Miliband the Younger

The new leader of the Labour Party is Ed Miliband, the younger of the two Miliband brothers in the race.  It was close though…  And the BBC’s Nick Robinson has noted that David Miliband won the MPs/MEPs vote, and the individual members vote, but lost overwhelming in the trade union [and affiliated organisations] members’ vote… [added link to breakdown of affiliated organisations voting]  Each ‘section’ is worth a third of the total.  The Guardian’s live-blog has the figures from the first round of voting

4.48pm: Here are the figures for the first round:

David Miliband
Union members: 9.182
Individual members: 14.688
MPs and MEPs: 13.910
Total: 37.78

Ed Miliband
Union members: 13.821
Individual members: 9.978
MPs and MEPs: 10.526
Total: 34.33

Ed Balls
Union members: 3.411
Individual members: 3.371
MPs and MEPs: 5.013
Total: 11.79

Andy Burnham
Union members: 2.825
Individual members: 2.849
MPs and MEPs: 3.008
Total: 8.68

Diane Abbott
Union members: 4.093
Individual members: 2.447
MPs and MEPs: 0.877
Total: 7.42

The other candidates were eliminated and their votes redistributed as follows

David Miliband won the first round with 37.78% to Ed Miliband’s 34.33% – Diane Abbott was knocked out, and the second preferences of her voters redistributed.

In the second round, David won again, with 38.89%. Ed got 37.47%. Andy Burnham was knocked out and his votes redistributed.

In the third round, David won with 42.72% to Ed’s 41.26%. Ed Balls was knocked out and his votes redistributed, leaving only two candidates.

In the final round David fell behind with 49.35%. Ed won with 50.65%.

You can check what ‘advice’ Malcolm Tucker had for Miliband the Younger via my earlier post.

Adds  The Guardian’s Michael White’s thoughts here

In picking Ed Miliband as its next leader instead of his older brother, David, the Labour party has just voted with its heart over its head. After the genuine drama of the result – a nailbiter live on TV – the applause in the Manchester conference hall was heartfelt.

But also a little subdued? From the TV it was hard to tell. The two brothers embraced, the new leader – just 40 – spoke briefly and (“David, I love you so much as a brother”) for the most part soberly. But every trade unionist in the room, whose votes clinched today’s result, must have known that such close result is not the best recipe for unity. Too much room for “if onlys” and recrimination, too much discomfort among MPs – especially the ex-cabinet bloc – who opted for David.

And  Here are the details of votes in each ‘section’ round-by-round

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  • slug

    Ed is a good speaker and I think a bit less wonkish than David. Perhaps its the right choice. Ed does seem to have charm, he is intelligent, and he knows how to make a speech.

    HOWEVER, I think the triple circumstances of a very narrow margin, a fraternal contest, and winning only on unions, is not ideal for them.

  • slug

    Pete – I don’t see how Ed could now campaign against AV in the upcoming referendum…

  • Steve White

    Ed won because he was backed unfairly by the 2,000,000 members of the Unite Union. I was sent Emails before the contest, requiring me to back Ed. by ticking a box Yes or No. I choose No and did not receive any voting papers. I sent lots of Emails asking for them and was ignored.
    Diane Abbott has complained that her union backers were unable to vote. Wsa ita fix ???

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    David Miliband (and Cameron) seems to have modelled himself on Blair which seemed like a good idea until Blair lost his way in a mixture of spin and reckless international war mongering which meant that Ed’s less-New-Labour-look must have given him the edge with the rank and file.

  • Pete Baker

    The ‘rank and file’ supported David Miliband.

    It was the special interest groups [trade unions et al] who voted for Ed.

  • slug

    Blair = Emoting in public = EdM

  • Granni Trixie

    Whilst I understand that Labour has its roots in the TUs, I do not know why/how the system of selection is tied to the Unions, Is this the price of getting funds from TUs?
    I prefer a party where members and elected reps chose the leader. Otherwise you are left a hostage to fortune (like Labour).

    (BTW,Labour is the party I would join if living in ‘the mainland’).

    How interesting that someone just 5 years in politics is now
    the leader of one of the big 3. Compare to NI.

  • Wasted Ballot

    I voted for Andy Burnham and it was gutting to see him so upset during Ed’s acceptance speech. But I think Ed is a good choice and it’s not like he can be worse than Brown.

    Hopefully on his next visit to Ni he will do the decent thing and agree to let Labour stand here next year.

  • Mark McGregor

    Here is the breakdown of Union/Affiliate votes.

    There is one strange zero in there from the Jewish Labour Movement for Ed Balls – no idea what that means, if anything.

  • Pete Baker

    Ta Mark.

