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David Milband tells Total Politics that he would run for the leadership of the Labour Party again:
On accusations of a lack of commitment to winning the leadership: “That’s nonsense,” Miliband retorts. “I’m proud I did it and I would do it again. It’s a very important part of my politics that we’re a movement, not just a machine. When we are a machine, we lose. We’ve got to become a movement again if we want to win. And I want us to win.”
The European Council has published it’s communique for meeting of the 9th of December where David Cameron said “no” to a revision of the Treaty of Lisbon. It can be read here.
I will hope to debunk some common myths about the proposed revisions:
That signatories would concede sovereignty to the EU because of the following:
This simply isn’t true. The communique clearly states that:
The rules governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure (Article 126 of the TFEU) will be reinforced for euro area Member States.
The requirements of the fiscal compact would only apply to the euro zone. It would only apply to Britain if we chose to join the Euro.
The document states that:
General government budgets shall be balanced or in surplus; this principle shall be deemed respected if, as a rule, the annual structural deficit does not exceed 0.5% of nominal GDP.
This would ensure that Britain could expand in period of growth, with increase tax receipts.
The document also clearly states that the Excessive Deficit Procedure (Art. 126 TFEU) only applies to Eurozone members.
Again, simply incorrect. The document clearly states that:
We recognise the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice to verify the transposition of this rule (the fiscal compact) at national level.
The Court of Justice would examine whether the compact was transposed into national law, not adjudicate as to its implementation.
Will Hutton in the Observer says that Vince Cable is considering resigning over Europe:
furious when he learned what had happened. He will speak out aggressively against Cameron’s veto; his decision is whether to resign to do so or say so in office, courting his sacking.
If Vince goes nuclear will anybody be watching?….
Update: Vince Cable’s “representative on earth” Lord Oakeshott says that he isn’t considering his position. There’s a surprise.
Update II: Paul Waugh reports that Cable’s office say resignation claims ‘categorically untrue’ and that “Vince has no intention of resigning”.
Posted in Global Politics, Politics, tagged Aston Express Way. Nye Bevan, Birmingham, British Politics, Centre, Chruchill, fascism, Labour, Left, nazis, New Labour, Progress, Purple Book., Tony Blair on December 10, 2011 | 1 Comment »
Whilst I was driving home from University in Nottingham, I drove down the Aston Expressway into Birmingham. For those that haven’t driven on this piece of road, it is a three lane duel carriageway which has a central lane which changes direction based on the direction of heaviest flowing traffic. It looks like this:
At the time I was thinking about this quote from Nye Bevan:
We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.
I was thinking about this for about 10 minutes, and I realised that in Bevan’s time, this was most probably true. The world was a different place, with monumental struggles between democracy and fascism, and between communism and capitalism. If you were in the middle of one of those conflicts, then you would most likely be run down by an oncoming tank.
Today, politics is quite a different environment. Yes, much of the process has not changed, but there are no longer these large differences in ideology.
Anyway – Whilst I was driving down the Aston Expressway, I realised that I was, intact, driving along the perfect analogy for modern day politics. There are three lanes of traffic to the left, and there are three to the right. There is one in the middle, which is only active when the others are particularly busy. From time to time, it changes direction, but there is always traffic on it.
British politics is therefore much like the A38. Labour and the Conservatives will always enjoy around 30% of the vote each.
There will always be a Lib Dem wearing sandals, weaving in and out of the traffic, radically changing direction all the time.
There is UKIP, or the man standing in the tweed jacket on the wrong side of the road, shouting at the traffic to turn back.
Then there is the centre ground, which is where the 10% that can win you an election reside. They may change direction from time to time, but if you can be pointing in the same direction as them, come election day, they will vote with you and will win you an election.
It is the centre ground that Labour, and the Left needs to occupy to win elections.