BBC BLOGS - Nick Robinson's Newslog
« Previous | Main | Next »

How brave is Ed feeling?

Nick Robinson | 10:56 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

Ed Miliband's already shown that he's politically brave. After all, he fought and defeated the favourite, the establishment's choice and his own brother to become leader; then promptly fired Labour's Chief Whip Nick Brown.

Ed Miliband

 

The question, though, is what is the brave choice today? Is it to appoint Yvette Cooper as shadow chancellor or to give it to the obvious choice - her husband Ed Balls or someone else?

Balls is the more obviously qualified choice, but is more associated with Labour's past and infighting. He is the greatest long term threat to Miliband if his leadership is not a success. Appointing him would, therefore, be brave.

Cooper fits more neatly into Miliband's theme of a "new generation" despite having been Alistair Darling's deputy at the Treasury for a while. Giving it to her might not ease relations round the shadow cabinet table let alone in the Balls/Cooper household, so that too would be brave.

Miliband could avoid them both and go for Alan Johnson who offers experience, working class credentials and would be a gesture to the majority of the shadow cabinet and Parliamentary Labour Party who chose David and not Ed Miliband to be their leader.

As John Harris points out in today's Guardian he could fill the role which Willie Whitelaw played for Margaret Thatcher when she became leader against the wishes of party's establishment.

Alan has, however, already publicly distanced himself from his new leader's stance on crime and tuition fees. So that appointment would also be brave.

There is, in short, no easy answer. What's more, as you've no doubt guessed by now, I do not know who he'll plump for. What I do know is that it will tell us quite a lot about his leadership and how brave he really is.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    He'll go for Cooper - that would show not just bravery but also demonstrate a new start - A woman shadowing the countries finances. That will get the female vote - they'll think "She can run a household, so I'll let her run the finances".

    Sounds a tad sexist which I'm not, but I really think it's an opportunity for Ed M, not one to be shied away from.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's got to be Yvette Cooper:

    Balls suffers from too much association with the previous administration

    Johnson is seen as fairly left wing, appointing him would risk pushing the party even further left than it already is

  • Comment number 3.

    It depends how confident Miliband is - both Cooper & Balls could be intimidating for him, if he wants to stamp his own authority.

    I really don't see Alan Johnson is qualified for the job and his appointment would be a cop out.

  • Comment number 4.

    He will go for Johnson - whoever he picks Balls will be causing problems, just like Brown did to Blair.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Balls is the more obviously qualified choice, but is more associated with Labour's past and infighting."

    "more qualified" when he was Gordon's second brain is debatable - his DNA is as much over this mess as Brown's was - and given that Ed himself was a Gordon SpAd upto the 2005 election, Ed himself can hardly be distanced from the infighting. He was as much a part of it as Ed. As "End Of The Party" details, Ed himself was not averse to going into No10 and giving the staffers a level of industrial banter along the lines of "havent you lot *expletive deleted* moved out yet?"

    "He is the greatest long term threat to Miliband if his leadership is not a success. Appointing him would, therefore, be brave."

    As another wag has observed, it makes no difference whether Balls is inside or outside of the tent. He will micturate all over his fellow party/cabinet members regardless. Vote Balls, get Brown. No thanks.

    Cooper, less said the better. Balls-lite. No thanks.

    "Miliband could avoid them both and go for Alan Johnson who offers experience, working class credentials and would be a gesture to the majority of the shadow cabinet and Parliamentary Labour Party who chose David and not Ed Miliband to be their leader."

    Yeah, Mr 4 Jobs In 5 Years Johnson, who was pretty much an abject failure in all of them. He should have stuck to being a postie.

    The more piscine-memoried tribal sheep in the heartlands may flirt with returning them to power, but once AV and the constituency size changes go through, their 60 seat inbuilt majority will evaporate anyway.

    Personally, I dont care who they put in what job, it just serves to make them more unelectable. Diane Abbott as leader and Ed Balls as chancellor in that case, would have been perfect. Or, vice-versa.

    You havent mentioned either Nick, that ten of the 19 didnt even vote for him as leader, they voted for his brother.