  • Mark McGregor


    Union members with a vote pay an additional ‘political sub’ that goes to the Labour Party – if they are funding it they deserved a vote and aren’t just a ‘special interest group’.

    Union members can decline to pay the additional sub.

  • Pete Baker

    And individual members pay membership fees.

  • Mark McGregor

    Absolutely Pete. I’m just pointing out these votes aren’t solely due to Union membership. The people casting them make a financial contribution to the Labour Party on a regular basis.

    Well, in the case of Unions. I’m not sure about the other affiliated organisations.

  • slug

    Mark does the union cast a block vote, on behalf of its members, or do the members of the unions get to vote individually?

  • Pippakin

    The only contender I had any time for was Ed Balls, if only because he was an antidote to the brothers and showbiz.

    I can’t help feeling this has guaranteed the next election to the tories. Well done David Cameron.

  • slug

    He will probably let you develop – but perhaps slowly. Is it his decision or that of NEC?

  • Mark McGregor


    My understanding is the vote is distributed in proportion to how the members voted.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds The Guardian’s Michael White’s thoughts here

    In picking Ed Miliband as its next leader instead of his older brother, David, the Labour party has just voted with its heart over its head. After the genuine drama of the result – a nailbiter live on TV – the applause in the Manchester conference hall was heartfelt.

    But also a little subdued? From the TV it was hard to tell. The two brothers embraced, the new leader – just 40 – spoke briefly and (“David, I love you so much as a brother”) for the most part soberly. But every trade unionist in the room, whose votes clinched today’s result, must have known that such close result is not the best recipe for unity. Too much room for “if onlys” and recrimination, too much discomfort among MPs – especially the ex-cabinet bloc – who opted for David.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Tony wont be best pleased.

    I’m sure Ed will begin to distance himself(whilst denying it ) from the Blair style of government.

  • Mark McGregor

    @SplinteredSunrise just noted the high levels of ‘spoiling’ in Unions and Affiliates on Twitter. When you look at it for the following spoiling the ballot was the 2nd most popular option – BFAWU, COMMUNITY, CWU, USDAW, Black Asian Minority Ethnic Labour.

  • GoldenFleece

    Labour Party missed a trick by not electing Andy, by far the most talented individual running and honest too.

  • Pete Baker

    And Here are the details of votes in each ‘section’ round-by-round

  • Pippakin

    Have we not seen this before? UK Labour indulging its favourite pastime of sticking its head up its rear end. I see nothing new here, unfortunately.

  • slug

    Ed Milliband really isn’t going to be that much different from how David would have been.

  • Pippakin


    You are right. The Milibands have nothing to offer Labout which is why I would have preferred Ed Balls.

    Perhaps the problem is there is Labour no longer have a Mandelson…

  • Mark McGregor

    The amount of MP/MEPs that plumped is bizarre.

    Being willing to burn bridges is one thing but stating you don’t really care who leads your party if your No.1 doesn’t get the position indicates something very odd in the outlook of much of Labour’s upper tier.

  • Greenflag

    A close result and tough on the brothers Milliband . Nobody wants to have to kowtow to the younger brother be it in politics or business .

    The general election was in May .Its now almost October . Why did it have to take almost 4 months ? If it takes 4 months simply to elect the party leader how long will it take to make the more complex policy decisions that will be needed to rescue the UK economy and society when the present Government .

    A month at most should be enough to elect a new party leader regardless of the actual process !

  • Greenflag

    error above

    ‘when the present Government is booted out ‘?

  • slug

    And makes a huge difference to the result – it would only have taken 6 MPs to change the outcome.

  • lover not a fighter

    David Miliband comes across as way too smarmy and I don’t think he is too good at faking the sincerety either.

    He was/is a pupil of phoney Tony but not as good as his former tutor.

    Ed talks a good talk but can he sell it to the general public. With so much of the meedja against him it will be a touhj battle.

    I hope he pulls it off.

  • Mark McGregor

    I see Harman and Brown didn’t cast a vote. Did any other Labour MPs decide they had no opinion on their next leader?

  • Mr Brightside

    I wonder if David now regrets not sticking the knife into Brown when he had the chance. Oh how things could be different now.

  • It is a pity, never really noticed or saw Ed before and liked David. Lets hope a proper change happens.

  • John East Belfast

    If the voters have the stomach for the current cuts then this result will guarantee Cameron another term.

    Ed doesnt have the personna and charisma to beat Cameron

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    “Ed doesnt have the personna and charisma to beat Cameron”

    Cameron scaraped into Number 10 largely becuase the Labour Party didnt have the stomach/balls to stay in government any longer and because Brown was as about as popular with the British public as a Fermanagh GAA player at a UUP confererance.

