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Lammy endorsement boosts Miliband campaign

David backs David

David Lammy, prominent black MP and Chair of Ken Livingstone’s Mayoral nomination campaign, has given a significant boost to David Miliband’s fight for the Labour leadership today with his endorsement.

Writing in the New Statesman Lammy outlines why he’s backing the older of the two Miliband’s currently battling it out to be leader and what he thinks it means for the future of the party.

After thirteen years in government we needed a proper post-mortem on why we lost, what we went wrong and where we go from here. I nominated Diane Abbott because I wanted that debate to have as many voices as possible. Three months on we have reached decision time. The question is which of the candidates can forge a credible and inspiring new project for the Left.

For me that question has been answered emphatically. It is David Miliband. He offers change in our party, understanding that Labour must become a movement again. Barack Obama was the first to grasp this, mobilising his volunteer force to help the victims of the Mid-west floods during his own campaign. David gets this too. Already he has trained 1,000 community organisers as part of his campaign. In time, they who will help communities speak with one voice about the things that matter to them.

The former Minister has placed himself at the heart of a unique endorsement web; he’s running the Livingstone campaign who in turn is backing Ed Balls for Labour leader. Only time will tell whether Lammy’s skillful positioning will pay political dividends…

By Leon Green

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5 Responses

  1. I thought he was backing Diane Abbott? What is going on in New Labour? Are they really ready to run this country?

  2. No they are not. You are bang on the money.

    As much as I loathe the Tories and the Lib Dems, they have shown now to have the more competent team, that at least share the same coherent package, necessary to run the country. At the same time, their policies will likely damage the country. It will however, in net terms, be less damaging than if a political party (like the current labour situation) couldn’t coherently govern the country.

    Labour has been disorganised since many cabinet ministers resigned before the election; Labour has now become factionalised. They are in a great deal of debt with no credible plan for dealing with it (five leadership candidates, with a great amount of media coverage, is just way too expensive and wasteful). Labour’s de-valuation after the general election has now caused some of their benefactors to be less interested in funding the party. The lack of a competent party has also drawn the attention of debt collectors who would like their share of the remains of Labour (that they paid for).

    Politics will be very different in the near future.

    I must add that that there are few people who would back Diane Abbott because she has not had any experience, in government, as a cabinet minister. She appears to be more concerned with ‘diversifying’ the election rather than forming decent policies. There are not many people that take her seriously, because of those reasons. People are worried about big things: global financial problems, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, education, foreign policy, deficits. Diane Abbott appears to be more knowledgeable regarding smaller, more localised issues. These are the reasons that make her a good MP but, unfortunately, not a good Labour leader.

  3. “I must add that that there are few people who would back Diane Abbott because she has not had any experience, in government, as a cabinet minister. Diane Abbott appears to be more knowledgeable regarding smaller, more localised issues. These are the reasons that make her a good MP but, unfortunately, not a good Labour leader.”

    These are two very important points raised by you Joshua. I have been very critical of New Labour for not enforcing proper equal opportunities. Instead they re-introduced racism back into every aspect of society hoping that it would keep them in power indefinitely. Gladly, they failed and democracy reigned.

  4. I am happy we can agree on at least a few points. I hope you will not find me over-zealous. ‘Passionate interest’ is how I would describe.

    I, however, do not agree with your constant hatred for New Labour. I cannot, given limited information, understand how the history of New Labour have affected you so negatively.

    I would like to see some examples over these accusations of a ‘racist’ New Labour. It is concerning that many people who sympathise with OBV would ask for such strict laws regarding equality. I have seen an example of likening the ‘need’ for more equality laws as ‘enforcing parking ticket fines’.

    I can tell you that just today my family received a parking ticket unjustifiably. We parked outside our own house with a permit clearly displayed. We received a fine, which we will dispute, because all suspects (in this case parked cars) are deemed guilty until proven innocent. I believe similar circumstances would apply for ‘enforced anti-racism laws’. It would be like living in a police state. There is no reasonable way to introduce such ideas in a reasonable manner.