    Talk about starting your tenure with a gun aimed at your head... Infighting is going to destroy this lot. Theres no way a man with such little political experience beyond being in Brown's shadow is going to be able to handle that kind of pressure.

    And, for a party of inclusivity and social justice and mobility.... its a very white, middle-class, metropolitan, Oxbridge-y, isnt it? 40% privately educated, 50% Oxbridge graduates, all of 'em on the government payroll under Brown (so much for the new generation!), no toffs (Woodward) no gay men or women (Bryant, Bradshaw), no people of colour (Abbott or Hain, although it seems Hain may get a reprieve).

    In fact the only colour there is Ed himself... a slightly odd tinge of red, bordering on maroon.

  • Comment number 6.

    What is this 'new generation' nonsense?

    Ed Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Ed Balls were all in the previous cabinet.

    They are all tarred with the same Iraq, extraordinary rendition, tax and spend brush.

    What exactly are they trying to say other than to distance themselves from the disasterous Brown premiership? But they cannot and will not as long as all tory supporters have breath left to remind the population that these same mugs mortgaged our future for stupid wars and public sector excess.

    It's truly a stupendously great time to be a tory...

  • Comment number 7.

    Yvette would be the smart choice - Alan Johnson would be confusing to Labour members, and would be better placed in a more vocal role on, say, health or schools where there are going to be other battles to be fought.

    Ed would make a good John Reid style attack dog, and putting him as Chancellor to do this, given his baggage, would be awkward. It would place the party back in the arguments they were having before the election.

    Balls may also find it hard to be bitter about his wife.

  • Comment number 8.

    "That will get the female vote - they'll think "She can run a household, so I'll let her run the finances"."

    What, despite the fact that when any of your political opponents liken running the nations finances to running those of a household, you lot are up in arms screeching "No, no, no, its absolutely NOTHING like it!!!"???

    I remember a certain other female poltician who was on record as doing the same thing... Cant remember her name now, some greengrocers daughter from Lincolnshire....

  • Comment number 9.

    His choice for shadow chancellor is indeed a brave choice as any of the candidates mentioned will be forever tainted with the fact that when in office they couldnt count......

  • Comment number 10.

    Can you please enliten me on the labour voting system. I thought it was one MP one vote!

    Douglas Alexander - 160 votes
    Ed Balls - 179 votes
    Hilary Benn - 128 votes
    Andy Burnham - 165 votes
    Liam Byrne - 100 votes
    Yvette Cooper - 232 votes
    Mary Creagh - 119 votes
    John Denham - 129 votes
    Angela Eagle - 165 votes
    Maria Eagle - 107 votes
    Caroline Flint - 139 votes
    John Healey - 192 votes
    Meg Hillier - 106 votes
    Alan Johnson - 163 votes
    Tessa Jowell - 152 votes
    Sadiq Khan - 128 votes
    Ivan Lewis - 104 votes
    Ann McKechin - 117 votes
    Jim Murphy - 160 votes

    So how many MP's do Nu Old Labour have?

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought the dodgy process by which they gave a disproportionate chance of election to some MPs, based on gender not ability, was more revealing of their underlying nature.

    But in any event I would not want to spend too much time on the party that LOST the last election.

    Big issue at the current time is the threat posed by the tories.

  • Comment number 13.

    rockRobin7, #6

    >> "It's truly a stupendously great time to be a tory..."

    Really? After 13 years of Labour, a hugely unpopular PM in the last election, and still only limping over the finish line? And the humiliation of having to be propped up by the Liberals? With Labour in a condition far better than the Tories in 97, and even leading the Tories in some polls?

    And for a Tory, that's "stupendously great"?

    I have no truck with any of the three main parties, but I have to ask: whatever happened to the so-called "natural party of government"?

  • Comment number 14.

    `... Alan Johnson who offers ...working class credentials...'

    Heaven forfend! A working class fellow in the Labour Party? And on the front bench even! I find such positive discrimination quite reassuring.

    Perhaps he will drop an `h' now and again and call Ed `guv'nor'.

    Good chaps these working class folk: trouble is they are very rare these days. A bit like work, really......

  • Comment number 15.

    "10. At 12:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, Chris London wrote:
    Can you please enliten me on the labour voting system. I thought it was one MP one vote!"