    Cameron was the Tory response to Blair – and although a reasonable performer has nowhere near his charisma and also with a bit of unhelpful poshness thrown in – but he’s hardly Mr Personality.

    Eddie is now in the nice position of watchng the LibDems implode and knowing that he can dress up all the (necessary) public spending cuts as the politics of the Tory-Eton-Right-Wing.

  • Greenflag

    With 4 million unemployed followed by several years of cuts in education,health and welfare and with the City gouging away as ever it won’t matter who the Labour Party leader is- the English will be sick of the Tories and both the Scots and Welsh will be revolting ( as always 😉

    By the time of the next election the British people will have had time to add up the cost of persona and charisma of previous leaders and will have found them not just wanting but less than useless for resolving the real problems of the country !

  • DC

    Well I voted for David Miliband, felt his style and approach showed a better balance of economic efficiency and social justice, more centrist in tone. More circumspect about direct links with and endorsements by unions. And he paid for it.

  • Dewi

    Look at the spoilt ballots column – astonishingly high.

  • Well, for a start, he could be arguing for proper Electoral Reform Society endorsed STV that operates in the Labour Party. He could be arguing against the milquetoast AV the Tories are ambivalently prepared to foist on us (and it is the Tories: LibDems consistently – until now – campaigned for something better).

  • Ed Miliband joined the Labour Party aged 17. If he’s the one “just 5 years in politics”, I fear there’s either something adrift with your math or with your definition of “politics”.

  • Could Pippakin re-assure us, convince us, guarantee us that Peter Mandelson has gone away, and will stay away?

  • Pippakin

    Malcolm Redfellow

    I’m afraid I can offer no such reassurance! Mandelson is relatively, young and the HOL is not so far removed from HOP.

    I confess I have a dark admiration for this machiavellian figure. I would never vote for him of course, but I have to give it to him. No one sends shivers down Tory spines like Mandy, and of course the shivers become convulsions in Labour…

  • Wasted Ballot

    The NEC votes every year on which elections they will fight. But if the leader says ‘yes’ then it’s as good as happening.

  • Seymour Major

    “….the Labour Party didnt have the stomach/balls to stay in government any longer and because Brown was as about as popular with the British public as a Fermanagh GAA player at a UUP confererance”

    LOL. I think that if there had been a Fermanagh GAA player at the UUP conference, the Yoops would have paraded him like a beauty Queen.

    Sorry to go off the thread of the post. There are many angles to consider on Ed Milliband’s success. People will be asking the following questions:

    (1) What are his views on the Labour Party fielding candidates in Northern Ireland? David Burnham expressed a positive view on that. So far, Ed M. has not yet expressed a view in public on that.

    (2) Will the fact that he is unmarried with two children affect his popularity? Sinn Fein have a number of MLAs who are unmarried with children and this does not seem to affect their popularity. The same also appears to be trued of Labour supporters. Gordon Brown advised him to get married. Meanwhile, the profile of marriage as a cherished institution for the nuclear family has been raised by the Conservatives. Perhaps he will to that to minimise political vulnerability. If he does not, he risks alienating the voters he needs to win an election – the middle classes.

    (3) Ed M could not have won without the support of the unions. Will this now cause a constitutional crisis within the Labour Party? How much political capital can the Conservatives and Lib Dems make from this? Can such a crisis be averted if his brother David gets 100% behind him?

    (4) By getting the support of the Unions, has he given himself a hostage to fortune? At some point, when the spending cuts bite, there is likely to be Industrial unrest. How will he position himself if and when that happens?

    (5) Directly related to question (4), he has said that he will support the present Government, where appropriate. To what extent will he support spending cuts? By 2015, it will become increasingly clear to many people that the post war settlement is dead. The state has to be made smaller to balance the books. Government borrowing has been dishonestly portrayed as “Investment” in the past.
    This is perhaps tthe most important political question and one which may yet split the Labour Party. Does lead Labour down a more honest political road or will he lie his way into power and pretend that tax and spend will not damage the economy like his predecessors?

  • Granni Trixie

    I never took much notice of Milliband the Younger before but anyonhe who watched him being interviewed by Andrew Marr this morning on telly could not but think that he has both charisima and personality and novelty value which more than matches any performance of Cameron.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Looks sincere enough…..but after three years of being touted by “off the record” friends as the next Leader…he discovered that the person wielding the knife does not become Leader himself.
    All very Shakespearean…..but a comedy rather than a tragedy.
    Maybe just a bit more humility over an illegal war when he was Foreign Secretary might have saved him.
    A victory for the Unions over New Labour and their compliant Media friends.

