Observations On Be bold, Ed-bring Alistair Darling back into the fold To Do It Justices I have Included The Article Below:
Reshuffles come and reshuffles go and Ed Miliband’s afternoon of the short spoons came and went with such minimal impact that it barely deserves the title at all. If the dealer shuffled in such dilatory fashion at a Vegas poker table, you’d assume the game was rigged and head to another casino.
Little Ed can be excused for doing no more than tweak a few of his obscurati (not that the shadow Welsh Secretary isn’t pivotal). With the latest poll showing Labour ahead by 14 per cent, why try to fix something that apparently ain’t broke? For all that, I think he is missing a trick by leaving a potential ace buried in the deck, and suggest he brings it to the top of the deck in the more electrifying reshuffle he is expected to announce in time for the autumnal conference season. Ed Miliband needs somehow to make Alistair Darling his Shadow Chancellor.
The objections to this latest outbreak of fantasy politics are very obvious. For one thing, there is no evidence that the former Chancellor is any keener on swapping the safety of trenches for the front line than his great-great uncle Kevin at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth. The enemy may be less scary than the Bosch of 1918, with George Osborne wounded, perhaps fatally, by the double dip and his role in exposing the Conservatives to the full toxicity of the scandal which led to certain criminal charges yesterday. Even so, having served in the Cabinet throughout New Labour’s 13 years in power, and stared into the face of financial armageddon after the 2008 collapse of RBS, Mr Darling may still be suffering from residual shell shock.
It would look like insanity, meanwhile, for Little Ed to risk the ceasefire which has unexpectedly settled over his party by humiliating the incumbent. Even his critics will acknowledge that Ed Balls has owned Mr Osborne in recent weeks. Moving him to a less lustrous portfolio, or more likely having to sack him for refusing one, would be sensationally incendiary. It would put the ice-pixie Yvette Cooper in a horrible nuptial position, and threaten to destabilise the party when stability is such a potent weapon of contrast against an ever more schismatic Coalition.
Having listed the gloomier aspects to this meisterplan, I now invite you to join me in its sun-drenched uplands. If ever a politician was exquisitely suited to a particular job at a specific moment, it is Mr Darling today. He has in abundance the quality that neither of the Eds, David Cameron, Mr Osborne nor Nick Clegg has at all. He has experience of successfully coping with a desperately sick economy and with the threat of imminent financial catastrophe that will revive if and when Greece leaves the euro. That alone makes him a potentially priceless asset.
The punters trust him partly on instinct because he seems so reassuringly dull (despite a wry wit that must make him good company); but primarily because, as Chancellor, he would not be bullied into silence, or outright lying, about the extent of the crisis. Messrs Brown and Balls had their trolls brief so savagely against him that, when he fell curiously silent during one particularly tense week, he was widely believed to be propping up a ring road flyover on the outskirts of Doncaster. Yet this deceptively tough chap would not allow them to bury him alive, and continued to break the first iron law of New Labour by telling the simple truth.
In a succession of cabinets peopled by fools, rogues, braggarts, incompetents, internecine plotters, pathological liars and messianic monsters, he shone out as a beacon of calm integrity and old-fashioned decency. He worked with the Blairites, and was close to Gordon, until almost the end, without ever becoming his creature.
The same may not be said of Mr Balls, who is too indelibly stained as Gordon’s fellow arsonist, in preparing the inferno by relaxing fiscal discipline, to benefit fully from being proved correct about the best road to recovery. He remains a liability, for all his intellect and energy, because whenever the Treasury releases bad news, that cheeky little face cannot disguise relish at the impact on his career prospects. With every fresh negative growth or rising unemployment figure, one imagines Mr Balls doing a victory jig around the kitchen, clad only in his pinny, while preparing the lasagne. Mr Darling you can only picture sighing with empathy.
This is not the time for grandstanding opportunists. This is a time for solemn maturity, and for all his considerable talents Ed Miliband has not an iota of that. When the smart politician identifies a personal deficit, he imports the commodity. In our increasingly presidential politics he needs to balance the ticket, just as Barack Obama did by picking Joe Biden, to diminish the perception of being callow and what the Americans call unseasoned.
Speaking of wise old Nestors, isn’t it lovely to see Peter Mandelson (and Mr Tony himself) returning to the fold just as Labour takes the ascendancy? This eerie coincidence of timing reminds us how Mandy did such damage to Mr Osborne after the yachtocratic pow-wows on Corfu, when some advised Cameron to replace him with a well-liked and trusted former Chancellor who, like Mr Darling, bequeathed an economy in growth. Had Cameron listened and made Ken Clarke Shadow Chancellor in 2008, hindsight suggests that his comforting presence would have inflated a plurality of seats into an outright Tory majority.
Whatever the longer term effect of Alistair Darling returning to shadow his old job, it would cement Labour’s improbably large polling lead, while jettisoning Mr Balls would reinforce Little Ed’s reputation for being a bold and effective gambler, built on his fratricidal seizing of the crown. Whether Milibandroid the Elder ever makes any kind of comeback may have symbolic importance, but in this game the most crucial step towards checkmating the Tories would come in the classic chessboard colour combination of white hair and black eyebrows.