    Yes, when the news reported support for ancient rituals full of mumbo-jumbo and unpprovable beliefs, I did think they were referring to the Labour Party but it turned out to be charitable status being given to Druids.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hmmm. Somebody just put a big wodge on Johnson for Chancellor. Interesting....

  • Comment number 18.

    I think Boris has more chance than Alan of being Chancellor.

    Sorry, I've just suffered an aneurism at the thought

  • Comment number 19.

    How the heck can someone like Ivan Lewis, with his controversial record, even be considered for inclusion in Labour's shadow cabinet?

  • Comment number 20.

    FubarSaunders said:

    "And, for a party of inclusivity and social justice and mobility.... its a very white, middle-class, metropolitan, Oxbridge-y, isnt it? 40% privately educated, 50% Oxbridge graduates, all of 'em on the government payroll under Brown (so much for the new generation!), no toffs (Woodward) no gay men or women (Bryant, Bradshaw), no people of colour (Abbott or Hain, although it seems Hain may get a reprieve)."

    You've just lifted this off Guido Fawkes' website and allowing him to do your thinking for you means you've made the mistakes he has - completely ignoring Sadiq Khan as a 'person of colour' and Angela Eagle as a lesbian who is in a civil partnership.

    Further, Ed Miliband has five discretionary picks, so why not try and confine the sniping until after the full line up is complete?

  • Comment number 21.

    No5 Fubar,
    That is an interestingly long contribution for someone that does not 'personally care'.

  • Comment number 22.

    And the winner is..... Ed Cooper no I mean Yvette Balls. What the hell why dont they job share and discuss quantitative easing in pillow talk.

  • Comment number 23.

    @13 - DotConnect

    Well said! I wrote on this blog the other day how it could be considered to be a great time to be a Tory and pretty much made similar arguements. If you consider the S*%t storm about to hit this country on Oct 20th and the resulting public anger, resentment and possibility of mass action within the public services in protest it is likely in my mind that in 5 years this so called government will be truly despised and deeply unpopular (if it lasts 5, I can easily see the Liberals walking away when the public view them as equally guilty of their collective crimes; walk away to try and re-build some reputation ahead of their iminent slaughter at the next election).

    It's a great time not to be associated with the toxic brand of Cameron & Clegg...

  • Comment number 24.

    13. dotconnect wrote:

    rockRobin7, #6

    >> "It's truly a stupendously great time to be a tory..."

    Really? After 13 years of Labour, a hugely unpopular PM in the last election, and still only limping over the finish line? And the humiliation of having to be propped up by the Liberals? With Labour in a condition far better than the Tories in 97, and even leading the Tories in some polls?

    And for a Tory, that's "stupendously great"?

    I have no truck with any of the three main parties, but I have to ask: whatever happened to the so-called "natural party of government"?
    ====================================================================

    I think you're about 5 months late with this post, the general election was held in May.

    Are you going to post about the abolition of child chimney sweeps as well ? Or banning cock-fighting ?

  • Comment number 25.

    The evidence seems to suggest that a main opposition with the number of seats in the House of Commons held by Ed and his colleagus nearly always forms the government at the next election.
    If 'Captain Mannering' the failed spin doctor,relying on the 'King of the Hackers' to promote his message could not win the election against a certain Mr Brown, his prospects are rather dim.

  • Comment number 26.

    If you look at the betting odds, they have AJ as shadow chancellor, YC as foreign, and EB as Home. All odds on, and all at better odds than not just everyone else, but 'anyone else'.

    As all the relevant team all now know their fate, I'd suggest that the above is going to be the team.

  • Comment number 27.

    #10

    There are 19 places in the shadow cabinet so each Labout MP could cast up to 19 votes. As a minimum they had to vote for 12 - 6 men and 6 women

    Some would have used all 19 votes, some only 12 and some anywhere in between.

    This is the same electoral system in place for many elections - e.g. there are three councillors in my ward so I get three votes - don't have to use them all but thats the rule. You get as many votes as there are places available.

    As to who gets with job - Yvette Cooper for Chancellor in my book. She is more cerebral and intellectually nimble than her hubby (not that he is thick) and this would be a better match against Osborne - who has the appearance of being intelligent but really isn't.

