Murphy, former nurse and later office manager to Tom Watson MP. The other was Progress-supporter Greg Poynton, then a director of new media campaigning consultancy, Blue State Media, who happened to be married to Gemma Doyle MP, deputy to Labour’s then defence spokesperson and leading Blairite, Jim Murphy. Continue reading

It’s time to face up to Miliband’s contradictions – and sort them out

Balls & MilibandSpeaking at the Labour Representation Committee’s fringe at last year’s Trades Union Congress, Mark Serwotka assessed Ed Miliband as politically “schizophrenic”. It struck a chord. The Labour leader is a man of frustrating political and personal contradictions.

The New Labour days were famous for sofa politics, spin, doublespeak, doublethink and policies made on the hoof. Ed has been encouraged by those of us who supported him to break free from these methods. We have stressed the importance of him appearing a man of his word. But it is easy to forget that Miliband, as a former deputy chair of Progress, is firmly a child of Brown and Blair. His rise through the ranks stems from a loyalty to Gordon Brown. Continue reading

After Collins: how will the unions respond?

Ed Miliband with Durham Miners Gala in backgroundThere is certainly a plausible argument that Ed Miliband has been one of the most effective leaders of the opposition in modern British history, demonstrating an ability to set the political agenda that exceeds what either Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair achieved from the opposition benches. Miliband has stood up to the power of the Murdoch press, he has stood up to the energy companies, he has set the public agenda over bankers bonuses, and over the cost of living crisis facing ordinary people. Continue reading

So when will the Labour Party apologise to Stevie Deans?

Stevie Deans and GrangemouthYesterday, the Scottish police confirmed that they had found “no evidence of any criminality” in their inquiry into the activities of Stevie Deans, who was until three months ago full-time convenor at the Ineos plant at Grangemouth (where he’d worked for 25 years) and Chair of Unite in Scotland as well as the sometime Chair of Falkirk Labour Party.

This is the second time, allegations against Stevie Deans have been investigated and dismissed by the Scottish police, the first referral having come from the Labour Party, the second from INEOS. Unsurprisingly, Unite yesterday condemned the fact that “the police’s time has been wasted by vexatious complaints and their attentions diverted from catching real criminals and solving real crimes“. Continue reading

Tom Watson on Falkirk, and a lesson for Ed

tom watsonYesterday’s Sun (£) carried online a recording of Watson talking on stage with comedian Matt Forde about his friend and staff member, Karie Murphy, and Ed Miliband’s judgement on Falkirk. So you don’t have to shell out money to the Murdoch empire, nor waste time visiting the scurrilous website of Mr Guido Fawkes which features what he said, we repeat it here for the benefit of our readers: Continue reading