  • “not having the persona and charisma” [vide supra:
    I take that to mean the individual in question has not yet been awarded the gutter-press Ting! Ring of Confidence.

    “prisoner of the Unions”:
    This generally decodes into a Tory-inspired rant. A couple of sentences into this spittle-speckled diatribe, the guilty “unions” cited usually include ones which are not even affiliated to the Labour Party.

    Of course, the reality is that the Labour Party was born of, and still maintains the coincidence of interests between organised workers and Fabian intellectuals.

    The days of crafts and trades have been wiped out by inspired de-industrialising of Britain, which means that Labour increasingly identifies with the salariat. The “salariat”? Y’know: they’re the ones about to be taxed to distraction to pay for the excesses of the bonus-sucking banking élite.

    There never has been a cast-iron forensic case where any Labour minister was a “prisoner of the unions”. Most of them (Ernie Bevin and his successors) used wile and guile to achieve their ends by persuasion: it’s called “negotiation” and is quite a civilised way of doing things.

    The alternative is the Thatcherite approach. It involves demonising fellow-citizens as the “enemy within”, charging them — literally so at Orgreave — , beating them to the ground, then arraigning them with “damage to a policeman’s boot”. It may win the approval of dinosaur press-barons but doesn’t bring about long-term domestic peace, harmony and prosperity.

  • dodrade

    David Milliband, the Hamlet of British politics!

  • dodrade

    His girlfriend is expecting their second child in November, now he’s leader of the opposition i’d say a 2011 wedding is a dead cert.

  • Greenflag

    Malcolm Redfellow .

    ‘which means that Labour increasingly identifies with the salariat.’

    Mr Ed Millibands first call was that Labour would ‘defend’ the middle class/classes presumably your referral above to the ‘salariat’.

    We will see soon enough whether the Cameroonians are little else that less brusque Thatcherites . I believe one Labour party MP made the point that when Britons lose their jobs in the public sector there will be no sideways move into the private sector but for the vast majority it will be straight to the dole lines a-la -1980/81 . Its very unlikely that any British Prime Minister in these times will be able to win -re-election based on the Falklands model. Iran with 60 million people is not exactly the South Atlantic archipelago .

    On balance I think Milliband the younger should be more of a contrast to David Cameron at least more so than his elder brother who has been weakened by closer association with ex Labour PM’s .

    The facts of economic and political life are that throughout the western world wherever the Unions have been quashed , weakened , or politically neutered for the broad mass of working people it’s in those countries where the wage and welfare benefits of the broad mass of people have come under attack . At the other end of society the bankers, investment hedge fund managers and the corporate executives of the large multi national corporations have been ‘gouging ‘ away with until very recently no holds barred -aided and abetted or ignored by the political elite whether of the left , right or centre .

    For MIlliband to have a chance of winning back the country in the next election he has to distance himself from Blair /Brown in matters of ‘overseas’ wars and focus on ways and means of restoring confidence to that large section of British society that as Malcolm above puts it yearns for domestic peace, harmony and prosperity .

    For now Mr Cameron is still Mr New and he’ll be given some time to establish his role as ‘saviour of Britain’ . Once the dole lines lengthen and the public mood worsens then the 25% of the population who voted in the Tories will find themselves back where Maggie was with no Argentina distracting attentions?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    This was probably the point at which Eddie secured his success at least against the big brudder.

    By Labour distancing themselves from this type of reckless behaviour it will leave just theTories (and of course Unionists of all colours and creeds plus the sundry other right wing groups) in favour of old style imperialist politics.

  • Pippakin

    Ed Miliband is another of those dreadful career politicians foisted upon Labour strongholds in the certain knowledge that the faithful won’t care about little things like ability and experience.

    If it were up to me I would insist all aspirants to political office be forced to live on minimum wage for a couple of years to make sure they know what they are talking about. No one should be allowed to enter politics until they have actually held a real job in an industry that has to make a profit to survive.

    Son of a teacher, went to school, went to college, got into the Labour party, got elected.

    The only good thing is he does not appear to be one of those greedy MPs who milked the system for all it was worth.

  • Greenflag

    Pippakin ,

    ‘No one should be allowed to enter politics until they have actually held a real job in an industry that has to make a profit to survive.’

    If you were to use that yardstick with the present House Of Commons, Dail or US Congress or even the Stormont Assembly you might find just about enough politicians to fill a taxicab . Even those who are ‘supposed’ to be from the ‘private sector’ are usually working for firms which owe most of their sales to the public sector or are subsidised .