This is purest fantasy politics, as I said, but outlandish fantasies come true every now and then as Sergio Aguero confirmed deep into added time on Sunday. So the final word to Labour’s leader is this. Go to Alistair on both knees, and serenade him with the snatch of McCartneyist-Lennonist dogma pithily expressed by the Beatles in the fourth track on Abbey Road. “Oh Darling, if you leave me, I’ll never make it alone/ Believe me when I beg you, don’t ever leave me alone.”
Well if the rumor is really true in regards to bring back the master of all spin doctors(Alistair Campbell) then I say welcome back to Labour. For far too long Alistair Campbell has been left in the cold.
Coming to think of this reminds me of a well know song called Coming in from the cold which begins like this:
In this life, in this life, in this life, In this, oh sweet life: We’re (we’re coming in from the cold); We’re coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), Coming in from the cold.
It’s you – it’s you – it’s you I’m talkin’ to – Well, you (it’s you) – you (it’s you) – you I’m talking to now. Why do you look so sad and forsaken? When one door is closed, don’t you know other is open?
Would you let the system make you kill your brotherman? No, no, no, no, no, no! No, Dread, no! Would you make the system make you kill your brotherman? (No, Dread, no!) Would you make the system get on top of your head again? (No, Dread, no!) Well, the biggest man you ever did see was – was just a baby.
In this life (in this life), In this (in this life, oh sweet life): Coming in from the cold; We’re coming in (coming in), coming in-a (coming in), coming in (coming in), ooh! (coming in) Coming in from the cold!
It’s life (it’s life), it’s life (it’s life), it’s life (it’s life): it’s – wa – well! – coming in from the cold! We’re coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in) – ooh (coming in), hey! (coming in), Coming in from the cold.
I have to admit Alistair Campbell has a very good track record with Labour and he will be a key in supporting Ed Miliband with the press and communities issue which has been lacking in the Miliband press team.
I am sure that there are people in the Labour party who will or will not agreed of bring back splendid person who helped to revive the party from old to new Labour. Now before members start to load up their guns remember this I have always maintained that I was NEVER a fan of TONY BLAIR let us not forget that he did what many Labour leaders have not achieved by wining a third term in government for Labour as the leader.
Now interestingly Alistair Campbell had been summoned to return because, well, back then the inquiry was considering phone hacking and the relationship between the press and the public. It had now turned, after a period examining dealings with the police, to looking at press relations with politicians, an area in which Campbell, after nine years as Tony Blair’s media Cerberus, certainly has an insight.
If the value to the inquiry of his return visit was not immediately obvious – as Campbell’s second statement to the inquiry acknowledged, he had already made many of these points in his first – it had at least given Robert Jay, lead counsel to the inquiry, the opportunity to catch up on his political memoirs. “I wanted a hard nut and had thought he was good,” Jay read aloud, having selected Tony Blair’s fat autobiography A Journey from a tottering pile on his desk, and turned to a section on the hiring of Campbell. “What I got was a genius.”
“Umph,” grunted Campbell, his elbows planted firmly on the desk and his chin on his hands. “Sweet.”
“And with great clunking balls as well,” added Jay, almost with a wink.
“Let’s move on,” said Leveson.
Jay had sent Campbell a reading list, the witness revealed, and over the next three hours the lawyer would quote him extracts from accounts by politicians Chris Mullin and Peter Mandelson, journalists Andrew Rawnsley and Andrew Marr, political adviser Lance Price, and from Campbell’s own diaries. It offered Campbell a rare and valuable opportunity to retell the cited anecdotes from his point of view, invariably offering further evidence of the toxic venality of British political reporting.
It has been noted before that Campbell is rather an effective operator. If Andy Coulson’s appearance before the inquiry last week was guarded, defensive and careful, his most celebrated predecessor in Downing Street was at his bumptious, unapologetic best.
Had he and Blair set out to win over Rupert Murdoch? Absolutely, said Campbell. Yes, Blair had attended a News Corp conference on Hayman Island, Australia – cast in earlier testimony as evidence of the supine abasement of the political class before Murdoch. “I was never in doubt that it was a good thing to do,” said Campbell.
Of course Murdoch would enter Downing Street by the back door when he visited Blair – could you blame him given the “absolutely neuralgic” effect the mogul had on the rest of the media?
Sure, Campbell at times had spoken to Rebekah Brooks every day, and had attended both of her weddings – but to call it a friendship “overstates it”.
But didn’t that degree of privileged access give newspapers a disproportionate and perhaps dangerous amount of power, asked Leveson? Campbell preferred “influence”. But wasn’t it power, said Jay? Influence, said Campbell.
Which was not to say that the political class hadn’t made mistakes too. They had been “very, very bad at standing up for themselves” in representing how important their work was, he said. It was the equivalent of the interview question in which, asked to reveal his biggest failing, a candidate admits to being, on occasion, just too dedicated. Well, Blair didn’t hire him for nothing.
So with this I say to all my friends and foes I hope you enjoyed reading this article and now is the time to bid you all a good day. You never know there may be another interesting article from the prince of darkness.