    I don’t think that Labour would be the port-of-call for seeking such laws as its mantra is: Socialism, the belief that society can better itself. It does not advocate fascism: the belief that authority should dictate, and enforce, social trends.

    I am in no way likening anybody to a full-on fascist, however, I do believe that the ideas I have seen described by parts of this blog, and OBV, are in danger of verging on such territory. They show a lack of faith in society and, by extention, the positive aspects of human nature. The search for Authority is a tempting mistress and can cloud the judgments of those who seek it.

  5. Joshua. I find your interpretation of my metaphor interesting and in line with many of your comments – either used completely out of context and intentionally misleading.

    You could have highlighted that in the very same post I quite clearly state: “May be we best off doing this work ourselves. This isn’t a new argument for me. I don’t trust in politicians and public sector instutions enough to rely on them for genuine change”.

    That is not convenient to your portrayal though is it. Doesn’t sound particularly good though if you add that before suggesting I’m pro police state or a borderline fascist does it?

    The context the comments were made in was a discussion about the legal duties on public sector institutions who had been shown in many cases to have ignored clear inequalities, and in some cases had been either guilty of racial discrimination against staff and customers, or in other ways had excluded staff and customers (e.g. by not providing access for disabled people). Hence the duties being devised to target those issues.

    Therefore, when I state “I’m in favour of specific duties and would impose stricter penalties for non-compliance. Parking services do not just stick ‘no parking’ signs up, they follow through”. I am referring to:

    a) The consultation document discussed in the blog post, i.e. I prefer specific duties (because each ‘equality strand’ has different solutions and causes), rather than a general duty which is vague and pointless;
    b) A law without any consequence is a pointless law – as it has been (and parking restrictions and many other laws I could have used as examples do have consequences); and
    c) Via metaphor I am reinforcing that point but I’ll make it more blatant for you. People don’t park in a bus lane because they know that if they break that law, they’re likely to have their car towed. If they knew there were no penalty no one would comply, so what would the point be?

    Your point about your recent experience with parking services is irrelevant – although I sympathise as I too have had to fight unwarranted tickets – and designed to critique an argument that hadn’t been made. Although I have to say, look on the bright side, it was handy the local council provided you that timely example – what are the chances of that happening again!

    Contrary to the portrayal above I am flexible to alternative ideas and arguments, I have reconsidered my opinions based on interaction here and other blogs. I welcome your opinion even if I disagree.

    What I don’t welcome is the need to misquote and to misrepresent people here such as the example above, or when you’ve ‘freeze-framed’ historical figures for your own ends.

    For example, I challenged your stances on ‘civil rights pioneers’ when you clearly hadn’t got your facts straight (vis a vis MLK and Malcolm X). You didn’t even know (or ignored the fact) that Malcolm X did not always preach segregation – you just used that (earlier) part of his life because it suited your argument.

    Back to the topic above, perhaps to the impartial observer they can perhaps see how I hadn’t advocated “the ‘need’ for more equality laws”, because they might know that there would be no ‘more’ because the specific duties already exist! Perhaps you need to learn about the laws as they are before launching in to a flawed critique.

    As for likening that them to “‘enforcing parking ticket fines’” I have highlighted above how this was a clever trick on your part. Innocently because you didn’t get the metaphor or intentionally because you needed a quick example to sling in the ‘police state’ and ‘bordering on fascist territory’ chestnuts.

    On that note, I find it funny that such a consensus advocate with such innocent intentions likes to mud-sling so much. Here is a rewrite of your final paragraph:

    “I am in no way likening anybody to a full-on liar or fantasist, however, I do believe that the ideas I have seen described by parts of his responses, and his continued misquoting, are in danger of verging on such territory. They show a lack of faith in genuine debate and, by extention, the negative aspects of human dialogue. The search for convenient misrepresentations is a tempting mistress and can cloud the arguments of those who make them”.

    How about you set the example and “turn the other cheek” a la MLK, and I’ll stick to highlighting when people have been “hoodwinked and bamboozled” a la Malcolm? I don’t think they are inaccurate words given the evidence above.

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