    I would give Ed Balls the Business portfolio where he can oppose St Vince of Cable yet still have an economic role. Vince is the weak link in the coalition and the Lib Dem who, in my opinion, will be first to resign and a bruiser like Ed oppposing him might just help that happen.

  • Comment number 28.

    Ed, brave , having a laugh, he is an opportunist of the first order.

    Where he puts people will have more about who they are to shadow than qualification for any particular job.

    Balls is so not right, whilst he may not have been Chancellor - his fingers are all over Old New Labour economic policy that it would make his attempts to distance himself from them in a New Generation look fatuous (though given what he has been given to choose from it does appear fatuous to begin with). I would leave him with Education.

    Look at the list which Ed has to pick from - and then line up with their opposite numbers who they might best be expected to prove effective opposition to in key battleground areas where major reforms are proposed.
    The Treasury portfolios needs new blood - since they can do nothing about what is going to happen they have to focus the big guns on the losing departments and go for competence in the treasuries.

    Johnson v Clarke would be an enjoyable contest though my suspcion is he may go to business ex-postie vs Cable during post office privatisation.

  • Comment number 29.

    Andy Burnham for Shadow Chancellor!

  • Comment number 30.

    10. As the Labour MPs were electing 19 members of the shadow cabinet, each MP got 19 votes. So in effect, one member one vote for each shadow cabinet position.

    Nick, I agree this is an incredibly difficult decision that Ed faces but he must choose between Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper - any one else would be a seen as compromise candidate and clearly neither of the aforementioned would be happy if they didn't get the post. However, I'm not of the belief that either would be a mistake. Of course Ed Balls has baggage but it isn't anything he can't shake off if Ed Miliband decides to go with him.

    As for me, I'm sitting on the fence!

  • Comment number 31.

    20#

    Guido did indeed provide the steer. You know what the moderation is like in here though, the slightest whiff of acknowledgement or someone elses idea and you get modded for copyright infringment.

    I didnt consider Khan, because he's an expense scandal liability. I wouldnt put him in charge of a whelk stall. Eagle is a complete non-entity.

    And for a party that historically - certainly over the last 13 years - has not exactly promoted any kind of independent thought from within, indeed has seen thinking the unthinkable as a sackable offence - I'm hardly going to be bothered about some post-New Labour flunky accusing me of not being able to think for myself.

  • Comment number 32.

    21#

    Yeah, I guess it is Sout. Sometimes though, its just too much fun on a Friday, especially after the week I've had.

    Speaking of which, I hope your recovery is going well.

  • Comment number 33.

    Until Labour wake up to the reality that ideology is not the same as fact, it will remain unelectable.
    Miliband has chosen a number of people because they are women. This is based on the feminist myth that men and women have the same intelligence patterns and the same drives.
    Which is bad science. Moreover, if you select on anything other than ability, you will not select the best available. Miliband has made it clear he will be selecting on gender: he wants all-women shortlists in one third of seats and he seems to be following that ideal in his choice for shadow cabinet.
    He will therefore be giving the country a sub-standard party standing for government.
    I am not against women candidates or MPs -- provided they have been fairly elected. But through Miliband we are seeing the true face of feminism.
    Feminism does not seek equality of opportunity. It demands equality of outcome.
    Either the country will suffer or Labour will simply scupper its chance for electoral success.

  • Comment number 34.

    Balls would be a massive misfire - it would move the Labour party even further to the left (and inside the unions pockets) than they already are. Liam Byrne is (rightly) seen as a joke after his ill-judged 'goodbye' letter. Johnson has no real business or credentials for taking on a role like this (not that that has ever stopped the Labour Party before).

    He will give the role to Cooper - she is the best candidate for the job. Ed Balls will be given a non-job by way of an apology. But Cooper is the right choice for the party, and to be honest she knows it as well as Milliband does.

  • Comment number 35.

    I feel totally inhibited to make a comment. My submission to the last thread was rejecte because it broke houise rules and I have received a stiff telling off by e-mail
    My offence was either
    a) I critised Cameron for being a PR man and only pleasing the audience in front of him
    or
    b) asking Nick why he let his conservative credentials show so openly

    I conclude that the real offence was b) since I had already posted the a) comments on Brian Taylor's blog on Scottish politics

  • Comment number 36.