    US politicians are primarily lobby fodder . Whoever pays the most or contributes most to their re-election campaigns gets their vote in any upcoming legislation . The UK is not quite as corrupt yet but give it ten years under the Tories and the party of ‘family values’ will be right back in the whorehouse of deceit and corruption and sleaze which characterised the last days of the last Tory government 🙁

  • Seymour Major

    “The alternative is the Thatcherite approach. It involves demonising fellow-citizens as the “enemy within”, charging them — literally so at Orgreave — , beating them to the ground, then arraigning them with “damage to a policeman’s boot”

    That may be your favoured version of history Malcolm but it is only shared by the left. There were union leaders during the time of the Thatcher Administration who really did regard democracy with contempt and were prepared to undermine it through illegal means. As for demonising, it really is a case of the TU pot calling the kettle black.

  • Pippakin


    I know! and I’m convinced it’s the cause of most of the problems all these countries face. Being good at politics is not imo enough. First be good at working, just like the rest of us!

  • Some 11,300 individuals arrested. Some 8.400 charged. At least seven direct deaths. The Social Security Act invoked to starve dependents. Telephones tapped by MI5. Checkpoint Charlie on the A1. Use of agents provocateurs. Imports of coal from Colombia produced by child-labour. A vengeful government which, even after the strike, drove parts of South Yorkshire into the worst poverty recorded anywhere in the EU.

    Yes, indeed, contempt for the decencies and for democracy, and prepared to undermine it through illegal means.

    And among the telling later ironies? David Cameron’s choice of The Jam’s The Eton Rifles as one of his favourite songs.

  • Wasted Ballot

    out of interest, now that Labour is forming in NI why don’t you join?

  • John East Belfast

    Interesting parallels in the election of Ed Milliband and Tom Elliott.

    Both are a kind of rebound back from New Labour and New Unionism and show power exerted by traditional power blocks within the Trade Unions and the Rural/Orange vote respectively.

    In Milliband they think they can put clear red water between the Coalition and Labour and capitalise on the unpopularity of the cuts as they return to traditional Labour values – especially in attracting Lib Dem votes.

    In Tom they have changed course from the pursuit of the “garden centre prod” and think there are richer picking among the DUP voters – especially among the latter who used to vote for UUP.

    I think in both parties this is a retrograde step for the long term but in the short term it might work for both but for different reasons.

    In Labour the unpopularity of the cuts will be essential for them to advance under Ed but they underestimate the view among the electorate that Labour were largely to blame and gave the Coalition a hospital pass. I dont think one parliament is enough for them to shake this off and once the economy starts to turn then a Left leaning labour Party will be repeat their mistakes of the 1980s.

    In the UUP it may draw a line under the slide – for a while – but unless unionism ultimately finds a modernising and pluralist touch it is not going to advance

  • Should anyone believe there are depths to which even a Tory editor could not sink, there’s the Daily Mail. Note, in particular, the nice smear about paternity.

    My apologies for not previously bringing this choice bit of slime to the attention of sluggerdom. I only came across it via Liberal Conspiracy.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    John East Belfast,

    Perhaps a tempting comparison but Kinnock-Blair effectively broke the stranglehold the past had on the Labour party and Eddie is a continuation of that trend – whereas the UUP has not yet moved away from its past and Tommo’s election actually makes such a move a lot less likely.

  • John East Belfast


    The UUP has moved further away from its structural past than you give credit for.
    The formal Orange link (and their right to seats on the Council and Executive) was broken – by the Orange – and the rules totally changed. Elliott was elected on one member one vote this time round and there is no such thing as the Ulster Unionist Council.

    In Labour the stranglehold is not as broken as you think – the Unions still provide the bulk of the money – and money will buy influence.

    Neither the rural/ Orange nor the Unions had “gone away” but were biding their time.

    Another interesting aspect in all this is the impact of One Member One Vote in the UUP and the disproportonate impact of one constituency. FST is one eighteenth of the Party but by all accounts ended up with 25% of the vote last Thursday – as a result we ended up with A FST Leader – I agree this was not that significant bearing in mind the margin of the victory at 2 to 1 but if it had been closer ?

    The again the old way of the UUC also had major faults. I well recall when a Constituency could have 100 members with 51 anti agreement and 49 Pro Agreement. It would then have 35 UUC seats elected of a FPTP system meaning you got 35 Anti Agreement delegates to the Council.

    Political party democracy remains a dark art and when the party is out of touch with the voters then the wrong choices can be made

  • Ah yes: chalk=cheese.

    Except, of course, there is no block vote in the Labour ballots. It is all OMOV. Repeat: the Union leaders (all democratically accountable and elected) did not cast block ballots in this election. The gripe is that so many union affiliates neglected to vote.

    Then there were those coachloads who descended on the Waterfront. Is a quarter of the entire UUP membership concentrated in FST?

