Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Is this what the goons around Ed have insisted you go public with?

What are we to make of Alan Johnson’s rambling article in the Guardian today in which he attempts to calm down all the frenzied Labour MPs (including twenty Shadow Ministers reportedly) who want to dis-embowel Ed Miliband?  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/10/alan-johnson-labour-leadership-ed-miliband-loyalty?CMP=share_btn_tw

In his 1008-word article Mr Johnson goes on about the hated Tories for the first half and only in the last 527 words does he talk about Mr Miliband.  Perhaps there was not very much he wanted to say about his party leader?  Or perhaps he felt things had degenerated to such an extent he had to use half of the available space in an Orwellian hate-fest before he would have his readers’ attention?

Let us examine some of his key points – Mr Johnson’s words are in red, my thoughts are in black.

Ed Miliband is entitled to expect our loyalty.
Why?  What has Ed Miliband done that gives him an entitlement to faithfulness and devotion?  In any case, the Labour party is not an organisation that gives unthinking allegiance to a person.

Miliband’s courage in standing up to vested interests has been remarkable, and his analysis of the issues at stake – in what will truly be a watershed election – has been astute.
I completely agree with Mr Johnson here.  Ed Miliband is an analyst, and he is working on the ideas that will make Labour credible in 2020.  Unfortunately he is hampered in this work by all the careerists who want power in 2015 (and whose greed for power may well stymie any thought of a Labour government until 2025).

Nowadays it seems to be rather unfashionable to focus on ideas and values in a world that is obsessed by celebrity and personality.
And there you have the problem.  Ed Miliband is a John Smith when the elected party wants a Tony Blair.  He is an Ed Miliband when the elected party wants a David Miliband.

He is the only political leader who can stop a retreat from the consensus of decency that has traditionally characterised Britain’s role in the world.
This is a horrid thing to say.  David Cameron has more decency than the entire Shadow Cabinet put together.  What could be more indecent than the Labour party’s betrayal of everything it ever claimed to believe in?

I never envisaged that in my lifetime any mainstream British political party would contemplate pulling out of the European convention on human rights, a treaty that this country helped to formulate in the wake of the second world war.
This is dishonest of Mr Johnson.  He knows that it was the implementation of unworkable parts of the Human Rights Convention by the last Labour government that led to absurdities and injustices and brought the concept of “human rights” into ridicule in the United Kingdom.  It is not enough to mean well Mr Johnson, you have to be competent as well.

And never did I think that the Liberal Democrats would ever collude in mounting such a vicious attack on the most vulnerable people in our society as they have done with the bedroom tax.
The Bedroom Tax was a Labour invention Mr Johnson – you need to accept paternity for the bastard child you helped spawn. 

On Europe and immigration Labour must stand by its principles.
And what principles would they be?

Miliband as prime minister would be far more capable of forming the alliances with other European governments necessary to resolve these matters in the British interest.
As Mr Miliband seems to be incapable of forming alliances even within the parliamentary Labour party this is a rather hollow claim.

Leaving the European Union would hinder rather than help our ability to control immigration.
You are standing truth on its head here Mr Johnson.

At the beginning of this parliament the Labour party lost precious months conducting an overlong leadership campaign… we in Labour examined our collective navel.
And what would the Labour party have done in those “precious” months?  I remember the leadership campaign well – a thorough examination of all the candidates and then it was fixed by the unions.  It is the system that is rotten, not the people who complain about it.

The question of the leadership was settled then. It must not be re-opened.
This is a bit undemocratic is it not?  The Labour party is not Joanna Southcott’s Box that requires the presence of all the bishops before it can be opened.  If the current leadership is not performing it needs to be challenged.

It was my decision to walk away from frontline politics, not Ed’s.
You sacked Ed, he didn’t sack you?  Is that what you are saying here?  This is the politics of a JoJo song (Get out, right now, it’s the end for you and me…)  

I have never stood for the leadership of my party – and for the avoidance of doubt, regardless of the circumstances, I never will.
Have you taken up over a thousand words just to get to this one sentence?  Is this what the goons around Ed have insisted you go public with?  How humiliating for you.  Everyone KNOWS you have given up.  Otherwise you would not have parked your backside on the sofa in Andrew Neil’s This Week studio (which has effectively become a retirement home for failed leadership wannabes).  How degrading for you now to have to make the exhausting effort of shooing away those hysterical Mary Shelley’s in the PLP who want to apply electrodes to your political corpse and bring you back to life.

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