    Trying to equate 'nakedly ambitious with little to lose' with 'brave'.

    But OK.

    I'd get as many box tickers in as possible.

    Might not result in any talent that could make a difference to a country hungry for competence and leadership, but almost guaranteed endless outings on an MSM luvvie circuit that does like its pretty colours and might get fidegety when Kevin Maguire's 'Tory Toffs are a boys' club' wears thin on the sex equality front, and the black, green, pink and oranges (Peter Hain) are noticeable by now not being front bench flavours.

  • Comment number 37.

    "Balls is the more obviously qualified choice"

    I would call that an opinion and not a statement, as it implies that this is factually correct. If you're going to imply such a thing, you should have at least stated their qualifications and experience.

    Is this the same type of 'qualified' as those who were running the banks that failed?

    "Cooper fits more neatly into Miliband's theme of a "new generation""

    I think people had enough of the new generation under Tony Blair and we saw how the old generation performed because it was only when Tony Blair moved away from the old did they win. So if they can't win under old labour and they can't win under new labour after their re-branding exercise, then they may as well just give up on calling themselves labour and re-brand themselves as "Not Labour" then that may work.

    However, I feel that Cooper is the one who should get the job.

    The funny thing is Ed M suddenly finds himself surrounded by the Balls Brigade.

  • Comment number 38.

    Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor - I have a feeling he isn't the first choice for Ed M, but a safe one, to keep the bench warm for a certain David M, should Labour win the next election.

  • Comment number 39.

    StrictlyPickled, #24

    >> "I think you're about 5 months late with this post, the general election was held in May."

    Indeed it was - and the last time I checked, the Tories were still having to be propped up by the Liberals. Not only that, a poll last week put Labour ahead of the Tories. And we're not even at October 20th yet.

    Not what I would call 'truly a stupendously great time to be a tory'!

  • Comment number 40.

    18. At 12:29pm on 08 Oct 2010, Laughatthetories wrote:
    I think Boris has more chance than Alan of being Chancellor.

    Sorry, I've just suffered an aneurism at the thought

    ==============================

    Call an ambulance quick.

  • Comment number 41.

    'Balls is the more obviously qualified choice, but is more associated with Labour's past and infighting'

    and more associated with the policies that lead to the largest deficit in peactetime history.

  • Comment number 42.

    I am surprised by the announcement that Alan Johnson gets the nod, but also a good (and brave) choice. One, it may heal any divisions in the party post-leadership election. second, Ed has rather curiously gone for experience to lead his new generation on the big pressing issue, the economy.

    I wonder if he's reconsidering his choice of "new generation" as a leadership theme...?

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    Whoever he picks for Chancellor the past history is one where the Leader is a key influence on the Chancellor.

    If he wants to keep the Balls household up in arms and fighting amongst themselves while Ed M makes the real decisions go for Yvette. Ed B will be unhappy if he is put back to Education but at least there he is newtered and could damage Gove - a weka link in my view.

    Ed M will however find it tempting to oppose everything the Coalition does and this would be a critical mistake. Better to point to the recent weaknesses in fairness, speed and quality of implementation these are where the coalition are weak.If he is smart he should hit out where he can win, parry round the eges where they are weak and in this way he stands a chance of winning next time round.

    Sadly, Cameron and Osbourne with the will of the people behind them look to be set on destroying this capital on Trident we neither need or can afford or unfair policies (public sector pensions - note excluding MPs, and poor implementation).It is shaping up for a one term Coalition that Ed & Co can steal back with patience.

  • Comment number 45.

    'Ed Miliband's already shown that he's politically brave'

    No he hasn't. Bravery is where you take an action that could lead you substantially worse off. Re Ed would have been no worse off had he lost the leadership election than if he hadn't stood at all. And what on earth did he have to lose by sacking Nick Brown ?

    Real bravery would be telling the Labour party and Labour movement some home truths. That they should stop denying the need for cuts and stop believing the solution to every problem is tax and spend. Something he won't do of course because he's just a vacuos lightweight whose only talent is being nice to people.

  • Comment number 46.