    As I understand it, Tom Elliott is Past County Grand Master of the Fermanagh Orange Order, Assistant Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Ireland and a member of the Royal Black Institution. So, no obvious Orange links there then.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I take your point about the breaking of the Orange link (strangely though not broken by the party itself) but the majority of (male) elected officers still feel the need to be Orangemen in order to get elected do they not?

    The failure of UCUNF and the poor vote for Bazza clearly show that unlike the Labour party the big battles with the past have yet to take place in the UUP.

  • John East Belfast


    Nobody said the Unions were using Block Votes – but it is not OMOV either.

    As I understand it the Labour Party is an Electoral College with weighted votes from different groups of which the unions are one.

    Considering not all union members are not even labour voters never mind labour party members then you can hardly say this is OMOV ?

    Then of course if the Unions are providing most of the money then I suppose they may want a say ?

    The UUP is OMOV but being a party member and being a party activist/worker are two very different things. The latter requires commitment and the former requires nothing more than a £20 membership fee.
    However who should select the Party Leader ?

    As for Tom being a senior Orange man that was not relevant for the vast majority of voters that night – if it had been then the major UUP/Orange fall out over recent years would not have happened.

    I think in Tom the majority of members “got one of their own” but being an Orange man was far from top of the list

  • John East Belfast


    I think you have to remember the big battles in the UUP in recent years was sparked by what approach the Party should take to former militant Republicans in Govt (terrorists in our mindset) and its approach to the Belfast Agreement.

    Only issues of that magnitude will cause “Big battles” – Tom beating Basil isnt one of them.

    The disproportionate influence of one particular constituency is something that did raise eyebrows and in a closer contest could cause problems though.

  • Democracy for slow learners 101:

    To have a vote in the TU section for the Labour leadership ballot, it was necessary (1) to pay the political levy and (2) further to attest that one supports the aims and objectives of the Labour Party. What is beyond denial is that overwhelmingly the TU membership who did vote (and there were not enough of them) supported Ed Miliband (just the one “l”). End of story.

    As I understand your account, the UUP leadership could be bought by FST recruits @ £20 a throw.

  • John East Belfast


    You are obviously better acquainted with this than I am – I didnt realise the political levy was now voluntary in union subscriptions.

    I assume that only the money raised from the political levy is what the Unions give to the Labour Party then ?

    Do you know what proportion of union member subscriptions are made with the member opting to exclude the political levy ?

    Also how much is that annual poltical levy ? I doubt it can be more than £20 or £30 per annum ?

    Therefore if that is all that is required then cant see the difference in that and your statement of

    “As I understand your account, the UUP leadership could be bought by FST recruits @ £20 a throw” ?

    for Union members deciding the Labour Leader

  • The full Labour ballot figures are on line: since you are so convinced of a fix, go do the calculation for yourself.

    Now consider the curious FST intervention. There were 937 votes on the table at the Waterfront. Over a quarter were trucked in to vote for Elliott. Elliott won 643-294. So his difference was substantially those 250+ from FST.

    A trifle over £9,000 (@ £20 a skull) would therefore buy the UUP and all its assets.

  • Munsterview


    As analysis go, good in as far as it went.

    However to paraphase that famous quip regarding President Kennedy, Tom Elliott is no Ed Milliband !

  • Munsterview


    “………As I understand your account, the UUP leadership could be bought by FST recruits @ £20 a throw……..”

    Thanks Man ! That is one wee problem taken care of !

    Now do you possibly know what the going rate for DUP is at present ?

    Is it a batch purchase or can dodgy elements with a history of running around at night wearing berets and caring loaded shotguns be rejected ?

    How about Alliance……. no, on second thoughts never mind !

    Any prohibitions on non UK nationals owning UK political parties ? Do the old names have to be retained by the new owners ?

    This certainly has possibilities, it has indeed !

  • John East Belfast


    Where did I say I was “convinced of a fix” ?

    You are terribly prickly – I was genuinely curious.

    I simply said the Labour Leadership was an electoral college and you said it was One Member one vote but there is nothing you have said since to convince me of the latter. From what i can see the Union voters – who pay the political levy and who subscribe to the values of the Labour Party – may not even be members of the Labour Party – that is hardly OMOV ? That sound just like the role the Orange Order used to have in UUP internal elections.
    I notice the Fabian Society has a vote as well ?

    As for FST it may be that all those FST members are active party members and if that is where the concentration of members are then so be it.

    However OMOV has its limitatins and can lead to disproportionate influence for certain districts.

