Ed’s dangerous liaisons with Nick….

So, apparently our illustrious leader has been having secret meetings with Nick Clegg. Apparently they are not discussing the finer points of leadership (which, given their respective popularity ratings, they probably should be) but how Labour and the Liberal Democrats can work together on areas of ‘mutual interest’.  In a style that we have come to expect from this leadership this is in some regards brazenly arrogant and presumptions. How, when it comes to AV, can Mr Miliband offer our ‘co-operation’ when supporting AV is not the Party’s policy but his own and the leaderships?

Nonetheless, I am sure all this will please the literati that lives in the pages of the liberal press. However, Labour members have every reason to feel, well, a little ticked-off especially as a fair proportion of them are about to enter bruising election campaign against the Lib Dems and are probably sick of hearing the ‘yellow peril’ trash Labour’s record on everything from here to eternity. First it must be pointed out that this is yet another Ed Miliband u-turn. Here is what Ed thought of Nick just a few months ago:

Nick Clegg,” he says icily, “is a betrayal of the Liberal tradition. David Cameron and Nick Clegg are texting each other like teenagers in love because they agree with each other. It’s not some forced marriage, they ideologically agree with each other.

Reading this you can’t help but think, in his head Miliband imagines himself as the ‘unbroken thread’ of ‘liberal tradition’ as opposed to the traitor Clegg and in actual fact, Labour tradition as well.  I digress. Even if we accept Miliband is entitled to change his mind, which he is, it would be nice to have an explanation and for him to drop the pretence this has been his attitude all along. The only time I have been in favour of such a union is when, as a Liberal Democrat, I desperately wanted to leave and return to Labour but wasn’t quite ready to make the leap. So, psychologically, arguing for the two to unite made sense in a way that only denial really does.

Ed’s attitude however, makes no kind of logical sense. In general, his attitude towards the Liberal Democrats as a Party and indeed Clegg personally is becoming a huge embarrassment for Labour. He is beginning to make himself look like a lovestruck puppy that attaches itself to any old passing leg and clings on for dear life in hope more than expectation. I suspect this is amusing for Liberal Democrats but less so for Labour members. One group that definitely is laughing are the Conservatives – read this in The Spectator if you don’t believe me.

Of course, we want the support of ex-Lib Dems but one wonders why people who have just been rather sold down the river would want to see Mr Miliband swooning at feet of the person who just so viscously abused their political trust. They probably don’t and this is why we recruited more ex-Lib Dems when we reflected the pain they felt at the betrayal they had just suffered. Given that Miliband’s advances make little sense in this respect they tend to illicit the nagging suspicion the real agenda is to have a serious go at severing Labour’s historic links with the labour movement.  Not even Tony Blair was stupid enough to have a real go at this particular wheeze but then again he did have a coherent vision for the Party and the country, love it or loath it, and that gave him a sight more about him than Miliband possesses.

What peculiar kind of madness makes Miliband thinks he can succeed? Again, perhaps its desperation. Perhaps he wants this to be his ‘legacy’. Sadly, its a comment on his complete lack of political judgement that he wants to tie Labour to the political equivalent of the Titanic and seems to feel this is a somehow ‘inspired’ move.


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About darrellgoodliffe


8 responses to “Ed’s dangerous liaisons with Nick….”

  1. Jay Baker says :

    I don’t think it’s too much to worry about. There’s no evidence that Ed Miliband was wanting to u-turn or concede anything, simply adhering to what he’s said for months is a pluralist approach. If the Lib Dems did actually seek to save their souls via Labour, the Tories are out. That keeps me warm at night.

    Finally, even if they are talking on any remote common ground at all, it undermines a pathetically weak Tory party in power even further.

    The best surprises, I feel, are yet to come. Fun and games politics may be, but the end result of all these particular machinations will be very enjoyable.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Apart from the fact he has u-turned already as I proved in the quote. I am not in favour of pluralism when it means certain things; this current’s government whole defence of its actions are pluralistic in their nature. I don’t think it matters what the Lib Dems do; the only force that can destroy this government is the Conservative right.

    I dont think they should be because it doesn’t actually undermine the Conservatives at all. They shouldn’t especially on something like AV where the Party doesn’t have a democratically agreed position. Maybe the Cameroons within the Conservatives but not the Party as a whole.

    Possibly lol we will see 🙂


  3. Ryan Thomas says :

    Great post, Darrell. I cringe when I read talk of co-operation with the Lib Dems. As an unapologetic tribalist (you know, those backward people holding the party back), I think we should be hammering the Lib Dems with everything we have got. They are in government, we are in opposition. We should be opposing them, not trying to woo them.

    I frankly could not care less about appealing to Lib Dem members – if they want to stay in the party, that’s fine, that’s their bed and they can continue to lie in it. I’m more interested in winning Lib Dem voters, and that will be done by exposing their hypocrisy and opportunism and identifying the damage they are doing in allowing a vicious Tory government to destroy what remains of the welfare state and create a nastier, more pernicious society in its place.

    I, for one, would be quite happy to see the Lib Dems completely wiped out at the next election.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Thanks, glad you liked it :). Me too and I totally agree with you. I don’t like the way people who feel this way are labelled like you say as ‘backward tribalists’ and are presented as again you point as being the ones who ‘hold the party back’. It’s the tribalists who aim the highest for the Party. We don’t want to be in government with another Party; we want a Labour government that represents and enacts Labour values. Its the pluralists who weaken us and tell us we cant achieve anything by ourselves. That mentality is what holds the Party back.

    Again totally agree. I really dont get why people think that these people who have just been totally betrayed would want to hear us saying nice things about the Party that betrayed them.

    Me too. Lets keep our fingers crossed for that outcome…


  5. Jay Baker says :

    It depends on which people in the Liberal Democrats they speak to. While appealing to the disenchanted (and somewhat naive) Lib Dem voters is great, I still think pulling the Owens, the Ashdowns, the Kennedys and Campbells is effective. As for Clegg, I believe Ed Miliband is cleverly continuing to embrace Obama’s public displays of pluralism and is likely doing so as self-defence from the media that mobilised quickly to marginalise “Red Ed.” It’s a game being played to ultimately further the Labour cause, lest they become subject to – or at mercy of – The Sun Wot Won It.

    As for “tribalists,” I say keep ’em coming. As has been said here, they are definitely needed in order to ensure that – whatever the means – the ends are more progressive and rooted in social democracy than anything else.

    And what else is there? No major party offers the people the scraps of progress like Labour do, and without Ed Miliband as leader, I for one would never have joined. Thank goodness we didn’t get his Blairite brother!


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I dont think there is any point trying to bring the big names over. In fact, were they to come over here I would actually question their tactical wisdom in doing so. For them, as they have a base, it might be better to organise an opposition within. Having said that I am not sure there is anything left to be bled from the Lib Dems, certainly the polls confirm this, so why the continued love bombing? I see what your saying but the point remains I think is that Ed sees himself as a liberal and would dearly love to forge a new liberal party. A political project I do not approve of.

    Also, there is the issue of making sure the progressive politics you describe are strongly rooted in the labour movement and this is why I dislike the project I outlined above.

    Well that is a valid point. I’m not sure Ed Miliband is as un-Blairite as he makes out to be honest.


  7. Chris says :

    You’ve got to keep your friends close but your enemies closer! The time for retribution on Nick Clegg will come!!!


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    I don’t think that is what Ed is doing at all…


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