    39#

    And one the following week after your conference reversed it. If you think you can build a 2015 election victory off the back of one simple spurious poll, you're a mug.

    We are in the position we are because the public are becoming ever more cynical with politicians. Its not about it being a game of power about who wins for their own party political gain, its about governing and leading the country and doing whats best for it.

    The public spoke; their choice was not to give ANY of the mainstream parties a majority. Thats the way it is, and they all - you included - had better get used to it.

    Some things are plain and simple facts.

    The tories did not win an outright majority.

    The Libs increased their numbers.

    Labour lost 90 seats.

    Clegg was trying to play Brown and Cameron off against each other in order to secure the biggest concessions from a coalition partner. He didnt care which, so long as his feet were under the table.

    Cameron did not get a majority for two reasons. One, the number of votes lost to UKIP and other parties elsewhere which diluted their core vote. Two, some of the tribals, whilst having very short memories about Labour sins, have got very long ones about events between 1979 and 1997. Whilst the brand appears to have been largely detoxed, it is still not enough and he is not a strong or charismatic enough leader, although he seems to be happy enough to aspire to be Blair-lite.

    Labour - they lost. Let me repeat that for you, in case you didnt get it.
    Labour lost.

    Down to 6 million votes, the second worst performance in 60 years, sustained only by boundary changes that give them a sixty seat head start. It was as much their election to lose as it was the tories to gain. Had they kept Blair, they'd arguably have won a fourth term. But they didnt. They could only gain power by being Thatcherite.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hmm, I stick with my opinion of Johnson being confusing - of course his performance may alter this perception.

    Liam Byrne had to go to the cabinet office, and his background and philosophical interest in Sen will make an interesting shadow to Letwin.

    I'm puzzling over the joint FCO / Women brief a little. It is an important area, but surely given the JR on the Budget someone with a brief closer to home would have been better suited as Equalities, unless they are to weaken their stance on foreign issues?

  • Comment number 48.

    46. At 1:43pm on 08 Oct 2010, Fubar_Saunders

    This analysis is almost entirely wrong. Factually wrong as the number of Liberal Democrat seats went down. Entirly wrong in substance as to why the Convservatives did not get a majority.

    Enjoy your delusion whilst it lasts; you have some nasty surprises coming.

  • Comment number 49.

    46 - "Some things are plain and simple facts.

    The tories did not win an outright majority.

    The Libs increased their numbers.

    Labour lost 90 seats."

    You missed another fact.

    The Conservatives got a higher percentage of the vote in 2010 than Labour in 2005 (36.1% to 35.2%) and a greater number of votes in 2010 than Labour in 2005 (10.7 million to 9.55 million).

    Quite why the Left are trying to say that the Conservatives have no 'mandate' when the fact that Labour 5 years earlier had got over a million less votes yet seemed to see that as carte blanche to trash the economy in the manner of a drunk in charge of a brewery, is beyond me.

  • Comment number 50.

    Nick, you say "Balls is the more obviously qualified choice, but is more associated with Labour's past and infighting"

    Balls as Shadow Chancellor would have been a boon for the Tories (as a figure of ridicule), but a total disaster for the country if Labour were to be re-elected any time soon.

    Balls isn't merely 'associated with Labour's past', but a key figure in a failed administration and one of Brown's most trusted lieutenants.

    We now learn Ed has chosen Alan Johnson as shadow chancellor. In reality, who ever Ed chose, it's a bit of an irrelevance. The lesson voters need to remind themselves of is that you can't ever trust Labour on the economy. Labour has an institutional mindset that doesn't understand how wealth is created. They only know about tax-and-spend.

  • Comment number 51.

    Fubar_Saunders, #46

    // "And one the following week after your conference reversed it."

    "My" conference? You assume I support Labour?! Well that just demonstrates how misinformed you are! You may be unable or unwilling to step outside of tribal party loyalty when commenting, but please don't assume no-one else can.

    You don't have to have any party political allegiances to feel sceptical of the claim that "now is truly a stupendously great time to be a tory".

  • Comment number 52.

    33. At 1:03pm on 08 Oct 2010, ScaaarBeeek wrote:
    Until Labour wake up to the reality that ideology is not the same as fact, it will remain unelectable.
    Miliband has chosen a number of people because they are women. This is based on the feminist myth that men and women have the same intelligence patterns and the same drives.
    Which is bad science.]