  • Seymour Major

    Yes, there were a lot of people involved in that dispute but the suggestion that all of the casualties were caused by vengeful government is left-generated myth. It is not much different to the myth generated by republicans to perpetuate the belief that the hunger strikers were “murdered” by the Government. The striking miners (about 90,000 of them) chose to go on strike. They chose to try and stop people going to work and they chose to try to achieve it through violence. They were the real bullies.
    The Police did a job of protecting people who wanted to work. Yes, some of the Police did use excess force. They had to work in very difficult circumstances and unfortunately, they did not manage to protect everybody. From amongst the strikers, two of them were dropping concrete blocks off motorway bridges, aiming to hit people who crossed picket lines. They killed a taxi driver.
    The Government had a duty to ensure that the strike did not bring the country to a standstill. They had a duty to ensure that unprofitable pits were closed. The means by which that was achieved was entirely justified. The miners could have ended up with handsome redundancy settlements which could have left them and their families in reasonable comfort. Instead, they were left empty-handed because they were badly led by the likes of Arthur Scargill, whose main agenda was to bring down the Government.
    With hindsight, there should have been plans put in place to help people who lost their communities when the coal became too expensive to mine. That was always going to happen one day. The unions are very much to blame for their failure to represent their members’ interests.
    The scars of that dispute are still there today. People who crossed the picket lines and their families are still being labelled “scab” by bigots who also cling to their mythology.
    You talk of ironies. The real irony was the emergence of New Labour.

  • Reader

    Malcolm Redfellow: What is beyond denial is that overwhelmingly the TU membership who did vote (and there were not enough of them) supported Ed Miliband (just the one “l”). End of story.
    Not quite. A lot of the ones who bothered to vote would have been members of the Labour party too, and would have been entitled to two votes. So your observation leads to the conclusion that in a very tight race, Ed benefitted from One Man Two Votes.

  • Dear Sheople,

    “But the BBC’s Nick Robinson says a friend of Mr Miliband told him he was considering not running for the shadow cabinet and could quit politics.” …

    And what does that tell you about the power and influence of political oppositions, and the low base levels that politicians have in the big picture of power and control….. Or the childish throw-the-toys-out-of -the-pram nature of Miliband Snr*?

    Some would tell you that it is just a live soap with two bit actors pontificating and avoiding giving direct answers to pertinent questions, in order to occupy and fill the heads of the masses with spin … to keep them from thinking of their manipulation by others who would steal all their wealth and Intellectual Property and then bill them to pay to extract even more.

    Move along now, nothing to see here …. just do as you are told, we know best.

    * A right left of centre tosser, indeed.

    Surely you deserve better entertainment and edutainment ….. or is that the best that you can aspire to tkink of and accept?

  • Reader

    MV: This certainly has possibilities, it has indeed !
    My son was born and raised in Bangor. What will he need to do to get a vote for the next SF President? (If it involves paying money, you may need to know that he’s an adult in full time education, and ‘unwaged’)

  • Mr East Belfast @ 11:56 pm:

    I notice the Fabian Society has a vote as well ?

    How observant of you!

    The Fabian Society (founded 1884) was (and proudly so) a progenitor of the Labour Party. Since the Society is socialist, why should it not be affiliated?

    Suck it and see: you might like the Fabian Society: it favours “good” things like a minimum wage (since 1906), universal health care (since 1911), the end of the peerage (1917) and a proper voting system (its submissions to the 1917 Speaker’s Conference persuaded the Commons to support AV+: only the Lords killed that one).

    May I especially recommend Fabian research pamphlet 318, by David Bleakley (all the way from 1974)? A modest document — it is by Bleakley, after all — which proposed — good grief! — a power-sharing executive. Now, what was it they say about Northern Ireland and slow-learners?

  • Seymour Major @ 8:08 AM:

    A “nice” (in the original sense of that word) analysis; but one that ignores the cause of the dispute.

    It omits the bit about the government orchestrating an assault, a needless assault, on a section of its own population for partisan political advantage. Read the Ridley Plan in the Economist of 27 May 1978.

    The Scargill “leadership” of the NUM may have been bone-headed; but truncheons and charging policehorses (compensation paid for that in 1991: £425,000) are not better arguments. Nor is corrupting the welfare system to punish wives and children (lest we forget three teenagers driven to their deaths on a fly-tip, coal-picking in the mid-winter freeze).

    Allow me to correct my earlier post: I now see there were ten deaths in the dispute. You pick on one: the killing of David Wilkie, the taxi-driver. That was instrumental in ending the strike. For that crime, Hancock and Shankland received life sentences for murder (reduced to eight years for manslaughter on appeal). Nobody was charged with the death of David Jones at Ollerton or that of Joe Green at Ferrybridge, both under the … err … watchful eye of the police.

    Now, one of the more cogent arguments for intervention in Iraq was that the Saddam régime made wars against its potential dissidents …

  • Seymour Major


    I did not ignore the causes of the dispute. I just did not properly comment on them. Before that dispute, two Governments (one Conservative and one Labour) were effectively brought down because the Trade Unions had become too powerful. It was vital for the Nation that they were taken on and beaten whilst energy supplies were protected. Cutting welfare benefits to striker’s families was a necessary and justified evil.

    The skills and handling of Public disorder by the Police at that time need to be put into proper context. You will also know that the scale of the operation meant that the police had to employ many officers who were not specially trained to deal with this type of problem. You will also know that riot and public order control techniques employed by the Police have moved on from 25 years ago.

    You may not agree that the Government’s objective should have succeeded at such a cost. I did and still do. Was there an easier and less painful way to win?

    I doubt it but I think the Government would have employed it had it been thought of.

  • Seymour Major

    It is interesting to read the comments above on the comparisons above between the influence of the Orange Order on the UUP and the Trade Unions on the Labour Party.

    What the OO and the Trade Unions have in common is that they played a critical role in the birth of those two parties. However, in relation to the Labour Party, there is still a link between the Trade Union influence on the party leader and the raising of funds for Labour’s spending needs.

    At some point, there will be a debate in the Labour Party on its constitution. It will not be easy though but the proponents for change will be motivated by the very low turnout of the big unions and possible anomolies.

    For example, I notice that some unions, for example UNITE the Union have members in Ireland. Do the Irish members get a vote?

    Also, if you are a labour party member and a member of a union, are you allowed to have a vote in each sector?

  • Seymour Major @ 11.00 AM

    Your essential error there lies in: two Governments (one Conservative and one Labour) were effectively brought down because the Trade Unions had become too powerful.

    The Heath Government fell because it asked the question; Who rules Britain? The people of Britain, exasperated by one of the most misguided prices-and-incomes policies ever proposed, suffering rampant inflation, correctly answered, Certainly not you, matey. The Callaghan Government had, by May, sorted the “winter of discontent” and was brought down by the SNP, Tory opportunism, Callaghan’s decency (refusing to bring in a terminally-ill MP to vote) and an Irish nationalist who chose to “abstain in person” in the Commons bar.

    Sadly, propaganda acquired from the Mail and the Telegraph rarely represents historical fact in any depth.

    Why, or heaven’s sake, was it vital for the Nation that [manual unions] were taken on and beaten whilst energy supplies were protected? Who comprises this capital-n “Nation”? Is it somehow selective? “Us” and “them”? The result was Britain sold out on the “dash-for-gas” and is now left largely dependent on imported energy supplies. Out of the (as you perceive it) union stranglehold and into the grip of the Seven Sisters energy companies? Scargill bad! Fat cats good!

    Another result was that Britain lost any traction it was acquiring in “clean-coal technology”. In 2008 the first “clean-coal” plant went operational: in Germany, run by a Swedish company. Sounds familiar?

    No: the coal strike of ’83-4 was planned, engineered and delivered by a confrontational Tory government for partisan reasons. It worked: there are still folk like you accepting the visceral need to oppress and victimise.

    And, no again: I don’t wear the notion that the police force were merely incompetent, and it’s now all sweetness and light. They were deployed to use the same methods that were employed at Peterloo. That isn’t lack of training: that’s bald, unvarnished force majeure, the law of the wielded truncheon. It continues to kill, as with Ian Tomlinson.

  • Driftwood

    Boris has a nice piece about his and Red Ed’s old school in the Telegraph today reminding us of life under a Socialist administration.

    Yes, it was idyllic in the pre-paranoid 1970s, and you may by this stage be wondering what I mean when I say that things are so much better today. Well, there was one thing that we did worry about – and that was the economy.

    This was the era of the three-day week, and the lights going out, and capricious and arbitrary union power being used to bring the country to its knees. It was a decade that culminated in our pathetic national capitulation to the IMF.

    I note that Ed Miliband has emerged blatantly from the bowels of the trade unions, and that it was thanks to union chiefs that he edged a millimetre ahead of the elder Miliband. I note that he and other senior Labour figures are now pledging to support strike action – no matter how unreasonable, no matter how much damage it may do to the interests of the general public or the British economy – in the hope of scoring political points against the Coalition Government.

    I note, in other words, that under Ed Miliband the trade unions seem set to dominate the Labour Party in exactly the way that Blair and Brown managed successfully to avoid.

    There are many lessons from an inner London primary school in the 1970s – and it would be tragic if Ed were to take the wrong one.

  • Ouch!

    Missing close-bold.