    You're still struggling to come to terms with the fact that some of us women understand the offside rule, aren't you??

    I don't think someone should be chosen just on gender grounds - I'd hope that the selection process goes a bit further than that.

  • Comment number 53.

    "There is, in short, no easy answer."

    Well he could always ask David Cameron for some advice on how to run an opposition party.

    "The question, though, is what is the brave choice today?"

    To go home, contemplate why we have such useless politicians who are allowed to run riot and bring this cuntry to its knees then come back tomorrow and fight for the permanent dissolution of parliament and the eradication of career politicians who have allowed political agendas to dominate the heart of politics rather than proper decision making in the interests of the nation.

    If it ain't broke then don't fix it.

    If it's as broke and corrupt as our political institutions appear to be then I say it's time to bulldoze the place down and start again.

  • Comment number 54.

    48#

    Why would I have any nasty surprises coming, O wise one?? Pray do tell, now you appear to have o/d'd on internet bravery pills???

  • Comment number 55.

    Speaking of deluded:

    "Secretary of State for Justice Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP"!!!!!

    I could do with a laugh!!! Khan, SecState For Justice?????? ROFLMMFAO!!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    40
    Well it was more the thought of Boris than Alan, though I'm a bit surprised by this. I would have gone for the Balls as he would have made sweetmeat of Osbourne.

  • Comment number 57.

    Fubar_Saunders :-

    Labour lost yes but the biggest loser of the election was Cameron, with all the odds in his favour, recession, heavy press support, Ashcroft millions and Gordan brown not only being unpopular but also determined to ruin his own chances.

    The fact the only way the Tories would even have a chance of winning was by having Cameron as there leader, by for the most leftwing leader the Tories have ever had, tells you something.

    It was kind of like a football match between myself and my son were I let him start of with 4-0 ahead score an own goal or two and come out with a draw, then give him the moral victory because he scored his 6 goals before my 6.

  • Comment number 58.

    51#

    So, if you're not Labour, then you're the next worse thing, a left-leaning Liberal, one of the beardy, tree-hugging, wave power sect.

    No in fact, scratch that, its not the next worst thing..... it IS the worst thing.

    Only a tory can tell you whether its a great time to be one. I ceased to be one many years ago. Personally, I dont rate Cameron as being the type of leader the nation needs.

    However, given the choice between him and the megalomaniac usurper Brown, it was a simple divide to bridge. I would have preferred the preverbial pigs head on a stick in charge to Brown.

    I dont think the coalition will go the full five years and there is every chance that this bunch of Labour performing monkeys may well pull off the miracle of brainwashing enough of the terminally stupid "whats in it for me" British voters that it really wasnt them who led the nation to the edge of the abyss. As I said, I'm glad I emigrated.

    Its almost certainly though, a better time, by deduction to be a tory than it is to be New Labour. If, you're ruled by partisan politics that is.

    And, a significant number of the fly-by-night posters on here do fall into that bracket. I personally, when I see those big stones coming flying through the air from that huge Labour glass house on the hill.... I just cant help but throw them back. With interest.

  • Comment number 59.

    55. At 2:11pm on 08 Oct 2010, Fubar_Saunders

    I would hate to ruin the suprise.

  • Comment number 60.

    Firstly i want to say I am a conservative voter, not out of any particular distate for labour but because on an ideological level I agree with them. But (and i know about starting a sentance with a conjunction, don't point that out) anybody that says 'it's a great time to be tory' please stop it. It ****** (please insert as reqired) isn't, there is the unenviable task of reducing a substantial governemnet debt (budget deficeit) in the middle of a terrible ecomonic situation and for this no conservative will be lauded.

    Neccessary? Most agree it is but when you start actually affecting the income of your voters there will be consequences and sadly i see the conservative party being crushed into the earth by many thousands (millions??) of people who would otherwise support such an approach until it actually impinged on their lives.

    We (and i mean 'tories') will be hated for doing what i personally think is necessary, because at the end of the day when you affect someones bottom line they start to hate you.

    It's a terrible time to be a tory.

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.